The Resource Anne Virginia Agnew papers

Anne Virginia Agnew papers

Anne Virginia Agnew papers, 1919-1943
Anne Virginia Agnew papers
Inclusive dates
Papers, 1919-1943, of and pertaining to genealogist Anne Virginia "Jean" Agnew (1872-1944), are largely comprised of notes she gathered while researching her own ancestry and that of her clients. Some of the surnames researched include Archer, Baldwin, Chaffin, Claiborne, Cox, Flippin or Flippen, Hobson, Hughes, Jones, Miller, Scott, Ward, and Webb. For a more detailed listing of families mentioned in the files, see the folder listing in the finding aid. At times, notes are supplemented by newspaper clippings and photographs. Two collections of family anecdotes, Agnew's "Our Vine and Figtree and Some Family Incidents," and the booklet "Graham Scott's Letter to his Nephew and Namesake," also offer insight into whites' attitudes toward African Americans in mid-19th to early 20th-century Virginia. Other items include Agnew's genealogy "work book"; a handful of scholarly and genealogical journals; and four letters, dated 1919-1943, in which Agnew gives general updates on her life and the goings-on of family members, including sister Ella Graham Agnew (1871-1958)
Member of
  • Accessioned
  • Described
Biographical or historical data
  • Anne Virginia Agnew, known as "Jean," was born in Nottoway County, Virginia, on 5 December 1872, the tenth child of Dr. James Anderson Agnew (1828-1879) and Martha Chaffin Scott Agnew (1832-1872). With their mother's death the day after Jean's birth, some of the eight surviving children were sent to live elsewhere. Jean was placed with Richard Anderson Miller (1840-1919) and his wife Sarah Elizabeth Crowder Miller (1844-1926), relatives of the Agnews. The Millers later had two children of their own, Richard (1874-1940) and Mary (1877-1926 or 7). The family lived first at Stone Knoll, a house in Prince Edward County, Virginia, and then at Grape Lawn, near Burkeville, Nottoway County, Virginia. Throughout her life, Jean also maintained close relationships with her natural siblings.
  • Born deaf, Jean Agnew learned to read lips, and communicated with her family through sign language. She worked as a teacher in several schools for the deaf, some of which she helped to establish. In later years, she supported herself by working as a genealogist, and was credited for her insistence on accuracy and citation. She died in 1944 after being hit by a train. Some in the family believed that her death may have been a suicide, as she had feared that an upcoming cataracts surgery would leave her blind and completely dependent on the help of others.
Cataloging source
Anne Virginia Agnew papers
File names and groupings assigned by Anne Virginia Agnew have for the most part been maintained. In some cases, information on several families was kept within a single file; the groupings do not necessarily indicate relationships between the families.
  • The Library of Virginia
Cumulative index finding aids
  • Inventory
  • Inventory
  • 1.05
  • 1
Immediate source of acquisition
Evans, Helen Wolfe
Type of unit
  • cu. ft. and
  • oversize folder.

Library Locations

    • Library of VirginiaBorrow it
      800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA, 23219, US
      37.5415632 -77.4360805
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