Malcolm Harris’s History of Louisa County, Virginia features a cornucopia of information for genealogists and historians alike; however, this country doctor’s primary aim was to highlight the contributions of Louisa people. To be sure the author organized the first half of the book around five institutional themes: politics, military history, country roads, churches and parishes, and education. In this way we observe the milestones of settlement and jurisprudence, turning points in wars from 1756 to 1919, location of venerable homes and other structures, a who’s who of the religious establishment, and the foundation of schools, newspapers and the professions. Even within these chapters, Dr. Harris introduces lists of the individuals who were there when the history was being made: land patentees, brides and grooms, Revolutionary and Civil War veterans, teachers and their students, and so on.
The second half of the volume, misleadingly labeled “Appendix,” hits full stride genealogically. Following a list of Louisa marriage bonds from 1767-1800, Dr. Harris treats the genealogist to 150 pages of family sketches–of varying lengths to be sure–on the following pioneering Louisa families: Ambler, Anderson, Bacon, Barrett, Bibb, Bickley, Boxley, Bronnaugh, Bullock, Burnley, Campbell, Carr, Claybrooke, Cooke, Cosby, Callis, Dabney, Daniel, Dickinson, Duncan, Farrar, Fontaine, Fox, Francisco, Gardner, Garland, Garrett, Goodwin, Harris, Hart, Hiter, Kimbrough, Jerdone, Jackson, Johnson, Kean, McGhee, Maury, Minor, Morris, Nelson, Overton, Pettus, Pendleton, Poindexter, Pope, Ragland, Shelton, Smith, Terrell, Waddy, Walker, Waller, Walton, Wash, Watson, West, Winston, and Yancey. The book concludes, fittingly with lists of elected officials from Louisa County, a comprehensive bibliography for its time period, and a full name index. Clearly this is the starting point for Louisa County history and genealogy.
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