Thursday, July 7, 2022

Library Research - Fairfax Regional Library

In the years since I have been researching my family’s history, more and more information has become available online. I am grateful to have those resources at my fingertips. However, archives, courthouses and libraries still contain information that can only be accessed by visiting those buildings.


Fairfax Regional Library

Virginia Room

10360 North Street

Fairfax, Virginia


Recently I was researching my 7th great grandfather, John Hollis (c1700 England – 1768 VA). According to my online research he lived in Fairfax County, Virginia for many years. I visit Virginia frequently to visit our oldest daughter and her family. Fairfax is the neighboring county to hers.


I sent off an email to the Library asking about their holdings. I gave them my grandfather’s name and dates, asking if they had resources that would teach me more about him. I received an answer the following day. The librarian gave me information about hours & parking and information on their holdings. He also told me about specific resources that have information about John Hollis. He also suggested a visit to the nearby Fairfax Courthouse. The email was very helpful.


When I arrived at the Fairfax Regional Library I easily found their free parking and stepped into the large, beautiful library. I went up the stairs to the Virginia Room and spoke to the friendly librarian. She gave me a quick tour and soon I set myself up at a table with a large stack of books to search through. 


A sample of Books that gave me information I had not found online:


  • Sparacio, Ruth and Sam. Fairfax County, Virginia Orders, 1768 – 1769 (VA: The Antient Press).  Includes court activities which included my family.

  • Minutes of the Vestry, Truro Parish Virginia, 1732 – 1785 (Lorton, VA: Pohick Church, 1974). Includes years of parish records with many references to the Hollis family.

  • Index to Farifax County, Virginia Wills and Fiduciary Records, 1742 – 1855 (Lovetttsville, VA: Willow Bend Books, 1995). References the Will of John Hollis.

  •    Browne, John. The Story of Ravensworth (North Haven, CT: 2022). Ravensworth was the landgrant where John Hollis lived. His family is                   mentioned in this book.

What did this library visit tell me about John Hollis?

  • A 1760 may showed me exactly where John Hollis lived in Fairfax Co.
  • John Hollis grew tobacco & operated an "ordinary" (tavern/inn).
  • John belonged to the same parish as George Washington.
  • Truro Parish gave John yearly monetary support for his disabled son.
  • John and 2 sons served in the French & Indian War, serving under Col. George Washington.


Visit a Library!


At the top of this blog, click on My Library for many books that I have found useful for genealogical & historical research.

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1 comment:

  1. Pre contact made a difference resulting in a successful research visit. Well done.


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