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Yesterday morning the computer interest group met.  Several members commented that they were not familiar with ways to search for family.  I told them I would build this page today and put in links and explain what is available at each.  Rootsweb World Connect is the new free GEDCOM from Rootsweb.  At this address you can find two links.  One to upload you GEDCOM.  Detailed instructions are on our GEDCOM page.  You can also go to SEARCH.  There are about 12 million names already uploaded and their goal is 100 million names by the end of the year.  This is a very good site to search.  It allows you to narrow your search by last and first name and also by state.

GENDEX, by Gene Stark  Another great site.  Fill in the surname you are looking for in the second box.  You will get links to that surname plus variant spellings.  This site takes a bit longer than Rootsweb and you cannot narrow by location.  This is the oldest site of this type and you may have good luck here.

USGENWEB Archives Search  This site takes a bit of playing with.  It will search for all documents pertaining to genealogy that have been uploaded to all USGENWEB sites including Census, wills, cemeteries, deeds, bibles, family histories.  They give directions on the page on how to search the site but I would advise you to try several ways, for instance, "Rod McDonald" or "McDonald, Rod"  Don't forget to pick the state.  You may need to search several.  There is an abundance of information here but plan on spending some time.

GenForum  This site is a discussion forum by surname.  In the search box type in the surname you want to research.  That will bring you to the forum for that name.  They archive their queries chronologically so you will have to do a bit of scrolling and looking around to find what you need.  You can post queries here and also email others who are researching the same lines as you are.

Family Tree Maker  This can be a frustrating site but when you hit pay dirt it is wonderful.  This will take quite a bit of time and scrolling to find what you need.  Don't forget, their main goal is to sell you CD's so you will get lots of links to their products for sale.  They do cross reference GENDEX so you will get hits there plus their own web sites.

Library of Virginia Colonial Records Project  This is the most difficult site of all to search.  Don't forget to search by name both ways, First Last; Last, First.  Good luck!

Rootsweb Home Page  This page will get you to:  RootsWeb Surname List (founded 1988), containing over 782,000 surname entries, and the ROOTS-L Mailing List (founded 1987).The USGenWeb Project, USGenWeb Archives, WorldGenWeb, GenConnect, SOCIAL SECURITY DEATH INDEX, USGenWeb Tombstone Project, Immigrant Ship Transcribers Guild, and many others.  It is incredible in the information available here.

Mapping programs and sites.  Sometimes wills and other tools you need do not exist.  Another good way to find the descendants is by mapping the land from deeds.  There are a few sites that may help.  One is  This is a searchable site.  Some of it is a bit difficult to read but shows the lay of the land, rivers, streams, etc.  Another site is .  Here you will find many links to historical maps of Virginia.  Here is one program I have found.  I haven't used it yet but it looks very interesting. It is called Deed Mapper.  You can put in the metes and bounds from a deed, connect it to a stream or river or other identifier and it will place your deed on the map.  Then you can compare it with a modern map, or buy the add on for the program, and you can go see where your ancestors lived.  This program is not cheap, but definitely looks interesting.  Tiger Maps is another resource.  You can add layers to your search.  The one shortcoming here is there is no watercourse layer. Another site that should be mentioned is the LDS site.  Like many other sites this needs a caveat.  Many folks think that the Mormon church does genealogy.  What they really do is collect and share other peoples work.  What you find here is unproven.  This is a great place to find very good clues on where to look and who may be related.  All information should be verified by you.  Use this site as a guideline only.

The William & Mary Quarterly is no longer available online. Another site you may not be familiar with.   It is called NUCMC for short. the real name is National Union Catalog for Manuscript Collections.  It is a searchable data base much like the USGENWEB Archives...but it is for searching the manuscript collections that are hidden in libraries all over the place.  It is really handy for finding that unpublished book that was left to Aunt Ida in Minnesota about your Johns Ancestors in VA...the book that donated to the University of Minnesota library....a place where you would NEVER have thought to look.


            By Merle A. Kimball, Serials, Preservation and Local History Librarian

Earl Gregg Swem Library, College of William and Mary, has a number of resources for doing research on genealogy and family history. There are "how-to" books and various guides and advanced bibliographic tools available for the researcher. This article is intended to provide some of the resources available and to emphasize that the Library has a wide variety of materials which may assist you in your research. Specific titles are given in order to provide a sense of the scope of materials available.

One should begin with the Library's online catalog, LION, and do subject and keyword searches if you do not have specific titles that you are trying to find. The best way to access our microform collection is through the online catalog as some of the collections have not been arranged by subject area. The microfiche collection is arranged by size of microfiche and then alphabetically by author. Many family genealogies and histories are in the microfiche collection and can be found by a subject search. An online subject search will provide information on the materials in both the microform and printed collections. It will also identify family histories which are contained within another family history. One example of a family history in the microfiche collection is The Records of the Descendants of John Fuller, Newton, 1644-1688, by Samuel Clarke. Family histories can be retrieved in the online catalog by using the last name and adding the word "family", e.g. Fuller family.

A keyword search such as "Tennessee" will bring up any material about Tennessee, including materials in the microform collections and the Manuscripts and Rare Books collections. It may result in too many entries to go through so the search can narrowed by adding such words as "genealogy" or "history". The Reference staff can assist you in searching the online catalog.

There are a number of county histories in the stacks and in the microfiche collection. They can be found by searching the online catalog by using the city, county, state, or locality followed by the word "history", e.g. Culpeper County, Virginia (space) history. One can just key in Culpeper County and this will result any subject heading with this heading from biographies to taxation lists. There are a number of county histories available such as Henry and St. Clair Counties, Missouri, or Idaho County, Idaho.

General genealogical reference tools are shelved in the classification CS71 of the Reference stacks. The Genealogical Periodical Annual Index is shelved here along with the PERiodical Source Index which is being published by the Allen County Public Library in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. This index is also available through which is available in the Library. The Passenger and Immigration Index and its' supplements are shelved here. Another genealogical index which is helpful is the American Genealogical-Biographical Index to American Genealogical Biographical, and Local History Materials which is shelved in the general stacks. The Greenlaw Index of the New England Historic Genealogical Society serves as an index to their materials and provides another access point for a particular person or family in a collection that would be hard to find otherwise.

There are a number of historical bibliographies and guides in "E" and "F" sections in Reference and the general stacks. Gazetteers and atlases are available, also, including the Omni Gazetteer of the United States of America. This is a particularly good gazetteer as it provides the locations of tiny towns, cemeteries, etc. The information on the location of cemeteries are particularly helpful. There are biographical dictionaries and indexes such as Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, Biography and Genealogy Master Index, and American Biographical Index..

To begin researching your Virginia ancestor, start in the Reference Room's "Virginia" collection. Basic volumes of Virginia genealogy and history are in this collection. There are many more volumes of Virginia local history in the general stacks.  Early Virginia ancestors need to be checked in The Biographical Dictionary of Early Virginia, 1607-1660. This dictionary is on microfiche and is kept in a notebook in the Virginia Reference collection. It indexes every person who came into Virginia, even if they were on their way to New England or other locality.

The United States censuses on microfilm are available for all areas through 1830. The Library has the census indexes for 1790-1850 for all states, plus the later census indexes for Virginia. Only the indexes for the census microfilm which Swem has are in the Reference Room. Rest of the census indexes are shelved with each state in the history section. Swem Library has all the Virginia censuses through 1920, plus the microfilm for the United States mortality schedules for Virginia for 1850, 1860, and 1870. The North Carolina censuses for 1840 and 1850 are available along with some other microfilm censuses.

The Library has the microfilm copy of the Papers of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. It is indexed by John P. Butler's Index, Papers of the Continental Congress. The collection includes many state documents and some of them date before 1774. An example is a petition regarding the New Hampshire-New York controversy over Vermont.

There are a number of Civil War records on microfilm. Among the collections are: Records of the Commissioners of Claims which consists of claims filed with the federal government regarding property destroyed by the Union Army, confiscation of livestock, etc., during and after the Civil War. It has a consolidated index. Another collection is the Records of the Virginia Forces, 1861. This covers the confederate records for Virginia.

Some of the other microform collections which may be useful are:  The United States Direct Tax of 1798: Tax Lists for the State of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Lancaster, Chester, Delaware, Bucks, and Montgomery Counties,  the Massachusetts Local Tax Lists Through 1776, Early Massachusetts Records for the towns of Acton, Bedford, Carlisle, Concord, Lexington, and Lincoln. The Massachusetts Archives includes manuscripts and other documents for the colonial period, mostly official, but they could be helpful if your ancestor was involved in a dispute with the state or wrote the state for any number of reasons. There is information on the Indians in Massachusetts in this collection. Another microfilm collection available for the Massachusetts researcher is the Corbin Manuscript Collection In the New England Historic Genealogical Society. This collection contains material pertaining to central and western Massachusetts for 1650-1850. The table of contents are on reel 1 and there is also a guidebook for the 60 reels.

Other collections of interest are the microfilm of the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps for Virginia, the microfiche for the Historic Buildings Survey for Virginia, microfiche for the James City County Personal Property Tax Lists, 1782-1861, Williamsburg-James City County Tax Book, 1768-1769, and the York County's Sheriff's Execution Book, 1789-1795.

The microfilm collection of Antibellum plantation records in the various libraries and repositories around the United States are in the Library. The first set papers microfilmed were the collections at the University of South Carolina, then the papers at Duke University. The plantation records microfilm includes diaries, some with births, marriages and deaths recorded, papers regarding the estate, the slaves, etc.

Another microfilm collection of interest are the Chester County, Pennsylvania, estate papers for 1700-1810. American Directories Through 1860 are available in the microfiche collection. The directories for each city are not listed in the online catalog. The bibliographies must be used to determine whether there is a directory on microfiche for a particular city. The bibliographies are: Bibliography of American Directories Through 1860 by Dorothea Spear and City Directories of  The United States, 1860-1901.

Swem Library has a historic newspaper collection on microfilm. All of these newspapers have been cataloged and can be located through our online catalog. They are arranged by call number in the historic newspaper collection. The collection consists of colonial and early national newspapers and newspapers published before, during and after the Civil War. The Library has many of the Virginia newspapers for the nineteenth century. The Richmond Times Dispatch, Daily Press, and Virginia Gazette are available in their entirety. The Virginian Pilot is available from ? to April 1991. There are newspapers available for the twentieth century and they are included in this collection, also.

Rare Books in Special Collections has a large number of newspapers. These newspapers have been cataloged and can be located in the online catalog. Many of the newspapers have only scattered holdings which are given on the online catalog.  There are early newspapers from the 1810s, a newspaper printed during the Mexican War of 1848, Civil War newspapers, Afro-American newspapers and other special interest newspapers. Many of the newspapers must be used with care as they are very fragile.

Obituaries did not appear in an extended form in newspapers until the 1880's and 1890's, depending upon the importance of the person. Announcements of births and marriages, particularly births, were erratically published in early newspapers. Marriages appeared more frequently than either births or deaths. Extracts have been made of this information from various newspapers and published. The Library has some of these publications, such as: An Historical Digest of the Provincial Press : Being a Collection of All Items of Personal and Historical Reference Relating to American Affairs Printed in the Newspapers of the Provincial Period, or Marriages and Deaths From the Maryland Gazette, 1727-1839, or Kentucky Obituaries, 1787-1854.

Many records of churches, abstracts of wills, probates of estates and family genealogies have appeared in various genealogical and historical journals and have been published separately as books. Swem Library has most of the state historical society journals and publications. Some of the earlier historical journals have genealogical and local history information in them, along with the publication of original source materials. About the 1940's, the nature of the material published in these journals changed to scholarly articles.

Swem Library has a number of genealogical periodicals which can be located in our online catalog along with the volumes held by the Library. Some of the titles are: The Mayflower Descendant, New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, New England Historic Genealogical Register, North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal, Connecticut Nutmegger, Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey, Nebraska and Midwest Genealogical Record. There are several titles from New York state, Ohio, and other areas.  The Journal of the Johannes Schwalm Association is about the Schwalm family but also includes much information on the Hessian soldiers who fought in the American Revolution and remained in the United States. Original diaries and other materials are published in this Journal. People are continually donating their genealogical journals to the library, making them accessible to others so it is wise to check our online catalog once in a while.

            There are a number of printed genealogies and family histories in the collection along with family association periodicals, such as: The Deans of Dorchester, Maryland, The Henkel Family Record and the Graves Family Newsletter.  We receive several family periodicals on an ongoing basis as complimentary subscriptions.

            The Library has a number of the printed Massachusetts vital records and has acquired the Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records. The Collections of the Holland Society of New York and Year Book of the Holland Society of New York contain vital records for the Dutch who settled New York. The Publications of the Pennsylvania German Society has baptisms, marriages and other information in the volumes.

            Some of the nineteenth century religious periodicals often included notices of marriages and deaths of ministers, prominent church members, well-known people. Most of the journals are shelved with the books on a particular religious group, such as The Journal of the Friends' Historical Society.

            Early tax lists are very helpful in locating families and establishing them in a particular locality. The Library has the 1787 tax lists for Virginia and there are others available for various areas.

            Swem Library has a large number of printed records of the American colonies, during the Revolution, and the early years of the American republic for all thirteen states. This includes the Pennsylvania Archives, Revolutionary Records of the State of Georgia, The Original Patentees of Land at Washington Prior to 1700, Records of the Court of New Castle on Delaware.

            The resources in the Manuscripts collection of Swem Library includes personal letters, genealogical charts, unpublished genealogies, diaries, ledgers for businesses, personal account books, copies of or the actual document for marriages, wills, probate of estates, lawsuits of various kinds, Bible records, recipes and other items. The major collections have been entered in our online catalog and are searchable by subject entries.

            The separate genealogy collection consists of manuscripts and various materials which were collected by Dr. Earl Gregg Swem when he was publishing materials in the William and Mary Quarterly, second series. It contains newspaper clippings, coats of arms, genealogical charts, etc. There are a number of typed and handwritten genealogies included in this collection. Sometimes there will be only one item relating to a particular family. There is extensive information for several families such as the collection on the Hill family of Bertie, Martin and Halifax Counties of North Carolina and Virginia. Most of this collection is available on microfilm through the Family History Centers.

            There is a large collection of manuscripts for the Tyler family since Lyon G. Tyler was one of the presidents of the College of William and Mary and the editor for Tyler's Quarterly Historical and Genealogical Magazine and the first series of the William and Mary Quarterly. Besides papers on the College and family papers, the Tyler collection includes letters written to Lyon G. Tyler regarding genealogical problems. Unluckily, Mr. Tyler did not keep copies of his replies to the queries. Many of the letters include extensive genealogical information in an effort to explain the problem the writer was encountering with the family history. The inventory of the Tyler family papers must be used to find out which families are included in this collection. It includes a copy of the Abingdon Parish, Gloucester County, register and biographical material on various people. There are notebooks of handcopied records from the peninsula, such as the Elizabeth City and York County records from the 1600s. Mr. Tyler copied some deeds and wills in full; others were just extracted from the original record. There are some cemetery inscriptions included in these notes. There is a manuscript genealogy of the Elam family and other families.

            The Tyree collection consists of 624 research notebooks compiled by S. Young Tyree and contains extracts from the county records at the Library of Virginia, such as : wills, deeds, census records, tax records, newspaper articles, etc. These extracted records are in regard to the Tyree family and families from Henrico, Buckingham, Chesterfield, New Kent, Goochland and York counties. The notebooks contain information on families who moved out of the state of Virginia. Some of the records copied have additional notes in regard to that family. This collection is helpful in many ways but particularly if one is tracing the Tyree family. In fact, this collection is one exception to the rule to check out all other sources first before consulting a manuscript collection if you are related to the Tyree and allied families.

            The Virginia county collection consists of miscellaneous records for the following counties: Albemarle, Amherst, Bedford, Botetourt, Buckingham, Caroline, Gloucester (mainly 19th century), James City, New Kent, Powhatan, Rappahannock, Southampton and Warwick (17th century). The online catalog and inventories should be consulted for manuscripts pertaining to these and other counties. There are large collections of manuscripts for Gloucester and Warwick counties and these consist of miscellaneous papers, some original, some copies, of receipts, bills of sale, bonds, land grants, orders, account books, indentures, deeds, legal papers, and letters. The Warwick county records are microfilmed and are available on interlibrary loan. There are materials for Rockingham county from 1797-1813 and Fredericksburg for 1789-1840. Even though there are only a few papers in the Virginia County manuscripts collection for some counties, there may be a number of related papers in other collections. There are papers relating to 178 lawsuits for Franklin County from 1772-1800 and Rockingham County law suits from 1797-1813.

            There are county and city records or copies of them included in many of the family manuscript collections. Another type of county record are the account books and ledgers for businesses, etc. A medical account book from 1852-1871 for a doctor in James City County includes accounts for taking care of slaves. P. R. Page, of Gloucester County, kept a farm book from 1856-1861. It is a diary with personal notes and farm news. There are the Jesse P. Fry business correspondence, receipts, notes, and tax bills for Frederick County from 1866-1899.

            The Upshur family papers date from 1662-1936. Most of the papers were accumulated by Thomas Teakle Upshur, a historian of the Eastern Shore of Virginia. It includes letters, genealogical notes, accounts, legal documents, etc., for the Upshur family and other eastern shore families. There is an alphabetical index of names by the first letter only in the first notebook of this collection. It includes the three volume handwritten work, Genealogies of the Kingdom of Accomack, by Thomas Teakle Upshur. This collection has been microfilmed to reduce the wear and tear on the original manuscript material and is available in Special Collections.

            There are three parts to the Stubbs family papers. The first collection is the correspondence and genealogical data collected by William Carter Stubbs and his wife, Elizabeth. This collection contains over 240 family names and the card catalog and the inventory provides an index to these names. There are copies of Bible records, including a number of them for the Ferguson family.

            The second part of the Stubbs papers contains material collected by William Carter Stubbs and his wife on Gloucester County. A copy of the Abingdon parish register, the Gloucester County poll book for 1810, and the Masonic book of the Botetourt Lodge, 1800-1809 are in this collection. The collection also includes two handwritten genealogies with notes for publishing, titled: A History of Two Virginia Families Transplanted From County Kent, England, Thomas Baytop and John Catlett, and The Descendants of Thomas Stubbs of Cappahosia, Gloucester County, Virginia. Obituaries and other newspaper clippings are inserted in these notebooks.

            The Thomas Jefferson Stubbs papers are from an earlier Stubbs family in Gloucester. It also includes wills, copies of legal papers, genealogical notes and other information.

            The Lee Nicholson papers consists of genealogical notes, manuscripts and letters for 1827-1938, from Surry County. It is arranged by the surname of the family.

            The Tucker-Coleman papers include the Tucker family tree, charts and notebooks compiled by Charles Washington Coleman. There are a number of other items in this collection. The inventories should be consulted for a complete description of the collection.

            The Southall papers are valuable for research in the burned counties. The papers date from 1807 to 1904 and most of them are from Peyton Alexander Southall, 1804-1855, and George Washington Southall, 1810-1851, who were lawyers in Williamsburg. The collection is divided into several parts, letters, legal cases and estates, accounts, and personal papers. The letters are listed individually in the inventory for the collection by the person who wrote the letter and to whom it was written, plus the date. There are a number of letters from various individuals wanting one of the Southalls to either bring a lawsuit against someone or collect money owed to them. The Southalls traveled frequently between Richmond, the peninsula, and Gloucester.

            There are a number of legal cases from James City County, 73 folders, Charles City County, Williamsburg, Gloucester County, and from other areas included in the Southall papers, mostly early nineteenth century. There are legal papers regarding slaves; indentures and a copy of the Elizabeth City County Court docket for 1834-1848. The notes include summaries of wills, extracts of correspondence regarding legal cases, lists of contents of estates, etc.

            A few church records have been given to the Manuscript Department. There is the minute book of the Parish Aid Society of Bruton Parish Church, 1905-1914. The Wilkin papers from Woodstock, Virginia, contains the papers of the German community and the German Reformed Church. Some of these papers are in old German script and date from around 1800 to the 1840s. The records of the Gloucester Circuit of the Methodist Church are in the collection. The earliest manuscript is a list of members in 1829. There are lists of each class, with comments on whether the person had left the church, died, transferred to another church, etc. There does not seem to be any information on marriages or deaths in these records. This particular Methodist circuit included Shackleford and several other little towns in the area. There is a photostat copy of the Elizabeth River Parish vestry book for 1747-1761. There is a list of the members for the Tabb Street Presbyterian Church for 1867 in the collection for Petersburg.

            The Manuscripts Department has a large number of account books. Many of them are in the manuscript card catalog under Account Books and arranged chronologically. They can also be found by looking up a location, for example, Shenandoah County -- Account Books. There are account books from other states in the collection. Some of the account books are: Ninian Boog, 1750-1751, of King and Queen County. He was a Scottish merchant; Col. James Madison's accounts; Francis Jerdne accounts from 1736; the day book for Traveler's Rest Inn in Louisa County, Virginia, and Montgomery County, Kentucky.

            The account books in the Overton papers date from the 1720s to the 1760s. One account book recorded a bet of 5 shillings that Esther McGehee was 20 years old, not 21 years, in 1762. Then the author noted an account with William McGehee on the purchase of a lottery ticket. His wife and daughter, Esther, were witnesses to the purchase of the ticket. This account book contained several notes regarding disputes with people and were written as if they were legal documents. The Overton papers contained a number of interesting documents, including a stud record and baptismal records for 1720-1742. The Overton family papers included the related families of Ragland, Claybrook and Hart families of Louisa County, Virginia, and Haywood County, Tennessee. Much of this material was published in A History of Louisa County, Virginia, by Malcolm H. Harris.

            The Manuscripts Department has a photostatic copy of the Virginia quitrent lists in 1704 for twenty counties. The lists give the names of the landowners and the acres held by each person. The originals are in the British Public Record Office and copies at the Library of Congress.

            The Garth family papers from 1800-1854 includes accounts and slave documents from 1798-1833, mainly bills of sale. An 1837 letter mentioned the death of their slave Johnson. There were letters regarding a suicide in the family. The papers of the Garrett family, 1786-1928, includes accounts, clerk fees and muster fines for 1834-1845. The Juliet Hite Gallaher papers of Waynesboro consists of correspondence regarding genealogies from 1916-1940, and ancestry for the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Daughters of the Confederacy. The Clark family papers of Amelia County, Virginia, is primarily letters to Lottie V. Clark from friends and family in Amelia and Chesterfield Counties from 1888-1895. The Elizabeth Ironmonger collection has a number of genealogies for York County families. The Dromgoole family papers are about nineteenth century businesses from Virginia and North Carolina.

            There are the Skipwith family papers which begin with Sir Peyton Skipwith and Lady Jean Skipwith and "Prestwould", their plantation in Mecklenburg Co., Virginia. It includes papers of their son, Humberstone, and grandchildren, from the 1760s to the 1900s. The papers are primarily plantation records.

            The James Monroe papers contain genealogical information on his nephew's family from 1806-1860. The Waring family papers are mainly for the brothers, Henry, Thomas and William, during the Revolutionary War years, 1778-1780, from Essex County, Virginia. The Floyd L. Whitehead papers for 1805-1881, include the pool and fee books for Nelson County. Mr. Whitehead was the Sheriff of Nelson County and includes papers for his tenure as sheriff, including the deputy sheriff fee books for 1821-1837. The Whittle family papers, for 1790-1880, from Norfolk, consist mainly of the papers of Conway Whittle, 1800-1881, a lawyer. The Jesse P. Fry papers, 1866-1899, include business correspondence, receipts, and tax bills, of Meadow Mills, Frederick County, Virginia.

            John Walter Wayland, 1892-1940, was the chairman of the History Department at Madison College until 1931. His papers reflect his interest in the history of Rockingham County and the Valley of Virginia. He corresponded with many people who were descendants of the early settlers and were requesting information on their families. He kept copies of his replies to these people.

            The William H. Weaver papers of Warren and Frederick County, Virginia, for 1822-1879, included information on the Weaver and Keeding families. The Sylvester Welch papers of Fauquier County, 1809-1911, includes letters, court summons and orders, accounts and receipts.

            There are a number of diaries in the Manuscripts collection. The diaries of Cloe Tyler Whittle Green of Norfolk and Molly Eliot Seawell of Gloucester, an anti-suffragist, are included in this collection.

            There are many other resources available in Swem Library, such as the Victoria county histories for England, some vital records for Canada and other materials. Anyone is welcome to come to the Library and use the materials. Some of the printed materials can be borrowed on interlibrary loan; however, some of them are too fragile to be loaned. People living in the area can check materials out by becoming a Friend of Earl Gregg Swem Library. All of the manuscript materials must be used in the Special Collections Reading room. The Reference staff and Manuscripts staff will answer letters for specific information but please do not ask for everything the Library has on your family. The library staff does not have time to answer involved research questions on family history. A local researcher must be hired for that purpose.

            Information on the hours and days the Library is open is available by telephone (757 221-INFO) or on the Library's web page ( There is a web page for “Genealogical Research at Swem Library” ( It is located under Subject and Subject Guides.

This is a good beginning.  I will add more as I think of them.  If you know of other email me and let me know.  



© 2017 Tidewater Genealogical Society
Katherine Nice
Last updated:  06/13/2017