Alexandria (Independent City), Virginia

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United States  > Virginia > Alexandria (Independent City)



  • First settlement established in 1695. Named for Capt. Philip Alexander. Alexandria was not incorporated until 1779.
  • In 1755, General Edward Braddock organized his fatal expediation against Fort Duquesne (near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) at Carlyle House.
  • April 1755, the governors of Virginia, and the Provinces of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New York met to determine concerted action against the French in America.
  • 1791, Alexandria was included in an area chosen by George Washington to become the District of Columbia. Alexandria along with Arlington County were retroceded back to Virginia in 1846.
  • City of Alexandria was re-chartered in 1852.
  • 1828-1836, Alexandria was home to the Franklin and Armfield slave market.
  • During the Civil War, the slave pen owned by Price, Birch & Co. became a jail under Union occupation.
  • Alexandria was occupied by the Federal troops at the start of the Civil War and remained occupied until the end of the war.
  • 1863 (when West Virginia was divided from Virginia) until end of the Civil War, Alexandria was the seat of the Restored Government of Virginia.
  • 1870, the City of Alexandria became independent of Alexandria County. The rest of Alexandria County became Arlington County in 1920, ending years of confusion.

Parent County

1847--Alexandria was created 13 March 1847 from Fairfax County. [1]

Boundary Changes

Record Loss


Populated Places

Arlandria . Del Rey . Hume. The Landmark . Mount Ida . North Ridge . Old Town . Saint Elmo . Seminary Hill . Seminary West . Town of Potomac (1930) . The Berg . West End . West of Quaker

Neighboring Counties

Arlington | Fairfax | District of Columbia



For a more detailed list, including addresses, phone numbers, and external links, see Alexandria, Virginia Cemeteries.

The following is a list of cemeteries in Alexandria:[2]

  • Alexandria National Cemetery
  • Ivy Hill Cemetery
  • Saint Mary's Cemetery
  • Shuters Hill Cemetery


  • "Alexandria, Virginia, Second Ward, 1799 Census," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 4, No. 3 (Jul-Sep. 1960):117-124; Vol. 4, No. 4 (Oct.-Dec. 1960):163-170. Available at New England Ancestors ($). [Often includes head of households' occupations and names and occupations of boarders.]
  • "Alexandria, Virginia, Fourth Ward, 1800 Census," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 4, No. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 1960):51-59. Available at New England Ancestors ($).



Chancery Court

  • Indexed images of Alexandria, Virginia Chancery Records 1859-1925 are available online through Virginia Memory: Chancery Records Index. These records, often concerned with inheritance disputes, contain a wealth of genealogical information.[3]


  • Coldham, Peter Wilson. "Intercepted Letters Relating to America, 1777-1811" The Genealogist, Vol. 14, No. 2 (Fall 2000):184-200. [Overseas contacts of the residents of Alexandria with the following surnames: Hamilton, Taylor.]
  • Edwards, Conley L. "Abstracts of Reports of Aliens, Alexandria County, 1801-1832," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 24, No. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 1979):112-116; Vol. 24, No. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 1980):172-176. Available at New England Ancestors ($).


Local Histories



French and Indian War

  • Bockstruck, Lloyd DeWitt. Virginia's Colonial Soldiers. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1988. Available at FHL. [Identifies some Alexandria militia officers, soldier enlistments, and veterans; see place name index.]


Indexed images of the Virginia Gazette (1736-1780) are available online through the Colonial Williamsburg website. In addition, Professor Tom Costa and The Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia have created a database of all runaway advertisements for slaves, indentured servants, transported convicts, and ship deserters listed in this source and other Virginia newspapers (1736-1803), see: The Geography of Slavery in Virginia. These newspapers are valuable resources for all regions of Virginia.


Research Guides

  • "A Guide to the Counties of Virginia: Alexandria County [Arlington County]," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 3, No. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 1959):126-129. Available at New England Ancestors ($).


Vital Records

Societies and Libraries


  • USGenWeb project. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county. Select the state, then the county.
  • Family History Library Catalog


  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. USGS Map,
  3. "Virginia Memory: Chancery Records Index Availability," Library of Virginia (accessed 26 January 2010).