The five-volume Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography is a collection of biographical sketches of thousands of Virginians who lived between the early seventeenth century and the twentieth century. Covering the entire spectrum of colonial, Revolutionary, and post-Revolutionary figures, the Encyclopedia treats the following personages: founders, immigrants, and early settlers, state councillors and burgesses, landowners, merchants, Revolutionary War figures, governors, justices, politicians, military and naval figures, and a host of prominent nineteenth-century personalities, including bankers, statesmen, farmers, professionals, businessmen, and Civil War soldiers.
The first two volumes concentrate mostly on Virginia men of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, while the last three volumes deal primarily with nineteenth-century figures–in somewhat greater detail than the earlier volumes. All sketches identify the place and date of birth of the subject, and wherever possible his parents and early antecedents, all the way back to the immigrant ancestor. Typically the sketches provide details of the subject’s education and career, information about his wife and children, and highlights of his life and times.
Each of the five volumes is illustrated with full-page portraits and each is separately indexed. Together they are a handsome addition to any library of Virginiana, and as they contain information on such a large number of Virginians they are indispensable as a quick and ready reference. Although in some places the work would appear to follow the format of a “mug book,” the fact is that it contains thousands of biographies not found elsewhere. As it is somewhat rare, and therefore little known to most genealogists,
About the Author: The son of the tenth President of the United States, Lyon Gardiner Tyler was a prolific writer on Virginia history and genealogy, and he was one of the first scholars to insist on documentation in genealogical research. His name is best remembered as the author of England in America, History of Virginia from 1763 to 1861, Men of Mark in Virginia, Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography, and many more books and articles.