Websites Used in Researching Gilliams of Virginia
Updated Mar 24, 2020
Below are the websites which post primary sources (and a few secondary) that have been used in researching the Gilliams of Virginia. The list is ordered by topic. This list does not include family history forums and blogs nor subscription sites such as Ancestry.com, Fold3.com, etc.
These websites below contain statewide records as opposed to those that are county specific. The exception to this is several databases that are specific to Petersburg and Richmond.
Many of the websites listed below are hosted by the Library of Virginia and its Virginia Memory. Others are hosted by FamilySearch.org. among others.
Several Virginia college and university libraries maintain extensive genealogical collections. Among these are the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia (not to be confused with the Library of Virginia in Richmond) and the Earl Gregg Swem Library at the College of William and Mary.
Though not available online without a subscription several periodicals that focus on Virginia history, biography and genealogy need to be mentioned. Several of the below periodicals are available through JSTOR, a not-for-profit service that includes full-text content of more than 1,300 academic journals, as well as thousands of primary sources.
The Virginia Genealogist was edited and published by John Fredrick Dorman from 1957 to 2006, The Virginia Genealogist has a reputation for quality research and genealogical information not available elsewhere. Topics include compiled genealogies, personal property tax lists (which serve as useful substitutes for non-existent census records), and other local record abstracts, including court orders, deeds, wills, marriage registers, and other county sources. Also included are a wide variety of transcriptions and abstracts of Bible, church, military, and mercantile records.
The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography available through JSTOR
Established in 1893, the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, the quarterly journal of the Virginia Historical Society, publishes essays, edited primary documents, and book reviews on Virginia history and related topics.
The William and Mary College Quarterly Magazine available through JSTOR
Beginning as a publication in 1892 as the William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Papers, in 1894 (Vol. 3) the Journal title changed to William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine. In 1944 (3rd. series, Vol. 1) the Journal assumed its current title, The William and Mary Quarterly.
Tyler's Quarterly Historical and Genealogical Magazine
by Lyon Gardiner Tyler
Virginia Historical Register and Literary Advertiser
published by the Virginia Historical Society.
Virginia Genealogical Society Quarterly Bulletin available through Ancestry.com
From its inception the Virginia Genealogical Society publication policy has emphasized the presentation of manuscript records not readily available to the research public. Researchers will find tombstone and Bible records, military records, account books, tithable lists, unrecorded or lost wills and other records from burned counties, marriage records, tax lists, naturalizations, legislative petitions, order books, items showing migrations, chancery suits, rental lists and church records among the many records published in the past thirty-five years. Native Americans, African Americans, Germans, Huguenots, Baptists, Quakers and other ethnic groups are well represented. Material covers both the present state and the area that was once Virginia but is now Kentucky and West Virginia as well as that portion of Pennsylvania once called the District of West Augusta.
One of the most important resources for Virginia historical and genealogical research is the Virginia Historical Index compiled under the direction of Dr. Earl Gregg Swem (1870-1965). It is a comprehensive index to several publications concerning Virginia history and genealogy.
Swem indexed the following publications and volumes: The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, volumes 1-38 (1893-1930); The William and Mary College Quarterly Magazine, first series, volumes 1-27 (1892-1919), and second series, volumes 1-10 (1921-1930); Tyler's Quarterly Historical and Genealogical Magazine, volumes 1-10 (1919-1929); Virginia Historical Register and Literary Advertiser, volumes 1-6 (1848-1853); The Lower Norfolk County Virginia Antiquary, volumes 1-5 (1895-1906); Hening's Statutes at Large, volumes 1-13 (1619-1792); and the Calendar of Virginia State Papers, volumes 1-11 (1652-1869).
Gilliams of the Swem Index
The following periodical is available online through Internet Archive at www.archive.org
The Internet Archive, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Like a paper library, they provide free access to researchers, historians, scholars, and the general public. At this site one can download free books and texts. The Internet Archive Text Archive contains a wide range of historical texts and academic books.
Southside Virginia: A Journal of Genealogy and History strives to “bring to subscribers transcriptions and abstracts of county, church, cemetery and family records from the counties of Southside Virginia. The magazine includes: an every-name index in each issue and greater emphasis on “burned records” counties.
Volume 14 (not currently available online)
African American Resources
1850 Slave Schedule
Name index and images of slave schedules listing slave owners and only age, gender and other data of the slaves in census states or territories in 1850. This was the first time that slave information was captured as a separate schedule. Indexed data and browse are available for the following: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.
The cohabitation registers were the legal vehicles by which formerly enslaved couples legitimized their pre-slavery marriages and the children of unions that no longer existed in 1866 due to death or other circumstances such as the wife being sold away. These records are invaluable resources for genealogists and historians alike.
Biographical and Family History Records
R. Bolling Batte Papers — Biographical Card File
Batte compiled an extensive collection of genealogical and historical research notes and files. Part of the collection consists of more than 30,000 index cards containing biographical information compiled from a variety of original and secondary sources. Each entry contains information on date and place of birth, full names of parents, date and place of marriage(s), spouse's name, education, public offices held, profession, military service, date and place of death, and place of burial. A second card image contains extracts from pertinent documents, tombstone inscriptions, obituary notices and a listing of the subject's children. Each entry also contains codes referring to an index of the sources used in the compilation of the card file.
S. Bassett French Biographical Sketches
A fully-searchable index to the handwritten biographical sketches compiled by S. Bassett French between 1890 and 1897. This collection is housed in the Archives of the Library of Virginia.
Bible records, 1700-1900,
Bible records from the Virginia Historical Society posted by FamilySearch.org
Birth, Marriage and Death Records
Births and Christenings, 1853-1917
Name index to birth, baptism and christening records from the state of Virginia. Microfilm copies of these records are available at the Family History Library and FamilySearch Centers. Due to privacy laws, recent records may not be displayed. The year range represents most of the records. A few records may be earlier or later.
Name index to marriage records from the state of Virginia. Microfilm copies of these records are available at the Family History Library and Family History Centers. Due to privacy laws, recent records may not be displayed. The year range represents most of the records. A few records may be earlier or later.
Marriage Index for Richmond Enquirer/Richmond Visitor
An index to marriage information published in the Richmond Enquirer, 1804-1860 and the Richmond Visitor, 1809-1810.
Henley Marriage/Obituary Index
Personal name index to more than 51,000 marriage and obituary notices published primarily in Richmond-area newspapers between 1736 and 1982, with an emphasis on the years 1780 to 1910. The index was compiled by Bernard J. Henley (1909-1989), former librarian at the Richmond Public Library. Most of the newspapers are available on microfilm at the Library of Virginia.
Obituary Index for Richmond Enquirer/Richmond Visitor
An index to obituaries published in the Richmond Enquirer, 1804-1860 and the Richmond Visitor, 1809-1810. Over 11,000 names are indexed.
Deaths and Burials, 1853-1912
Name index to death and burial records from the state of Virginia Deaths. Microfilm copies of these records are available at the Family History Library and Family History Centers. This set contains 785,241 records. Due to privacy laws, recent records may not be displayed. The year range represents most of the records. A few records may be earlier or later.
A fully-searchable index to Virginia city and county death registers compiled 1853-1896. This is an on-going project sponsored by the Virginia Genealogical Society. Fifteen cities and counties have been indexed to date. The death registers are available on microfilm.
A virtual cemetery
Many subscription websites post federal census images. One exception is FamilySearch.org.
Schedules survive for eleven of the thirteen original states: Connecticut, Maine (part of Massachusetts at the time), Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Vermont. Virginia’s did not survive.
Lost schedules include those for Georgia, Indiana Territory, Kentucky, Mississippi Territory, New Jersey, Northwest Territory, Virginia, Tennessee, and Alexandria County, District of Columbia.
Name index to the population schedules listing the inhabitants of the United States in 1810. This was the third national census conducted since 1790. No schedules are known to exist for District of Columbia, Georgia, New Jersey, Ohio, and Tennessee.
Name index to the population schedules listing the inhabitants of the United States in 1820. This was the fourth national census conducted since 1790. No schedules are known to exist for New Jersey.
Name index to the population schedules listing the inhabitants of the United States in 1830. This was the fifth national census conducted since 1790.
Name index to the population schedules listing the inhabitants of the United States in 1840. This was the sixth national census conducted since 1790.
Name index and images of population schedules listing inhabitants of the United States in 1850. This was the seventh census conducted since 1790. Searchable data and browse are available for all states and territories.
Name index and images of population schedules listing inhabitants of the United States in 1860. This was the eighth census conducted since 1790. Currently, data is available for Alabama (96%), Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Dakota Territory, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania (99%), Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Name index and images of population schedules listing inhabitants of the United States in 1870. This was the ninth census conducted since 1790.1880
Names index to population schedules listing inhabitants of the United States in 1880. This was the twelfth census conducted since 1790.
The population schedules for the 1890 Federal Census were destroyed by a fire at the Commerce Department in Washington, DC on 10 January 1921. The surviving fragments consists of 1,233 pages or pieces, including enumerations for Alabama, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota, and Texas. Virginia’s did not survive.
Name index and images of population schedules listing inhabitants of the United States in 1900. This was the twelfth census conducted since 1790. The searchable index covers all states including the Armed Forces (foreign country where census occurred) and the Indian Territory. Images can also be viewed using the browse option and includes all states including the Armed Forces (foreign country where census occurred) and the Indian Territory.
Name index to the 1910 population census schedules. Indexing is currently in progress and will include the entire census comprising 48 states, two territories (Arizona and New Mexico), Puerto Rico, and Military and Naval (in Philippines, Hospitals, Ships, and Stations).
Name index of population schedules listing inhabitants of the United States in 1920. This was the fourteenth census conducted since 1790. There were 107.5 million individuals enumerated this census year.
The 1930 United States Census Population Schedules. This includes the 48 states as well as Alaska, Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Consular Services, Panama Canal Zone, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
Indexing is in progress.
Deed and Land Records, Including Patents and Grants
Virginia Land Office Patents and Grants/Northern Neck Grants and Surveys
A fully-searchable index to: land patents issued prior to 1779; land grants issued by the Virginia Land Office after 1779; grants issued in the Northern Neck from 1692-1862; and original and recorded Northern Neck surveys. Images for the land patents, Land Office grants, Northern Neck grants, and recorded Northern Neck surveys (1786-1874) are available online. The unrecorded Northern Neck surveys prior to 1782 are available on microfilm.
Genealogical Societies and Libraries
Jones Memorial Library
specializes in genealogy and local history. Although its primary focus is on the central Virginia area, the collection includes a wide variety of materials covering the State of Virginia as well as the surrounding states, including county histories and court records, family histories and genealogies, general works on the Civil War, county land tax and personal property tax records, and census records.
Historical Record Collections
Miscellaneous primary source records posted on FamilySearch.org
Historical Society Papers, 1607-2007
Images of collections from the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond, Virginia. The collection include bible records, genealogy papers, and miscellaneous records.
Virginia Historical Society
Our collections consist of a wide range of objects, including books and bound serials, Confederate imprints, sheet music, broadsides, newspapers, family and personal papers, business and organizational records, genealogical materials, maps, paintings, prints, postcards, weapons, militaria, glass plate negatives, and 19th - 21st century photographs.
Historic Sites and Landmarks
Virginia Landmarks and Historic Sites
Virginia Department of Historic Resources
Contains City or County Listings of Virginia and National Landmarks Register of Historic Places as well as Highway markers. Link takes one to their search page.
Virginia Colonial Records Project
An index to nearly 15,000 reports that survey and describe documents relating to colonial Virginia history that are housed in repositories in Great Britain and other European countries. The survey report images are available online, and there are references to microfilm reels for the original documents
Lost Records Localities Collection, 1674-1887
The Lost Records Localities Collection, 1674-1887, consists of copies of records from counties or incorporated cities that suffered significant record loss due to a variety of reasons. The collection is divided into subcollections related to the localities which suffered record loss. The "Source" of each item is listed, which tells the researcher the collection in which the original "lost" record was found.
Lost Records Localities Database
This database consists of entries for a wide variety of court records found as part of chancery and other locality records-processing projects. The entries are for surviving records from localities, most of whose records are no longer extant. The original record is photocopied. The copies are filed together in an artificial collection—the Lost Records Localities Collection—and are readily accessed through the manuscript room at the Library of Virginia.
Virginia Historical Inventory
An online search engine providing interactive access to photographs, maps, and detailed written reports documenting the architectural, cultural, and family histories of thousands of 18th- and 19th-century buildings in communities across Virginia. This collection was originally assembled by the Virginia Writers' Project, part of the depression-era Works Progress Administration. Report, photograph, and map images are available online.
a consolidated database of finding aids to manuscript and archival collections, provides information about historical materials that document Virginia History and culture from 1607 to the present.
Guide to Virginia Historical Resources
This site provides links to the Mariners Museum, Virginia Civil War Markers, Museum of the Confederacy (now American Civil War Museum) Virginia Department of Historic Resources, Virginia Historical Society, VAGenWeb, Vital Records and Statistics, Virginia Genealogy at Familysearch.org, Linkpendium Virginia Genealogy Page, Richmond History Center, History of Colonial Williamsburg, Fredericksburg History, Virginia Beach History, Library of Virginia Digital Collections, Virginia Civil War, Virginia First Peoples, About Virginia and several pages for children regarding Virginia History.
Immigration and Naturalization Records
Naturalization Petitions, 1906-1929
Naturalization petitions from four U. S. District Courts in Virginia and corresponding to four record series at the National Archives: Naturalization Petitions of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia (Abingdon), 1914-1929 (M1645), Naturalization Petitions of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia (Charlottesville), 1910-1929 (M1646), Naturalization Petitions of the U.S. District and Circuit Courts for the Eastern District of Virginia (Richmond), 1906-1929 (M1647), and Naturalization Petitions of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria), 1909-1920 (M1648).
Legislative and Legal Records
Hening's Statutes at Large
a Collection of all the Laws of Virginia from the first session of the Legislature, in the Year 1619 by William Waller Hening
Each of Virginia's circuit courts created chancery records that contain considerable historical and genealogical information. Because the records rely so heavily on testimony from witnesses, they offer a unique glimpse into the lives of Virginians from the early 18th century through the First World War. There are over 220,000 cases indexed in the database and nearly 5.6 million images of chancery causes available online.
Legislative Petitions Database
This database provides a calendar of Legislative Petitions submitted to the General Assembly between 1776 and 1865. The database lists the name of the petitioner, locality, date of presentation, description, reel number, box number, and folder number. In addition, each petition has been assigned one or more topics for indexing purposes. There are four ways to search the database: By Petitioner, By Locality, By Description, or By Topic. The petitions are on microfilm in the West Reading Room and available through interlibrary loan at the Library of Virginia. The collection is organized in boxes by county, then chronologically with a separate petition in each folder. In order to locate the petitions on microfilm or request copies of originals, please be specific and note the exact box, folder, and reel number.
One of the Library's most important digital collections is the Virginia Gazette, published weekly in Williamsburg, 1736-1780; the news covered all Virginia and included some information for other colonies, Scotland, England etc. Not all the issues survived, and some have surfaced since they were first reproduced on microfilm in the mid-twentieth century that is the basis for the digital version.
Petersburg Public Library Newspaper Index
A proper name and subject index covering more than 40 newspaper titles primarily published in Petersburg, Va., 1797-1877.
Search America's historic newspapers pages from 1836-1922 or use the U. S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.
The Richmond Daily Dispatch
is the result of a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and collaboration between the University of Richmond, Tufts University's Perseus Project, and the Virginia Center for Digital History. There are currently 1384 issues of the paper available online, ranging in date from November 1860 through December 1865.
Index to the Virginia Cavalcade, 1951-2002
The Virginia Cavalcade, a handsomely illustrated magazine of Virginia history and culture, was published quarterly (January, April, July, and October) by the Library of Virginia from 1951 to 2002. Each issue contained 48 pages of engaging, authoritative articles, and illustrations in color and black-and-white, depicting Virginia history from the age of exploration to the mid-twentieth century.
The Virginia Newspaper Project (VNP), established in 1993, has worked to locate, describe, inventory, preserve, and provide public access to United States imprint newspapers housed not only at the Library of Virginia but throughout the commonwealth. The collection is fully searchable and contains over 57,000 issues.
Revolutionary War Bounty Warrants
A fully-searchable index to the documents used to verify dates and length of service of officers, soldiers, and sailors in a Virginia or Continental unit during the Revolutionary War. Accumulated service was used to determine the amount of bounty land awarded to each individual. Document images are available online.
Revolutionary War Rejected Claims
Index and images of the documents of applicants who had military service of insufficient length to qualify for the bounty land requested.
Revolutionary War Virginia State Pensions
Index to and scanned images of the surviving records that veterans and their widows presented to the county courts to certify their eligibility for pension.
Southern Campaign Revolutionary War Pension Statements & Rosters
This site is dedicated to celebrating the lives and contributions made by the brave men and women who fought or lived in the South during the American Revolution and making their eye-witness accounts freely available in this searchable database.
The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System (CWSS)
a database containing information about the men who served in the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War. Other information on the site includes histories of Union and Confederate regiments, links to descriptions of significant battles, and selected lists of prisoner-of-war records and cemetery records, which will be amended over time. The CWSS is a cooperative effort between the National Park Service and several public and private partners whose goal is to increase Americans' understanding of this decisive era in American history by making information about it widely accessible.
Civil War Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, 1861-1865
Confederate service records of soldiers who served in organizations from Virginia. The records include a jacket-envelope for each soldier, labeled with his name, his rank, and the unit in which he served. The jacket-envelope typically contains card abstracts of entries relating to the soldier as found in original muster rolls, returns, rosters, payrolls, appointment books, hospital registers, Union prison registers and rolls, parole rolls, inspection reports; and the originals of any papers relating solely to the particular soldier. For each military unit the service records are arranged alphabetically by the soldier's surname. The Military Unit field may also display the surname range (A-G) as found on the microfilm. This collection is a part of RG 109, War Department Collection of Confederate Records and is National Archive Microfilm Publication M324. Index courtesy of Fold3.
Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers, 1861-1865
Union service records of soldiers who served in organizations from Virginia. The records include a jacket-envelope for each soldier, labeled with his name, his rank, and the unit in which he served. The jacket-envelope typically contains card abstracts of entries relating to the soldier as found in original muster rolls, returns, rosters, payrolls, appointment books, hospital registers, prison registers and rolls, parole rolls, inspection reports; and the originals of any papers relating solely to the particular soldier. For each military unit the service records are arranged alphabetically by the soldier's surname. The Military Unit field may also display the surname range (A-G) as found on the microfilm. This collection is a part of RG 94, Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1780's-1917 and is National Archive Microfilm Publication M398. Index courtesy of Fold3.
Confederate Disability Applications and Receipts
Applications to the Board of Commissioners on Artificial Limbs from injured soldier.
Confederate Pension Rolls, Veterans and Widows
Searchable database of pension applications and amended applications filed by resident Virginia Confederate veterans and their widows.
Index to Confederate Veteran Magazine
A fully-searchable index to the personal names of Confederate soldiers as they appear in the Confederate Veteran magazine published between 1893 and 1932.
Valley of the Shadow
The Valley of the Shadow is a digital history project hosted by the University of Virginia detailing the experiences of Confederate soldiers from Augusta County, Virginia and Union soldiers from Franklin County, Pennsylvania. William G. Thomas III and Edward L. Ayers, the creators of the project, have called it "an applied experiment in digital scholarship." The site contains scanned copies of four newspapers from each of the counties in addition to those of surrounding cities such as Richmond and New York: the Staunton Spectator (Staunton, Virginia; Whig), the Republican Vindicator (Staunton, Virginia; Democratic), the Franklin Repository and Transcript (Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; Republican), and the Valley Spirit (Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; Democratic).
Robert E. Lee Camp Confederate Soldiers' Home Applications for Admission
A fully-searchable index to the Robert E. Lee Camp Confederate Soldiers' Home applications for admission, 1884-1941. Many entries in the Roster of R.E. Lee Camp, No 1, 1883-1932 (1 vol.) and Register of Lee Camp Soldiers' Home, 1885-1939 (3 vols.) are also indexed. For some veterans, only the Roster or Registers are indexed.
World War I History Commission Questionnaires
Surveys completed by returning soldiers, or their surviving kin.
Virginia Military Dead
The primary purpose of the Virginia Military Dead Database is to honor those Virginians that have given their lives in defense of freedom. It pulls together information from a wide variety of sources and makes that information more accessible. For more information, consult the Introduction to the Virginia Military Dead Database and the Source Guides.
Religious and Parish Records
Early Virginia Religious Petitions presents images of 423 petitions submitted to the Virginia legislature between 1774 and 1802 from more than eighty counties and cities. Drawn from the Library of Virginia's Legislative Petitions collection, the petitions concern such topics as the historic debate over the separation of church and state championed by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, the rights of dissenters such as Quakers and Baptists, the sale and division of property in the established church, and the dissolution of unpopular vestries. The collection provides searchable access to the petitions' places of origin and a brief summary of each petition's contents, as well as summaries of an additional seventy-four petitions that are no longer extant.
Mutual Assurance Society (Richmond/Henrico County, Virginia, Policies)
Indexes insurance policies issued by the Mutual Assurance Society between 1796 and 1867 for buildings in Richmond and Henrico County. Document images available.
Reconstructed 1790 and 1800 Federal Censuses using Tax List Microfilm Images with Every Name Indexes
In 1782 the General Assembly of Virginia enacted a major revision of the commonwealth’s tax laws. The act provided for statewide enumeration on the county level of certain personal property and land. It also created a permanent source of revenue for the operation of government in Virginia. Copies of annual lists of personal property owners for each county and city from 1782 (or the date of formation of the county/city if after 1782) to 1927, Information recorded in Virginia personal property tax records changed gradually from 1782 to 1865. The early laws required the tax commissioner in each district to record in “a fair alphabetical list” the names of the person chargeable with the tax, the names of white male tithables over the age of twenty-one, the number of white male tithables between ages sixteen and twenty-one, the number of slaves both above and below age sixteen, various types of animals such as horses and cattle, carriage wheels, ordinary licenses, and even billiard tables. Free Negroes are listed by name and often denoted in the list as “free” or “FN.”
Will, Estates, etc.
Index to Wills and Administrations
Indexes the administrations, inventories, wills, and other recorded documents relating to the estates of individuals for the period to 1800. Presently includes 52 Virginia counties and cities.