Sunday, February 19, 2012

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy - Week 8 Genealogy Libraries

This is Week 8 of Amy Coffin’s Abundant Genealogy series.

Genealogy Libraries:  Genealogy libraries (and dedicated departments of regular libraries) are true treasures in the family history community.  Tell us about your favorite genealogy library.  What or who makes it special?

Library of Virginia
From Google Images

The Library of Virginia in Richmond is the one-stop shop for all genealogy research.  A family historian can find both original and microfilm records documenting the daily activities of the courts in the various counties, cities, and towns across the state.  Just about anything someone needs to know about an ancestor’s OFFICIAL life is there:  birth, death, marriage records; wills; deeds; chancery causes; personal property and land tax records; road orders.  Some information is available digitally too, such as Confederate pension applications and Revolutionary War bounty warrants.  For most documents one can come here rather than travel to all the local courthouses throughout the state.

Aside from the convenience of having almost everything I’d ever want to find under one roof, two features make this library truly special.  And they have nothing to do with research. 

Go up to the Reading Room where all the genealogy goodies are kept.
Go down to the Coffee Shop.
From Google Images

First of all, there is free parking in the basement garage, provided you remember to get your ticket stamped.  And we never forget that.

And second, there is a coffee shop with a better than decent lunch right downstairs.  The chicken salad alone is worth the 90-minute drive.

When we go to Richmond for the library, we show up early and never have to get out in the elements or lose a good parking spot until the end of the day when we’re nearly blind or dizzy from cranking microfilm through the readers. 

©2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.


  1. I guess you and Neva need to go again soon. It has been a while!

  2. State Libraries can be one of the best places for Genealogy. I found numerous information about my Sidney Ford at the Connecticut State Library Genealogy Room.

    Regards, Jim
    Searching for Sidney Ford at the Connecticut State Library