Researching Persons or Families

If you would like to know where to start in researching Thomas Jefferson himself, check out our Introductory Guide to Researching Thomas Jefferson.

The Jefferson Library may have information on persons or families whom Jefferson knew or who were connected with him in some way (e.g. neighbors, slaves, business associates, descendants, etc.). However, we do not have birth or death records, and for those types of resources we suggest you contact the Charlottesville Albemarle Historical Society.

Below are some of the resources we suggest you consult here when doing research on a particular person or family.

Resource

Description

Access

Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia There may be an article on or references to the person you are researching in our online encyclopedia. Online; free.
Thomas Jefferson Portal Always be sure to search our online catalog. You may find books by or about the person you are researching, as well as articles, book chapters, Web sites, and other materials.

 

Online; free.

 

Papers of Thomas Jefferson You may find mention of the person or family in Thomas Jefferson's letters, or he may have written directly to the person or received a letter from her/him.

Available in many larger libraries; see WorldCat for holdings in a library near you. Also available online for a fee, and a free version (formatted slightly differently) is available through the National Archives..

Memorandum Books If Jefferson employed or had financial transactions with the person or family you are researching, he may have noted it down in his Memorandum Books.

The Memorandum Books are available through many bookstores and libraries; check WorldCat for availability in a library near you.

Information Files We may have a file on the person you are researching. Information files typically contain photocopies or notes of mentions of that person in TJ's writings or other books, articles about the person that we've found, pamphlets, and other miscellaneous items.

On-site only.

To find out whether we have a file on a specific person, search for the person's name and "information file" in the Thomas Jefferson Portal.

Research Databases The Jefferson Library provides access to several databases which can be helpful in researching people, including Ancestry Library Edition and HeritageQuest. JSTOR can also be helpful, as it contains old issues of the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, a major source of genealogical research.

On-site only; see the Library's Research Databases page.

Other Web Resources

Library of Virginia

National Genealogical Society

Ancestry.com

Genealogy.com - see especially their forums

AfriGeneas: African Ancestored Genealogy

FamilySearch

Online. Some sites may require membership or fees for some services.

 

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