|| The words, “the courthouse burned,” or “the family Bible was lost coming West,” or “the church house was torn down when the Mall was built,” can strike terror to a genealogist’s heart. You finally have what you need to begin your research in Virginia sources—when you discover that the courthouse burned in the county where your ancestors lived. Not to worry—genealogists, and those who support their efforts, have been at work for generations, reconstructing official marriage records from originals in private hands and collecting substitutes: newspaper announcements, court and estate files, family Bibles, biographical statements in church books and legislative claims, tombstone inscriptions, military pensions, and other sources. In-depth analysis, historical understanding, and using the correct jurisdictions are critical to your research success. How much data you extract from the records, how carefully you study that information, and your level of understanding of the records and the context of the facts they hold dictates your research success. This research guide will give you some great resources, strategies, and instruction helping you with your family history research questions.