Nelson County Historical Society






Welcome to the Nelson County Historical Society
Oakland Museum Archives
The archives at the Oakland Museum will reopen by appointment only on Wednesday afternoons from 1:00-4:00 p.m. beginning May 5.  
To make an appointment:
  • Send your request for information to or leave a message at Oakland - 434-263-8400.
  • Messages should be received at least one week prior to the requested date to visit. You will receive an email confirmation that information to assist with your inquiry is located in our holdings and the date and time of your appointment from the staff.
  • It is important to give as much information about your inquiry so that we may assemble the files for review.  Access to society files at the Nelson Memorial Library is restricted until the library reopens at an yet to be determined date.
  • Social distancing and masks are required while in the building.
  • You may want to search our online archives records (members-only feature) to identify records of potential interest prior to your visit.
  • Files are public record, so they may be photocopied, scanned, or photographed. Copies are $.10/page.
  • There is no charge for appointments, but donations are appreciated to help defray operating costs.
Special Thanks to our Business Sponsors!



Lynn Coffey

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
July 18
Lucy Ann Jackson, enslaved in Nelson County to nation's "oldest voter"
Enslaved in Nelson County until after the Civil War, Lucy Ann Jackson lived to be more than 100 years old.  Initially enslaved on the county’s Rhodes ...
September 1
Date: TBD
Dan Smith, son of a Nelson County slave will speak on his life and his father.  
September 1
Dr. W. Horsley Gantt, M.D.: A man for all reasons!
Date is TBD   Presentation by Andrew Gantt on his father Dr. W. Horsley Gantt, M.D.    
March 12
Virginia Tour of Crossroads: Change in Rural America

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