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Local History and Genealogical Research in the University Libraries: A. Introduction to Genealogy Research

This guide includes resources available in Special Collections, Newman Library, and online that can aid in local genealogy research.

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The collections of the University Libraries of Virginia Tech include many local history and genealogical resources. These are not shelved in one place, but are located according to subject or format in various departments in the library. Many of the patrons working in these subjects are unfamiliar with this library and need help in locating the materials. This guide is intended to provide that help.

The titles listed are those which librarians have found to be most useful to these patrons. Specific titles for Montgomery County are listed if available. Southwest Virginia, Virginia, or general materials which include the more specific area are also included.

County records are most useful because the county is the political unit which records most personal information on its inhabitants. County records may include wills, deeds to land, court actions, births, deaths, etc. Some original county records have been lost through fire or other disasters, others have been copied and published in articles or book form. Montgomery County records to 1900 are available on microfilm. The original large counties of Virginia were broken down into smaller counties as the state was settled. Therefore, it is important to know the name of the county in which location was included at a particular time. County histories often include selections from county records as well as narrative accounts.

The Library of Virginia houses state records and has published guides to these. The guides and some state records in published form are listed here.

Military and census records are among the national records most useful for genealogy and local history research. Some of these are available in print or on microfilm in this library.

Throughout the guide, under each heading, you will find titles, with call numbers, for materials in that category. The last part of the call number may indicate a special location other than the regular Newman Library stacks (i.e. Ref Rm or SPEC). For help in locating the titles listed, or for additional suggestions, please consult the librarians at the reference desk and in the Special Collections and University Archives.

1. General

  • Beard, How to Find Your Family Roots Call No.: CS16 B35 Newman 2nd floor
  • Bentley, Genealogists Address Book Call No.: CS44 B46 Special Collections
  • Cosgriff, Turbo Genealogy: Introduction to Family History Research in the Information Age
    Call No.: CS16 C67 1997 Newman 2nd floor and Special Collections
  • Doane, Searching for Your Ancestors Call No.: CS16 D6 1948 ed. Special Collections, 1973 and 1980 eds. Newman 2nd floor
  • Eichholz, Ancestry’s Redbook Call No.: Ref CS49 A55 1989 Newman 2nd floor
  • Everton, Handy Book for Genealogists Call No.: CS47 E9 1981 Newman 2nd floor
  • Genealogical Research: Methods and Sources v. 1-2 Call No.: CS16 G43 1980 Newman 2nd floor
  • Greenwood, Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy Call No.: CS47 G73 1990 Newman 2nd floor
  • Helmbold, Tracing Your Ancestry Call No.: CS16 H4 Newman 2nd floor and Special Collection
  • Meyer, Meyer’s Directory of Genealogical Societies in the USA and Canada
    Call No.: CS44 M44 1986 Special Collections
  • Przecha, Guide to Genealogy Software Call No.: CS14 P78 1993 Newman 2nd floor
  • Schaefer, The Center: A Guide to Genealogical Research in the Nation’s Capital 
    Call No.: CS49 S34 1996 Newman 2nd floor
  • Seucs, The Source, A Guidebook of American Genealogy Call No.: CS49 S65 1997 Newman 2nd floor
  • Stevenson, Genealogical Evidence Call No.: CS14 S74 1979 Newman 2nd floor
  • Wright, The Genealogist’s Handbook Call No.: CS9 W74 1995 Newman 2nd floor

General Reference - Virginia

  • Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography v. 1-5 Call No.: F225 T97 Newman 3rd floor and Special Collections
  • Salmon, John S. A Guidebook to Virginia’s Historical Markers Call No.: F227 S25 1994 Newman 3rd floor and Special Collections
  • Virginia Biographical Dictionary Call No.: CT265 V57 1993 Newman 2nd floor
  • Virginia Landmarks of Black History Call No.: E185.93 V8 V57 1995 Newman 3rd floor and Special Collections

2. By State


  • Davis, Researchers Library of Georgia: history, Genealogy and Record Sources Call No.: F286 D38 1987 Newman 3rd floor


  • Schweitzer, Kentucky Genealogical Research Call No.: F450 S33 1983 Special Collections Storage (requires notice for retrieval)


  • Passano, An Index of the Source Records of Maryland: Genealogical, Biographical, Historical Call No.: F181 P3 1984 Newman 3rd floor

North Carolina

  • Leary, and Stirewalt, North Carolina Research, Genealogy, and Local History Call No.: CS49 L4 Newman 2nd floor
  • Schweitzer, North Carolina Genealogical Research Call No.: F253 S37 1984 Special Collections
  • North Carolina Genealogy Call No.: F253 N89 v. 14-20 Fall 1968 – Winter 1974 Newman 3rd floor


  • Flavel, Ohio Genealogical Guide Call No.: F490 F57 Newman 3rd floor
  • Ohio Source Records from the Ohio Genealogical Quarterly Call No.: F490 O385 1986 Newman 3rd floor


  • A Guide to Genealogical Sources at the Pennsylvania State Archives Call No.: F148 P392 1980  Newman 3rd floor and Special Collections
  • Simonetti, Guide to the Published Archives of Pennsylvania (arranged by subject, including county) Call No.:F146 P432 1976 Newman 3rd floor
  • Weikel, Genealogical Research in the Published Pennsylvania Archives Call No.: F148 W4 1978 Newman 3rd floor


  • Schweitzer, Tennessee Genealogical Research Call No.: F435 S37 1983 Special Collections Storage (requires notice for retrieval)


  • Clay, Virginia Genealogical Resources Call No.: F225 C58 Newman 3rd floor
  • Dickenson, Diggin’ for Roots in Old Virginia Call No.: F225 F53 1995 Newman 3rd floor
  • McGinnnis, Virginia Genealogy: Sources and Resources Call No.: Z1345 M38 1993 Special Collections and Newman 5th floor
  • Schweitzer, Virginia Genealogical Research Call No.: F225 S38 1982 Special Collections and Remote Storage
  • University of Virginia Library, Virginia Genealogy: A Guide to Resources Call No.: F225 U57 1983 Special Collections and Remote Storage
  • Wardell, Timesaving Aid to Virginia-West Virginia Ancestors: A Genealogical Index of Surnames from Published Sources Call No.: F225 W33 1991 Special Colletions; Call No.: F225 .W33 1985 Special Collections and Remote Storage

West Virginia

  • Wardell, Timesaving Aid to Virginia-West Virginia Ancestors: A Genealogical Index of Surnames from Published Sources Call No.: F225 W33 1991 Special Colletions; Call No.: F225 .W33 1985 Special Collections and Remote Storage
  • McGinnis, West Virginia Genealogy: Sources and Resources Call No.: F240 M33 1988 Newman 3rd floor