Genealogy at a Glance: Virginia

Four-page handout (laminated) written by Carol McGinnis–Genealogy at a Glance: Virginia Genealogy Research, updated edition, 2020. Part of a series from Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore MD.

This series provides a ready reference to the basic steps of genealogy research and the basic sources available. And four pages doesn’t allow a great deal of space to cover history, jurisdictions, sources including websites, libraries and archives, specific research aids, and some research guidance for a state as big and as old as Virginia.

So…Let me add here some key items that are not included in the McGinnis treatment.

  1. Jennifer Potter, The Jamestown Brides: The Story of England’s “Maids for Virginia,” (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019). This surprising account, using little-known original sources, provides a directory of the maids sent to Virginia August-September 1621: Ship Marmaduke, 13; Warwick, 36; Tiger, 4; Bona Nova, 3; and Charles, 1. Each bride is listed with her place of origin and information on her family ties! Potter’s narrative is interesting, well-written, and fully documented.
  2. Trenton E. Hizer, editor, Guide to the Personal Papers Collections in the Library of Virginia, (Richmond: Library of Virginia, 2008). pp. 1081. This long-awaited guide is an essential reference for persons who trace Virginia ancestors from a distance. Copies of documents can be ordered by mail.
  3. William Dollarhide, Census Substitutes and State Census Records, 3 vols., 2nd edition. 2016. Published by Family Roots Publishing Co., Orting WA.  Printed books, manuscripts, and internet databases for Virginia and the states created from Virginia territory are listed in detail.
  4. Iberian Publishing Company, 548 Cedar Creek Drive, Athens GA 30605.
    Publisher of genealogy books from the southeastern states with a focus on Virginia. Marriage records for most Virginia counties are transcribed and indexed.
  5. This website needs to be included in every Virginia guide and reference work. Their collection of printed books, manuscript maps, microfilmed and digitized county and state records for Virginia is extensive. The catalog entries can be used as a master guide to what is available.

Remember, “In the beginning, all was Virginia.” William Byrd, II. And descendants of the original Native Americans are still there. Some living in tribal areas, many scattered through Virginia’s population as a whole. Your favorite Virginia genealogist, Arlene Eakle

PS “Virginia is for Lovers” of Genealogy.

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