Homes and Houses (Virginia)

At some point in the genealogical investigation, a search for information on houses may prove fruitful. Any history of a house should include at least a listing of owners, and many have interesting anecdotes revealing some aspects of the lives and personalities of the owners. Here are links to a few websites of Virginia’s famous homes. To find more, search the web with your search engine of choice. For more information on historic Virginia websites, see the state’s Virginia is for Lovers tourism website.


City or County Listings: Virginia Landmarks Register & National Register of Historic Places Website. (Updated 5/13/2014)
James Monroe’s Ash Lawn-Highland (Charlottesville, VA). Website. (Updated 4/18/2005) Fennell, Christopher. The Ash Lawn-Highland Plantation and History of James Monroe’s Land Holdings. The Ash Lawn-Highland Museum, 2000. Website. (Updated 12/14/2007.)
Belle Grove Plantation (Middletown, VA). Website.
Berkeley Plantation (Charles City, VA). Website. Home of presidents Benjamin Harrison and William Henry Harrison.
Monticello: The Home of Thomas Jefferson (Charlottesville, VA). Website.
James Madison’s Montpelier (Orange, VA). Website.
George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens (Alexandria, VA). Website.
Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest (Lynchburg, VA). Website.
Woodlawn: America’s First Family Home (Alexandria, VA). Website.
Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library at His Birthplace, Staunton, Virginia. Website.

Here are some helpful sources on Virginia houses in the University Library. For additional books, consult the online catalog for subjects under the name of the city or county (e.g., “Princess Anne County (Va.)–Historic houses, etc.”) or under “Virginia–Description” or “Historic buildings–Virginia.” You can pinpoint books on a particular named house by looking for subjects under the name of the building followed by the qualifier “Va.”, e.g., “Monticello (Va.)”.

Special Collections
F234.A2 B3 1939
Baugh, Minnie L. Old homes and gardens. [Abingdon, Va. : The Journal-Virginian, 1939]
Fine Arts Library &
Special Collections
F227 .E39 1998
Edwards, Betsy Wells. Virginia country : inside the private historic homes of the Old Dominion. New York : Simon & Schuster Editions, c1998.
Alderman Stacks &
Fine Arts Stacks
F 227 .F3 1955
Farrar, Emmie Ferguson. Old Virginia houses. New York: Hasting House, 1955- . 9 vols.Short histories and descriptions of a large number of houses, with many photographs of exteriors, some interiors. Index includes names of owners. Contents: [1] The Mobjack Bay country.–[2] Along the James.–[3] Along the fall line.–[4] The northern peninsulas.–[5] The heart of Virginia.–[6] The Piedmont.–[7] Shenandoah.–[8] The mountain empire.–[9] Harbors.
Special Collections
SB 466 .U7 V8 1962

Homes and gardens in old Virginia. Ed. by Frances Archer Christian, et al. Richmond : Garret and Massie, 1962.Arranged by location; gives brief history and description of major estates with emphasis on trees and gardens. Photographs of exteriors. Index.

Fine Arts Library
F 227 .J29 1930
James River Garden Club, Richmond. Historic gardens of Virginia. Ed. by Edith Tunis Sale. Rev. ed. Richmond, Va., William Byrd press, 1930.
Alderman Stacks
F227 .L24 1973Alderman Reference
F227 .L24

Lancaster, Robert Alexander. Historic Virginia homes and churches. Spartanburg, S.C., Reprint Co. [1973, c1915]Reprint of the 1915 edition. Covering colonial Virginia homes of historic interest, this work emphasizes descriptions of the occupants rather than architecture. Small photographs of most of the houses are included. Index of names.

Print edition:Alderman Ready Reference & Stacks
NA730 .V82 A435 2000Also, Clemons, Fine Arts, & Special Collections


Electronic edition:

Alderman Ready Reference
NA730 .V82 A4352 2000

Also Fine Arts & Special Collections

Lay, K. Edward. The Architecture of Jefferson country [print edition]: Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Virginia. Charlottesville, VA ; London : University Press of Virginia, c2000.A useful guide to local architecture, with color photographs, written by a professor emeritus of architecture.



— [Electronic edition]. Charlottesville : Albemarle County Historical Society ; Digital Media Lab at the University of Virginia, 2000.

The electronic edition is in the form of a CD-ROM, which contains thousands of photographs and references to structures in Albemarle County.

Alderman Stacks &
Special Collections
E332.74 .L44 2003
Leepson, Marc. Saving Monticello : the Levy family’s epic quest to rescue the house that Jeffereson built. Charlottesville : University of Virginia Press, 2003.Originally published: New York : Free Press, c2001. Includes bibliographical references (p. [285]-292) and index.
Alderman Stacks &
Special Collections
F227 .M35 2003
Massey, Don W. Colonial churches of Virginia. Charlottesville, Va. : Howell Press, c2003.Includes bibliographical references and index.
Alderman Stacks
F232 .A3 M4 2001

Mead, Edward C. Historic homes of the southwest mountains, Virginia. Bowie, Md. : Heritage Books, c2001.Originally published: Philadelphia : J.B. Lippincott Co., 1899. Detailed descriptions of twenty-eight of Albemarle County’s historic homes and their families. No index.

Special Collections
MSS 10039
National Trust for Historic Preservation in the United States.Virginia inventory of buildings of national and statewide significance, cities and counties [manuscript], 1960.Virginia inventory containing photographs, drawings and historical data of buildings of national and state-wide significance. It is accompanied by “A Brief History of the Virginia Inventory,” “Preliminary Category of Virginia Buildings of National and State-wide Significance, by County,” and “Criteria for Evaluating Historic Sites and Buildings.” Sites of national and statewide significance are included in this survey. Photographs and historical data are given.
Alderman Stacks &
Fine Arts Library
F 231 .N98 1935
Nutting, Wallace. Virginia beautiful. Garden City, N. Y., Pub. in coöperation with Old America company by the Garden City publishing company, inc. [c1935]Unique among Virginia house books in emphasis on architectural details and, although very selective, worth consulting for this aspect. Includes index.
Fine Arts Library
NA5207 .D38
Perdue Davis, Vernon. The colonial churches of Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina : their interiors and worship. Richmond, Va. : Dietz Press, 1985.
Clemons Library &
Fine Arts Library
F227 .P377 1995
Peters, John O. Virginia’s historic courthouses. Charlottesville : University Press of Virginia, 1995.Includes bibliographical references (p. 229-242) and index.
Alderman Stacks & Reference
Fine Arts Library
F232 .A3 R17 1935

Rawlings, Mary. Ante-bellum Albemarle; Albemarle County, Virginia, historical sketches. Charlottesville, Va. : Peoples National Bank, 1935.Brief historical sketches of local buildings and estates, including ownership history. Index.

Clemons Library &
Fine Arts Library
NA7235 .V5 R6 1954

Rothery, Agnes. Houses Virginians have loved. New York: Rinehart & Co., 1954.About 100 lesser-known Virginia houses described with emphasis on personal incidents involved with the houses rather than architectural details.

Alderman Library &
Fine Arts Library
NA707 .C65 2d ser. 1930
Sale, Edith Tunis. Colonial interiors, second series. New York, N.Y., W. Helburn inc., 1930.”Examples illustrating the early architecture of Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina.”–Introd.
Alderman Library &
Fine Arts Library
NA7235.V5 S3 1927
Sale, Edith Tunis. Interiors of Virginia houses of colonial times. Richmond, Va., Printed by the W. Byrd Press, inc., 1927.
Gov Info Virginia
DHR 2/R 31/2000Special Collections
F227 .S26 2000
Salmon, John S. Researching your historic Virginia property. Richmond, Va. : Virginia Dept. of Historic Resources, c2000.
Alderman Stacks & Reference
F227 .S89 1962

Stevens, William T. Virginia house tour, mainly in the locale known as Mr. Jefferson’s country; historical and plantation legends. Charlottesville [Va.] W.T. Stevens [1962]Concentrating on Albemarle County and the surrounding area, giving brief history and description. Many photographs.

Gov Info Virginia
DHR 9/V 817 RSpecial Collections
F227 .V59 2000
Virginia. Dept. of Historic Resources. Virginia’s historical registers : a guide for property owners. [Richmond, VA : Va. Dept. of Historic Resources, c2000]
Alderman Reference
Vertical File Cabinet
Virginia Vertical File (Reference Dept.)
A collection of newspaper clippings from the Charlottesville Daily Progress and Richmond Times Dispatch, brochures, and miscellaneous information. Kept in the filing cabinets near the reference desk. The coverage is generally limited to Charlottesville and adjacent counties.
Alderman Reference &
Fine Arts Library
F227 .W38 1937
Wayland, John Walter. Historic homes of northern Virginia and the eastern panhandle of West Virginia. Staunton, Va., McClure company, 1937.One of the more rewarding house books, this gives a fairly detailed history of each house and its inhabitants with numerous photographs of exteriors, interiors, and grounds. Maps show exact location of houses. Good index.