Virginia Genealogical Society
Virginia Genealogical Society Announces
Spring into Summer Book Sale!
From 1 June through 31 July 2020, the following VGS publications will be deeply discounted. Order early as quantities are limited for some publications.
To order online, please visit the VGS Store during June and July 2020. To order via postal mail, please click here for an order form. VGS members, please be sure to log in to the VGS website before ordering to receive the member sale price.
Cavaliers and Pioneers (C&P) Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants, Volumes 4 through 8 1732-1782
Read more about this valuable series in an article, “Cavaliers and Pioneers: Not Just a Record of Land Patents,” written by Barbara Vines Little, CG, FNGS, FUGA, FVGS, for The VGS Newsletter. Each volume contains an introduction that includes information about Virginia history, migrations and settlements as well as the process for obtaining land both before and after the Revolutionary War. The introductions are written by prominent Virginia historians and researchers such as Daphne Gentry, Robert Young Clay, and John M. Hemphill II.
Note: C&P Volumes 1 through 3, covering the years 1623 through 1732, and a supplement covering Northern Neck Grants from 1690-1692, abstracted by Nell Marion Nugent and published by the Library of Virginia, are available for sale from The Virginia Shop at the Library of Virginia ( The Virginia Shop is offering VGS members 15% off C&P Volumes 1 through 3 and the supplement through their online store. The discount is valid from 1 June through 31 July 2020. To obtain the discount code, VGS members should log in to the VGS website and then click on Member Benefits.
Index to Virginia Estates 1800-1865, Volumes 1 through 10
Each volume contains a list of all estate records found in the listed city or county will books. The primary resource of information is the Library of Virginia’s microfilm; however, where will books are missing other estate records may be identified and used including, when feasible, both original and unrecorded wills, bonds of various types, appraisals, inventories, accounts, guardianships, guardianship accounts, estate divisions, plats, appointments of officials, and more.  Each entry found for an estate is indexed separately noting the source. Wesley E. Pippenger, compiler of this series, inquired at each location whether original loose wills had survived in bulk and their whereabouts.  Where possible, loose papers at a courthouse were examined for unrecorded wills.  The location of original wills in public or private archives or manuscript collections is noted when known. If you are only interested in purchasing a volume or volumes that contain the counties and cities of interest to your research, consider purchasing volume 10 as well. In addition to the counties included in volume 10, this volume also contains an addendum of references to suits found in chancery causes and a few additions and corrections to other volumes. For an alphabetical list of locations and volumes, please click here.
This 10-volume series contains 402,522 index entries in 7,081 printed pages, including 322 pages of prefatory materials. For a comparison of selected entries by location and volume, click here.
Here’s what reviewers have to say about this series:
“Normally, a book review ends with a "buy" or "don't" recommendation. The series of which this is the first volume, however, will be such a boon to Virginia researchers that this review begins with the following recommendation: "buy it immediately"; and enter a standing order with the Society for automatic purchase of subsequent volumes as they are published.” – Helen F.M. Leary, CG, CGL, FASG
“Virginia researchers will find this work to be an extremely helpful reference that enables them to locate records quickly and efficiently. When the series of Index to Virginia Estates is complete, Pippenger and the Virginia Genealogical Society will have compiled a valuable finding aid for Virginia families in the first two-thirds of the nineteenth century. In addition, with its many references to previously unindexed records, the series will enable researchers to locate records easily that previously would have required extensive research. Serious Virginia genealogists and historians should have this work at hand and all Virginia researchers will use it frequently.” – Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL
“Imagine having 41,000 records in one index and 4,602 of them references to wills in the southwest part of Virginia. And even more helpful are the more than 3,800 guardianship bonds, and 295 military records appearing in Pippenger's third volume of this projected ten-volume series. This is a book to buy without question, and not just for Virginians looking for their ancestors, but for those in Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, Missouri, Texas and other such places where the only reference to birthplace of their ancestors is "in Virginia." – Mary B. Kegley (from her review of volume 3)
Index to West Virginia Estates Before 1866, Volumes 1 and 2
This two-volume series covers the entire state. Entries begin with the formation of the county, many of which predate 1800. However, because Mineral County was not formed until 1866, no entries for its records are included. Also, no records are included for Preston County because the pertinent records for that location were destroyed by fire when the courthouse in Kingwood burned in 1869.
The primary source for entries are bound will books. When coverage by will books is insufficient, i.e. record loss or damage, additional types of records are used. For instance, in Berkeley County, because will books numbers 11, 16, 18, 19, and 20 were not found, the compiler examined loose wills and bonds for clues about estates. Each index entry identifies the name of the deceased (or the subject of the estate in the case of guardian­ships or dower), the county in which the original record is found, the year the record was recorded, and the source citation. Introductory pages provide details about the source records that are used, the corresponding Family History Library or Library of Virginia microfilm reel numbers for viewing a copy of the record, and a list of abbreviations.
In addition to county will books, volumes of other estate record books such as administration and guardian bond books, fiduciary record books, guardian account books, inventories, sales bills, and settlement books and loose wills are indexed.
Users will find this volume especially helpful in accessing the online copies of will books now available through FamilySearch. While FamilySearch provides an index to these, the index does not include all entries. For example, a search on the surname Jack shows forty-one entries including the surnames Jackson and Jacques. There are fourteen index entries for Berkeley County’s thirty will books (1772–1970) in Index to West Virginia Estates only one of which is found in the twenty-two volumes covered in the index at FamilySearch. Not included in the FamilySearch index, but included in the Pippenger index, are the 1787 will of John Jackson, the 1785 will of Jeremiah Jack, the 1796 will of James Jack, as well as six guardian accounts, and nineteen accounts, appraisals, inventories, and sales. The single FamilySearch indexed item is only one of the three items for Isaac Jack in Will Book 12. Pippenger’s index also includes an additional ten items found in administrator’s and executor’s bond books. For an alphabetical list of locations and volumes, please click here.
Charlotte County, Virginia, 1816-1850 Marriage Bonds & Ministers’ Returns (with additions to marriages, 1764-1815)
A sequel to Marriage Bonds and Ministers’ Returns of Charlotte County, Virginia, 1764-1815, by Catherine Lindsay Knorr (1951); supplemental information thereto includes data from guardianship accounts and a list of ministers performing marriages in the county.
Claims Presented to the Court of Augusta 1782-1785
These claims begin on 21 Mar 1782 and thus include claims created prior to that date and include both men and women.  Claims range from pounds of beef, rifle guns, shot pouches, corn, bacon, flour, and rye, to horses and equipment, wagonage, pasturage, and driving cattle thus providing a window into an ancestor's life as well as support for their service to their country.
Death Notices from Richmond, Virginia, Newspapers, 1841-1853
There was no provision to keep records of death prior to 1853. However, clues may be gleaned from isolated church papers, family Bibles, or newspapers. Death notices in the Richmond area newspapers were not limited to the immediate vicinity but are a statewide reference. Some of the newspapers consulted for this publication were not digitized at the time of publication and may or may not be available digitally now; however, copies are available on microfilm at the Library of Virginia.
Marriage Notices from Richmond, Virginia, Newspapers, 1841-1853
Although marriages were kept as a public record in Virginia prior to 1853, parents were not listed unless the bride or groom was underage. These notices provide additional details for marriages recorded elsewhere. In some cases, they provide the only record of the nuptials. Notices are not limited to Richmond but announce marriages that occurred throughout the state. Some of the newspapers consulted for this publication were not digitized at the time of publication and may or may not be available digitally now; however, copies are available on microfilm at the Library of Virginia.
Middlesex County, Virginia, Marriage Bonds and Minister Returns, 1740-1852
The marriage bonds and ministers returns are, of course, not complete. For the years 1768, 1769, 1770, 1771, and 1841 no records exist.