Norfolk (Independent City), Virginia
|This article is a stub. You can help by expanding it.
Please review the contributor help to assist you in editing.
- 1 Courthouse
- 2 History
- 3 Places/Localities
- 4 Resources
- 5 Societies and Libraries
- 6 Websites
- 7 References
1845--Norfolk was created in 1845 from Norfolk County. 
- [Sweny] Henkel, Steve. "Murder in the Family: Identifying the Parents and Siblings of George Wythe Sweny, Murderer of His Great-Uncle, George Wythe, Chancellor of Virginia," The American Genealogist, Vol. 78, No. 2 (April 2003):87-94.
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.
At first glance, researchers might conclude that Virginia tax lists contain very little family history data, though one soon learns that valuable genealogical conclusions can be drawn from these records, nicknamed "annual censuses," such as: relationships, approximate years of birth, socio-economic status, identification of neighbors, the ability to distinguish between persons of the same name, evidence of land inheritance, years of migration, and years of death.
Virginia began enumerating residents' payments of personal property and land taxes in 1782. These two types of taxation were recorded in separate registers. Personal property tax lists include more names than land tax lists, because they caught more of the population. The Family History Library has an excellent microfilm collection of personal property tax lists from 1782 (or the year the county was organized) well into the late nineteenth century for most counties, but only scattered land tax lists. Microfilm collections at The Library of Virginia include land tax lists for all counties and independent cities for the years 1782 through 1978, as well as personal property tax lists for the years 1782 through 1930 (and every fifth year thereafter). Taxes were not collected in 1808.
Some tax records are available online or in print, though published abstracts often omit useful details found only in the original sources. Statewide indexes can help genealogists identify specific counties where surnames occurred in the past, providing starting points for research.
- Indexed images of the 1789 and 1798 Personal Property Tax Lists of Norfolk, Virginia are available online, courtesy: Binns Genealogy.
- Ward, Roger D. 1815 Directory of Virginia Landowners (and Gazetteer). 6 vols. Athens, Georgia: Iberian Pub. Co., 1997-2000. Available at FHL. [The source for this publication is the 1815 land tax. Norfolk is included in Vol. 3.]
Societies and Libraries
- USGenWeb project. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county. Select the state, then the county.
- Family History Library Catalog
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
- "Using Personal Property Tax Records in the Archives at the Library of Virginia," Library of Virginia, http://www.lva.virginia.gov/public/guides/rn3_persprop.htm.
- "Using Land Tax Records in the Archives at the Library of Virginia," Library of Virginia, http://www.lva.virginia.gov/public/guides/rn1_landtax.pdf.