Genealogy Research

Blackwater Regional Library offers hundreds of valuable genealogy resources to its patrons. Highlights include passenger lists, court records, marriage records, church and cemetery records, will and deed indexes, and war registers. We also hold many books tracing local family lineage. Use the links below to get started.

Ancestry Library Edition

Find your roots! This collection assembles every extant U.S. federal census, banking and military records, genealogies, local histories, primary source materials, and genealogical and local history serials. Ancestry Library Edition can only be accessed within a BRL branch.

Black Life in America

The experience and impact of African Americans as recorded by the news media.

Heritage Hub

Explore your family history with the premier collection of U.S. obituaries and death notices for in-depth genealogical research from 1824 – today. Heritage Hub helps you easily identify relatives, uncover new information and potentially unknown family members. Includes deep coverage from all 50 states, hard-to-find content from the mid 1900’s, and original obituary images. Access is available 24/7. (Library card required to access from home).

Heritage Quest

One of the most valuable services available today for anyone researching ancestry in the United States. The company is best known for its collection of the U.S. Federal Census records from 1790 through 1930. Heritage Quest Online can be accessed within a BRL branch or from home. If you are accessing from home, you will need to enter your library card number to login to the database.

Local History: B. A. Chapman Collection

The B. A. Chapman Collection provides access to the research notes of Blanche Adams Chapman, compiled to complete her published works: “Abstracts of Wills and Administrations of Isle of Wight, 1647-1800,” published 1938; “Marriages of Isle of Wight, 1628- 1800,” published 1933; “Marriages of Southampton County,” published 1948; “Wills and Administrations of Elizabeth City County, 1688-1800,” published in 1941; “Surry County Records, 1652-1672,” and “Wills and Administrations of Surry County, Virginia, 1671- 1730.”  (Library volunteers are working diligently to add records to this collection as time allows. We appreciate your patience.)

Town of Smithfield Minutes, Ledger 1 (July 1891-August 1912)

Digitized Town Council Minutes 1891-1912. Digitization project is still in progress.

Digitization project a collaboration between Blackwater Regional Library and Isle of Wight County Museum

Local Yearbooks

A digital collection of local yearbooks scanned by the Library of Virginia, including The Ham (Smithfield HS), The Log (Franklin HS), and The Duke (Windsor HS).

Local Historical Societies

Historic Newspapers

Other Genealogy Resources