This is the third volume in a series by Mrs. Foley designed to identify the earliest settlers of Virginia. The purpose of this book is to assist the researcher in finding colonial and immigrant ancestors in James City County and in that part of James City County south of the James River which was cut off to form Surry County in 1652 and in placing these early settlers in the milieu of their land patents. To accomplish this, Mrs. Foley abstracted the land records from the fourteen volumes of Patent Books for the period 1623-1732 which are now located in the Virginia State Archives in Richmond. The main body of the text consists of a chronological series of abstracts giving the name of the James City County or Surry County patentee, the location and acreage of the patent and date of settlement, with references to family members and owners of adjoining properties, and, most important, the names of the thousands of settlers brought over as “headrights.”
Two special features of the volume should also be noted. Included are the Quit Rent Rolls for James City County and Surry County, 1704-1705, containing the names of more than 500 patentees of new land with the number of their taxable acres. In addition, Mrs. Foley has prepared an index to the James City County Civil War map of 1864 which gives the names of persons located on their respective properties. In many instances, as shown by a comparison of names on the map with those in the Patent Books, land was passed down from generation to generation, and by the time of the Civil War as many as eight or ten generations may have succeeded to the same land or to land nearby.