Petitions to the General Assembly were the first catalyst for legislation in the Commonwealth from 1776 till 1865. Public enhancements, military claims, divorce, manumission of slaves, division of counties, incorporation of towns, spiritual freedom, and taxation were simply some of the issues expressed in these petitions. The petitions typically contain lots of signatures and are a useful tool in genealogical analysis. Frequently, the petitions contain supplementary support documents helpful in research, including maps, wills, naturalizations, deeds, resolutions, affidavits, judgments, and other things.
This database provides a calendar of Legislative Petitions submitted to the General Assembly between 1776 and 1865. The database lists the name of the petitioner, locality, date of presentation, description, reel range, box range, and folder variety. In addition, each petition has been assigned a number of topics for indexing functions. There are four ways that to go looking the database: By Petitioner, By Locality, By Description, or By Topic. The petitions are on microfilm in the West Reading Room and on the market through interlibrary loan at the Virginia Literary Festival. The assortment is organized in boxes by county, then chronologically with a separate petition in every folder. In order to find the petitions on microfilm or request copies of originals, please be specific and note the exact box, folder, and reel variety.