Upcoming VGS Events

No events found

Upcoming Virginia Events

View calendar events.


Subscribe to calendar events.


For Virginia Researchers

Because of the close proximity of the Library of Virginia and Virginia Historical Society, VGS does not maintain a library, research facility, or surname material and does not employ research staff. The link below is a list in PDF format of Virginia-based researchers. Hard copy is available upon receipt of a SASE business envelope. 

Note: Inclusion in this list carries no endorsement by VGS nor is VGS accountable for inadvertent misrepresentations contained therein.


List of Virginia Researchers (PDF)

Visit our Facebook page

Hansen's Ten Rules for Using Indexes

Mr. James L Hansen has graciously agreed to allow us to post these 10 rules for indexes. Indexes are a wonderful tool for finding information about an ancestor. These rules point to the obvious that an index is a finding aid and is no substitute for the original document, however, an index does help a researcher find that elusive document.

James L. Hansen, a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists, is the reference librarian and genealogical specialist at the Library of the Wisconsin Historical Society. He is a past president of the Association of Professional Genealogists, and the 2002 winner of the Filby Prize for Genealogical Librarianship.

Hansen's Ten Rules for Using Indexes

  1. An index is only an index. It is not a substitute for the record being indexed.
  2. The larger the size of the index, the more easily pertinent listings are overlooked.
  3. In a given record, any vowel may at any point be substituted for any other vowel—or consonant.
  4. Virtually every pre-WW II record, in whatever form we see it in today, originated as an attempt by an individual to put on paper what he or she thought was heard.
  5. There is no perfect indexing system.
  6. It doesn't matter how you spell the name; it only matters how the indexer spelled it.
  7. Just because an index is described as complete or comprehensive, doesn't mean it is complete or comprehensive.
  8. If you haven't found it in the index, you can only conclude that you haven't found it in the index. You cannot conclude that it's not in the record.
  9. The index isn't always at the back of the book.
  10. Sometimes it is best to ignore the index altogether.

James L. Hansen, FASG Wisconsin Historical Society


© 2012 by James L. Hansen. Used on VGS.org by permission of the author. All rights reserved.


groups logo sm

Subscribe to VGS News Updates



groups logo sm

Subscribe to VGS Queries



About Us | Contact Us | Terms and Conditions of Use and Privacy Policy | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Copyright © 2016 Virginia Genealogical Society. All Rights Reserved.
PO Box 626 | Orange, VA 22960-0365 | vagensoc@aol.com