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Genealogy

A brief guide to genealogical resources in the University of Virginia Library.

Introduction

Please note
This guide is a much abridged version of Jean Cooper's Virginia Genealogy: a Guide to Resources in the University of Virginia Library

Basic Resources 
Ancestry.com (by subscription)
The University Library does not have a subscription to Ancestry.com, but some of the pages in Ancestry.com are free. In particular, there are free copies of charts and forms used in doing genealogical research which may be found here: https://www.ancestry.com/cs/charts-and-forms
  • Ancestry.com is a subscription service that offers many useful resources for the budding genealogist. Personal subscriptions are available for a month, for six months, and for a year.
Ancestry Library Edition (by subscription)
Available from UVA Locations and many public libraries.  While institutional access does not include as many record collections as an individual subscription, this database offers searchable access to the complete 1790-1940 U.S. Census name rolls, many military and immigration records, local directories, and many other collections.  
 
Cyndi's List (free)
(http://www.cyndislist.com) Created by Cyndi Howells, Cyndi's List of Genealogical Sites on the Internet is the original and most comprehensive index to websites pertaining to genealogy. It is updated daily. 
 
HeritageQuest (by Subscription)
A collection of research materials for tracing family history and American culture that contains over 25,000 family records and local histories. This collection assembles every extant U.S. federal census, banking and military records (including the Freedman's Bank and Revolutionary War Pensions), genealogies, primary source materials, and genealogical and local history serials.  UVA does not subscribe to this database, but local residents and students can access it through the Jefferson Madison Regional Library.  More information about database access and signing up for a library card can be found on their website: jmrl.org.
 
  • Tips
    Plan your research ahead of time. What are the questions you wish to answer in this research session? What resources have you identified in the University Library that are important to your research on this visit? Have a plan to make the most of your time in the library.

    Create a "research log" whenever you are in a library doing research. In that log, write down what you are looking for, what sources you have used, and what you have found in them. Include a map of the U.S., and a picture of each state your ancestors lived in, with each county designated. Carry other necessary materials in your research notebook, such as what information was recorded in each census year, how to apply Soundex codes, ahnentafel charts, lists of alternate spellings of your ancestor's names, and copies of forms.