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Preston Family Resources: Research Collections

This LibGuide features information about locating Preston Family resources at Virginia Tech Special Collections. We house published materials, as well as original family documents and research about branches of the Preston Family.

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Manuscript Collections with Research Files

Some manuscripts in Special Collections and University Archives contain information about the Preston and related families, usually in the form of subject/research files or genealogies. The list below contains descriptions and, whenever possible, links to finding aids , for collections with substantial Preston family research. Collections are listed in chronological order by the earliest dated material.

Please note: We have other collections that may include content on the Prestons and other families. If you have questions, contact us!

Materials relating to early residents of Southwest Virginia (particularly James Patton, William Preston, and John Preston) and the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of George Washington's birth in 1932, all collected by Anna Burton Ellett, a Blacksburg resident and active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities.

The materials in the Anne Hager Papers consist of book manuscripts and unpublished essays, newspaper clippings, land deeds, correspondence, receipts, notes, and copies of wills. Also included are books belogning to the Preston family which include a family Bible, a children's poetry book, and many others. Of particular interest is an 1832 receipt to General Francis Preston (1765-1835) for a subscription to the Saturday Evening Post, writings by Elizabeth Preston Gray about the history of her family, the 1981 nomination of the Aspenvale Cemetary in Smyth County to the National Register of Historic Places, and copies of Mary Preston Gray's book manuscript, The Family Tree (about the various family lines).

The Elizabeth Fine Papers include papers and materials collected by Fine during her tenure as a professor at Virginia Tech. Fine taught in the Department of Religion and Culture from 1979 until her retirement in 2015. The collection includes research and subject files on aspects of Appalachian culture and history; papers from her instruction, departmental, and administrative activities; and files on historic buildings on campus, particularly the history, renovation, and reopening of "Solitude.

The papers of Patricia Givens Johnson, New River Valley local historian, consist primarily of materials which arose from her research for--and publication of--books on local pioneers Andrew Lewis, Jacob Miller, James Patton, William Preston, and the early settlement of the New River Valley. The papers contain such materials as correspondence, subject files, printed materials and photographs used by Johnson during her research. Interspersed throughout the collection are a few materials which had belonged to Johnson's mother and fellow local historian, Lula Porterfield Givens, including subject files on Christiansburg and Montgomery County, a scrapbook, and photographs.

Papers consist of the files Kenney created while she worked at Smithfield, with historical and biographical information about the Preston family and other pioneer families of Blacksburg.

Appalachian history bibliographer and reference librarian at Virginia Tech. Collection includes notes on the Preston family and Smithfield Plantation, photographs, and miscellaneous articles. Collection also includes notes on her research into Appalachian textile production, and a copy of her unpublished manuscript, "Virginia Cloth: Early Textiles in Montgomery County, 1776-1830."

Smithfield Plantation is the historic home of the Preston family, one of the founding families of Blacksburg and Montgomery County, Virginia. In November 1958 the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (APVA) authorized the organization of the Montgomery County branch for the specific purpose of acquiring and restoring Smithfield Plantation. Restoration of the building was begun in 1962 when the APVA's Montgomery County Branch raised the funds for renovation and contracted with architects and contractors. The APVA is now known as Preservation Virginia. The drawings include of five sheets of elevations and floorplans of the Smithfield Plantation House in Blacksburg, VA. Drawings are attributed to architects H.A. Elarth, AIA and C.S. Worley Jr., AIA of Blacksburg, VA.