Archiver > POYTHRESS > 2008-01 > 1199912305

From: "John M. Poythress" <>
Subject: [POYTHRESS] Hening's Statutes at Large
Date: Wed, 9 Jan 2008 15:58:25 -0500

Every now and then we happen up on one of those great research endeavors

that some guy or gal is compiling in what only appears to be an act of love.

http://vagenweb.org/hening appears to be such a site. One Freddie Spradlin

is in the process of transcribing all 13 "Hening" volumes to this site. He's

currently on volume 10. Additionally, he provides his own index of surnames.

Hening's Statutes is something of a "required" reference for those searching

in Virginia genealogy and/or acts of the Virginia Legislature. The full title

is "Being a Collection of all the Laws of Virginia from the first session of

the Legislature in 1619" by William Waller Hening. The series concludes

with volume 13 covering the year 1792.

If one runs a search for Poythress on Spradlin's site it turns up 5 items,

each of which is an "act" for a specific purpose which usually runs to 4 or 5

pages of text to express the entire "act" of the legislature and, of course,

include the referenced Poythress individual(s).

Spradlin has a couple of technical problems. The orginal text contained

printed marginal notes which are difficult to deal with. Secondly, Spradlin

is transcribing from a "recent" (1969) re-compilation of the material which

includes an author's creative notes so Spradlin has some copyright limitations

and page number adjustments with respect to those notes. Still, Spradlin's html

format is a bit easier to read than the photocopied pages of the original work

in part because it appears to be 14 point type and is clearly plainer.

The identical items are shown on the Poythress data disk photocopied

from the original pages by Mr. Hening and the pages copied also cover

the entire legislative "act" involving the Poythress individual(s) to which

Mr. Swem's index leads us.

The two texts are identical so neither source appears to offer any great

advantage over the other except as a matter of personal preference. It's

likely the site's use to us would be to research various collateral individuals

and/or families involved or perhaps even the legislative act itself. However,

Spradlin's work seems slightly easier to work with as its index is


The "searchability" of Spradlin's site vs. having to refer constantly back to

Swem's printed index for the photocopies suggests to me to keep the

Spradlin site handy among my research sources.

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