THE HISTORY OF WEST VIRGINIA
From the Editor:
The Archives and History staff often is asked to recommend sources for studying West Virginia history. Many out-of-state patrons working on genealogy find themselves intrigued by the history of their ancestral home and want to learn more about it. Natives want to investigate the industrial and cultural forces that shaped their home counties. Others want to learn about the people and events who didn't get covered by more traditional history texts. After consulting with Fredrick H. Armstrong, Director of Archives and History, and with Joe Geiger, an Archives and History Historian who also teaches college-level West Virginia history for Marshall University, we are suggesting several works and resources for exploring the history of West Virginia, the only state born of the Civil War.
HISTORY OF THE
For a pleasant reading experience we suggest West Virginia: The Mountain State, by Charles H. Ambler and Festus P. Summers, 2nd edition, published in 1958. Ambler and Summers covered western Virginia and West Virginia from the time of the mound builders through the early 1950's in a well-regarded history that is more readable than the usual textbook. Although out of print, this work is widely available in libraries across the state and shows up on used-book Web sites at reasonable prices. Another title commonly used as a classroom text and also easily found for library borrowing or for purchase is West Virginia: A History, by Otis K. Rice and Stephen W. Brown, 2nd edition, published in 1993 and still in print in hardback. For the reader interested in learning about subjects in more detail, a selected bibliography with suggested readings is included.
A different approach was taken by the American Association for State and Local History when they commissioned authors to write about each state for a national bicentennial history series. As stated in the series introduction, each author was requested to write an "interpretive, sensitive, thoughtful, individual, even personal" summary of what was most significant about his or her state's history. John Alexander Williams, author of West Virginia: A Bicentennial History, essentially wrote sááááááááays: Point Pleasant, Harpers Ferry, Droop Mountain, Tug Fork, Paint Creek, Hawks Nest, and Buffalo Creek, plus a concluding chapter about the nature of West Virginia and West Virginians that is quite thought-provoking. Williams attempts to include groups often slighted by more traditional texts, as well as tackle head on exaggeration and falsification of events that have been accepted as "history." The Bicentennial Edition is not found much now, but the same text was reprinted in 1984 under the title of West Virginia: A History, and is used in college classes as a supplement to the Rice and Brown book. Paperback editions can be purchased and library copies are generally available across the state.
Transforming the Appalachian Countryside: Railroads, Deforestation, and Social Change in West Virginia, 1880-1920, by Ronald L. Lewis, describes and discusses West Virginia during the period of industrialization, focusing primarily on the logging areas. Economic, social and environmental conditions of the state are emphasized. Lewis's work is highly recommended for anyone striving to understand current conditions in West Virginia today. Copies of this 1998 publication are available, although relatively expensive. Many West Virginia libraries have copies.
For those who would like to share West Virginia's history and culture with young people, West Virginia: A History for Beginners, by John Alexander Williams, is a good choice. Williams has written a less traditional history book with greater emphasis on why things happened, rather than what happened when. The first four chapters address Native Americans and their history in what is now the state of West Virginia. Everyday life during different time periods is described, as well as the roles of women and minorities throughout. This book is in print in paperback and available in many libraries.
Another source suitable for both adults and younger readers for information about Native American history in our area, as well as early explorers and pioneers, is Straight Up to See the Sky: An Illustrated Guidebook to the Great Trans-Allegheny Adventurers and Chiefs, by Timothy Truman. This book is out of print and hard to find as a used book. Some libraries, including the Archives and History Library, have copies.
For the African American experience in West Virginia, try Colored People: A Memoir, by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Coal, Class and Color: Blacks in Southern West Virginia, 1915- 32, by Joe William Trotter, Jr. Colored People, written in 1994, is still in print in both hardback and paperback, and is widely available in libraries. Gates writes candidly about his childhood and early adult years and the people and places in West Virginia that influenced him. Coal, Class and Color takes a detailed look at a specific time and place in West Virginia history, "describing the unique experience of black coal miners in southern West Virginia between World War I and the great Depression, showing how the subtle interplay of race, class and region altered black people's personal and collective existence." [cover comments] Trotter's book is included as a volume in two different series: Working Class in American History, and Blacks in the New World. Coal, Class and Color is in print in both paperback and hardback, new and used, and is available in many libraries.
The West Virginia Women's Commission produced two volumes highlighting notable women in the state's history. Missing Chapters: West Virginia Women in History was published in 1983, and Missing Chapters II: West Virginia Women in History was published in 1986. Each volume contains short essays about individual women and their accomplishments. Brief biographies of the contributors are also included. Both books are in many libraries, but are probably hard to find for purchase. West Virginia History, the journal published by the Archives and History section of the Division of Culture and History, devoted Volume 49, 1990, to "the story of West Virginia women's role in the development of the state from a variety of perspectives." [page 1] The journal is available in many libraries, and Volume 49 is currently offered at a special price of $5.00. (See our Web site for ordering information, or purchase a copy in the Archives Library.)
Want to know more? A thorough exploration of the Archives and History Web site, particularly the History Center, will guide you to the full text of several recent issues of West Virginia History, time lines, essays, study guides, bibliographies, photograph collections, governors' biographies, notable West Virginians, and much more. Use the links provided to find other Web sites with information on West Virginia history. Learn reasons to be a proud Mountaineer.
WEST VIRGINIA HISTORY
West Virginia History for 1999-2000 is at the printers and will be available soon. Articles cover West Virginians' service in local state militia and home guard companies, industrialization of West Virginia in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, the role of U.S. Senator Peter G. Van Winkle in the impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson, as well as book reviews and notes on state and regional topics. The subscription fee for the softbound journal is $12.00 in the United States and $15.00 outside of the United States. Copies will be on sale in the Archives Library and by mail order. For ordering information, call Archives and History at (304) 558-0230, or watch our Web site, www.wvculture.org/history, for an announcement. We are excited to have this showcase of West Virginia history resume publication.
Back issues of West Virginia History available for sale, some at reduced prices, are listed on our Web site with brief descriptions of contents. The full text (no photographs) of seven recent issues, Volume 50 (1991) through Volume 56 (1997), can be read on line, and are indexed by author and subject. Volume 57 (1998) will be added soon. Requirements for submission of articles for publication and ordering information for both current and back issues are provided. If you do not have access to the Internet, visit your local public library, or call Archives and History at (304) 558- 0230.
If your local public and/or school libraries do not subscribe to West Virginia History, or are missing back issues, please consider purchasing copies for them and donating them in the interest of spreading knowledge of the history of the Mountain State through this outstanding journal. This would be an excellent project for historical societies and history clubs to undertake.
WSAZ TO BEGIN USING
Dick Fauss, our Archivist for microfilm and moving images, has been working with Scott Saxton of WSAZ-TV to provide footage for nostalgic pieces which will appear under the title "Living History" every Tuesday on the 5:00 p.m. newscast. WSAZ has been bringing its own videotape and film of reporters' broadcasts to the Archives for storage and preservation for some twenty years now. WTRF-TV has also sent similar footage to the Archives, and has been producing nostalgic pieces employing the archived images for its early morning show for over a year now. Two stations, WSAZ and WCHS, keep the most recent five years' worth of broadcast footage in their own libraries, and regularly send anything over five years old to the Archives. Several other West Virginia television stations donate film on an irregular basis, as they see fit. When the original images are on film, the Archives staff transfers them to videotape to accommodate current broadcasting needs. One of the most recent productions using archival footage obtained from the West Virginia Archives with the stations' sanction is Ashes to Glory, the award-winning documentary film about the Marshall University football program in the aftermath of tragedy.
ARCHIVES AND HISTORY
Please call if you can help us with a number of interesting projects, for an hour, a day or a month.
HAMPSHIRE COUNTY COURT RECORDS
NOW AVAILABLE ON MICROFILM
Previously unavailable Hampshire County Court records for 1754-1885 are now available in the West Virginia Archives and History Library. The loose paper records were microfilmed in alphabetical order by surname of the 851 main individuals involved, and indexed on the last roll by surname, with a synopsis of the type and date of records included for each person indexed. The twelve rolls of microfilm contain over 28,000 pages of documents such as wills, estate appraisals and settlements, appointments and settlements of guardianships, administrative bonds and appointments, dowers for widows, etc.
Many of the records were in very poor condition, having water and pest damage or having faded from age. Illegible records were noted, but not microfilmed in full. The original records were returned to the Hampshire County clerk after filming.
William Rice, a Hampshire County volunteer, began the indexing process and the Archives staff completed it. A paper copy of the index only will be shelved in the Archives and History Library with other Hampshire County record books. Copies of the Hampshire County Court Records: 1754-1885 Index may be purchased through Archives and History for $10.00 (add $1.50 postage for mail orders.)
Currently these records are also accessible in the Hampshire County Public Library and at Potomac State College Library. You may view these records on microfilm in person in the Archives Library, or you may request a search by letter. (Out-of-state residents must enclose the standard $10.00 research fee per two requests. West Virginia residents will be billed for copies only.)
MEET OUR STAFF
JAIME SIMMONS LYNCH
Jaime has been an employee of Archives and History for fourteen years. In addition to staffing the Archives Library, Jaime specializes in research in the pre-1810 era. She is knowledgeable in tracing migration patterns, which is very useful in locating the counties in which people are likely to have settled, or in reverse, determining the areas from which residents of a specified area are likely to have originated. Her familiarity with customs of military service in this time period works well with her knowledge of the basis on which land grants were usually awarded. Jaime is well-versed in the Archives and History Library collection regarding land grants in all aspects. Her ability to decipher 18th century handwriting and spelling practices is excellent. If you are interested in the history of the construction of the early turnpike system in the 1830's and 1840's, Jaime is skillful in matching the Library's text sources with the maps in the collection.
APRIL NEW TITLES
Hampshire County Court Records, 1754-1885: On microfilm with index. Copy of index in notebook on Archives Library shelves also.
Labor's Defiant Lady: The Story of Mother Jones: Irving Werstein, 1969. [Juvenile]
Precious Memories: Onva Huffman Allen, no date.
African American and American Indian Patriots of the Revolutionary War: NSDAR, 2001.
The New A to Zax: A Comprehensive Genealogical Dictionary: Barbara Jean Evans, 2nd ed, 1990.
Ohio River Ecosystem Restoration Program: IL, IN, KY, OH, WV, PA: Final: Integrated Decision Document and Environmental Assessment: Army Corps of Engineers, 2000.
The Shawnee Indians: An Annotated Bibliography: Randolph Noe, 2001.
Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America: David Hackett Fischer, 1989.
The Stulls of "Millsborough": A Genealogical History of John Stull "The Miller," Pioneer of Western Maryland: Chris H. Bailey, 2000.
Ancestry's Concise Genealogical Dictionary: Maurine and Glen Harris, 1989.
The Handy Book of English Genealogy, 3rd ed.: Rachael Mellen, 1990.
Deaths, 1834-1855: Gleaned from The Pittsburgh Advocate: Helen Clear, 2000.
Marriages, 1844-1855: Gleaned from The Pittsburgh Advocate: Helen Clear, 2000.
History of the Second Regiment West Virginia Cavalry Volunteers, During the War of the Rebellion: J. J. Sutton, 2001, c1892.
Walker Family History: June Faye Booth Ashworth, 1996.
In the Mountain State: A West Virginia Folklore and Cultural Studies Curriculum: Judy Byers, et al., 1999.
1920 Lewis Co, WV, Census Index: Nettie Gregory, 2001.
Collins Settlement of Old: Original Press Manuscript of Historical Serial: Roy Bird Cook, articles published in the Weston Independent, 1921-22. This edition, 2001.
Cooke Funeral Home: (Formerly Cooke & Pauley): Nitro, WV: Volume I: 1939-1954: Gwen Sizemore, 2001.
Architectural and Pictorial History of Berkeley County, Volume 5: Dorothy C. Myers, ed., 2000.
Slagle Trails and Descendants of Jacob Slagle: Rebecca D. Kartalia, 2000.
The Mallow Ancestral Line of Louise Kiger (Humphreys) Morrison: Louise Humphreys Morrison, 1991.
The Hevener (Hefner) Ancestral Line of...Morrison: Ms. Morrison, 1991.
The Bodkin and Lorimer Ancestral Lines of...Morrison: Ms. Morrison, 1987.
The Humphreys Ancestral Line of...Morrison: Ms. Morrison, 1989, Revised 1999.
An Introduction to West Virginia's Ethnic Communities: John Lilly, West Virginia Division of Culture and History, 1999. [Text also on line at www.wvculture.org/goldenseal.]
Nancy Hanks: Mother of Lincoln: Charles Ludwig, 1967. [Juvenile]
Charles Clendinen of Virginia: John F. Clendenen, 2001.
Rowlesburg Area Cemeteries: Edna Britton, 2000.
Vickers Family Tree: Orpha L. Browning, Sept. 2000 and Oct. 2000 editions.
Jane Mary Storey and Robert Johnson: Milo N. Johnson, no date.
Solomon & Seaberry: Their "Trail of Tears" Led North: How the Osbornes Came to West Virginia: Vickie D. Osborne Brown, 1997.
A River to Cross: The Bicentennial History of Wood County: Philip W. Sturm, 1999.
IN THE ARCHIVES LIBRARY
The Archives Library has over three dozen CD- ROMs containing census, family history, vital records, marriages, newspaper indexes and military records cataloged and available for use in the Library. We are especially proud to offer the new Familysearch Freedman's Bank Records that obtained national press coverage upon its release. To enable the CDs to be used in the Library, the Family Tree Maker program and the GRS program have been installed on one of our computers. The collection is accessible through the Security Desk (by the Library entrance.) Please take advantage of our new service.
This newsletter is a publication of :
The Division of Culture and History
Archives and History
The Cultural Center
1900 Kanawha Boulevard East
Charleston, WV 25305-0300
Nancy P. Herholdt, Commissioner
NEW CULTURAL CENTER HOURS
EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2001
Beginning July 1, 2001, the State Museum and the Archives and History Library in the Cultural Center will be open as follows:
Monday-Thursday 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
Friday-Saturday 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
Sunday (Museum only) Noon-6:00 p.m.
The Archives and History Library will be closed on Sundays. Call before visiting on holidays. The extended hours which begin in July are for the Library Reading Room only. Appointments for Special Collections or with staff will be available during regular weekday office hours only.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
PLEASE CHECK OUR WEB SITE (http://www.wvculture.org/history) FOR GENEALOGICAL and HISTORICAL SOCIETY MEETING ANNOUNCEMENTS, AND FOR MORE COMPLETE INFORMATION ON ACTIVITIES LISTED BELOW.
"LINCOLN'S MEN: HOW PRESIDENT LINCOLN BECAME FATHER TO AN ARMY AND A NATION," MAY 22. William C. Davis, speaker. The Cultural Center, Charleston.
VANDALIA GATHERING, MAY 25-27. Capitol Complex, Charleston.
MEMORIAL DAY, MAY 28. Archives Library will be closed.
BLUE AND GRAY REUNION 2001, 140TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATTLE OF PHILIPPI, MAY 31-JUNE 3. Philippi.
WEST VIRGINIA DAY, JUNE 20. *Archives Library will be open.
3RD ANNUAL STONEWALL JACKSON CIVIL WAR SEMINAR, JUNE 30. Pricketts Fort State Park.
NOTE: ARCHIVES AND HISTORY LIBRARY NEW HOURS IN EFFECT JULY 2.
*Only the Archives Library will be staffed--all other Archives offices will be closed. The State Museum will be open any time the Archives Library is open. The West Virginia Library Commission Library in the Cultural Center is closed weekends and all holidays.
CURRENT ARCHIVES LIBRARY HOURS ARE 9:00 A.M. TO 5:00 P.M. MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY, AND 1:00 P.M. TO 5:00 P.M. ON SATURDAYS. HOLIDAY HOURS VARY PLEASE CALL IN ADVANCE.
ARCHIVES AND HISTORY STAFF
Fredrick Armstrong: Director
Debra Basham: Archivist (photographs, special collections)
Greg Carroll: Historian (Civil War, Native American history)
Dick Fauss: Archivist (microfilm and moving images)
Elaine Gates: Part-time Library Assistant (microfilming and microfilm repairs)
Joe Geiger: Historian (Web page)
Ed Hicks: Photographer (archival photography, darkroom)
Mary Johnson: Historian (West Virginia History)
Jaime Lynch: Library Assistant (Records of the 1700's and early 1800's, Pennsylvania)
Cathy Miller: Library Assistant (WV State documents, periodicals)
Sharon Newhouse: Secretary
Harold Newman: Library Assistant (microfilming, Revolutionary War)
Pat Pleska: Part-time Library Assistant (Clipping File)
Susan Scouras: Librarian (cataloging, Kentucky, library collection, newsletter editor)
Bobby Taylor: Library Manager
Nancy Waggoner: Office Assistant
Contract employees working on special projects: Constance Baston, Allen Fowler, and Leah Stover.
We need volunteers to assist with several different projects in the Archives and History Library. High school and college students seeking public service hours are welcome. Please call for further information.
Archives and History News