Nelson County Historical Society



Welcome to the Nelson County Historical Society!


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 $15 for individuals/organizations or $20 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.



Virginia Humanities announces grants 

to support humanities programming

...And the Nelson County Historical Society received $3,000 to create a digital archive of interviews, diaries, photographs, and other materials that were collected for publication of “Backroads,” a journal that has documented rural life in the county for 40 years.  There will be a public lecture with the journal’s long-time editor.



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: