Trace your Virginia ancestors with the advice and resources in our State Research Guide!
You’ll love this if…
- You’re getting started tracing your ancestors in Virginia
- You want new ideas and resources to get past a Virginia brick wall
- Your genealogy search is focused mainly on Virginia —you don’t need the full State Research Guides collection
Trace your Virginia ancestors with the advice and resources in our State Research Guide! This four-page download includes:
- a how-to article detailing Virginia’s history and records, with helpful advice on tracking your family there
- the best websites, books and other resources for Virginia research, handpicked by our editors and experts
- listings of key libraries, archives and organizations that hold the records you need
- timeline of key events in the state’s history
- full-color map to put your research in geographical context
Here’s a sampling of the helpful tips you’ll get in the Virginia guide:
- By the 1730s, German, Scots-Irish and English pioneers poured west of the Blue Ridge Mountains, creating a backcountry of small farms in the Valley of Virginia. Despite Britain’s 1763 ban on settlement west of the Appalachians, Virginians were among the first to explore and settle what is now Kentucky and Tennessee.
- Virginia counties and cities registered few births and deaths before 1853. The state experimented with vital registration from 1853 to 1896; the Library of Virginia has these records and a microfilm index to the births.
- Tax rolls can serve as substitutes for missing federal census records—as in 1790, 1800 and 1890—or land records. Virginia’s surviving Colonial tax records are transcribed in books such as The Quit Rents of Virginia, 1704 compiled by Annie Laurie Wright Smith (Genealogical Publishing Co.).
Plus, each guide contains active web links for one-click access to every recommended online resource. You can view this PDF on your computer and print pages for reference.