How to Find Your Sussex County, VA Family

Welcome to VAGenWeb's Sussex County Project

Find Your Sussex County Family









Looking for your family in Sussex County, Virginia?

First you may need to determine that the individuals for whom you are searching actually lived in Sussex County, Virginia. (There are also Sussex Counties in New Jersey and Delaware.) Here are some publications and links that can be helpful.
  • Sussex County, Virginia: A Heritage Recalled By The Land by Gary M. Williams. This is the single most comprehensive resource for the history and genealogy of Sussex County, Virginia. Gary Williams is Clerk of the Circuit Court of Sussex County and has devoted much of his life to researching the county's history and genealogy. There are many photographs and maps, including old land grants of the entire county, along with the history of the land, the families and individuals. The text is beautifully written, impeccably edited, footnoted, and indexed with four appendices. This large format (8.5" x 11"), beautifully illustrated scholarly work is available in March 2013 at the Sussex Clerk's Office. Call (434) 246-1012 for information.
  • Virginia land patent abstracts, with seven volumes published so far, begin with Nell Marion Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants 1623-1666, Vol. 1 (Baltimore, 1969) and continue through Volume Eight:1779-1782, ed. Dennis Ray Hudgins (Richmond, 2005). A searchable Database for Virginia Land Patents and Grants is now on line at the Library of Virginia. From the Database, you can go to an image of the patent book page and read the complete patent.
  • Clayton Torrence, Virginia Wills and Administrations 1632-1800 (Baltimore, 1972) lists names and counties where their wills or administrations were found. This list is now on line at the Library of Virginia. Index to Wills and Administrations at LVA.
  • Annie Laurie Wright Smith, The Quit Rents of Virginia, 1704 (Baltimore, 1977) is a list of landowners in Virginia in 1704. A version of this list is on line. Alphabetical List of 1704 Virginia Land Owners who paid quit rents.
  • Several good census-type lists are on line at Check them out.
  • Heads of Families at the First Census of the United States Taken in the Year 1790 Records of the State Enumerations: 1782 to 1785 Virginia (Baltimore, 1986)
  • Augusta B. Fothergill and John Mark Naugle, Virginia Tax Payers 1782-87 Other Than Those Published by the United States Census Bureau (Baltimore, 1986)
  • Steve & Bunny Binns's WONDERFUL web site with digital images of Virginia County and City Tax Lists for 1790, 1799 and 1800 has returned to the web! Scroll down and click on your County or City of interest.
  • Elizabeth Petty Bentley, Index to the 1810 Census of Virginia (Baltimore, 1980)
  • Sussex County, VA, information from S-K Publications includes 1810 and 1860 Census records.
  • Roger G. Ward, 1815 Directory of Virginia Landowners (and Gazetteer) in four volumes (Athens, GA, 1997-1999)
  • Jeanne Robey Felldin, Index to the 1820 Census of Virginia (Baltimore, 1981)
  • June Banks Evans, Census of 1840 Sussex County, Virginia (1990), Email: Excellent transcription!
  • Some early census entries are on line here. The USGenWeb Archives
  • The entire 1880 U. S. Census is transcribed and on line at the LDS Family Search web site. You can search it there.
Check out the resources on the Sussex Links page. Be sure to place your queries on the Sussex County Message Board and the Sussex Mailing List.

There are other sources of Sussex County information at this web site. Don't forget to explore them before following links to other places. And remember the "Back" button on your browser.

The County's court records begin in 1754 and are well preserved. A list of microfilm copies of the originals is available at the Library of Virginia. If your family was in the Sussex area before 1754, you need to search for them in Surry County records.

If you don't feel confident trying to read early hand written records, there are published transcriptions of some of the records. See the BIBLIOGRAPHY.
Updated 6 June 2015. © Eve S. Gregory for the USGenWeb Project