Since its publication in 1958 this work has been regarded as an important source-book for colonial Virginia genealogy. It contains transcriptions of numerous historical documents and provides a great deal of out-of-the-way information pertaining to Virginians of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, much of it previously unknown. It is the product, in fact, of the compiler’s researches into the by-ways of the Public Record Office in London, in particular his investigations of the reports sent from Virginia to the Colonial Office–an investigation into the very marrow of Virginia history.
Among the documents copied and recorded here, such as lists of colonial officials, naval and militia officers, petitions, French refugees (1700-1702) and lists of ships leaving and arriving at Virginia ports, three groups of records in particular deserve to be singled out: (1) The Present State of Virginia (with respect to individual counties), which gives county acreage, number of tithables, and names of sheriffs, burgesses, coroners, justices, clerks, surveyors, and ministers; (2) Patents for Land, 1699-1737 (with gaps), giving the name of the patentee, date of the patent, county, and acreage; and (3) The Rent Rolls of 1704, which supply the names of thousands of property holders in twenty Virginia counties! “No student of colonial Virginia history, biography and genealogy can afford to be without this source book.”–Milton Rubincam, National Genealogical Society Quarterly.