We offer this listing of organizations which may give some assistance to those researching family or property histories in the Rappahannock area. Web sites are included whenever possible. Please keep in mind that often the best source of land transfer papers is the local county courthouse. Some organizations are listed below for their support of local preservation efforts.
Center for Historic Preservation: Mary Washington College
"The Center and its staff prepare historic structures reports, historic structures condition reports, prepare complete photographic and measured documentation drawings of historic structures that exceed HABS standards, and complete National Register of Historic Places nomination forms. The Center is also capable of undertaking the analysis of historic plaster and mortar. In addition, the Center provides consulting services in the area of museum management, historic product developments and sales, historic preservation planning and zoning, and cultural conservation. The Center offers archaeological training by way of field and laboratory methods courses and a summer field school. Students, volunteers and hired people developing archaeological careers are incorporated into the Center's projects." Its staff has also made available many excellent databases online pertaining to the Fredericksburg region at no charge.
Central Rappahannock Heritage Center
900 Barton Street
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
"The Heritage Center collects and archivally preserves for research the grass-roots history of the Central Rappahannock region---the City of Fredericksburg and the counties of Caroline, King George, Stafford and Spotsylvania. A "people's archive," its broad ranging collections are a resource for all students of history, reflecting the family, business and cultural influences that have shaped the region."
Central Virginia Battlefields Trust
The CVBT has two goals: to purchase significant Civil War battlefields and landmarks, both in fee and in easement, to preserve them in perpetuity and to serve as a facilitator and advocate for battlefield preservation on a local, state, and federal level.
Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park
120 Chatham Lane
Fredericksburg, VA 22405
The park preserves portions of four major battlefields in the city of Fredericksburg, Virginia, and the nearby counties of Spotsylvania, Stafford, Orange, and Caroline. Park historians are very helpful, especially on Civil War matters.
Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center
1001 Princess Anne Street
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
"The purpose of the Fredericksburg Area Museum & Cultural Center is to collect, interpret and present the history and culture of this region of Virginia to all the people of the Fredericksburg area and to the many visitors attracted to the City. The museum, located in the heart of the City in the Old Town Hall/Market House, is dedicated to promoting pride in the heritage of the men and women, from all stations of life who lived, worked and died to make the Fredericksburg area the special place it is."
Fredericksburg Regional Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 42013
Fredericksburg, VA 22404
Local genealogical society whose goal is to bring together people interested in genealogical research and promote fellowship and cooperation among them be they beginner or professional...and have a little fun.
Friends of Wilderness Battlefield
P.O. Box 576
Locust Grove VA 22508
"The purpose of the Friends of Wilderness Battlefield is to assist the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park in their efforts to preserve the Wilderness Battlefield in Spotsylvania and Orange Counties. The Friends provide advocacy, educational programs, and service projects for the battlefield"
Fredericksburg Regional Preservation Trust
PO Box 7731
Fredericksburg, VA 22404
The Mission of the Fredericksburg Trust shall be to encourage and cause the preservation, protection and revitalization of the historic and cultural resources of the Fredericksburg region. This will be accomplished through advocacy, education and financial support.
George Washington's Fredericksburg Foundation
1201 Washington Avenue
"George Washington's Fredericksburg Foundation (formerly The Kenmore Association, Inc.) founded in 1922, is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to preservation and education. Today, the Foundation owns and operates two properties, Historic Kenmore and George Washington's Ferry Farm, both of which witnessed major events in American history from the Revolution through the Civil War and into the 20th century."
HFFI: Historic Fredericksburg Foundation, Inc.
Their mission is to preserve, protect and revitalize the distinctive historic environment of the Fredericksburg area. They accomplish this through education, advocacy, and financial support. Projects include the annual "Lewis Store Market Days" and Candlelight Tour. They also research and recognize historic properties through the Marker Program and publish an annual journal of local history summarizing significant research conducted through the past year.
Historic Port Royal
Incorporated as a town in 1744, this tiny town was once a bustling colonial port. It is located off Rt. 301 between Baltimore and Richmond, rather near the Lee family’s Stratford Hall plantation and George Washington’s birthplace.
James Monroe Museum and Memorial Library
908 Charles Street
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Their collection contains over 600 items owned by the Monroes, 10,000 rare books, and 27,000 documents relating to the life and times of Monroe and his descendants. James Monroe was born in Westmoreland County and practiced law in Fredericksburg from 1787 to 1789. Shortly after his departure from Fredericksburg, he was elected to represent Virginia in the U. S. Senate. The library is available by appointment to researchers, and some of its materials may be borrowed.
Spotswood, a major land developer and at one time governor of Virginia, paid the passage of two groups of German immigrants to work as his indentured servants for seven years at Germanna, a iron-working colony located west of Fredericksburg near the Rapidan River. "This GERMANNA COLONIES Family History Web Site was first established, and maintained, for the descendants of the immigrant Johannes BREYHEL (or John BROYLES, Johannes BREUEL, and other variations of the name). Since the web site's inception, we were asked repeatedly to include other Germanna families on it. As we added links to more and more families, it soon became obvious that the site should really be about the "Germanna Colonies", both the 1st Colony of 1714, and the 2nd Colony of 1717. We have, therefore, renamed the site to its present name."
Northern Neck Historical Society
(King George, Lancaster, Northumberland, Richmond, Stafford, Westmoreland Counties)
P.O. Box 716
Montross, VA 22520
"Members and web visitors can participate in the Society's activities online in "The NNbox," an interactive space for sharing news, photos, genealogical discussions, historical research (questions or answers), and upcoming events in an active online calendar."
The society also hosts a research library, holds regular meetings, and produces an annual magazine.
Patawomeck Indian Tribe of Virginia, Inc.
"The Patawomeck tribe of Virginia Indians is based in Stafford County, Virginia, along the Potomac River (Patawomeck is another spelling of Potomac). It is one of Virginia's 11 recognized Native American tribes."
Rappahannock Colonial Heritage Society
P.O. Box 42013
Fredericksburg, VA 22404
RCHS is a educational, 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to preserving the history and culture of 18th-century Fredericksburg and its surroundings. We do this with school programs targeting local 4th and 5th grade classrooms, at no charge to the school. We have several first-person personas of our region. We also have an active colonial dance group (open to the public) that performs in schools and area functions/festivals. We like to say that HFFI preserves buildings while we preserve the people and society who lived in those buildings. Meetings are first Tuesday of each month, 7:30 p.m., St. George's Episcopal Church. Dance practice every 2nd and 4th Fridays, 7:30 pm also at St. George's.
Rappahannock Valley Civil War Roundtable P.O. Box 7632
Fredericksburg, VA 22404
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
The Rappahannock Valley Civil War Round Table was founded as an organization open to all people interested in learning about the Civil War and in preserving the hallowed ground where the soldiers fought.
Spotsylvania County Museum
(Old Berea Christian Church)
8956 Courthouse Road
P.O. Box 64
Spotsylvania, VA 22553
Telephone: 540-582-7167 (museum)
Works towards the preservation of the American heritage and education of Spotsylvania history. Includes the Frances L. N. Waller Research Library. Operated by the Spotsylvania Historical Society.
Spotsylvania Preservation Foundation, Inc.
P. O. Box 1875
Spotsylvania, Virginia 22553
Email - email@example.com
"The Spotsylvania Preservation Foundation Inc. (SPFI) of Virginia was established in 1988 to help preserve and protect Spotsylvania County's natural and historic resources. We are concerned with the preservation of natural habitats, archaeological sites, historical landscapes and structures of historical and architectural significance. As a non-profit all-volunteer organization, we are steadfast in our goal of ensuring the perpetuity of these assets so that future generations may enjoy and learn from them."
Stafford County Historical Society
P.O. Box 1664
Stafford, VA 22555
"Through the objective and dispassionate study, discussion and dissemination of all aspects of Stafford's rich prehistory and history, we seek to teach ourselves and others through monthly meetings, a quarterly newsletter, and publication of books, pamphlets and brochures.... We recognize contributions to our county history through the 'Keepers of the Knowledge' program and other awards. The primary focus of our society since its inception has been to support the creation and operation of a Stafford Museum and Visitors Center...."
Stafford Museum and Cultural Center
A virtual museum that creates a community and tells the stories about the richness of Stafford County's history and culture.
The properties once owned by the APVA in Fredericksburg, VA (The Mary Washington House, The Rising Sun Tavern, Hugh Mercer Apothecary and St. James’ House) were all given to Washington Heritage Museums in 2013.
White Oak Civil War Museum
985 White Oak Road (Rte. 218)
Falmouth, VA 22405
Located six miles east of Fredericksburg, the old "White Oak School" houses an extensive collection of artifacts from actual battle sites and encampments of the Civil War. Hours: 9 to 5, Wednesday through Sunday
State Level Organizations
The Library of Virginia
The library is available to the public. There are separate reading rooms for maps, government documents, archival materials, and rare books. Their catalog has been placed online, and many items may be available through interlibrary loan. Some of the older records may be viewed on the Web.
Preservation Alliance of Virginia
"The Preservation Alliance is Virginia's advocacy and information network for historic preservation. The Alliance works with member organizations, historic property owners, businesses, local governments and interested citizens to preserve and promote the cultural, natural, historic, architectural and archaeological heritage of the Commonwealth."
Virginia Department of Historic Resources
The department's programs and services include archaelogy, archival research, easements, education & outreach, environmental review, highway markers, national and state registers, survey & planning, and state preservation grants.
The Virginia Historical Society
The Virginia Historical Society is located in Richmond and houses a rich collection of Virginia historical information. You may search their catalog online or contact one of their reference librarians for assistance. The George Harrison Sanford King papers on Fredericksburg history and genealogy are housed at the society. A listing of the folders' contents is available online.
The DAR Library
The Daughters of the American Revolution is an organization for descendants of Revolutionary War veterans that honors and preserves the legacy of those early American patriots. Their genealogical library, one of the largest in the world, is located in Washington, D.C. and is open to the public. Their library catalog is online, and the site includes a guide for beginning researchers.
NARA: U.S. National Archives & Records Administration: The Research Room
"The records of the nation's civil, military and diplomatic activities are held by the National Archives and Records Administration in trust for present and future generations."
The National Archives often proves to be an essential resource for genealogists. There are several online guides to assist researchers in finding useful information.
National Register of Historic Places
"The National Register of Historic Places is the nation's official list of buildings, structures, objects, sites, and districts worthy of preservation for their significance in American history, architecture, archaeology, and culture. Though the National Register is a federal program, nominations are submitted by the states through state historic preservation offices."
National Trust for Historic Preservation
"The National Trust for Historic Preservation provides leadership, education and advocacy to save America's diverse historic places and revitalize our communities." They operate historic sites nationwide and partners with state and local organizations, and sometimes will go to court to uphold preservation laws.
Rural Heritage Program
The Rural Heritage Program is part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The program supports the efforts of rural communities to preserve and live with their heritage through educational programs, publications, and technical assistance.