This website is for anyone interested in the Kidd family history, and who either knows or suspects that their Kidd family's roots lead back to early Virginia.
This website is a repository of documented historical records pertaining to the Kidd family of early Virginia, from 1646, by which time our immigrant Kidd had arrived in the Virginia colony, to roughly 1850. Many Kidds in the U.S. today are the descendants of this Thomas Kidd.
Here you will find everything that is currently known about this Thomas Kidd and his proven descendants.
Also on this site, you can find compilations of records for hundreds of other Kidd individuals whose connection with Thomas Kidd the immigrant is currently unknown, but who may be among your ancestors. This information is organized by County. To date, we have exhaustively researched over twenty Virginia Counties, compiling all records pertaining to Kidd individuals from the formation of the county to 1850. We have posted the compilations of nine counties so far; several more are nearing completion, and will be posted in the near future. See below for the list of counties that we've researched so far.
The year 2022 marks the 376th year of our Kidd family in America. Our immigrant ancestor is Thomas Kidd, who was in the colony of Virginia by 1646. This Thomas Kidd settled in Middlesex County on the Dragon Run, near present-day Church View, Virginia. He and his wife Jane (maiden name unproven, despite claims to the contrary) had five children, only two of them sons who could carry on the surname of Kidd. But those two sons produced a total of fifteen sons.
Click here for a five-page narrative about Thomas1 Kidd and his children & grandchildren.
A few sons remained in Middlesex or adjacent counties, but many others and their descendants migrated elsewhere in Virginia, and then scattered further, into North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, and Ohio, with later generations found throughout the United States. Today many individuals with the surname of Kidd are in some way related to the Kidds of Middlesex County.
One goal of this website is to provide visitors a wealth of historical data related to the Kidds who lived in Virginia between 1646 and 1850, to help researchers to pursue leads on their Kidd ancestors in this era.
We have created a tree of this Thomas Kidd’s proven descendants on Ancestry.com, at Middlesex County Kidds and their proven descendants.
In Family View, this tree depicts the first three generations of the Thomas1 Kidd family; further generations (that have been documented) can be seen by clicking on a given individual to see their known descendants.
ALSO included in this tree are several other ‘branches,’ each comprised of an early Virginia Kidd that we strongly suspect to be the descendant of Thomas1 Kidd, along with his documented descendants. We’ve included these detached branches because we hope to one day be able to connect many of them to Thomas1 Kidd’s tree, when we either a) discover historical evidence to confirm the kinship or b) confirm the kinship using Y-DNA evidence from the descendants of these branches, in comparison to the Y-DNA results of proven descendants of Thomas Kidd.
Don’t expect to stumble upon your Kidd connection on your first visit to this website. It’s not that easy. Work back from what you know to be true, until it leads you to a specific locality (ideally a county) in Virginia, and then review what we show for that county.
And if the data for the county you’re interested in has not been posted yet, just email us, and we’ll see what we can do to help you.
Genealogists are essentially detectives who specialize in family history.
Good detectives adhere to guidelines and principles, in order to avoid errors and to ferret out the truth.
The Board of Certification for Genealogists has developed an excellent set of guidelines for genealogists, called the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS).
The GPS consists of five elements:
This website is our effort to address the first three elements of the GPS for all the Kidds of early Virginia, and to share the results of this research with fellow Kidd researchers.
We hope that visitors to this site will find new facts about their Kidd ancestors here, and that this information will give them new insights and leads to further their research.
We also hope that the information found here will help others to distinguish between proven, documented relationships and those which are widely shared and accepted as true on Ancestry and elsewhere, but for which proof is minimal or non-existent. Many of these previously unseen documents shed light on mistakes in previous research, and it is important that we are diligent in correcting these errors, in our own personal trees and in trees on the Internet.
For more information on the Genealogical Proof Standard, visit the website of the Board of Certification for Genealogists at bcgcertification.org/ethics/ethics-standards/.
You know the old saying: All politics are local. The same can be said about the lives of our ancestors and the records they left behind, especially in the place and time that this web site represents—Virginia from colonial times to the mid-1800s.
Because our ancestors typically didn’t often move far, our research should begin with the records for the county and neighbor counties where our ancestors lived. For this reason, we have organized our research and this website by county, creating a set of master documents that we fondly call the BDs (for big documents). We have created BDs for 20 counties where Kidds are found in significant numbers, or where their presence in the county was significant to their migration path. The BDs are organized:
To date (July 2022) we have gathered and compiled records for 20 Virginia counties over the past decade. Organizing, analyzing and evaluating this material is not easy, and most of these compilations are not ready to be shared widely. We are committed to upload them as soon as we can, given that one of us still works full-time. Below is a list of the counties we have researched so far, and when we hope to have each BD available. Each of the county compilations is a PDF. From the list below, choose the link to the county you are interested in. You can view the document on this site, or you can download the file to your computer or tablet and search them using your PDF viewer. If you do not know the Virginia county of your Kidd ancestors, work back from what you do know.
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, 1744-1851 (73 pages, 273 footnotes)
AMELIA, DINWIDDIE & NOTTOWAY, 1734-1853 (154 pages, 550 footnotes) - UPDATED December 2021
AMHERST COUNTY, 1761-1850 (84 pages, 265 footnotes)
BRUNSWICK COUNTY, 1732-1865 (63 pages, 187 footnotes) - NEW, June 2021
BUCKINGHAM COUNTY, 1761-1863 (100 pages, 322 footnotes)
CAMPBELL COUNTY, 1781-1850 (64 pages, 234 footnotes)
CAROLINE COUNTY, 1727-1853 (170 pages, 570 footnotes) - UPDATED July 2020
ESSEX COUNTY, 1723-1850 (108 pages, 454 footnotes) - UPDATED July 2020
FLUVANNA COUNTY, 1777-1850 (143 pages, 570 footnotes)
GOOCHLAND COUNTY, 1728-1850 (43 pages, 146 footnotes)
HALIFAX COUNTY, 1782-1850 (69 pages, 239 footnotes) - NEW, August 2021
HANOVER COUNTY, 1720-1850 (28 pages, 54 footnotes)
HENRICO COUNTY, 1634-1850 (30 pages, 78 footnotes)
KING & QUEEN COUNTY, 1669-1850 (118 pages, 219 footnotes) - NEW, October 2020
LUNENBURG COUNTY, 1746-1850 (34 pages, 91 footnotes) - NEW, July 2021
MECKLENBURG COUNTY, 1764-1850 (60 pages, 219 footnotes) - NEW, August 2021
MIDDLESEX COUNTY, 1669-1850 (299 pages, 1529 footnotes) - UPDATED November 2020
NELSON COUNTY, 1807-1850 (241 pages, 760 footnotes) - NEW, July 2022
PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY, 1766-1850, (67 pages, 192 footnotes) - NEW, December 2021
We started our search long before the Internet. As we got better at research, we learned of more sources. Our goal has been to abstract and analyze primary records, most of which are kept at the county level in Virginia. This has taken many forms:
We also have considered the work of other Kidd genealogists, for whom we are very grateful. However, our goal is to go back to the primary record to document both our own theories, or the theories of others. What you will not find in these compilations are “family tree facts” that are not supported by documentation--whether written in longhand by your great-aunt Martha 50 years ago or appearing daily on dozens of online pedigrees. We welcome any comments or questions you have. Just use the Contact Us link at the bottom of this page.
As a long-time Kidd genealogy researcher and volunteer co-administrator of the Kidd Y-DNA project, I am often told that someone's great-aunt Jane or third cousin Bob always swore that their Kidd line directly descended from the pirate Captain William Kidd.Click here for a brief account that explains why this is a tall tale, not a true one.
There are three kinds of DNA that are most used in genetic genealogical research: Y-DNA, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), and autosomal DNA.
Y-DNA refers to the Y chromosome. Only males have a Y chromosome; each man gets his Y chromosome from his father, who inherited it from his father, and so forth back through generations. So, if two men with the same surname (Kidd, for example) take a Y-DNA test and the test shows a very close match, that is evidence that they share a common male Kidd ancestor, somewhere back in time, from which they both descend.
Because Y-DNA is passed down through the paternal line, it is ideal for surname research. Y-DNA matching cannot tell you precisely who your great-great-grandfather was, but used in conjunction with “paper trail” research, it can help to confirm whether you are closely related (or not) to a certain family.
In general, a man's Y-DNA makeup changes very little between generations, but when changes do take place, they can be useful in helping to distinguish different branches of that particular family. In the Kidd Y-DNA Project, for example, a distinctive pair of Y-DNA markers (think of these as signposts) are shared by male descendants of Benjamin Kidd and Judith Chowning of Middlesex County, Virginia. Finding this distinctive pair of markers helped us to identify a previously undiscovered branch of this family, and traditional genealogy research helped to make the case even stronger using historical records.
The Kidd Y-DNA Project is a surname research project open to any Kidd male, from anywhere in the world. who wishes to participate by testing his own paternal line DNA. As of 2021, we have more than 110 men of Kidd descent participating in the project.
The Kidd Y-DNA Project is hosted at Family Tree DNA, the leading company that offers Y-DNA testing.
Family Tree DNA offers a range of testing options for Y-DNA testing. The baseline Y-DNA test is the 37-marker test; participants are encouraged to test as many markers as they find affordable. Family Tree DNA also offers advanced DNA testing options, including the Big Y 700. For more information about Y-DNA testing options, please visit www./familytreedna.com/products/y-dna
While many of the Kidds involved in the Y-DNA Project are Americans of Virginia origin, we welcome all Kidd men and especially seek those who live or have had Kidd family members in the British Isles in recent generations. To see if your branch of the Kidd family is represented in the project, please contact volunteer co-administrator Sandra Kidd at email@example.com.
Sandra Kidd's interest in genealogy was born from a 9th grade civics class assignment to create a poster of her family tree. Her competitive instincts took over when a classmate's poster had more branches than hers did, and she set out to learn more about her family from that day forward. (Her mother still has the original poster, mistakes and all.) Sandra has served as a volunteer co-administrator for the past 12 years for the Kidd Y-DNA project hosted at Family Tree DNA. She comes from a long line of Southern storytellers, so imagining the lives behind the names on her family tree is one her favorite pastimes--when not visiting cousins, courthouses, and cemeteries.
Reiley Kidd belongs to the branch of Thomas1 Kidd's descendants that migrated from Middlesex County to Amelia County in 1762, and later to Tennessee, Mississippi and beyond. Now a retired diagnostic radiologist, he lives in Seattle, WA. Reiley's interest in his family history was sparked by stories he heard as a child about his great-grandfather's blood being on the floor of Shiloh Church after the Battle of Shiloh (it wasn't). He has compiled several books of Amelia County, Virginia records, following extensive research there on his Kidd ancestors.
We are distant cousins (7th cousins, once removed, to be exact) who share a lifelong interest in the Kidd family history. We began this project more than 20 years ago, in an effort to find the records to either substantiate undocumented claims about our Kidd ancestors, or to disprove them and point us in the correct direction. We identified the Virginia counties where our own ancestors lived, and reviewed records and books for each county for every mention of the Kidds on our family trees.
When the Kidd Y-DNA project got underway more than a decade ago, we learned through paternal-line DNA testing which Kidd men shared a common male ancestor and which did not, helping us to form family groups through DNA analysis. With this information, we still had to determine how these families were related, and so our research project went back to the records. This website is the result, and it is and always will be a work in progress.
Our goal is to make these county compilations accessible to Kidd researchers, to share the information that we've found to date. We hope that by doing so, others will benefit by having this material readily available, and that together we can get a clearer picture of our shared Kidd ancestry and the connections we share.