Essex Public Library


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Unknown No Longer at

“Unknown No Longer: A Database of Virginia Slave Names” is an endeavor by the Virginia Historical Society to record the names of the slaves of Virginia. It is an ongoing effort to list the names of all enslaved African-Americans found in the eight million unpublished manuscripts in the Virginia Historical Society’s archives. These manuscripts include deeds, wills, letters, court records, memoirs, deeds of emancipation, and inventories, wherein a person is designated as a slave and that individual’s name is given. Each name is connected to a digital copy of the original document in which it was found. Additional information, such as a slave’s children, parents, occupation, and date of birth and death, is listed as well. A keyword search can be made with minimal information, such as the name of the plantation a descendant is believed to have lived on and his or her first name. Names are continually added to “Unknown No Longer” as the vast trove of material is mined. In addition, by providing digital access to millions of historical documents in their original form, a fascinating window into our state’s past is opened.


Including the 1940 Census – Now available here  

The 1940 U.S. Census was released in April 2012 to great fanfare within the genealogical community. Until recently, its data was not accessible by index. In order to locate a person or family, one needed the enumeration district of the person or family based on the address lived at in 1940. This was a cumbersome process. Now all 132 million persons included in the 1940 Census are available by index through the efforts of 125,000 volunteers. The index is available at the following website free of charge: Have as much information about the person as you can obtain: county of residence, date of birth, etc. Fill out the online form and the census data is returned immediately just as detailed in the handwritten entries made by the field enumerators in 1940.

  • Essex County Virginia

  • 117 North Church Lane
    Tappahannock, VA 22560
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