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Summer 2001
A Publication of the St. Louis Public Library

Vol. 1   No. 3

They Came From… is a feature that highlights dates in the history of a particular place which are of interest to the genealogist. It also lists addresses of institutions holding vital and military records of that state or country. This issue we highlight the state of Virginia, which furnished numerous residents to Missouri.



1607 The Virginia Company of London founds the first permanent English settlement in North America at Jamestown.
1618 Probate, orphan, equity, and minor criminal and civil cases are handled by county courts (also known as monthly courts or courts of the shire).
1619 Headright grants are given beginning around this date to persons who pay for the passage of themselves and others. A settler is entitled to 50 acres of land for each person for whom he pays passage to Virginia. The first Africans are transported to Virginia, to be used as forced laborers on plantations.
1624 The King of England dissolves the Virginia Company of London and establishes Virginia as a crown colony with an elected legislature.
1660 Beginning in this year, Virginia couples can marry by either posting a bond with a civil authority, or by announcing marriage banns in their church. Slavery is established in the colony of Virginia.
1680 Large-scale importation of African slaves begins around this date.
1700 French Huguenots fleeing persecution in the old country begin arriving around 1700.
1714 German workers for the iron industry in the Piedmont area begin arriving around this date.
1730 Large numbers of persons of German and Ulster Scottish descent begin moving southward from Pennsylvania into the Shenandoah Valley around this date.
1732 The awarding of headright grants ends around this date.
1754 The French and Indian War begins; it ends by treaty in 1763.
1775 The American Revolution begins; it ends by treaty in 1783. An area south- east of the Ohio River is organized into the District of West Augusta (much of this area will be ceded to Pennsylvania in 1786).
1776 The area which will later be known as the state of Kentucky is organized as Kentucky County, Virginia.
1779 Part of Virginia becomes part of North Carolina.
1780 Ministers are required to report all marriages they perform to the county clerk.
1782 Bounty lands provided by Virginia to its war veterans are located in what would become the state of Kentucky (1782-1792).
1784 Virginia formally cedes its claims to land north of the Ohio River to the United States government.
1788  Virginia ratifies the new United States constitution.
1792  The state of Kentucky is formed from an area which had been part of Virginia. Bounty lands provided to Virginia war veterans after this date are located in the area known as the Virginia Military District of Ohio.
1800  Foreign immigration to Virginia slows to a trickle after this date.
1803 Part of what had been Virginia becomes the state of Ohio and the Indian Territory.
1805 Hustings courts provide for independent cities the same services that county courts provide for counties.
1812 Virginia furnishes troops for the War of 1812; it ends by treaty in 1815.
1816 The state of Indiana is formed from lands which had previously belonged to Virginia.
1818 The state of Illinois is formed from lands which had previously belonged to Virginia.
1850 The corporation courts replace the hustings courts, which have been used to this point by independent cities.
1853 There are very few civil registrations of births prior to this year. Virginia requires civil registration of births and deaths at the county level from 1853-1896.
1861 Civil War begins; Virginia furnishes troops to the Union and the Confederacy. Many early enlistments are for 90 days because most persons believe hostilities will be over in 90 days or less. The Battle of First Manassas occurs in this year.
1863 The Battle of Chancellorsville occurs in this year (Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson is mortally wounded by his own troops at this battle). West Virginia (which was created from part of Virginia) is admitted as a state.
1864 The Battles of the Wilderness and Cold Harbor occur in this year.
1865 The Army of Northern Virginia under General Robert E. Lee surrenders to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox on April 9th.
1890 Special federal census records Union veterans and their widows living in Virginia and West Virginia in 1890.
1896 Registration of births and deaths is not required from 1896 until June 14, 1912. Some recording of births and deaths continues in some Virginia cities.
1898 Virginia furnishes some troops for the Spanish-American War. Action occurs primarily in Cuba and the Philippine Islands.
1902 Duties which had previously been handled by county courts (also known as monthly courts or courts of the shire) are assumed at this time by the circuit courts. Circuit courts also assume the duties that to this point had been performed for independent cities by corporation courts (which had in turn replaced hustings courts).
1912 Civil registration of births and deaths is again required as of June 14, 1912. Some delayed registrations will be recorded at later dates for births which occurred between 1896-1912 but were not recorded at the time of the event.
1917  All Virginia men born between 1873-1900 are required to register for one of several draft calls in 1917-1918. Persons living in the United States who are not yet citizens and were born in countries hostile to the United States are required to register with Department of Justice as enemy aliens.

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