Kinsearching March 18, 2012




Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     A large amount of Americans have pedigrees that trace back to Virginia. Not only was the colony the site of Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in North America in 1607, but the “Old Dominion” was also the largest of the original thirteen colonies. By 1810, the number of inhabitants had reached almost one million, making it the most populous state at the time. Because so many people have roots in the state, another new addition to the popular “Genealogy at a Glance” series is Virginia Genealogy Research by Carol McGinnis.

     Condensing an overview of the basics for tracing ancestors in Virginia into four laminated pages, McGinnis’s publication also furnishes recommendations for locating and utilizing critical resources in the state. Dividing the material into seven main sections, her guide begins with a list of selected “quick facts” (the names of bordering states, for example) about Virginia before delving into the background of the colony’s settlement. She points out that the first European pioneers in the seventeenth century were mostly English, but large groups of Scots-Irish and Germans began arriving in the eighteenth century. Many of them migrated into the area from Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The need for many cheap laborers on the tobacco plantations led to the introduction of slavery.

     The majority of McGinnis’s data concerns the various types of genealogical research materials that are available. Many documents required to make family connections were created at the county level in Virginia, though some originated at the city level. After further explaining the political organization of the state’s government, the compiler analyzes in more detail the major record groups and tells where they are may be found. These resources include vital, church, cemetery, land, probate, and military records as well as censuses and tax lists. In addition, she discusses supplementary sources such as Bible records, biographies, family histories, periodicals, and indexes. She completes her guide by providing the names, addresses, phone numbers, and websites for the state’s major repositories and gives the URLs of other useful websites. At the end of several segments are informative tips and a list of references for use in further research.

     Although many of the state’s records have been lost due to destruction during the Revolutionary and Civil wars and fires, a wealth of material remains intact. A convenient and streamlined manual, Virginia Genealogy Research offers valuable insights necessary for discovering elusive ancestors in the Old Dominion.

     To the guide's price of $8.95, buyers should add the cost for postage and handling charges. For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $4.50 for one item and $2.50 for each additional copy; for FedEx ground service, the cost is $6.00 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional item. The guide (item order 3528) may be purchased by check, money order, MasterCard, or Visa from Genealogical Publishing Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, MD 21211-1953. For phone orders, call toll free 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website

     Because kinfolks often reside in different parts of the country, genealogists may find it difficult to maintain details about relatives for their family records. The 8 January 2012 issue of The Perryton Herald, published in Perryton, Texas, offers information about people in Ochiltree County, Texas, and in Balko, Beaver County, Oklahoma. The newspaper lists 114 births and 80 deaths of local residents in 2011. For births, the paper provides the names of the parents and child, the sex of the child, and date of birth. For deaths, the newspaper furnishes the name of the deceased, age, and date of death. After obtaining these facts, researchers can look for further details in such resources as obituaries.

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