Fairfax County Cemetery Preservation Association
The association works to preserve and protect the county's endangered cemeteries. The site includes photographs of current projects.
"A Look Back at Braddock District" is based on the book Braddock's True Gold. Documents, photos and maps show this central Fairfax County area's history from Colonial times to the present.
Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center
The museum produces special exhibitions on city history, provides educational outreach to school and youth groups and offers walking tours of Old Town Fairfax and the city's historic buildings in the spring and fall. General visitor information, including lodging, restaurants, transportation and historic and natural attractions is also available. There's even a gift shop.
This history of the Franconia neighborhood includes photographs and maps.
Historic Structures of Clifton Virginia
A photo tour of Clifton's historic buildings.
Reston Planned Community Archives
The history of Reston, a planned community in Fairfax County, is presented in photographs, maps and text. The website is part of George Mason University's Planned Community Archives.
The Story of Ravensworth
Ravensworth was the largest colonial land grant in Fairfax County — 24,112 acres (37.7 square miles). This site explores the land over the years, the people who owned it, those who lived and worked there, local landmarks and more.
Beginning At A White Oak by Beth Mitchell
A study including abstracts of 708 patents and grants of original owners of Fairfax County lands from 1651.
Braddock's True Gold: 20th Century Life in the Heart of Fairfax County by Marion Meany and Mary Lipsey
Stories and photographs from over 50 long-time residents capture the essences of 20th-century life in the heart of the Braddock District of Fairfax County, Virginia.
Colchester Colonial Port on the Potomac by Edith M. Sprouse
A study of the 18th-century Fairfax County port town. Includes information about early merchants, commercial activities, tobacco warehouses, railroads, the Revolutionary War, and archaeological sites.
The Fairfax County Courthouse by Ross Netherton and Ruby Waldeck
A study of Fairfax Count'ys courthouse, built in 1800, and of the Virginia court system.
Fairfax County Inventory of Historic Sites
Lists more than 340 historically significant sites, ranging from little known to internationally famous. Research Guidelines offers tips and suggestions for Fairfax County land and property research.
Fairfax County Old-New Street Name List
On April 17, 1963, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance to create a uniform system for numbering properties and buildings in Fairfax County. This resulted in the renaming of existing street names and the naming of unnamed streets. Contained in this list are old street names alongside their new street names which became effective on April 1, 1965.
Fairfax County Public Schools History
A history of the Fairfax County Public School system, and individual histories of all 200+ schools.
Fairfax County Road Orders, 1749-1800
Road orders list the names of many of those living on or near a road, and contain information about roads, farms, landmarks and water features. A great source, especially for the pre-census years, from the Historic Roads of Virginia series published by the Virginia Transportation Research Council.
Fairfax County School Board Minutes
Searchable images of minutes from 1920 to the present
1782 Fairfax Personal Property Tax List
Although these images are not indexed, it is easy to search the list by looking at each page. John Wise owned the only billiard table in Fairfax County in 1782!
1790 / 1800 Fairfax Tax Lists
Searchable images of personal property tax lists serve as alternatives to the lost 1790 and 1800 censuses.
Northern Virginia Civil Rights Archive Oral Histories
Video testimonials from residents of Northern Virginia who personally experienced the civil rights era.
Northern Virginia History Notes
A collection of articles about historic places in Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties by local historian, Debbie Robison.
Northern Virginia Slavery Database Record Search
Developed to assist African American genealogists get past the 1870 brick wall, which is the earliest census to list the names of African Americans. One strategy is to search for two known family members to see if they were in the same household, i.e. had the same owner. Then search the records of the owner for other family members. The database is also helpful for adding to the understanding of local history since you can list records by owner. The database currently covers all slave births and deaths from 1853-1859 in Fairfax County. Next update will include Loudoun County births and deaths. Use %" as a wildcard.
"The Road to Happiness"
This 1924 silent movie was filmed in Fairfax County by the Ford Motor Company and the US Bureau of Public Roads. It promotes road improvements and features local residents.
Tithables in Fairfax County
This transcription of a 1749 tithables list is presented by the Fairfax County Daughters of the American Revolution.
An Interactive Story about the Historical and Current Demographics of Fairfax County
In 2019, Economic, Demographic and Statistical Research, Department of Management and Budget, conducted a study to understand the underlying assumptions of the historical population change and discuss its economic drivers. This study compiled demographic data from 1790 to date, developed a complex statistical program for trend analysis and tailored the output for Fairfax County’s history. The results are in "A Look to the Past" story map that highlights how Fairfax County’s population growth has intertwined with the changes of land use, economy and advancement of technology, and how demographic diversity has shaped Fairfax County to be resilient and thriving. Multiple interactive components are embedded so readers can explore the information.
Historic Fairfax City, Inc.
The Fairfax City preservation organization site includes a newsletter featuring historic buildings and events.
Historical Society of Fairfax County, Virginia
The society's website includes a publications list and links to a brief county history and interactive historical tour.
Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation
The story of an African American community near Falls Church.
Virginia Museum of History & Culture (formerly the Virginia Historical Society)
See also the military resources listed under primary/secondary resources.
17th Virginia Infantry, Company D, "Fairfax Rifles"
This re-enactment unit's site includes a regimental history and roster for many Civil War soldiers from the Fairfax area. The 1861 Muster includes brief biographies from William Page Johnson's book, Brothers and Cousins: Confederate Soldiers and Sailors of Fairfax County, Virginia.
The walls of Blenheim, a Fairfax City farmhouse, bear the signatures and graffiti of Union soldiers who occupied the house in 1862-1863. Many of the soldiers were from Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan and Wisconsin regiments.
Chasing the Civil War: A Pathfinder
A guide to many sources for local Civil War research, including finding an ancestor's service record and burial. Includes information on local battles. Search strategies are applicable to Fairfax County events. The Virginia Room at City of Fairfax Regional Library owns most of these sources, however, call numbers may vary.
Fairfax City Cemetery
A list of Confederate veterans buried in Fairfax City Cemetery. The list also includes those named on the cemetery's Confederate Memorial, which includes Fairfax Confederate veterans who are buried elsewhere. Six Union veterans are also listed. Site includes a history of the cemetery. Note: This is not a complete list of all those interred in the cemetery.
Military Records and Resources
The Library of Virginia chronicles Virginians' participation in wars from the colonial era to World War II. Select "Guides and Indexes," then click the plus sign (+) next to "Military Service."
Online Military Indexes, War Records & Databases of Soldiers
This website is a directory of links to online military indexes and records, including rosters, databases of soldiers, and listings of military and war casualties. Items marked "requires payment" are part of Ancestry's online genealogy records collection; Ancestry Library Edition is available for free at all library branches.
Society of the War of 1812 in Virginia
Includes a "Burial Index" of soldiers.
They Died in Centreville
A study of Union casualties who died and/or were buried in Centreville, Virginia, based on Union service, hospital and regimental
Virginia Revolutionary War Warrants Database
The Kentucky Secretary of State’s office has digitized all of the land bounties awarded to Virginia soldiers and commissioned officers from the Revolutionary War, awarded between 1783-1792. The database indexes 4,748 Virginia Revolutionary Warrants. County of residence is not noted.
WWI Draft Registrations — Index for Northern Virginia
Entries include name, age, address, date of birth, place of birth, occupation, employer, dependents, marital status, race, prior military experience and more. Some registrations also include father's place of birth, nearest relative and a physical description.
WWI Questionnaires for Virginia
After the conclusion of World War I, the Virginia War History Commission conducted a survey of veterans in Virginia through the use of a printed questionnaire. Everything from family life, to training and promotions, to reflections about war is covered in the questionnaire. Photographs in uniform were also requested. Browse through questionnaires digitized by the Library of Virginia from your specific county or city.
African-American Sources in Virginia: A Guide to Manuscripts
This index to sources in collections around the state can be rapidly searched by keyword, subject, name, historical period or geographic location.
County Formations in Virginia
Follow the history of boundary changes in Virginia from 1617-1995 in text or on interactive maps.
Geography of Slavery in Virginia
A digital collection of runaway and captured advertisements taken from early newspapers. Helpful for anyone with an ancestor who was enslaved or who was an indentured servant or a convict servant.
Gunston Hall Probate Inventory Database
Gunston Hall's Probate Inventory Database includes household inventories of more than 300 selected individuals from Virginia and Maryland. The estates were recorded between 1740 and 1810, and were selected as "individuals with an economic status approximately that of George Mason." Most were recorded in Fairfax, Prince William, and Stafford Counties in Virginia and in Charles and Prince George's Counties in Maryland, but some are from as far away as the Northern Neck, Norfolk or Annapolis.
Hening's Statutes at Large
Early volumes of the laws of Virginia, beginning with 1619. Includes linked indexes of personal names, places and subjects.
History of Truro Parish in Virginia
Based on the parish's Vestry Books for the area along the Potomac from the Occoquan to the Blue Ridge Mountains. The records are continuous from 1732 to 1785, and include the names of many colonial residents. This book also contains records of the Overseers of the Poor from 1787 to 1802.
How to Research Your Historic Virginia Property
Discover the history of your old, or not so old house.
Legislative Petitions, 1776-1865
Virginia residents petitioned the General Assembly from 1774 to 1865. While the petitions database includes only the principal people named in a petition, the full text will include original signatures of all interested parties. The full text of Fairfax County petitions is available on microfilm in the library's Virginia Room.
Library of Virginia
The site includes a catalog of books, archival materials, microfilm and extensive digital collections. Also useful is the Virginia Historical Inventory, part of the depression-era Virginia Writer's Project, which can be searched in the LVA Collections Discovery System.
Loudoun County Circuit Court Archives
Searchable index to Loudoun County records. Wills, marriages, military and slave records are part of this growing collection, which includes many Fairfax County residents.
Loudoun County History
A searchable database of articles about Loudoun County places and events.
Online Searchable Death Indexes & Records
Online death indexes and cemetery records for many parts of Virginia.
Register of Servants Sent to Foreign Plantations, 1654 - 1686
This database of indenture contracts includes more than 15,000 indentured servants, English immigrants who contracted themselves for labor to come to the New World. Many sailed to Virginia and the Chesapeake region and others to the West Indies.
Richmond Daily Dispatch, 1861 - 1865
A searchable index linked to full-text articles. Includes news from Fairfax and Northern Virginia.
Tombstone Transcription Project
Links to cemetery listings for Virginia counties and independent cities. Prepared by volunteers for RootsWeb.com's Tombstone Transcription Project.
Unknown No Longer
A database of Virginia slave names that appear in the unpublished records of the Virginia Historical Society. Family relationships, occupations and life dates may appear.
An index with linked images of more than 8,000 pages of The Virginia Gazette, published in Williamsburg from 1736-1780. The news and advertisements also include people and places outside of Williamsburg. This database is part of Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's Digital Library.
This guide, subtitled A Guide to Genealogical Resources at the University of Virginia, describes book, online and other sources for Virginia research. Many of these sources are available in our library's Virginia Room.
Links to maps, a tombstone project, county links, a surname registry and a Virginia GenWeb archives search.
Virginia Maps in Fairfax County Public Library's Virginia Room
A select list of various types of hard-copy maps, such as historical and landowner maps, for Virginia counties and cities found in the Virginia Room's collection.
Virginia Office of Vital Records
How to order birth, marriage, divorce and death records for Virginia residents.
This site from the University of Virginia includes information on Jamestown settlers and the Virginia Company, maps, muster rolls, and more.
Many Northern Virginia families have close ties to the District of Columbia, and their records will be there rather than at a Virginia courthouse.
Some Northern Virginia residents and their ancestors are buried at Congressional Cemetery in Southeast Washington. The site includes death certificates, gravestone photographs and obituaries.
District of Columbia Vital Records Office
The Vital Records Office is the source of birth and death records. Marriage and divorce records are available at the District of Columbia Superior Court Marriage Bureau.
Historical Society of Washington, DC
Includes a searchable library catalog.
Washington as it Was: Photographs by Theodor Horydczak, 1923-1959
More than 14,000 photographs of Washington, DC and the suburbs from the 1920s to the 1950s. Photos include street scenes and neighborhoods, as well as exteriors and interiors of commercial, residential and government buildings.
Washington, DC GenWeb
Includes links to many primary source records.
RootsWeb's West Virginia
Links to information on West Virginia counties and genealogical and historical societies.
West Virginia Vital Research Records
This database includes more than a million West Virginia birth, death and marriage records. Search indexes and view scanned images of the original birth, death and marriage records from six counties, some as early as 1853, as well as most statewide death certificates from 1917-54.