How to Research your
Southern Foster Family

Virginia: Resources

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Gary L. Foster
Gary Foster,
DNA Group 7

Participant #116

Personal Website
  1. The Library of Virginia - Website
    Published Materials for Genealogists
    Look through the research guide, Published Materials for Genealogists (pdf), to review the types of materials of interest to family researchers at the Library of Virginia.

    Basic Genealogical Resources at the Library of Virginia
    Census Records: The first U.S. census was taken in 1790 and a census has been taken every 10 years since. However, the censuses and indexes for Virginia for 1790, 1800, part of 1810, and 1890 have not survived. Those for 1810–1880 and 1900–1920 are available on microfilm at the Library of Virginia. From 1850, they list the names of all individuals in the household on the day the census was taken. Age, sex, race, and other types of information appear in various years.

    Vital Records: The Commonwealth of Virginia recorded births and deaths from 1853 through 1896 and 1912 to the present. Marriages have been recorded at the state level from 1853 to the present. All are in the Office of Vital Records and Health Statistics, P.O. Box 1000, Richmond, VA 23218-1000. Microfilm copies of the 1853–1896 birth and death registers, 1913–1939 death certificates, and 1853–1935 marriage registers are available at the Library of Virginia. Marriages prior to June 1853 were recorded at the local courthouse.

    County and City Records: Deeds, wills, court records, marriages, and other types of documents recorded at the local level of government will be found in the individual courthouses of Virginia’s counties and independent cities. The Library of Virginia has microfilm copies of the surviving court records prior to 1865.

    Military Records: The Library has microfilm copies of military muster rolls, service records, and/or pension records for most Virginia soldiers who served during the colonial wars, the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Civil War. World War I History Commission questionnaires contain biographical information about some World War I veterans living in Virginia after the war.

    Bible Records: Bible records primarily consist of photocopies of original family registers found in Bibles. There also are typed transcripts and some compilations of Bible records by patriotic organizations such as the Daughters of the American Revolution. These compilations usually are identified as Miscellaneous Bible Records (MBRC).

    Genealogical Notes and Charts: This collection consists of a wide variety of materials compiled by private citizens interested in recording their ancestry and making their research available to the public. The Library continues to accept donations of genealogical materials, but we do not verify the accuracy of the information contained therein. The Notes and Charts are available for use in the Library of Virginia. Titles can be found by searching for the family name as a subject.

    Published Family Histories: Many published family histories are available for use in the Library of Virginia. Titles can be found via by searching for the family name as a subject.

    Online Databases: (Please visit the Library to use these resources)

    Ancestry Library Edition: A version of the popular that includes records from the United States Census; military records; court, land and probate records; vital and church records; directories; passenger lists and more.

    Heritage Quest: This collection assembles every extant U.S. federal census, family genealogies, local histories, tax lists, city directories, land and probate records, birth, marriage and death records, genealogical and local history serials, and more. HeritageQuest Online will grow to encompass the Periodical Source Index (PERSI), Freedman’s Bank Records, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Index, and additional materials.

    Collection Guides
    Index to Sources on Family Coats of Arms - A fully-searchable index to published sources in the Library of Virginia containing information about and illustrations of family coats of arms.

    Stewart's Index to Printed Genealogies - VA-NOTES

    Using the Virginia Historical Index (Swem) at the Library of Virginia

    Cavaliers and Pioneers - VA-NOTES

    Cemeteries - VA-NOTES

    Dates - VA-NOTES

  2. Virginia Genealogy on GeneaSearch - Website
    Virginia genealogy look ups, VA genealogy & historical societies, genealogy publications available from VA genealogical societies and individuals, lost female ancestors queries, and related links for VA genealogy research in Virginia.

    Virginia, the Old Dominion State, is located on the central Atlantic seaboard, and is is bounded on the northwest by West Virginia, on the northeast by Maryland, on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, on the south by North Carolina and Tennessee, and on the west by Kentucky. The capital is Richmond.  More

  3. Colonial Virginia Genealogy - Website
    Find information about Colonial Virginia Genealogy to help with your genealogy research and to find your Virginia surnames and ancestors.

  4. The USGenWeb Project Virginia - Website
    We are proud to be a part of the USGenWeb project, which is an effort to organize genealogical materials on the Internet. Our goal is to provide a web site specializing in the genealogy in Virginia with an emphasis on genealogy at the county level. We also have created an Archives which will serve as a repository for transcriptions of public records. Our project's success is only possible through the support of volunteers. Volunteers are needed in all phases of this project including hosts to maintain individual county pages, volunteers to submit transcribed public records for use in the USGenWeb Archives, and people to share their own personal resources by doing lookups for other researchers. Would you like to help?

  5. Genealogy Today - Website
    StateGenSites, launched on October 7, 1999, is one of the most popular directories for U.S. genealogy. Here are the resources available for Virginia.

  6. FamilySearch Catalog - Website
    Virginia Place Search Results in hundreds of references to microfilm, fiche & books located in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah or available for viewing at thousands of Family History Centers located throughout the world.

  7. The Living and the Dead in Virginia on February 16, 1623 - Link
    A list of the names of the living in Virginia,  February the 16th, 1623 and those who died since April last.

  8. Research Wiki: Portal: Virginia - Website
    Welcome to Virginia, Old Dominion - a Wiki research tool of articles, links and references of great value to the Virginia researcher found in one place on the web.

  9. "Black Sheep" Ancestors: Virginia - Website
    Search for your Blacksheep Ancestors in Free Genealogical Prison and Convict Records, Historical Court Records, Executions, Insane Asylum Records and Biographies of Famous Outlaws, Criminals & Pirates in the United States.

  10. Hening's Statutes at Large - Website by William Waller Hening, being a Collection of all the Laws of Virginia from the first session of the Legislature, in the Year 1619.  Transcribed for the internet by Freddie L. Spradlin, Torrance, California.  A search engine is provided to type in any surname, date or event and find the legislation at that point in time.  Very useful to find your ancestor's name and events going on during their lifetimes.

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