The Compendium of American Genealogy

Seven Volumes


Author: Virkus, Frederick A.
Publication Date: 1925
Reprint Date: 2012
Pages: 6,283 pp.
ISBN: 9780806311715


The Compendium of American Genealogy is the most important collection of American lineage records of the 20th century. It contains the lineage records of the first families of America, with records extending in both male and female lines from the earliest-known immigrant ancestor to the then (1925-1942) living subject of the record. According to the first census there were about 650,000 families living in the United States in 1790, practically every one of which was of colonial or Revolutionary stock and thus entitled to be numbered among America’s “First Families.” Every lineage in the Compendium spans at least eight or nine generations. While not all families are represented, almost every name distinguished in any way in the early history of the country will be found within its pages.

The Compendium was compiled largely from lineage records and manuscript genealogies submitted by individuals selected for inclusion, many illustrated with photographs, portraits, and coats of arms. Each record was checked and edited, then typed up in the form of a “proof” and returned to the submitter for final review before ultimately being printed in one of the volumes. Thus prepared at great expense of time and labor, and with painstaking care, the seven massive volumes contain more than 54,000 lineage records, with indexes listing upwards of 425,000 names, making it, without doubt, the first reference and research source in colonial era American genealogy.

Each volume can also be purchased separately.

“One of the first reference sources in American genealogy. It is a major source of information on immigrants to America before 1750.”–P.W. Filby, American & British Genealogy & Heraldry, 3rd ed.

“Not all books come up to what they profess to be, but Mr. Virkus’s work comes as near the mark as could well be expected. While not all families that are entitled to it are included, practically every name distinguished in the early history of the country will be found within its pages . . . . There is no doubt that Mr. Virkus has done an excellent work, showing great patience in the collection of facts, and sincerely desiring to be exact. This book is a genealogical library in itself.”– Tyler’s Quarterly.

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