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Best Sources for Virginia Research by Time Period

Identifying which records in the Library of Virginia's collections will be useful to you in your research largely depends on what time period you are studying.

1607-1680 | 1680-1782 | 1782-1853 | 1853-1896 | 1896-1935 | Any Time Period

Time Period Best Sources for Virginia Research
Interpreting Colonial Dates Before 1752, Virginia, along with all British territories, used the Julian calendar. The legal year began on 25 March and continued through 24 March, after which a new year began. 24 March 1700, therefore, would be followed by 25 March 1701. Since many European countries had already adopted a new calendar (the Gregorian calendar, which is currently in use), writers may have used either the old style (Julian), new style (Gregorian), or both. For example, 11 February 1700 may have been referred to as 11 February 1700 (old style), 11 February 1701 (new style), or 11 February 1701/2 (both).

1607-1680
Adventurers of Purse and Person, F229 J9 2004

Colonial Records Project

Index to Wills and Administrations (Torrence) F225 T85 1972

Land Office
Records of the Virginia Company, F229 V86 1993

Virginia Historical Index (Swem) 

1680-1782

Church Records, Z7778.V8 V8 2002

Chancery Records Index 

Colonial Records Project

Index to Wills and Administrations (Torrence) F225 T85 1972

Journals of the House of Burgesses, J87 V6 or Film 251a

Land Office
Revolutionary War Records and Public Service Claims 

Tithables (Colonial tax lists) 

The Virginia Gazette (newspaper beginning 1736, indexed to 1780 by Cappon) 

Virginia Historical Index (Swem) 

Virginia's Colonial Soldiers, F229 B7 1988

1782-1853

Chancery Records Index 

Church Records, Z7778.V8 V8 2002

Index to Virginia Estates, 1800-1865 (Pippenger), F225 .P57 2001

Index to Wills and Administrations (Torrence) F225 T85 1972

Journals of the House of Burgesses, J87 V6 or Film 251a

Land Office

Land Tax Records

Military Records for the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and Mexican War

Personal Property Tax Records

U.S. Census Population and Special Schedules (beginning 1810)

Census Substitutes:

  • Virginia Tax Payers, 1782-1787, HA682 F71
  • Heads of Families, 1790 (based on 1782-1785 state census), F230 U5 1998
  • 1787 Census of Virginia (based on Personal Property Tax lists), F225 S38 1987

Virginia Historical Index


1853-1896

Chancery Records Index

Confederate Service and Pension records

Index to Virginia Estates, 1800-1865 (Pippenger), F225 .P57 2001 

Land Tax Records

Personal Property Tax Records

U.S. Census Population and Special Schedules

Vital Statistics (Birth, Death, and Marriage)


1896-1935

Chancery Records Index

Confederate Pension records

Land Tax Records

Personal Property Tax Records

U.S. Census Population and Special Schedules (to 1930)

Vital Statistics (Birth, Death, and Marriage) (Marriage through 1935; Death, 1912-1939)


Any Time Period

Bible Records, Manuscripts, Personal Paper(search the Archives and Manuscripts Catalog)

City and County Records

Maps

Newspapers

Published County Abstracts and Indexes - search the Books, Journals... Catalog

Published County and Family Histories 
(search the Books and Journals catalog by subject)