Researching Your Virginia Ancestors

State Capital: Richmond
First settled: 1607
Became a royal colony: 1624
Admitted as the 10th state in 1788

In addition to the counties, Virginia has several independent cities.

Wikipedia's Virginia entry gives facts and information about the state and you can click on any of the links at the bottom of the page for information about a county, city or other local informtion.

Virgnia State Facts and Information (My Virginia Genealogy site) Click on a county on the map to get facts and informaton for that county.
Notice also the list of counties with destroyed courthouse and discontinued counties.



* Basic Guides * Family History Library * Maps * Statewide Sites of Interest *
Websites of Libraries, Archives and Societies * Records * Share Research * More Links *

Basic Guides

Each of the three books listed below have a small section covering each state that includes maps, historical information, vital records coverage and a bibliography of resources for that state. If you do a lot of U.S. research, you may want to purchase on of them for your home library.

  1. Handybook for Genealogists ( 11th edition) (find in a library) (note: some libraries may have earleir editions; those are perfectly usable)
  2. Ancestry's Redbook (you'll want the 3rd edition) (find in a library)
  3. The Family Tree Resource Book for Genealogical Research (find in a library)

Books you might purchase or use in a library are listed below.

Use the Family History Library

Bookmark or print out these FHL documents:

Use the catalog at the FHL to find out what has been filmed covering the state of Virgnia ; Then Click View Related Places in the upper right to find sources that have been filmed for the county you are researching and once there click View Related Places in the upper right to find sources that have been filmed for the township or city. You will want to check for resources in all three jurisdictions, although most people check the county holdings first, township next and state last.

Maps, Atlases and Gazetteers
(For general information, see my page on Maps, Atlases and Gazetteers)

Don't even think aboout starting research without a map at hand !

Statewide Sites of Interest

Next, see what is available for your counties of interest at at one of these statewide sites. For each, use the county selection list to find out what is available for the various counties. Content will vary.

Visit the websites of these libraries. archives and societies.

The premier source for Maryland research in Maryland and on the internet is theLibrary of Virginia & Virginia Archives

Maryland is served by the National Archives Mid Atlantic Region. See their Family History Records at the Archives Facility [Mid Atlantic Region] for an overview of records they hold for genealogical research.

Find the Public Librariesthat serves the area you are researching. See also the Virginia Public Library Directory, which allows you to find the libraries in a specific county or city.

Visit the website of The Virgnia Genealogical Society

Visit the website of the Virginia Historical Society to learn the benefits of membership and see what projects are currently underway. You may also want to purchase one of more of their several publications.

Find other genealogical and historical societies


Bible Records

The Library of Virginia offers digital images of a number of Bible records. Search them in the Archives and Manuscripts catalog (along with other documents). About their collection of Family Bible Records. Note: if there is a digital image of more than one page, it appears you must open each page separately. Some images are difficult to read (as is the original, probably).

There are many Virginia bible records at the Family History Library. Check also for bible records specific to a specific county or locality.

Census Records (For general information, see my guide to census records, especially the section on how to locate and obtain census records.)

Cemetery Records For general information, see my guide to cemetery records... it will open in a new window so you can leave it open.

Find online West Virginia cemetery transcriptions through one of these sites

City and County Directories

County and Regional Histories

Church Records

Virginia Land & Property Records : (For general informaton , see my guide to land records-- it will open in a new window, so you can leave it open ) Virginia is a

Military Records


Probate Records

Vital Records


On the Web
* Virginia Newspaper Project
* Virginia Vital Records (official)
* Vitalrec Virginia Page
Virginia Black Sheep Ancestors
* Virginia's Burned Counties
University of Virginia Burned Record Counties Database

Virginia Tombstone Project links to counties.
More links:
* Genealogy Today's State Gen Site: Virginia
Rootsweb: United States Resources: Virginia
* Genealink's Virginia Page
* Access Genealogy's List of Virginia Links
* Cyndi's List Virginia Page


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This page last updated March 5, 2009