About This Guide
Welcome to research in Tazewell County!
This guide is intended to aid you as you seek ancestors in Tazewell County. It has grown out of a printed guide issued in 1999, which was designed to aid staff in our efforts to assist researchers, as well as to help the researchers themselves. We hope that it will provide direction and save time by organizing available resources in a logical, useful scheme.
If you are just beginning your genealogical exploration, we recommend studying the material in the Getting Started section. Talk with family members to learn everything possible about the family history. Then consult printed resources, such as those listed here, in libraries and other institutions. Start with what you know-yourself, your parents-and work backward one generation at a time.
The pages of this site present resources arranged according to type of record or format of material. Items in these lists include materials specifically focused on Tazewell County or the counties from which Tazewell was eventually formed, and materials which offer guidance in the use of particular types of records. Most items in the lists are held at Tazewell County Public Library, but records held at the Courthouse, along with some records held at Tazewell County Historical Society, Historic Crab Orchard Museum and The Library of Virginia, are also included to aid in planning your research. Wherever practicable, date ranges are indicated for each item to help quickly ascertain the most appropriate resources for consultation.
The following lists of resources do not constitute a complete bibliography. Many additional materials are available in the Library's Virginia Room collection, which houses more than 1500 volumes, as well as in other local institutions for research.
The Library welcomes contributions of compiled family histories in published or manuscript form, as well as monetary gifts to expand the Virginia Room collection. See the director or reference librarian for further information.
The Library receives many requests for genealogical assistance. Staff are glad to help patrons with brief questions and with overviews of the collection but, due to limitations of time, cannot provide in-depth help or do research.
For mail inquiries, clearly state the information desired and give specific details (the full name of the individual being researched, the specific document desired, date of relevant event) to permit a response, and enclose a self-addressed stamped business envelope. Staff will check indices and can provide photocopies but, again, cannot perform in-depth research. Photocopies are available at ten cents per copy. Contact the reference librarian at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some of the materials in the Virginia Room collection are available for lending via Interlibrary Loan. Requests for materials must be made through your local library.
Our first guide acknowledged "the kind assistance of representatives of the libraries and other agencies listed in this document. Among them are Buddy Blevins, Clerk of the Circuit Court; Ross Weeks, Executive Director, and Anne Walker, Curator, Historic Crab Orchard Museum; Pat Surface, Tazewell County Historical Society; Mary Kegley; Anna Ray Roberts, Director, George Mattis, Reference Librarian, and Cathy Reynolds, Archivist, Kegley Library at Wytheville Community College; Jennifer Wagner and Rubinette Niemann, Historical Society of Washington County; Pat Hatfield, Director, Buchanan County Public Library; Conley Edwards, State Archivist, and Carolyn Hardin Goudie, Research Archivist, The Library of Virginia". Since that time, several have changed affiliations, retired, or passed on, but their contributions live on.