Dear Sarah H,,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
We suggest that you review NARA’s Resources for Genealogists, as well as the History Hub Blog titled Suggestions and Advice for Family History Researchers. Also, the FamilySearch Research wiki for Virginia may be useful.
Establishing parental connection would most likely be found in documents such as birth, marriage and death records. These are records that are typically known as Vital Records and are generally maintained by local authorities. The Commonwealth of Virginia did not begin statewide registration of births until 1912, marriages until 1853, and deaths until 1912. However there are some instances that these records exist for earlier time periods and you may wish to consult the Research wiki for Virginia Vital Records for help. You may also wish to contact the Library of Virginia for additional resources.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!