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21 August 2019

Our Library Collections: Virginia

William Wirt:  could this be the person my great uncle was
named after?
One in a series by CGS member Chris Pattillo highlighting some of our holdings at the Library in Oakland.  For a fuller listing of books, journals, and more, consult the CGS Library catalog in WorldCat.

At long last I’ve finally gotten to Virginia where my Pattillo ancestors are from. Fortunately for me and others with Virginia ancestors this is one of the largest sets of books in our library, occupying twenty-three shelves in section F221-235. I should also note that it is preceded by F206 and F209 that cover southern genealogy in general and section F213 that has books about southern plantations.
The collection starts with a small number of books about Virginia counties. These are books that cover multiple counties. As in other states our books on specific counties follow the books on statewide topics.

We have both volumes of Virginia Historical Index by E.G. Swem.  One of the cover pages notes that 425 copies were printed and we own set No. 195. These caught my eye because during one of my two visits to the State Library of Virginia I was startled to encounter our own Lavinia Schwarz in the library. At that time she emphatically insisted that I make time to visit the Swem library while I was in Virginia, so I know this is a good source. These books are an extensive index to articles that appear in other periodicals. Page 400 lists several Pattillos including twelve citations for James Pattillo. I have seventeen James Pattillos in my database so possibly some have made it into these journals.

There are three large collections of genealogy magazines for Virginia. The Virginia Genealogist starts in 1957 and continues to the current edition. We have the Virginia Magazine from 1941 to 1972 - the October 1972 issue of the Virginia Magazine begins with an article about William Wirt, described as “friend and confidante of four presidents. As a lawyer, he ranked with the best in the nation, appearing in many of the landmark cases before the Supreme Court … Identified by one legal historian as the “most beloved of American advocates …” My great-grandparents named their first born Wirt W. Pattillo in 1880 – an unusual name that I’ve found nowhere else in the family. Is it possible they named this son after the statesman?
Our stacks hold eight volumes of Cavaliers and
Pioneers for the state of Virginia

We have eight volumes of Cavaliers and Pioneers Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants by Nell Marion Nugent. This is a compilation of land ownership in Virginia beginning in 1607. Each entry provides a synopsis of land patents that were granted in a rather charming style. As an example, “Thomas Sully, of the Neck of Land in the Corp. of James City, Yeoman & old planter, 6 acs. Aug 14, 1624 p. 12. Within the island of James City E. upon Blockhouse field cleared in the time of the government of Sir Thomas Gates, extending towards the new blockhouse lately built. Part of the first dividend for his personal adventure.”

For those with Scotch-Irish ancestors we have three volumes of Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia by Lyman Chalkley, published in 1989.

Many of our books are devoted to specific counties, including Mecklenburg County, where my ancestors lived for four generations. We have six books on Mecklenburg including Early Settlers, Mecklenburg County, Virginia compiled by Katherine B. Elliott, a very prolific genealogy researcher and writer.
A book for those with Scotch-Irish ancestors

Next time you visit the library, check our Virginia books – no telling what you might find.

Copyright © 2019 by California Genealogical Society


Shannon Reese said...

Thanks Chris for the post. The next time I'm in the library, I will check out the Cavaliers and Pioneers Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants. More great information just waiting to be discovered in our awesome library!