Nelson County Historical Society






Welcome to the Nelson County Historical Society!
The grace period for 2021 memberships expires at the end of February.  We appreciate your continued support and look forward to continuing the mission of the society and to offering interesting programs, articles, and support to our members in 2021. If you have not renewed your membership, please see "Membership Renewal Time" below.

Membership Meeting
The board of the Nelson County Historical Society requests your attendance at an online membership meeting March 6, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. In accordance with the society’s current bylaws Article XI: Amendment of Bylaws, Paragraph A., a membership meeting is required to review and approve any changes to the bylaws. Modifications address Article III: Authority and Duties of Board of Directors, Paragraph B: Number, Selection and Tenure and the addition of  Article XI: Amendment of Bylaws, Paragraph C. The proposed modifications are here with the changes highlighted. The meeting will allow for discussion and approval. All members should have received an email with details on joining the meeting.  Members may also click here for information on joining; you must be logged in as a member to see the information.

Membership Renewal Time
Membership in the Nelson County Historical Society runs with the calendar year, so now is the time to renew your membership.  You can renew by logging in as a member and going to your PROFILE.  After logging in, instructions will appear in the red box at the top of the page. If you would like to receive the newsletter and/or other information by email, please enter your email address under Contact Info and make your selections under Member Settings. For those wishing to renew by mail you may send your check to P.O. Box 474 Lovingston, Virginia 22949.**
The Board voted in November to increase the annual dues* as follows:
Individual - $25
Family - $40
Sponsoring Organization - $200
Sponsoring Organizations will be recognized in our Newsletter, website, and at events/programs throughout the year.
*This is the first increase since 2007.
 **Members joining after July 2020 will not need to renew until December 2021.
Donations may be made by going to DONATE  or at the time of your membership renewal. The following giving levels are recognized:
Society Level - $100-$249
Oakland Level - $250-$499
Lt. Governor - $500-$999
Governor - $1000 and above



We encourage you to take advantage of the MEMBERS ONLY searchable features created by painstaking volunteers to provide you with the very best historical information on Nelson County families and places.


We invite you to join NCHS for a very reasonable fee of $25 for individuals/organizations or $40 for families or to make a donation to help us continue our work in preserving Nelson County's rich history.




Please NOTE: Due to the current pandemic situation, Oakland museum is closed until further notice. All Nelson County Historical Society programs and meetings are also cancelled. We will endeavor to reschedule them at a future time. Please continue to enjoy our website in the interim.





Be sure to see Lynn Coffey's treasured video: MOUNTAIN PEOPLE 

More Books Available for Online Sales

A History of Nelson County as Compiled by the Home Demonstration Clubs 1964-65—a compilation of information gathered by the ladies of the county Home Demonstration Clubs about their communities, including history, homes, churches and other items.   $10.50

Remembering Roseland  - Family and Friends During the Great Depression (James Hight –2010) - includes schools, churches and families: Harvey, Whitehead, Giles, Stratton, Hight, and others in the Roseland area $20.00 

Samuel Spencer of Virginia—Descendants and Related Families by Spencer Winn Wilkinson (2001)- a 400 page documented genealogy history of the Spencer family including Beck, Bibb, Burnett, Graves, Mills, Purvis and others $21.00


See the Museum Store to Purchase on the left column



Cemeteries of Nelson County, Virginia 2020

New edition released!

Order online or by mail


P.O Box 484

Lovingston, VA 22949

Cost: $30 + $7.00 S&H

(Va residents: $1.96 Sales Tax will be added at checkout on PayPal)



Click here for a list of cemeteries.





Member Search Capability

  • A searchable listing of the Society's archival holdings at the Nelson Memorial Library and at the Oakland Museum can be found under Society Archives.
  • In some instances, digitized photographs may also be available through the online catalog.  We hope to increase these digitized offerings in the future.
  • Digitized images of several newspapers in the days after Hurricane Camille (August 19-20, 1969) are included under Hurricane Camille.
  • Oral histories and videos are also included under Hurricane Camille.
  • A "Google-based" search engine for searching across the website is also included.  Note: this search engine does not search the archives catalog.  A separate search engine is located with the catalog for searching.
  • All previously published issues of the Nelson County Historical Society's newsletter are also included under Member Login.
  • Research Resources includes listings of the folders held at the Nelson Memorial Library for churches, communities, families, homes, mills, and post offices.
  • Research Resources also includes a listing of links to outside sources with information on Nelson County's history and families.



We welcome feedback from our members as we strive to continue to add content to the website.  Fueled by the energy of several volunteers, the donation of their time made this information possible.  We sincerely thank our volunteers for their selfless devotion. 
Email us by clicking on email us with your feedback:


Coming Events
March 17
Blue Ridge Tunnel Documentary Film
April 10
Tentative Opening of Oakland Museum
Tentative Opening of Oakland Museum - April 10, 2021 Dependent on pandemic situation; updates will be posted
April 11
Annual Membership Meeting and Program (tentative)
Annual Membership Meeting and Program - April 11, 2021 (tentative date) "Dr. W. Horsley Gantt, M.D.:  A man for all reasons! 
June 1
Other programs - dates TBD
Dan Smith, son of a Nelson County slave will speak on his life and his father.  
July 1
Roger S. Glass, the great-great grandson of Lucy Ann Jackson -- Date TBD
Presentation by Roger Glass   Anticipated in July 2021, exact day to be determined.  Stay tuned.      

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