If you or your family resides in Richmond, Virginia and you are interested in researching your family history, you’re in luck. Richmond has a wealth of resources for both the amateur and the professional genealogist. From historical societies to state archives to area genealogy societies, you are sure to make some progress with your ancestry research.
The Virginia Office of Vital Records and Statistics is located right in Richmond, Virginia, and this office maintains a number of official documents on Virginians past and present. Birth and death records are maintained from 1853 to the present, with the exception of a gap in records from 1896 to 1912. If there were any marriages or divorces in the city of Richmond, you can find the record here. If you are looking for marriage or divorce records which occurred in a different county in Virginia, you will need to check with the clerk of court in that county. The Office of Vital Records and Statistics is located in Willow Lawn Shopping Center off of Broad Street in the suburbs of Richmond, and they can be reached at (804) 662-6200.
The Virginia State Libraries and Archives is the states seat of many records pertaining to a citizens relationship with the Commonwealth of Virginia. Visiting or contacting the state archives may reveal land records, tax records, newspaper articles (such as obituaries, marriage announcements, etc) and photographs. Many county records are also located here, such as deeds, wills, and marriage bonds, as well as military service and some church records. The Virginia State Library is located at 800 East Broad Street in downtown Richmond and can be reached at (804) 692-3500.
If you hit a dead end at the state library, the next best source for family history information and genealogy research is the Virginia Historical Society. The society maintains state census records from 1810 to 1920, and also has a record of Virginia tax payers in 1787 and a number of resources that identify state citizens prior to that date. In terms of military records, the Virginia Historical Society has resources that list participants in the American Revolution, War of 1812, Mexican War, and the Civil War. Other resources include ship passenger and immigration lists, bible records, slavery records, newspapers, and maps. If you have branches in your family that reach deep into Virginia’s history, the Virginia Historical Society may well become your second home. The society is located at 428 North Boulevard, just beyond the historic Fan district.