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The Colony of Virginia was founded by the Virginia Company, a private venture, under a royal charter in 1606. The colony was settled the following year, in 1607, and the governor was royally appointed. The House of Burgesses, on the other hand, were the representatives elected to the legislative body to represent the people of the colony. There were 22 burgesses in the Virginia General Assembly. After the American Revolution and Virginia's independence from Great Britain, the name was changed to House of Delegates or what we call today the lower house of the General Assembly.
In an effort to entice colonists to emigrate to Virginia, "The Great Charter", was written by the leaders of the Virginia Company in 1619. Anyone willing, who could pay their own way to Virginia, would be granted 50 acres of land. Maybe some of your ancestors came to America under those terms. Since most of my family mostly emigrated to the northeast, I was surprised to learn that at least three of my ancestors on my Daniels branch were born in Virginia, which goes to show you just never know! Maybe they were even part of the Lost Colony at Roanoke! We'll have to keep digging, but for now, here's another resource which will prove useful for researching Virginian colonists. Here it is...
Thirteen volumes of the Journals of the House of Burgesses here at your fingertips - free!
These books are loaded with 157 years of colonial records, from 1619 to 1776, available free on Archive.org and indexed here to make them easy to find. There are a few ways to use this resource:
Browse by Year
If you know what years your ancestor(s) lived in Virginia, start with the corresponding volume. The volumes are divided by time period as follows. Clicking the volume number will take you to the corresponding volume where you can search or find the pages you need.
Manually search the General Index
Use the General Index, provided in the volume embedded here to find a surname or subject in the Genearl index. I wouldn't recommend using their search feature. Instead, scroll through the pages the old-fashioned way (kind of) to find the name you are researching. If you find potential matches, take a snippet or make a note which years and page numbers you need and then easily find and access the volume by clicking the volume number above or using the buttons below.
Browse the Tables of Contents
For your convenience, the "Contents" of all 13 volumes is shown below. Click any image to enlarge the text. Use the blue buttons to access the volumes:
Note: The General Index, embedded above, is from Volume 1. This volume contains two indexes - a General Index, as well as its own separate index. All the indexes are covered in the general index, so to save time, I recommend checking that first.
If you find anything relevant, let us know in the comments below!