The Resource Warden ledger collection

Warden ledger collection

Warden ledger collection, 1806-1880;
Warden ledger collection
Inclusive dates
Title variation
Warden collection
The Warden ledger collection consists of three files of digitized images taken of a set of three 19th century ledgers attributed to the Warden family of Virginia and West Virginia. The three ledgers are identified as a merchants day book for the year 1806, compiled by Nimrod Warden of Hardy County, Virginia, (now part of West Virginia), records of an 1857 estate sale or auction of the property of Samuel Harnsberger of Augusta County or Rockingham County, and a similar record, identified as "Mother's sale bill," for the personal property of a woman believed to be Lucinda Van Nort Warden, of Hardy County, West Virginia
Biographical or historical data
  • The Warden family traces its history back to the earliest days of European settlement in the Shenandoah Valley. Records indicate a direct genealogical line to Jost Hite, believed to be one of the first European settlers. The family initially settled along the Lost River in Hardy County in the early 18th century, when that county was still part of the commonwealth of Virginia. The family grew and prospered as farmers and merchants, as indicated by the 1806 ledger, which records regular trade transactions with ships bound for France, London, Dublin, Spain and the West Indies. Among the commodities purchased were French wines, sugar and rum from Barbados and Irish linens. Export items included finished leather, ox hides and tallow for making candles. These transactions were conducted in British pounds sterling, the currency of international trade at that time.
  • The name Nimrod Warden appears on the cover page of the ledger, but it is not possible to determine if he was the owner of the unnamed company, or simply the bookkeeper. The words "Hardy County" appear at the top of almost every page and the dates covered are January 24 through December 24, 1806. This ledger gives a detailed accounting of the state of international trade between Jeffersonian America and Napoleonic Europe at the dawn of the 19th century.
  • Included in the collection is an appraisal of the estate of Samuel Harnsberger of Augusta County, dated December 26, 1857. Handwritten notes, added in the 20th century, identify Samuel Harnsberger as the grandfather of Warden C. Parkins, Sr., who was directly descended from the Warden family. The ledger is an accounting of Mr. Harnsberger's estate, which included livestock, furniture, farm equipment, and several pages of promissory notes for personal loans made by Mr. Harnsberger. One page of the ledger lists the names of twenty-five slaves of various ages.
  • The 1850 US census lists seventeen slaves owned by Samuel Harnsberger of Augusta County, and the noted Shenandoah Valley historian John Wayland identifies a Samuel Harnsberger as a director of the Valley Turnpike Company, a public/private venture that developed a commercial route from Staunton to Winchester in the late 1830s, which is still in service today as Virginia Route 11. The Harnsberger ledger includes a heading for 55 shares of Turnpike stock.
  • The final ledger, dated November 5, 1880, also appears to be an accounting of an estate sale for the household goods of an unnamed woman. At the top of the first page is written "Mother's sale bill," and in a later note, possibly written with a felt-tipped pen, is the name "Susan Clagett Warden?" which has been crossed out. Genealogical records show that Susan Clagett Warden was a great-grandmother to Warden Parkins, mentioned in the Harnsberger ledger. Several of the items were purchased by Jacob and J.M. Warden, who are possibly Susan Warden's husband and brother-in-law, James McCoy Warden, respectively, and whose mother, Lucinda Van Nort Warden passed away in April, 1880, and is very likely the "Mother" noted on the ledger. This accounting, like the Harnsberger sale, give a detailed look into the lives of Shenandoah Valley residents in the mid- to late-19th century.
Cataloging source
no index present
Literary form
non fiction
Warden ledger collection
File I. Nimrod Warden day book, January 24, 1806 ; File II. List of property appraised of the estate of Samuel Harnsberger, December 26, 1857; File III. Mother's sale bill, November 5, 1880.
Control code
3 digital files.
Form of item
Governing access note
For use, see Special Collections librarian
Immediate source of acquisition
Materials within this collection were lent to the Carrier Library for digitization and are scheduled to be returned to the original owners.
Reproduction note
Electronic image data.

Library Locations

    • Special Collections Research CenterBorrow it
      Carrier Library Second Floor Room 203, MSC 1704, 880 Madison Drive, Harrisonburg, VA, 22807, US
      38.438299 -78.8741916
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