Southampton Project
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The Southampton Project

In April 2008, Brantley Association founder and president, Kenneth Brantley, met with the new Probate Clerk of Southampton County, Virginia; the honorable Richard Francis.  The Brantley family once resided in the county, but little had been gleaned from the records there, because few were indexed and published.  Eager to see this remarkable collection made available to researchers of the Brantley family as well as thousands of other researchers whose ancestry had traversed the County, Mr. Brantley made a bold commitment.  He agreed to digitize and, at least attempt, to facilitate through the Association, the indexing of the entire court records there from 1749 through the early 1880s, under the condition that the county would (1) either display the records on a WEB site free or (2) provide for the Brantley Association or its assignee the right to display the same.   Mr. Brantley knew that this was a considerable undertaking, as there were an estimated 60,000 pages of court pages and well over one million name entries within the covers of the ancient books. He did, however, feel strongly that there would be support by many faithful researchers who would embrace the idea of such a project and volunteer to participate in the indexing of the valuable records. 

 Mr. Francis, a historian and genealogy enthusiast, recognizing the potential for findings in both areas of research, agreed to pursue the project by agreement and to provide for the expenses of the necessary personal to come to Southampton County and digitize the records.  Final details we worked out over the next 10 months and the digitizing of the records began in mid February 2009.   

 Making a unofficial announcement on a remote WEB site in the county, Brantley explained, in a letter to Historical Society, Lynda Updike, the massive project, conveying the potential harvest and relayed the promise made by probate clerk Francis, that the county would forever recognize, not only the Association's sponsorship of the project, but all those who participated in the indexing of the names, in the respective court book covers and on-line indexes.  Within just a few hours of the release of this letter, several volunteers came forward and agreed to not only participate in indexing the names, but to take upon themselves the responsibility to index entire court books.  Before his return from Courtland, just 10 days later, over 30% of the project had been committed to by volunteers.  Others have since come forward, although no other announcement has been made until this writing.  A project originally projected to take 3 to 5 years to complete, could be conceivably be accomplished within the next 12 months.  This will be the first county court house in American history to have all its records digitized, made available on-line and indexed by every man woman and child, as well as land sites.  The potential benefit in both historical findings and genealogy research is believed to be momentous.

 In this directory, see several of the books now, on-line and most in various stages of indexing.  These will ultimately be seen only on the official Southampton County WEB site, but can, instead, be linked to from this site.

 Many images are unacceptable for permanent display.  .  There are cases of missing pages and flawed images and will be retaken in the coming months.  Indexes will be periodically revised reflecting the correct names of some,  presently, undistinguishable.  Feedback from researchers identifying these is welcomed. 


Would you like to volunteer?  If you would be interesting in participating in this historical project please contact us at  Please state your experience in research and indexing, if any.

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The Brantley Association

4750 Oakleigh Manor Dr 

Powder Springs, GA 30127

phone:  770-428-4402


The Brantley Association is run by Ken Brantley.

The Brantley Association web site is maintained by Ann Douglas