Your first step is to find out what you can from your relatives, and there are links below to give you ideas about how to do it in a structured way.
Virginia keeps vital records confidential for a long time, so many records you may be researching may not yet be available in public databases and publications. In Virginia, if you are seeking information on someone born within the last 100 years or married, divorced, or who died within the last 50 years, you must obtain the reocrds from the Virginia Office of Vital Records. You must be the next of kin or show a leagal or business tangible interest in obtaining that individual's information. For information in this regard, go to the Virginia Office of Vital Records website. Also, check the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and Vital Records Genealogy Information.
If you have not yet found a volunteer for the area in Virginia whereyou expect to find your ancestors/relatives, please keep checking back,because we get new volunteers periodically. Unfortunately,for many reasons, we also lose some that we've had. If you don'tknow the area of Virginia that your family was in for the event (birth,marriage, death, etc.) you are searching, you'll need to find a volunteerwho can research such events in a Virginia state-wide resource. Wedon't have or keep many volunteers who do state-wide research because theytend to get a lot of requests. Nevertheless, we have some from timeto time. Be gentle, patient, and grateful when you deal with them.
To try to help you find more help, I have listed here some of thoseweb sites that are catalogs of the many sources of genealogy help thatexist on the web. I won't be listing the individual links, but onlyones that are, in effect, catalogs. From the nature of many requestsI get, I sense that many who write me are just starting out in genealogy,though that is not always the case. So I've tried to be sure to getsome "catalog" pages that have links to tips for beginners. I willalso try to add, in a separate section or page, links to sources of informationon Virginia genealogy, unless I find some pages that are "catalogs" devotedVirginia Genealogy. If I find some of those, I will limit myselfto listing them only and not individual sites.
I believe genealogy research is a spiritual, sacred journey,and that we are all part of a collective yearning for a deeper knowledge,understanding, appreciation, and wisdom concerning our mutual interconnectednessin time and space and concerning our origin and, ultimately, our Origin. So, I believe, that we journey together in spirit, whatever we do and wheneverwe do it as we move along in our search. This page is one way I amtrying to express that am I with you, and on your side, and cheering youas you pursue your/our families, even though I can't help you do your research.
Another First Steps-- from Lineages--includes search engine for the Social Security DeathIndex
Ancestry.com- Home Page -- Free and for fee resources.
TheChurch of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints ("Mormons") -- if Isound like genealogy is like a religion to me, wait till you see how theLatter Day Saints (LDS) feel about it. Though I'm not a Mormon, Ihave great respect for the research this group has done and the kindnessand generosity they show to anyone interested in learning about one's ancestors.They have an inexpensive and excellent family tree software program, PersonalAncestry File (PAF) -- I may not have the title correct.
Cyndi'sList of Genealogical Sites on the Web -- one of the most (if not THEmost) comprehensive sites you'll find.
FamilyTree Maker -- I use a lot of their CDs, and I have been using theirfamily tree software to track my research. I also own and have heardgood things about The Master Genealogist. However, I have not yethad time to enter my data into it. You need to know that major genealogysoftware programs can export to a commonly readable file type called GEDCOM.So usually you can share most data from one program to another, thoughyou will possibly lose some.
The Genealogy Home Page-- Dick Eastman's newsletter is great and is free. This has linksto other comprehensive resources.
Genealogy Tool Box --"Helm's Genealogy Toolbox premiered onthe World Wide Web in February 1995 with a mere 134 links. Now, itincludes not only the largest categorized list of genealogical links, ithas genealogical software profiles, search engines, digitized images, how-toarticles, queries, and genealogical news stories" (from opening paragraphat the site).
If you're new to computers and genealogy, visit NewbiesHelping Newbies.
National Genealogical Society
US and WorldGenealogy Help List Page
Vital Recordsfor States & Territories
Valleyof the Shadow (Civil War) -- compares two counties, one in Virginiaand one in Pennsylvania, and how the Civil War affected them and they affectedit.
Genealogy HelpList -- Virginia -- the page that probably brought you to me. Keepchecking for new volunteers.
Virginia GenWeb Project
Searchable Pages for Virginia:
Early Virginia/West VirginiaGenealogy
Virginia Genealogical Society
Library of VirginiaGenealogical Resources
Genealogy and Historie of TheEastern Shore (GHOTES) of VirginiaTheEastern Shore of Virginia Public Library's Genealogy Works
Virginia VitalStatistics Genealogy Information
The Virginia Vital RecordsInformation
TheVirginia Civil War Home Page
Old Virginia Genealogyand Local History
18thVirginia Cavalry Muster Rolls - offering name, rank, and company
51stVirginia Infantry Regiment Roster - alphabetical listing of the soldiers
AlleghenyRegional Family History Society - dedicated to promoting interestin and preservation of family history and genealogy throughout the AlleghenyMountain Region, including the states of West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Marylandand Virginia
Some VirginiaOnline Resources
VirginiaGenealogical Data Resources
VirginiaEmigration Lists -- College of William and Mary Library
Virginia GenealogyLinks from Ancestry.com
GenealogyCastle - Virginia Link
Linksto Virginia Genealogy Sites
VirginiaLineages and resources
Census Linksand Other Information for Virginia
VirginiaGenealogy Resources in Chicago's Newberry Library
Virginia GenealogyResources, including the Freedman's Bureau Online and other resources
VirginiaResources from Genealogy Today
Northern VirginiaGenealogy Links
CentralVirginia Genealogical Association
African Ancestry inVirginia
Genealogy:Virginia from Everton's