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Virginia, Slave Birth Index - FamilySearch Historical Records

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This article describes a collection of records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.
Virginia, United States
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Flag of Virginia
US Locator Virginia.png
Location of Virginia
Record Description
Record Type Births
Collection years 1853-1866
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites


What Is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

This collection contains slave birth index and images of birth registers from Virginia compiled by the WPA.

Image Visibility[edit | edit source]

Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images available for all users. However, rights to view images on our website are granted by the record custodians. These images can be viewed at the Family History Library or a Family History Center near you. For additional information about image restrictions, please see the Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections page.

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The records may include the following:

  • Name of slave
  • Name of owner
  • Name of mother
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Sample Images[edit | edit source]

Digital Folder Number List[edit | edit source]

This collection was published as a DGS browse collection. The list does not contain any description of the DGS folder's content. A table listing each DGS number and its contents can be found at Virginia, Birth Certificates Digital Folder Number List.


How Do I Search the Collection?[edit | edit source]

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The name of the child.
  • The approximate date of birth.
  • The place of birth.
  • The names of the child's parents.

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

Search by name by visiting the Collection Details Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

View the Images[edit | edit source]

To view images in this collection:
  1. Look at the Virginia, Birth Certificates Digital Folder Number List article to determine the folder/film number for the images you want to see
  2. Go to the Browse Page
  3. Select the Film number to view the images


How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

When you have located your ancestor’s birth record, carefully evaluate each piece of information about them. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors.

I Found Who I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Use the birth date along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
  • Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.
  • The father’s occupation can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
  • The parents' birth places can tell you former residences and can help to establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • It is often helpful to extract the information on all children with the same parents. If the surname is unusual, you may want to compile birth entries for every person of the same surname and sort them into families based on the names of the parents. Continue to search the birth records to identify siblings, parents, and other relatives in the same or other generations who were born in the same county or nearby.

I Can't Find Who I'm Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Look for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the state of Virginia.

Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?[edit | edit source]

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.