Library of Virginia to Microfilm the “Auditors’ Account” Volumes

The Library of Virginia has announced an exciting new initiative to microfilm the well-known, but little-used, Auditors’ Account Volumes from the Revolutionary War era. The initiative, using grant funds from the Daughters of the American Revolution, is scheduled to be completed by the fall of 2015. The announcement may be found in the June edition of LVA’s e-newsletter, here: It reads, in part,

The Library of Virginia is pleased to announce the award of a generous matching grant from the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) that will allow us to microfilm the receipts and disbursement journals of Virginia’s auditor of public accounts, 1778–1797. These 21 volumes include daily entries of revenues and expenditures, many of which document payments for Revolutionary War service and public service contributions. Entries include payments for military service in the militia and Continental Line and for other military services rendered, relief payments to disabled soldiers and widows, interest paid on military certificates, and reimbursement for impressed property, as well as payments to individuals for civil service and to members of the General Assembly.

The importance of these volumes, which actually number more than 21, cannot be overstated. The most comprehensive source of warrants authorizing payments to and from the Commonwealth of Virginia during the Revolution, these 30+ daybooks are among the most underutilized Revolutionary War records in the LVA collection. The scope of these volumes must be underscored: Virginia did not issue payment to individuals during the Revolutionary War era without a warrant from the Auditors. This included everything from the salaries of the Governor and the members of the House of Delegates all the way “down” to the payments made to militiamen for their tours of duty. That is why these volumes, which have received a great deal of lip service but little else, are so important. This is where all of those authorizations for payment were recorded in detail.

Hamilton J. Eckenrode designated these volumes with roman numerals and partially indexed them in his 1912 List of the
Revolutionary Soldiers of Virginia. Eckenrode’s index only included names of soldiers and, while he did a magnificent job, some of the soldiers were missed. Of these volumes, which range in size from 124 pages to over 700 pages, five have been previously microfilmed, while the rest currently exist in textual form, only. The Library holds the original volume along with a photostat copy, in most instances. The public is usually served the photostat.

It is important to understand that Virginia kept “two sets” of books. The Auditors’ Account Volumes consist entirely of warrants presented to the Auditors for authorization of payment. When an individual presented himself before the Auditors and received a warrant, s/he then “went” to the Treasurer where s/he actually received payment. The Treasurer kept a second set of books. The Treasurer’s volumes, which are NOT “Auditors’ Account” Volumes, record the same basic information, but often in abbreviated form.

An inventory of the Auditors’ Account Volumes as they were arranged by Eckenrode is found in Annual Reports of Officers, Boards and Institutions of the Commonwealth of Virginia for the Year Ending September 30, 1905, Part II (Richmond: Superintendent of Public Printing, 1905), 101-4. For practical purposes, when Virginia researchers speak of the “Auditors’ Account” Volumes, they are referring to this corpus as they were arranged and then indexed by Eckenrode, not as they are currently catalogued by the Library of Virginia. This state of affairs is due to the simple fact that, until somewhat recently, Eckenrode’s 1912 index was the one and only practical way to access these records.

With a few exceptions (such as Volume I) these volumes may now physically be found in Record Group 48, Auditor of Public Accounts, Inventory Entries 34 and 45. Most of these volumes were once found entirely in APA 34, but some seem to have been recently moved to APA 45. The most notable example of this movement is volume XVIII, the grand dame of all of these volumes. To my knowledge the volumes currently span BOTH inventory entries.

The following is a reproduction of Eckenrode’s inventory, along with annotations of my own. Volumes with an
asterisk (*) are especially rich in payments to men for militia services. The first three volumes are transcribed in my Selected Virginia Revolutionary War Records, volume III. You will notice that the volumes are not strictly chronological. One reason is that there are volumes that deal with exceptional circumstances, such as volume IV, Accounts with the Illinois Department. The Library of Virginia, along with the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, are to be warmly thanked by all researchers who care about Virginia’s Revolutionary War era records. This initiative will fill a glaring need, and will preserve these precious, precious volumes for many years to come!

Aud Account volume number – and description
I Accounts of the Committee of Safety from October 21, 1775 to July 5, 1776; 128 pages (misc reel 301; APA 211)
II Accounts from March 5 to July 23, 1779; 278 pages (indexed in Eckenrode as “Aud Acct
1779;” misc reel 149)
III Accounts from July 24, 1779 to March 4, 1780; 329 pages
IV Accounts with the Illinois dept. from January 5, 1778 to December 13, 1783; 124 pages
(APA 206A; Indexed in Eckenrode as “Aud Account Book 1778-1783 Ill. Dept”)
V* Accounts from March 6 to October 13, 1780; unpaginated (indexed in Eckenrode as Aud Acct “1780”); microfilmed
VI Accounts from May 11, 1780 to January 3, 1781; 566 pages
VII Accounts from October 16, 1780 to March 23, 1781; 328 pages
VIII* Accounts from March 24 to November 14, 1781; unpaginated (misc reel 150)
IX Accounts from August 30 to December 22, 1781; unpaginated
X Accounts from November 15, 1781 to October 31, 1782; 326 pages
XI Accounts from January 5 to November 7, 1782; unpaginated
XII Accounts from November 8, 1782 to February 10, 1783; 329 pages (misc reel 150)
XIII Accounts from January 5, 1782 to April 25, 1783; 662 pages
XIIIA Accounts from February 11 to April 17, 1783; 327 pages
XIV Accounts from April 25 to July 4, 1783; 334 pages
XV* Accounts from April 25 to October 29, 1783; 630 pages (misc reel 249)
XVI Accounts from July 4 to October 29, 1783; 329 pages
XVII Accounts from October 30, 1783 to January 23, 1784; 322 pages
XVIII* Accounts from October 30, 1783 to May 22, 1784; 701 pages
XIX Specie waste book, January 24 to March 22, 1784; 263 pages
XX Accounts from March 23 to May 22, 1784; 365 pages
XXI Accounts from May 24 to November 4, 1784; 556 pages
XXII* Accounts from May 24 to December 14, 1784; 646 pages
XXIII Accounts from November 5 to December 31, 1784; unpaginated
XXIV Accounts from December 15 to 31, 1784; 60 pages
XXV Accounts from January 1 to 31, 1785; 365 pages
XXVI Accounts from March 19 to May 10, 1785; 365 pages
XXVII Accounts from May 11 to October 10, 1785; 500 pages
XXVIIA Accounts from October 11 to December 31, 1785; 333 pages
XXVIII Accounts of Revolutionary pensioners, 1782 to 1785; 181 pages
XXIX Accounts from January 2 to February 8, 1786 XXX Accounts from February 9 to April 29, 1786; 328 pages
XXXI Accounts from January 2 to May 31, 1786; 368 pages
XXXII Accounts from January 20, 1784 to March 2, 1791; 250 pages

4 thoughts on “Library of Virginia to Microfilm the “Auditors’ Account” Volumes

  1. This is great news! My ancestor, Pvt. Garland Lane, according to the State of Georgia’s Roster of Revolutionary Soldiers is listed somewhere in these records compiled by H.J Eckenrode as being on a list of soldiers who guarded Washington’s headquarters at Yorktown in 1781. How would I go about finding a copy of this original reference? Any assistance would be much appreciated!


  2. Bevin: It is sad that these “well-known” records were not known to us folks in the hinterlands. If it were not for your blog I would still not know of them. Thank you for the “news”. Will these microfilmed records be available from LVA or are they going to be at the DAR library? Your Creel “cousin, Poldi Tonin in Dallas.


Comments are closed.