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Warren County Circuit Court receives land record preservation grant

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Daryl L. Funk, Clerk of Court, holds Minute Book A, which accounts the first meeting of the Justices of the Peace for the newly formed county of Warren in 1836.

The Warren County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office recently received a Circuit Court Records Preservation (CCRP) grant to preserve important historical records. Daryl L. Funk, Clerk of Court, said in a written statement that the grant was in the amount of $8,713.00, and was used to preserve documents of particular significance to the heritage of Warren County natives.

Foremost among the records preserved, is the “Map of the Proposed Shenandoah National Park, May 1932.” Previously located in the cover of Deed Book 38 and folded up, this map is a critical historical document of local importance showing the human impact of the park’s creation. 74 property owners and countless more family members and undocumented renters were forced from their homesteads for an uncertain future.

A replica of the 1932 map will eventually hang in the Warren County land records room, thanks to a grant to restore the original document.

With their homes razed, this 1932 map represents one of the few official records proving that the community once existed. As part of this grant, a replica has also been produced. Funk said in a written statement that it would eventually be displayed in the land records room.

Minute Book A before preservation

The grant also provided for restoration of Minute Book A, which features the only known written account of the first meeting of the Justices of the Peace for the newly formed county of Warren in 1836. That meeting, according to Funk, shaped the future of Warren County. Prior to preservation, several pages of Minute Book A were loose and severely tattered.

Minute Book A after preservation

Finally, Deed Book H, containing Warren County deeds and other important records related to real property from the year 1860, received treatment in the latest preservation techniques and has also been stored in an electronic format.

Funk stated, “One of the Clerk’s foremost responsibilities is to ensure that the record of legal proceedings in Warren County is maintained for posterity. My office is the custodian of those records, and I take this duty seriously. This grant will ensure that a small but significant piece of our heritage is available to future generations.”

The General Assembly amended the Code of Virginia in 1990 to fund preservation of permanent circuit court records. The grants are administered by the Library of Virginia in cooperation with the Virginia Circuit Court Clerks Association.

Deed Book H and Minute Book A after preservation

Funk added, “While I am pleased that we were able to meet my goals for last year, my office is looking forward. We have already submitted the application for the 2018 grant cycle.

Mr. Funk’s office received a grant in 2017, in the amount of $2,463.50, which was used to preserve Deed Book 5. That volume contains all Warren County deeds and other important records related to real property from the year 1901.

Applications completed by Clerks from around Virginia are forwarded to the Circuit Court Records Preservation Grants Review Board for evaluation based on merit and need. The board is comprised of at least three circuit court clerks, the State Archivist, and the Government Records Services Division Director.

Funds received are processed through the Warren County Finance Department.

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