Generally in Virginia there are no death records as such prior to 1853 (unless you can find vestry records - those remaining for Halifax do not include them, or Quaker records). Before that time, as in other replies to your query, you have to rely on probate records, Bibles, etc. From 1853 to 1896, deaths were supposed to be reported to the Clerk of Court, and he recorded (badly and sometimes illegibly) only those which were in fact reported (most were not reported). From 1896 to 1912, again there was no legal provision for reporting deaths, and from 1912, the State required deaths to be reported. The Bureau of Vital Statistics in Richmond has all these records, and the State Library has microfilm of all 1853-1896 records from the counties.