How to Use Swem’s

Dr. Earl Gregg Swem (1870-1965) indexed seven significant Virginia publications in his Virginia Historical Index. The index, often called “Swem’s” is one of the standard research guides for Virginia records.

Swem, E.G., Librarian of the College of William and Mary. Virginia Historical Index Two Volumes. Baltimore:

The Genealogical Forum of Oregon patrons are fortunate to have this index in the collection. They are doubly fortunate because many of the sources that are indexed are also in the GFO Library collection.

The books indexed in “Swem” are:


Take careful note of the combination of numbers and letters after the index entry. Abbreviations for publications indexed in Swem are:

CCalendar of State Papers
HHenning’s Statutes at Large
NLower Norfolk County Antiquary
RVirginia Historical Register
TTyler’s Quarterly Magazine
VVirginia Magazine of History and Biography
W(1)William and Mary Quarterly, first series
W(2)William and Mary Quarterly, second series

The index entries look like this:

Sarah 8V314; 7W(1)115-118
Family 3T72; 7W(1)56, 57, 115-119, 174-178

The above index entries mean:

GFO Research Guide, by Connie Lenzen, CG. Created 17 September 2003.

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