West Virginia
Archives & History News
Volume II, No. 11
January 2002


From the Editor:

History Day is fast approaching. We hope you and/or your organization are planning to join us in the Capitol on February 28 to celebrate and promote the history of West Virginia and the lives of West Virginians past and present. We also hope you will show your support for history and genealogy-related programs and activities. One group which does this year-round is the Mining Your History Foundation, the subject of this month's newsletter. The honorees of each History Day, West Virginia's History Heroes, are also people and organizations who have devoted themselves in many ways to the preservation and promotion of the history and culture of the Mountain State. If you are not a member of an active historical, genealogical or preservation society, please consider joining a group. Many individual voices blended into one strong communal voice can achieve much.


The Mining Your History Foundation (MYHF) was originally formed in 1994 as a committee to sponsor the first West Virginia Mining Your History Conference on family, local and state history. The Conference, held in October of that year, was a tremendous success. Funds raised through that initial activity of the group were used to purchase the microfilm of the service records of all Union soldiers who served from the region which became West Virginia in 1863. Buoyed by their success, the committee established by-laws and was incorporated in 1995 under the laws of West Virginia as Mining Your History Foundation. Membership is available on an individual, family or group (historical/genealogical/preservation society, etc.) basis.

The main purpose of MYHF is to serve as a "Friends of the West Virginia Archives" group. Fund-raising for the Archives is a major objective. In addition to the Civil War Union service records previously mentioned, MYHF, using a combination of Foundation funds and public donations, has recently purchased the 1930 West Virginia Census and Soundex rolls for placement in the West Virginia Archives and History Library collection for public use. Current efforts are directed toward replacement of West Virginia county vital statistics microfilm rolls damaged by heavy use. Twenty rolls have already been ordered. If you are a user of microfilm in the Archives and History Library, be sure to take advantage of the comment pages available in the Microfilm Storage Room to report damaged or "fuzzy" rolls of film to MYHF. Ordering priority is given to rolls identified by Library patrons.

Mining Your History Foundation also works to present a unified presence for West Virginia on the national scene, both disseminating information about West Virginia organizations and activities nationally, and collecting information countrywide of interest to West Virginians. Mountain Views, the Foundation's newsletter, is published four times a year and distributed only to members and to the West Virginia Archives and History Library. News and activities on the state and national level are included in Mountain Views.

In order to better serve the entire state, MYHF has divided the state into regions, with each region entitled to seat a representative on the MYHF Board. The MYHF Board meets five to six times a year in Charleston. The current president is Wes Cochran of Parkersburg, WV. Membership chairperson is Patricia Pleska of Charleston, WV. If you do not know who represents your region, feel free to contact Pat or Wes.

Patricia Pleska

Wes Cochran

Mining Your History Foundation
P. O. Box 6923
Charleston, WV 25362-0923
Web site:

A third goal of MYHF is to encourage networking among all state groups by sharing information and identifying resources. In addition to Mountain Views, MYHF has sponsored four statewide conferences and numerous regional conferences. The regional conference format emphasizes local history and projects in that particular area, while a statewide conference agenda usually includes a nationally known speaker.

MYHF maintains a Speaker's Bureau of people who are willing to speak or to make presentations about West Virginia history or genealogy to groups such as historical/genealogical societies, libraries, schools, etc. If you would like to participate, you can register through the MYHF Web site, or in writing.

All Mining Your History Foundation activities are offered first to the membership, then remaining spaces are made available to the general public. One of their most popular activities is "Hoot Owl" research in the Archives and History Library. For a participation donation, researchers are given supervised access to the Archives and History Library after normal hours as a matter of fact, all night! By popular demand, the third "Hoot Owl" night has been scheduled for March 22, 2002. For complete information, visit the MYHF Web site, the Archives and History Web site (, call Pat Pleska, or e-mail from the MYHF Web site.

Tentatively being considered by the Board if sufficient interest is expressed is a three-day bus excursion to Richmond, VA, or to Washington, DC, for genealogical research. If you would like to be a part of the decision-making process, become a member of Mining Your History Foundation. If you are already a member, work with your regional representative, or become a Board member yourself!

The Archives and History section of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History appreciates all of the donations of time and resources received through the Mining Your History Foundation. We encourage everyone with an interest in West Virginia history and roots in West Virginia families to take advantage of the opportunities available through these true "Friends of the West Virginia Archives."


How and Where to Look It Up: Resources for Searching the History of Jefferson County, West Virginia: William D. Theriault, 1999.

The Burdett Family of Virginia and West Virginia: Howard W. Burdett, 2001.

The Descendants of Thomas Bays 1798-1886: Son of John Franklin Bays: Randall C. Steele, 2001.

Guide to North Carolina Historical Highway Markers, 7th ed.: North Carolina Division of Archives and History, 1979.

The Historical Markers of North Georgia, 1st ed.: Kenneth W. Boyd, 1993.

Cabell County [Images of America series]: James E. Casto, 2001.

Epling/Eplin 1787-2001: Robert L. Massard, 2001.

Joseph Mayo, 2nd Lt. Fluvanna, Va. Patriot: A Genealogy and Family History 1620 to 2001: Charles Edward Mayo, 2nd, 2001.

An Ornament to the City: Historic Architecture in Downtown Fairmont, West Virginia: Debra Ball McMillan, 1996.

The Cemetery at St. Colman Catholic Church at Irish Mountain: William J. Shorter, 2001.

A New Deal for America: Proceedings from a National Conference on New Deal Communities: edited by Brian Ward, 1995. [contains several articles on Arthurdale, WV.]

Eleanor Roosevelt and the Arthurdale Experiment: Nancy Hoffman, 2001.

The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Volume 29: Thomas Jefferson, 2002.

A Branch of the Byrne Family: 1724-2001: Eleanor Louise Carte Byrnes, 2001.

Star-Spangled Banner: Our Nation and Its Flag: Margaret Sedeen, c1993, 2001.

Life in a Longhouse Village: Bobbie Kalman, 2001.

Towers Over Kentucky: A History of Radio and TV in the Bluegrass State: Francis M. Nash, 1995.


Applications are now being accepted for historic preservation development grants through the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History. Approximately $500,000.00 will be awarded, contingent upon appropriation of funds from the West Virginia legislature or the United States Congress. Eligible projects include the restoration or rehabilitation of historic sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Properties owned by church organizations or used exclusively for religious or governmental purposes are not eligible for funding. Privately owned properties are eligible only in instances where there is evidence of public support or public benefit. For more information, contact Pamela Brooks of the grants staff at (304) 558-0220, Ext. 720. Deadline for receipt of applications is March 31, 2002. (News release courtesy of Ginny Painter, WVDCH.)


Cathy Teets of Headline Books donated copies of ten titles on their publication list. Arthurdale Heritage Foundation has donated books and a videotape dealing with Eleanor Roosevelt and New Deal communities, especially Arthurdale, WV. The Jefferson County Historical Society made a gift to the West Virginia Archives of three copies of the Society's new videotape of Jefferson County History. Note: An upcoming Archives and History News will focus on our videotape collection.

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
(304) 558-0230
Nancy P. Herholdt, Commissioner



"WE HOPE TO SEE YOU SOON": A Collection of West Virginia War Letters. Exhibit in the Archives and History Library, The Cultural Center, Charleston.

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. DAY, JANUARY 21. Archives Library is open.*


LINCOLN'S BIRTHDAY, FEBRUARY 12. Archives Library is open.*

PRESIDENT'S DAY, FEBRUARY 18. Archives Library is open.*

HISTORY DAY 2002, FEBRUARY 28. Capitol Complex, Charleston.

25th ANNUAL APPALACHIAN STUDIES CONFERENCE, MARCH 15-17: Voices from the Margins Living on the Fringe. Unicoi State Park, Helen, GA. For more information:

"HOOT OWL" RESEARCH IN THE ARCHIVES, MARCH 22: Sponsored by Mining Your History Foundation, in the Archives and History Library, The Cultural Center, Charleston.

*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.

FEBRUARY 28, 2002

History Day 2002 will feature historical exhibits and other cultural events depicting the unique heritage of West Virginia. Co-sponsored by the Friends of WV Culture and History, Preservation Alliance of WV, WV Historical Society, the WV Historical Association, WV Humanities Council, WV Association of Museums and Mining Your History Foundation, History Day at the Legislature has been officially designated by the West Virginia Archives and History Commission as a special day to recognize West Virginia's rich and varied history. The Sixth Annual History Hero awards will be presented as a part of the celebration.


Fredrick Armstrong: Director
Debra Basham: Archivist (photographs, special collections)
Constance Baston: Researcher (Veterans Memorial Archive)
Greg Carroll: Historian (Civil War, Native American history)
Dick Fauss: Archivist (microfilm and moving images)
Elaine Gates: Library Assistant (microfilming and microfilm repairs)
Joe Geiger: Historian (Web page)
Ed Hicks: Photographer (archival photography, darkroom)
Mary Johnson: Historian (West Virginia History)
Terry Lowry: Library Assistant (Civil War)
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: Manager (Veterans Memorial Archive)
Susan Scouras: Librarian (cataloging, Kentucky, library collection, newsletter editor)
Bobby Taylor: Library Manager
Nancy Waggoner: Office Assistant

Working on special projects: Allen Fowler.

Volunteers: Caroline Connor, Bill Kelley, Dale Newhouse, and Angela Tolbert.

Archives and History News

West Virginia Archives and History