Our Virginia genealogists are available to research on location. They will find and analyze the best records available to further your family history research. They can search the archives and libraries in Virginia, as well as help you with other special requests.
Virginia State Archives and Libraries
Our researchers are available to visit local archives and libraries to access unique record collections to help with your research. Below is a list of a few of the archives and libraries our Virginia researchers have access to.
Library of Virginia (Richmond, Virginia)
The Library of Virginia Archives Division has vital records dating nearly 200 years back. These include birth and death records from 1853 to 1896 and marriage records from 1936. Marriage bonds from before 1853 are located here as well. Their genealogical collection contains family bibles, divorce records, biographies, and newspapers.
Virginia Historical Society’s Archives (Richmond, Virginia)
Most of the Virginia Historical Society’s archives have not been digitized and are only available by visitation. Our local genealogists are best suited for research here. The archives hold an extensive amount of county records such as marriages, county court records, wills, and land records. The collection as a whole has records that date back to the 1600s. A card index to 10 million documents of the Old Dominion (Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky) is located here.
Virginia Theological Seminary’s Archives (Alexandria, Virginia)
The Virginia Theological Seminary has archived records from the original Church of England’s parish registers, vestry books, and manuscripts. They also serve as the official repository for the Virginia Theological Seminary and the former Bishop Payne Divinity School. The archives are also home to the African American Episcopal Historical Collection. Said collection is a joint project with the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church and documents the experience of African Americans in the Episcopal Church.
Bristol Public Library (Bristol, Virginia)
Library of Virginia (Richmond, Virginia)
The Library of Virginia has many genealogical records including:
County and city records
Newspapers for many areas throughout the United States
Virginia city directories
Tax lists for most counties from 1782
Virginia Historical Society (Richmond, Virginia)
The Virginia Historical Society has many genealogical records including family papers and genealogies.
Alexandria Library (Alexandria, Virginia)
The collections include:
Alexandria Gazette obituary index 1784-1915
Vital records for Alexandria residents
Tombstone inscriptions and cemetery records for Alexandria area
Church and synagogue histories
Church congregation records
Civil War records especially Confederacy service records and pension records
Local private school records including students
20th century high school yearbooks
Census records for all Virginia counties and DC
Periodical Source Index for 5000 periodicals from 1847-1996
Though the Bristol Public Library has a rather small family folder collection, they are an important resource for descendants of early colonists. Specifically, the library has collected information on settlers coming from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and northern Virginia into Kentucky, North Carolina, and Tennessee along the Great Valley Road. Their collections also include information on local cemeteries, local histories, regional history books, and county courthouse records.
Handley Regional Library (Winchester, Virginia)
The Handley Regional Library is home to over 600 linear feet of manuscripts, over 4,000 books, and a collection of newspapers from 1787 to the present. A large part of their archives is devoted to German and Scots-Irish immigrants that traveled the Great Valley Road. Said road stretched from Pennsylvania through Maryland to Virginia. Items in these archives include manuscripts, biographies, histories and newspapers devoted to this topic. Information on the people of the Lower Shenandoah Valley since 1732 is another main subject.
John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library at Colonial Williamsburg (Williamsburg, Virginia)
The John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library’s records are focused on colonial America, the American Revolution, and the time period of early United States. Their collection of rare books includes over 12,000 volumes. Additionally, their manuscript collection contains 160 documents from the 17th to the early 19th centuries. The most unique aspect of this library is the research they contain on buildings, people, trades, and material culture of Williamsburg in the 1700s.
Jones Memorial Library (Lynchburg, Virginia)
The emphasis of the Jones Memorial Library is genealogy and local history. While they mainly focus on the central Virginia region, their archives contain a wide range of materials from all over the state. They also have records from neighboring states. The library holds over 300 manuscript collections including family papers, businesses records, and records of clubs and organizations. Their family folders and genealogies are of people who migrated from the tidelands over the Blue Ridge Mountains into Virginia’s Great Valley, many through Lynchburg. This archive focuses on central Virginia and contains:
County histories and court records
Family histories and genealogies
General works on the Civil War
County land tax and personal property tax records
Funeral home burial files
Marriage and death notices
300 manuscript collections
Mary Bell Washington Museum and Library (Lancaster, Virginia)
The Mary Bell Washington Museum and Library holds thousands of published records, books, manuscripts, and periodicals about Lancaster County and the surrounding regions. They also hold a name index to nearly every history book published in Virginia or Kentucky. Other records include court records from 1651, as well as manuscripts and periodicals that cover over 350 years of genealogical history.
Swem Library at College of William and Mary (Williamsburg, Virginia)
The Swem Library is home to documents dated from the earliest period of colonial history. Some of these are the original documents from Jamestown and the Virginia Company, as well as records of various counties in Virginia dating back to the 1700s. Other notable collections are the Tyree Collection and the William Carter Stubbs Papers. The former contains more than 600 notebooks of genealogical research while the latter include 4 boxes of genealogical notes related to Gloucester County.
Roanoke County Public Library (Roanoke, Virginia)
The Roanoke County Public Library’s Virginia Room is an excellent repository of information on southwest Virginia such as family folders and genealogies. The focus of the archive is the Roanoke Valley, as well as the rest of Virginia and nearby states. The location of the archive also makes the site an ideal source for information on settler’s migrations. The Great Valley Road forked here towards southern states such as Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Some families stayed in the Roanoke Valley for a time and information on these ancestors can be located at the Roanoke County Public Library.
Alderman Library at the University of Virginia (Charlottesville, Virginia)
The Alderman Library at the University of Virginia has many genealogical records, including biographies, county histories, family histories, newspapers, books, manuscripts, maps, military records, land records, court records, and church records.
Thomas Balch Library (Leesburg, Virginia)
This specialized history and genealogy library is owned and operated by the Town of Leesburg. Collections offer a range of documents, including:
Regional and Virginia state history and genealogy records
Military histories, with emphasis on the Civil War
Note: The library’s holdings are listed in WorldCat.
Our [state] genealogists specialize in researching several types of documentation and are not limited to the list above. For more information or specific inquiries about our genealogists, please feel free to contact us.
Our genealogists specialize in researching all different types of documentation, and the list above is simply a small sample of what they can help you with.