Virginia Public Records

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See Virginia Colonial Records Project under the “Genealogy” section for more information on public records.

Records of the Virginia Company of London

The Virginia Company of London governed colonial matters until 1624. Correspondence, business journals, and miscellaneous records of the company are in:

Kingsbury, Susan Myra, ed. The Records of the Virginia Company of London. Four Volumes. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1906-1935. (FHL book 975.5 U3k; on three FHL films beginning with 962288.)

Records of the Council and General Court to 1791

Many probate cases, court cases, and other matters were appealed to the general court or the council. The council served as both a legislative body and a court of appeals. The following records of these organizations are listed in the Family History Library Catalog Place Search under VIRGINIA - PUBLIC RECORDS.

McIlwaine, H. R. Minutes of the Council and General Court of Colonial Virginia. Second Edition. Richmond, Virginia State Library, 1979. (FHL book 975.5 N2m 1979.) This has records from 1622 to 1632 and 1670 to 1676. May give a person's age, relatives, birthplace, occupation, or marriages.

Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia. Six Volumes. Richmond, Virginia State Library, 1966-1978. (FHL book 975.5 N2v; Volume 1 on film 599302 item 2.) This includes records from 1680 to 1775 about licenses, occupations, fines, military and civil service, petitioners, and court cases.

Journals of the Council of the State of Virginia. Five Volumes. Richmond: Virginia State Library, 1931-1982. (FHL book 975.5 N2vc; fiche 6046994.) This has records from 1776 to 1791 including the records of the Committee of Safety, which handled many of Virginia's affairs during the Revolutionary War. The records may contains information about people's military and civil service, shipping, and court cases.

Records of the General Assembly 1619 to 1907

Individuals who were naturalized, appealed court cases, or brought other actions before the General Assembly may be identified in the following sources. These are listed in the Family History Library Catalog Place Search under VIRGINIA - LAW AND LEGISLATION.

Hening, William Waller. The Statutes at Large, Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia . . . 13 Volumes. Charlottesville, Virginia: University Press of Virginia, 1969. (FHL book 975.5 P3h 1969; films 897221-27; fiche 6051115 3-104.) This source lists hundreds of trustees, officers, and Virginia militia men from 1619 to 1792.

Shepherd, Samuel. The Statutes at Large of Virginia . . . 1792, to . . . 1806. Three Volumes. 1835. Reprint, New York, NY: A.M.S. Press, 1970. (FHL book 975.5 P3ha; films 873973 items 3-4 to 873974.) This continues the records of the General Assembly from 1792 to 1807.

Both the Hening and Shepherd sources are indexed by Joseph J. Casey, Personal Names in Hening's Statutes at Large of Virginiaand Shepherd's Continuation (1896; reprint, Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing, 1990; FHL book 975.5 P3h 1990 index). They are also indexed by Earl Gregg Swem, Virginia Historical Index (see the “Periodicals” section).

Calendar of Virginia State Papers and Other Manuscripts, 11 Volumes. Richmond, Virginia: s.n. 1875-93. (FHL book 975.5 N2p; all volumes. beginning with films 29716; volumes. 1, 6-10 on fiche 6046648.) This source includes various records of land patents, state papers, correspondence, petitions, licenses, and other acts and proceedings of the council and general assembly from 1651 to 1869. This is also indexed by Earl Gregg Swem, Virginia Historical Index (see the “Periodicals” section).

Online Resources