Source:Virginia, United States. Cavaliers and Pioneers : Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants

Source Cavaliers and pioneers
abstracts of Virginia land patents and grants [8 Volumes covering 1623-1782]
Author Nugent, Nell Marion (Main Author)
Hudgins (Added Author), Dennis Ray
Place Virginia, United States
Year range 1623 - 1782
Subject Deed/Land records
Publication information
Type Book
Publisher Vol 1 originally published (1934) by The Dietz Press. Subsequently published by Library of Virginia (Vols 1-3) and Virginia Genealogical Society (Vols 4-8)
Date issued 1934-present
Place issued Richmond [Virginia]
Periodical / Series name Cavaliers and Pioneers
Number of Volumes 8
Nugent, Nell Marion (Main Author), and Dennis Ray Hudgins (Added Author). Cavaliers and pioneers: abstracts of Virginia land patents and grants [8 Volumes covering 1623-1782]. (Richmond [Virginia]: Vol 1 originally published (1934) by The Dietz Press. Subsequently published by Library of Virginia (Vols 1-3) and Virginia Genealogical Society (Vols 4-8), 1934-present).
Family History CenterFAMILY HISTORY LIBRARY CATALOGFamily history center
Library of Virginia
Internet ArchiveVol 1 (1623-1666)Free website
Ancestry.comsearch Vol 1 (1623-1666)Paid website
Google BooksVol 1 (1623-1666) - 1963 editionFree website
Google BooksVol 2-3 (1666-1695) - 1983 editionFree website



This series currently contains eight volumes of Abstracts of land patents from colonial Virginia covering the years 1623 through 1782. It began with the work of Nell Marion Nugent in the 1930s but has grown over the years to represent the work of many individuals since then. At the time of this writing, the series consists of the following volumes covering the years indicated:

  • Vol.1 1623-1666 --
  • Vol.2 1666-1695 --
  • Vol.3 1695-1732 --
  • Vol.4 1732-1741 --
  • Vol.5 1741-1749 --
  • Vol.6 1749-1762 --
  • Vol.7 1762-1776 --
  • Vol.8 1779-1782 --

These volumes can be found published in many different editions, both separately and in combined form, therefore when citing this source, it is important to include not only the volume and page number but also the edition (ex. Vol. 2 (1977), p 450.)

Editions and Formats

The set of volumes published under this title has grown over the years and combines the work of several individuals. In the 1930s Nell Marion Nugent compiled a first volume of Abstracts of land patents from Patent Books No. 1 through 5 which covered the years 1623-1666. This first volume was published by The Dietz Press in Richmond in 1934. Nugent had also abstracted the land patents from Patent Books No. 6 through 14, but her work went into litigation before it was published 1, and so the first volume was the only one published until the 1970s. There have been many reprints of this first volume by many different publishing houses.

The page proofs of Nugent's abstracts were photo-copied and put into three volumes by the Virginia State Library 1, which published Volume 2 (1666-1695) with an index by Claudia B. Grundman in 1977 and Volume 3 (1695-1732) in 1979. This 3-Volume series has been reprinted many times in separate and combined forms by various publishing houses.

In 1980, the Virginia State Library published a supplement to this work entitled, "Cavaliers and pioneers : abstracts of Virginia land patents and grants : supplement, Northern Neck grants, no. 1, 1690-1692." [cos1776 note: I think this only appears separately.] When the original abstracts were gathered together and published in one volume, the publisher missed fourteen pages of abstracts for the Northern Neck Grants no. 1, 1690-1692. This supplement contains these pages.

During the 1980s, Dennis Ray Hudgins, in collaboration with The Virginia Genealogical Society, expanded the work even further by continuing to add abstracts covering subsequent years after 1732. Some of this work was first published as a serial in the Magazine of Virginia Genealogy Citation needed, but was later published in book form under the same title as the original 1934 publication. Volumes 4-8, covering patents up to 1782, are published by the Virginia Genealogical Society.

Usage Tips

  • The abstract of each patent gives, in order, the name of the patentee, the number of acres in the patent, the county in which the land was situated at the time the patent was issued, the date of the patent, the book and page of recordation, a description of the location of the land, and, if applicable, the names of the persons on the basis of whose transportation the patent was due. Any additional information contained within the patent is also abstracted. The index includes all proper personal names as well as geographical designations.3
  • May be ordered through the nearest Family History Center. FHL film numbers: 1320779 Item 5
  • see Clayton Library Friends for tips on using this source and other related sources
  • The original patent records have been digitized by the Library of Virginia, see: Virginia Land Office Patents and Grants (Online Catalog, under Images & Indexes). Note: The Library of Virginia only indexed the names of patentees. The headrights (immigrants) mentioned in the grants were not indexed. It is very helpful to first check the printed abstracts, find the name of the patentee, then return to the Library of Virginia website to view the original record.


  1. Foley, Louise P. H. Early Virginia Families Along the James River: Their Deep Roots and Tangled Branches. Baltimore: Genealogical Pub. Co, 1974. Print., p i.
  2. Family History Library Card Catalogue
  3. Library of Virginia - Cavaliers and Pioneers - Last accessed: 20140426. Last Updated: unknown.