Alexandria (Independent City), Virginia Genealogy

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United States
Fairfax County
Alexandria (Independent City)
Alexandria, Virginia
—  Independent City  —
Founded 1847


Alexandria County, Virginia Courthouse.JPG

For additional records, see Fairfax County, Virginia.


  • First settlement established in 1695. Named for Capt. Philip Alexander. Alexandria was not incorporated until 1779.
  • In 1755, General Edward Braddock organized his fatal expediation against Fort Duquesne (near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) at Carlyle House.
  • April 1755, the governors of Virginia, and the Provinces of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New York met to determine concerted action against the French in America.
  • 1791, Alexandria was included in an area chosen by George Washington to become the District of Columbia. Alexandria along with Arlington County were retroceded back to Virginia in 1846.
  • City of Alexandria was re-chartered in 1852.
  • 1828-1836, Alexandria was home to the Franklin and Armfield slave market.
  • During the Civil War, the slave pen owned by Price, Birch & Co. became a jail under Union occupation.
  • Alexandria was occupied by the Federal troops at the start of the Civil War and remained occupied until the end of the war.
  • 1863 (when West Virginia was divided from Virginia) until end of the Civil War, Alexandria was the seat of the Restored Government of Virginia.
  • 1870, the City of Alexandria became independent of Alexandria County. The rest of Alexandria County became Arlington County in 1920, ending years of confusion.

Parent County

1847--Alexandria was created 13 March 1847 from Fairfax County. [1]


Populated Places

Arlandria . Del Rey . Hume. The Landmark . Mount Ida . North Ridge . Old Town . Saint Elmo . Seminary Hill . Seminary West . Town of Potomac (1930) . The Berg . West End . West of Quaker

Neighboring Counties

Arlington | Fairfax | District of Columbia


Research Guides

  • "A Guide to the Counties of Virginia: Alexandria County [Arlington County]," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 3, No. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 1959):126-129. Available at New England Ancestors ($).
  • Ray, Suzanne Smith. *"Genealogical Research in the Records of Alexandria City and Arlington County," The Virginia Genealogical Society Newsletter, Vol. 10, No. 4 (Jul.-Aug. 1984):1. Available at FHL; digital version at Virginia Genealogical Society website.

African Americans


For a more detailed list, including addresses, phone numbers, and external links, see Alexandria, Virginia Cemeteries.

The following is a list of cemeteries in Alexandria:[2]

  • Alexandria National Cemetery
  • Ivy Hill Cemetery
  • Saint Mary's Cemetery
  • Shuters Hill Cemetery


  • "Alexandria, Virginia, Second Ward, 1799 Census," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 4, No. 3 (Jul-Sep. 1960):117-124; Vol. 4, No. 4 (Oct.-Dec. 1960):163-170. Available at New England Ancestors ($). [Often includes head of households' occupations and names and occupations of boarders.]
  • "Alexandria, Virginia, Fourth Ward, 1800 Census," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 4, No. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 1960):51-59. Available at New England Ancestors ($).
1890 Union Veterans


  • The Truro Parish Colonial Vestry Book (1732-1785) and the proceedings of the Overseers of the Poor (1787-1802). Digitized images available online at Truro Parish Colonial Vestry Minutes.


Chancery Court
  • Indexed images of Alexandria, Virginia Chancery Records 1859-1925 are available online through Virginia Memory: Chancery Records Index. These records, often concerned with inheritance disputes, contain a wealth of genealogical information.[3]


  • [Page] Rutherford, Dolores Crumrine. Page Family Records in Virginia Counties. 2 vols. Carmichael, Calif.: D.C. Rutherford, 1982-2006. FHL Book 929.273 P141rdc v. 2 [Alexandria appears in Vol. 2 Part 1]
  • [Page] Rutherford, Dolores Crumrine. The Page Family in Virginia Personal Property Taxes (1782-1850). 2 vols. Carmichael, Calif.: D.C. Rutherford, 2002. FHL Book 929.273 P141rd v. 1-2 [Alexandria appears in Vol. 2]


  • Coldham, Peter Wilson. "Intercepted Letters Relating to America, 1777-1811" The Genealogist, Vol. 14, No. 2 (Fall 2000):184-200. [Overseas contacts of the residents of Alexandria with the following surnames: Hamilton, Taylor.]
  • Edwards, Conley L. "Abstracts of Reports of Aliens, Alexandria County, 1801-1832," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 24, No. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 1979):112-116; Vol. 24, No. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 1980):172-176. Available at New England Ancestors ($).

During the War of 1812, American officials reported finding a total of 1 British alien living in Alexandria.[4]


French and Indian War
  • Bockstruck, Lloyd DeWitt. Virginia's Colonial Soldiers. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1988. Available at FHL. [Identifies some Alexandria militia officers, soldier enlistments, and veterans; see place name index.]
War of 1812
  • List of Pensioners on the Roll, January 1, 1883; Giving the Name of Each Pensioner, the Cause for Why Pensioned, the Post-Office Address, the Rate of Pension Per Month, and the Date of Original Allowance... Washington, D.C.: Governnment Printing Office, 1883. FHL Collection 973 M2Lp v. 5; digital versions at Google Books and Internet Archive. [See Vol. 5, Virginia, Alexandria County, pp. 59-60]
Civil War

Since Alexandria was created in 1847, the Civil War records for that area will be in the city of Alexandria. During the Civil War men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their area.



Fairfax County Historical Newspaper Index (1785-2000 nonconsecutive) index only - Free; includes:

  • Alexandria Gazette (1785-1788; July 25, 1854-December 31, 1855; and May 3, 1860-January 20, 1865)
  • Arlington County Record (1932-1933)
  • Fairfax City Times (1961-1968)
  • Fairfax County Independent (1929-1932)
  • Fairfax Herald (1886-1973)
  • Fairfax News (1872-1875)
  • Fairfax News - Herndon Observer (1925-1943)
  • The Local News (1861-1862)
  • The Rambler, Washington Star (1912-1928)
  • Reston Times (1965-1973; 1975-January 6, 1977; 1978; 1980-1983; 1985; and 2000)
  • 1784-1915 - Obituary Notices from the Alexandria Gazette, 1784-1915. Rev. ed. Willow Bend Books.
Scanned Newspapers

Indexed images of the Virginia Gazette (1736-1780) are available online through the Colonial Williamsburg website. In addition, Professor Tom Costa and The Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia have created a database of all runaway advertisements for slaves, indentured servants, transported convicts, and ship deserters listed in this source and other Virginia newspapers (1736-1803), see: The Geography of Slavery in Virginia. These newspapers are valuable resources for all regions of Virginia.


  • Cutten, George Barton. The Silversmiths of Virginia (Together with Watchmakers and Jewelers) from 1694 to 1850. Richmond, Va.: The Dietz Press, Incorporated, 1952. Available at FHL. [Includes a section on Alexandria silversmiths.]


  • Eckenrode, H.J. Virginia State Library: A Calendar of Legislative Petitions Arranged by Counties Accomac - Bedford. Richmond, Va.: Davis Bottom, Superintendent of Public Printing, 1908. Digital version at Google Books (full-view). [Alexandria petitions (1778-1861) are described on pp. 61-87.]


  • [1800-1804; 1804-1807; 1807-1810] Indexes to Wills, Estates,, Inventories Virginia Pioneers ($)
  • [Bk A 1800-1804; Bk B 1804-1807; Bk C 1807-1810; 1810-1815; 1815-1821; 1821-1823] Images of Wills, Inventories, Orphans, Affidavits, Guardianships Virginia Pioneers ($)


How can Virginia tax lists help me?

  • [1787] Schreiner-Yantis, Netti and Florene Speakman Love. The 1787 Census of Virginia: An Accounting of the Name of Every White Male Tithable Over 21 Years, the Number of White Males Between 16 & 21 Years, the Number of Slaves over 16 &Those Under 16 Years, Together with a Listing of Their Horses, Cattle & Carriages, and Also the Names of All Persons to Whom Ordinary Licenses and Physician's Licenses Were Issued. 3 vols. Springfield, Va.: Genealogical Books in Print, 1987. Online at FamilySearch - free; FHL. [The source of this publication is the 1787 personal property tax list. Alexandria is included in Vol. 1.]
  • [1787-1800] Heinegg, Paul. "Alexandria City Personal Property Tax List, 1787-1800," Free African, available online. [Heinegg abstracted free blacks listed in these records.]
  • [1790, 1799] Indexed images of the 1790 and 1799 Personal Property Tax Lists of Alexandria, Virginia are available online at Binns Genealogy.
  • [1800] "Alexandria, Virginia, 1800 Tax List," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 4, No. 1 (Jan.-Mar. 1960):17-26. Available at New England Ancestors ($).
  • [1815] Ward, Roger D. 1815 Directory of Virginia Landowners (and Gazetteer). 6 vols. Athens, Georgia: Iberian Pub. Co., 1997-2000. Available at FHL. [This source is based on the 1815 land tax. Alexandria is included in Vol. 4.]

Vital Records

Societies and Libraries



  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. USGS Map,
  3. "Virginia Memory: Chancery Records Index Availability," Library of Virginia (accessed 26 January 2010).
  4. Kenneth Scott. British Aliens in the United States During the War of 1812. Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1979, 320-333. FHL Collection 973 W4s; digital version at Ancestry ($).