Sunday, December 12, 2010

Pioneers to Cavaliers

My family to Kentucky were some of the first to settle in this new territory, thus pioneers. My family to Virginia were some of those who fled England at the close of the English Civil War, thus Cavaliers. [Cavaliers were those who had supported Charles I of England in his struggles with the Puritans and Parliament.]

For the colony of Virginia, one of the best historical record of this time period is called of all things "Cavaliers and Pioneers"! What a deal, my family in reverse! My first book in the series of records was obtained just out of high school, and as I type this post I have the copy in front of me. The publisher's introduction reads:

"The first printing of Cavaliers and Pioneers in 1934, undoubtedly represented one of the greatest contributions ever made to facilitate the study of early Virginia genealogy and history."

The Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, Maryland reprinted copies in 1963, and in 1969. My copy is of course the 1969 edition. As time went on, the Virginia State Library, Richmond, started publishing the documents beginning in 1977. What followed was a series of Virginia land patent documents right up to the firing of George III, July 1776! This series has become the root of colonial Virginia tree climbing. The following gives an outline of this remarkable series:

Cavaliers and Pioneers: Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants...

Volume I, 1623 - 1666, abstracted and indexed by Nell Marion Nugent, 1934.

Volume II, 1666 - 1695, abstracted and indexed by Nell Marion Nugent, 1977.

[Nell Marion Nugent was the custodian of the Virginia Land Office from 1925 - 1958]

Volume III, 1695 - 1732, abstracted and indexed by Neill Marion Nugent, 1979.

Volume IV, 1732 - 1741, edited by Denis Hudgins, 1994.

Volume V, 1741 - 1749, edited by Denis Hudgins, 1994.

Volume VI, 1749 - 1762, edited by Denis Hudgins, 1998.

Volume VII, 1762 - 1776, edited by Denis Hudgins, 1999.

Standing upon the shoulders of these giants of genealogy, you can begin to explore the history and geography of your ancestors in colonial Virginia.

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