Henrico County Historical Society
PO Box 90775   Henrico, VA 23273   (804)501-5682   hchsinfo@yahoo.com

Henrico County Historical Society's motto, which is Preserving the Past in the Present for the FutureSkipwith Academy in Three Chopt District, Henrico County, Virginia.Log Cabin in Tuckahoe District, Henrico County, Virginia.Mankin Mansion in Fairfield District, Henrico County, Virginia.Dorey Barn in Varina District, Henrico County, Virginia.Bethlehem Church in Brookland District, Henrico County, Virginia.



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Henrico County Historical Society - Basic Information

If you are seeking information about Henrico County ancestors, we are able to provide basic information to aid in your family genealogy. As of February, 2003, our Cemeteries Committee has cataloged 164 cemeteries in Henrico County, with approximately 3,500 names computerized. If you have information about a cemetery located in your area of Henrico County, please email us at hchsinfo@yahoo.com.

Genealogical Research Tips:

The Library of Virginia provides information about genealogical research. This includes how to begin your research, published materials for genealogists, and basic resources.

Professional Researchers:

If extensive research is needed, we refer you to Virginia Genealogical Society's website. VGS provides a List of Professional Researchers. These professional researchers charge for their services.

In addition, the Library of Virginia provides a List of Professional Researchers. These professional researchers charge for their services.

Disclaimer: The Henrico County Historical Society is not responsible for the services provided by these researchers.

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Using DNA Testing to Aid Geneaological Efforts

A genealogical DNA test examines the nucleotides at specific locations on a personís DNA for genetic genealogy purposes. The test results are meant to have no informative medical value and do not determine specific genetic diseases or disorders; they are intended only to give genealogical information. Genealogical DNA tests generally involve comparing the results of living individuals as opposed to obtaining samples from deceased people.

The general procedure for taking a genealogical DNA testinvolves taking a painless cheek-scraping (swab) at home and mailing the sample to a genetic genealogy laboratory for testing. Some laboratories use mouth wash or chewing gum instead of cheek swabs. Some laboratories offer to store DNA samples for ease of future testing. All United States laboratories will destroy the DNA sample upon request by the customer, guaranteeing that a sample is not available for further analysis. The most popular ancestry tests are Y chromosome (Y-DNA) testing and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) testing. Other tests attempt to determine a researcherís comprehensive genetic history and/or ethnic origins.

A manís paternal ancestry can be traced using the DNA on his Y chromosome (Y-DNA). This is useful because the Y chromosome, like many European surnames, passes from father to son, and can be used to help study surnames. Women who wish to determine their paternal ancestry can ask their father,brother, paternal uncle, paternal grandfather, or a cousin who shares the same paternal lineage to take a test for them (i.e. any male family member who has the same surname as her father).

A personís maternal ancestry can be traced using his or her Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). The DNA in the human mitochondria is passed down by the mother unchanged. One exception, which was linked to infertility, has been shown. Additionally, some people cite paternal mtDNA transmission as invalidating mtDNA testing, but this is generally disregarded in genetic genealogy as not problematic.

(Reprinted from Wikipedia website)

Autosomal tests look at genetic markers on all chromosomes and provide an approximate breakdown of Native American, African, Asian and European ancestry. The tests cost from $95 to $399 (depending on the number of markers tested). Specialized tests that offer detailed information on ethnic origins tend to be the most expensive. Ethnic and racial identities are determined by probability and are not 100% certain. Most companies provide information on margins of error.

Kits ordered online typically includes a cotton swab, used to swipe a cell sample from inside a cheek (or any other method of collecting a sample), plus a vial or an envelope for mailing. Results usually arrive by mail or online in four to six weeks.

Tests may be ordered from any one of the following:

The following databases allow you to compare genetic markers to find living relatives or identify common ancestors:

(source: Time Magazine)

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Notable Henricoans

The Henrico Library maintains the Notable Henricoans Database available at http://events.henricolibrary.org/nhdb/. This page notes:
  • "This database has been developed in conjunction with the 400th anniversary of the founding of the County of Henrico."
  • "You can search the many database articles, search by name, or search everything in the database."
  • "Do you know of someone who is a notable Henricoan? You can use this form to nominate someone to be considered for inclusion in the database. Please review the Criteria for Inclusion before making your nomination."

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