Virginia Biography

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United States  Gotoarrow.png  Virginia  Gotoarrow.png  Biography

For information about Virginia's earliest colonists, McCartney's work is a great place to start:

  • McCartney, Martha W. Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers 1607-1635: A Biographical Dictionary. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Pub. Co., 2007. FHL Collection 975.5 D36m; purchase at

An excellent list of early Virginians is in:

  • True, Ransom B., ed. Biographical Dictionary of Early Virginia, 1607-1660. Richmond, Virginia: Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, 1982. (On 22 Family History Library fiche 6332718.) Includes more than 100,000 entries with references to 30,000 people who are mentioned in Virginia wills , deeds , court orders, histories, and Virginia Company records. A supplemental Guide (Family History Library book 975.5 D3bd 1985; film 1750757 item 21) contains an explanation of the dictionary and a listing of the sources with their codes.

You can also request information from the:

Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities
204 West Franklin Street
Richmond, Virginia 23220-5012
Phone: 804-648-1889
Fax: 804-775-0802

An index to biographical sketches  in several hundred local histories and genealogies is:

  • Wardell, P.G. Timesaving Aid to Virginia-West Virginia Ancestors: A Genealogical Index of Surnames from Published Sources. Two Volumes. Athens, Georgia: Iberian Publishing, 1985. (Family History Library book 975 D22w)

Other important biographical sources are:

  • Brock, Robert Alonzo. Virginia and Virginians. Richmond and Toledo: H. H. Hardesty, 1888. (Family History Library film 897042 items 2-3.) An index is on Family History Library fiche 6048346-47. Lists five to ten prominent citizens from each county with early governors and generals.
  • Foote, William Henry. Sketches of Virginia: Historical and Biographical. Two Volumes. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: William S. Martien, 1850-56. (Family History Library book 975.5 H2f; Volume 1 on film 1000631; Volume 2 on film 1598334 item 27.) Presbyterian history, ministers, and families. Volume one is indexed in An Index to Sketches of Virginia: Historical and Biographicalby William Henry Foot (Richmond, Virginia: The Library, Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, 1966; Family History Library book 975.5 H2f index).
  • Tyler, Lyon Gardiner. Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography. Five Volumes. New York, NY: Lewis Historical Publication, 1915. (Family History Library book 975.5 D3tl; film 1000632) Includes multi-generation family histories. Vol. 3 (1915) available at Google Books (full-view).

The Family History Library also has:

  • French, S. Bassett. Biographical Sketches [of Virginia]. Richmond, Virginia: Virginia State Library, 1949? (Family History Library films 029664-67) Contains brief handwritten sketches of persons born from the 1700s to 1800s, sometimes with birth and death dates.