James City County VAGenWeb page
Looking for your family in James City County, Virginia?
First you may need to determine that the individuals for whom you are searching actually lived in James City County, Virginia.
Here are some publications and links that can be helpful.
There are other sources of James City 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. More helpful links.
- 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 serchable 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.
- 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
- Augusta B. Fothergill and John Mark Naugle, Virginia Tax Payers 1782-87 Other Than Those Published by the United States Census Bureau
- 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)
- 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. Her 1989 publication, Settlers Along the Shores of Virginia's York River, is still available for purchase. It includes detailed information on such James City/New Kent family lines as Banks, Farthing, Knewstep, Philbates, and Richardson. Contact: June Banks Evans firstname.lastname@example.org
- Some early census entries are on line here.
The USGenWeb Archives Census Project VIRGINIA Federal Census Index
- The entire
1880 U. S. Census
is transcribed and on line at the LDS Family Search web site. You can search it there.
Most of James City County's old court records have not survived the ravages of war. Surviving early records are at the Library of Virginia.
They are listed in Suzanne Smith Ray, Lyndon H. Hart III, J. Christian Kolbe, A Preliminary Guide to Pre-1904 County Records in the Archives Branch
Virginia State Library and Archives (Richmond, 1987) They include:
There are also some records for the City of Williamsburg listed in Lyndon H. Hart III and J. Christian Kolbe,
A Preliminary Guide to Pre-1904 Municipal Records in the Archives Branch Virginia State Library and Archives (Richmond, n.d.):
- Tax Book 1768-1769
- Various county and circuit court records dating from 1865 through 1916.
- Birth Register, 1866-1884
- Death Register, 1864-1884
- School Commissioners' Records 1819-1861
- James City County and Williamsburg Plat Books Nos. 1-2, 1891-1918
- Processioners' Books, 1890-1891, 1903-1904
- James City County and Williamsburg Contracts for Personal Property, 1900-1918
- Board of Supervisors Minutes 1887-1908.
Microfilm copies of some of these records are available at the Library of Virginia.
Many can be borrowed by interlibrary loan through your local library.
- Hustings Court Minute Books, 1865-1874
- Marriage Register, 1854-1920
- Death Register, 1865-1878
- City Council Record Books 1879-1906
The capital of the Virginia Colony was at James City (Jamestown) until the end of the seventeenth century, when it was moved to Williamsburg,
so a considerable amount of county information can be gleaned from surviving Virginia colony records. Some of these have been published. Among them are:
- H. R. McIlwaine, Minutes of the Council and General Court of Colonial Virginia 1622-1632, 1670-1676 with Notes and Excerpts from
Original Council and General Court Records, into 1683, Now Lost (Richmond, 1924) Note: this has been reprinted.
- H. R. McIlwaine, Legislative Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia in Three Volumes (Richmond, 1918-1919)
- H. R. McIlwaine, Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia, multi-volumes covering the Colonial period from 1619 through 1776.
PBS Ancestors Page has a lot of useful resources. Check it out!
Surry County was formed in 1652 from the part of
James City County that was south of James River.
Page updated 30 March 2015 © Eve S. Gregory.