Chancery Records are records pertaining to chancery causes. Chancery causes are cases of equity. According to Black's Law Dictionary, they are "administered according to fairness as contrasted with the strictly formulated rules of common law." A judge, not a jury, determines the outcome of the case. They typically deal with cases relating to divisions of estates or land, disputes over wills, divorces, debt, and business disputes. Chancery causes were heard and judged in Chancery Court, which was established in 1831 replacing the Superior Court of Law. In 1851 the Circuit Court replaced Chancery Court. Each of Virginia's circuit courts created chancery records that contain considerable historical and genealogical information. Because the records rely so heavily on testimony from witnesses, they offer a unique glimpse into the lives of Virginians from the early 18th century through the First World War.