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The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.

Title:

Brunswick County road orders, 1732-1746
Authors:
Pawlett, Nathaniel Mason.
Year: 1988
VCTIR No.: 89-R1
Abstract: The establishment and maintenance of public roads were among the most important functions of the county court during the colonial period in Virginia. Each road was opened and maintained by an overseer (or surveyor) of the highways, who was appointed each year by the Gentlemen Justices. The overseer was usually assigned all the able-bodied men (the "Labouring Male Tithables") living on or near the road. These laborers then furnished their own tools, wagons, and teams and were required to work on the roads for six days each year. County court records relating to roads and transportation are collectively known as "road orders." The Virginia Transportation Research Council's published volumes of road orders and related materials contain not only information on early roads, but also the names of inhabitants who lived and worked along the roadways, plantations, farms, landmarks, landforms, and bodies of water. From 1732 to 1746 Brunswick was a giant parent county; by the end of this time, it had shrunk to very nearly its present size. The scale of the county as originally conceived made administration unwieldy, and like other large frontier counties created as a response to continued westward movement. Brunswick lost the majority of its terrioroty within about twenty-five years of its creation. The road orders contained in this volume cover the period from 1732, when Brunswick's county government first became operational, through the creation of Lunenburg County in 1746. As such they are the principal extant evidence concerning the early development of a vast area of Southside Virginia stretching as far as the Blue Ridge.