Old Churches, Ministers and Families of Virginia, [With] Digested Index and Genealogical Guide. 2 vols.; By Bishop William Meade; 2 vols. 1,100 pp. total; Paperback; Published: 1857, 1910; Reprinted: 1995 ; ISBN 9780806302386; Item # CF3840D
Over one hundred years ago the Episcopal Bishop, William Meade, put together an important body of records which he incorporated into a now-famous two-volume work called Old Churches, Ministers and Families of Virginia. (A knowledge of the history of the Episcopal Church of Virginia, it should be pointed out, is essential to the genealogist since, prior to civil registration, the Church was the only body authorized by statute to collect and preserve vital statistics. The early parish records, therefore, are indispensable for research in Virginia genealogy.)
Compiled from parish records and vestry records, from moldy official documents, family records, and tombstone inscriptions, and from records in Lambeth Palace, London, Meade's narrative focuses on the history of the early Virginia parishes and provides details concerning the origins of the parishes, the drawing of parish lines, and the lives of the ministers and selected church members. Each chapter of the work also contains family histories and extensive lists of vestrymen, communicants, justices, and prominent figures. An appendix of 100 pages contains several interesting historical documents as well as lists of ministers and vestrymen of St. Stephen's and Wicomico Parishes, Northumberland County, and additional family histories. The Index, prepared by Jennings C. Wise, is a guide to 7,000 proper names as well as a digest of important facts recorded in the book.
"This book remains an indispensable storehouse of information about the ecclesiastical history of Virginia during the Colonial period." --Dictionary of American Biography
"Bishop Meade's two volumes are fundamental to the study of the parishes of the Episcopal Church in Virginia and their clergy and are an important source of information about many of the leading families of the state...." --The Virginia Genealogist