West Virginia
Archives & History News
Volume I, No. 12
February, 2001


From the Editor:
War, fire, flood and clerical carelessness have resulted in the loss of records in many West Virginia counties. Not covered in the list that follows are the many records with small gaps or errors that are nonetheless important to the researcher whose family information can not be verified by a public record. There are other quirks, such as the fact that many people who died in state institutions, whether tuberculosis sanitariums, hospitals or prisons, did not have their deaths recorded by the county or the state. Also, early marriage records may be incomplete if the minister did not return to the clerk's office to state for the record that he had performed the ceremony, or if the minister's returns were on a loose piece of paper and subsequently lost. When county records fail to provide the information sought, always try to think of alternative sources for the same information. Genealogical research guides, many of which are available in the West Virginia Archives Library, are good starting points for expanding your research. Our staff will be happy to assist you.

Archives and History welcomes our new Commissioner of Culture and History, Nancy Herholdt. We look forward to her leadership in our mission of preserving and disseminating West Virginia culture and history.


By using West Virginia Genealogy Sources & Resources, by Carol McGinnis (Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1988, reprinted in 1998), and comparing its listings of county records to the West Virginia State Archives lists of county records on microfilm, the following list of missing West Virginia county records has been compiled. Additions and corrections to this list are not only welcome, but requested.

*Indicates pre-statehood birth, death and marriage records housed at The Library of Virginia but available on microfilm at the West Virginia Archives Library. The records cover only 1853 through the early 1860's, varying by county, and the quality of the microfilm is poor.

Italics indicate differences between West Virginia Genealogy Sources & Resources listings and the West Virginia Archives holdings. Items in italics were not specified as missing by the book, but are not included on the microfilm in the Archives. Comments in brackets are those of the editor.

Deaths: 1904.

Deeds: 1797-98, 1809-11, 1816-17, 1827- 30, 1837-38, 1853-55, 1861-64.
Wills: 1832-36, 1849-52, 1854-60.
Marriages: 1852-64.

Deeds: Book C.
Wills: Book A

[Some records have been damaged by flood water and are not very legible. Transcripts of many of these records are available as an aid in deciphering them.]

Births: 1868-77.

Births: 1897-98.
Deaths: 1897-98.

[There are undocumented gaps in several sets of records throughout 1800's, and particularly between roughly 1890 and 1915.]

[Hampshire County undoubtedly suffered the worst loss of records of all the western Virginia counties during the Civil War. The Library of Virginia microfilm for Hampshire helps fill in the gaps with Births 1853-59, Marriages 1854-60, and Deaths 1853-59.]
Births: Before 1865.
Deaths: Before 1866.
Marriages: 1829-64.
Wills: Books 3, 4, 6, 8, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21. (There is a roll of microfilm with loose wills dating between 1830 and 1859.)

[After the county's records were filmed by the Church of the Latter Day Saints, Jefferson County staff numbered the volumes, pages and lines for their Vital Statistics registers and compiled an index using those numbers. The LDS group returned and filmed the new indexes, but did not refilm the registers in which the changes had been made. Consequently, although we have the indexes on microfilm, matching an index entry up to the correct page in a register can be very difficult.]

Marriages: 1844-49.

[The Lincoln County Courthouse burned in 1909, destroying almost all records. Some land and land tax records dating from 1867 were not in the building at the time and are available in Lincoln County, but have not been microfilmed. Some effort was made to recreate records, and many Delayed Birth certificates were recorded. Because Lincoln County was formed by a West Virginia legislative act in 1866, well after the beginning of the Civil War, there were no records preserved in Virginia as there were for counties formed earlier.]
Births: Before 1909.
Deaths: Before 1909.
Marriages: Before 1895.

[Many Logan County records were destroyed during the Civil War, and records were not kept for several years following the war. The Library of Virginia records on microfilm help fill in the years 1853-60.]
Births: Before 1872.
Deaths: Before 1872.
Marriages: Before 1872.
Wills: Before 1873.
Deeds: Before 1835.

[Monongalia is one of the oldest counties, formed in 1776, but had a fire in 1796. Not all records were destroyed.]
Marriages: Before 1796.
Wills: Before 1819.
Deeds: Before 1789, but index survives from 1776.

[Morgan County lost records in a courthouse fire in 1844, and again during the Civil War. Some attempts were made to recreate records.]
Births: Before 1865.
Deaths: Before 1865.

Deaths: 1901-04.

[Preston County lost records in a courthouse fire in 1869. The Library of Virginia records on microfilm provide some birth, death and marriage records for 1853-60.]
Births: Before 1869.
Deaths: Before 1869.
Marriages: Before 1869.
Wills: Before 1869.
Deeds: Before 1869.

[Randolph County had a courthouse fire in 1897, but the birth, death, marriage, wills, deeds, etc., were in a vault and saved. Other records were lost.]

Deaths: 1862-63, 1867, 1875-76, 1879, 1883.

[In 1860 Webster County was the last county created under Virginia before West Virginia achieved statehood. The Civil War disrupted organization of the new county, with neither Virginia nor West Virginia taking control of Webster's government. As a result, some records were not kept, courts did not meet, etc. Also, in 1888, a courthouse fire destroyed the records that had been kept.]
Births: Before 1888.
Deaths: Before 1888.
Marriages: Before 1888.
Wills: Before 1888.
Deeds: Before 1877.

Births: 1863-64, 1871-72, 1876.
Deaths: 1862, 1864, 1872-73, 1876.

[Although Wirt County was formed in 1848, many of its records on microfilm do not begin until much later, or have significant gaps. The Library of Virginia records on microfilm fill in some of the gaps for some birth, death and marriage records for 1854-60.]
Births: Before 1870.
Deaths: Before 1870, 1875.
Marriages: Before 1854.

Deaths: 1860-64, partial 1865-67, 1868-74.

Counties without significant gaps in vital statistics, wills and deed records: Braxton, Brooke, Doddridge, Gilmer, Grant, Greenbrier, Hancock, Hardy, Harrison, Jackson, Lewis, McDowell, Marion, Marshall, Mason, Mercer, Mineral, Mingo, Monroe, Nicholas, Ohio, Pendleton, Pleasants, Putnam, Raleigh, Randolph, Ritchie, Roane, Summers, Taylor, Tyler, Upshur, Wayne, Wood.


Historical and genealogical societies must have their exhibit space requests in to the Archives and History office by February 22 for their displays for West Virginia History Day at the Capitol on March 22, 2001. Societies must also have their 2001 History Hero nominations postmarked by February 24. Make sure your group participates fully in this opportunity to demonstrate the love and dedication of West Virginians to the history of their families and their state. If you are not a member of a society, History Day is a wonderful opportunity to meet people with similar interests in family history and West Virginia history and to share information. As an individual or as an organization, please show your support for history- related programs and participate in honoring the remarkable individuals in our state who work to preserve and teach West Virginia history.


The Mining Your History Foundation and West Virginia Archives and History are again sponsoring an after-hours research session in the Archives and History Library in the Cultural Center at the Capitol Complex, Charleston. Check our Web site under "Upcoming Events" for a link to the MYHF Web site, or go straight to their bulletin on the net at You may also write to: Mining Your History Foundation, P. O. Box 6923, Charleston, WV 25362-0923.


Love Child: A Genealogist's Guide to the Social History of Barbados: L. E. Salazar, 2000.

100 Years of Southern West Virginia Sports Moments: Beckley Newspapers, 1999.

100 Years of Southern West Virginia Disasters: Beckley Newspapers, 1999.

100 Years of Southern West Virginia Coal Mining: Beckley Newspapers, 1999.

100 Years of Southern West Virginia Railroading: Beckley Newspapers, 1999.

Dye Connections: Vol. 1 Dye, Vol.2 Murphy, Vol. 3 Grubbs, Vol. 4 Wright, Vol. 5 Tuley: Wilmer John and Ellen Gordon Dye, 2000.

West Virginia Civil War Almanac, Vol. 2: Tim McKinney, 2000.

The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy, 3rd ed.: Val D. Greenwood, 2000.

Reading Early American Handwriting: Kip Sperry, 1996.

A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames with Special American Instances: Charles Wareing Bardsley, 1996.

Ancestral Trails: The Complete Guide to British Genealogy and Family History: Mark D. Herber, 1997.

Roane County, WV 1910 Census: Smithfield, Spencer & Walton Districts: Wes Cochran, 2000.

Belmont County Ohio 1870 Census: Richland, Smith, Somerset, Union, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Wheeling & York Townships: Wes Cochran, 1999.

Ritchie County WV 1910 Census: Clay & Grant Districts: Wes Cochran, 2000.

1860 Census of Buchanan County: Lyle Mutter, [no date.]

Bountiful and Beautiful: A Bicentennial History of Buchanan County, Virginia: 1776-1976: Nancy Virginia Baker, 1976.

Weston Democrat Obituaries, 1999 and 2000: Gerald Hannon, [no date].

Our Monongalia: A History of African Americans in Monongalia County, West Virginia: Connie Park Rice, 1999.

Jackson County WV 1900 Census: Ravenswood District: Wes Cochran, 2000.

Tyler County WV Deaths: 1950-1970: Wes Cochran, 2000.

Lincoln Co., WV Land Records 1867: Connie Mosteller, [no date].

The Descendants of John Stone and Mary O'Brissell Stone: Mildred Ward Campbell, 1996.

Lincoln County, West Virginia Fiduciaries 1900-1930: Connie Mosteller, [no date].

McCallister Family: Linda Perkins Bowles, 1999.

Remembrances Then and Now: John A Francis, reprint of columns written in 1894 for the Monroe Watchman, [no date].

The Perdue Family: William Thomas Perdue, 1997.

Davis: Elizabeth Estlack Mullett, 1999.

Wood County, WV, 1900 Census: Tygart District with Notes: Wes Cochran, 2000.

Ritchie County WV 1920 Census: Clay & Grant Districts: Wes Cochran, 1999.

Job's Temple Church Cemetery: Listing and Plat: DeKalb, Gilmer County, West Virginia: Job's Temple Association, Inc., 2000.

Ritchie County WV 1920 Census: Murphy & Union Districts: Wes Cochran, 1999.

Anderson H. Brown Interview: Della Brown Taylor, 1973.

The Mighty Eighth in WWII: A Memoir: J. Kemp McLaughlin, 2000.

Alexander Neil and the Last Shenandoah Valley Campaign: Letters of an Army Surgeon to his Family, 1864: Richard R. Duncan, 1996.

The Descendants of William Moseley 1605/1606-1655 of Norfolk, Va.: Leila Eldridge D'Aiutolo, 2000. [Moseley Family History Book 1].

Moseley, Mosly etc. Families: Warren L. Forsythe, 2000. [Moseley Family History Book 2].

Black Sheep and Kissing Cousins: How Our Family Stories Shape Us: Elizabeth Stone, 1988.

The Union Hole: Unionist Activity and Local Conflict in Western Virginia: David Scott Turk, 1994.

Forced Founders: Indians, Debtors, Slaves, and the Making of the American Revolution in Virginia: Woody Holton, 1999.

Monongalia County, (West) Virginia: Records of the District, Superior, and County Courts: Melba Pender Zinn, 1990-. Vol. 9: 1813-1817.

Vol. 11: 1819-1822.

Pendleton County (West) Virginia: Probate Records: Wills, 1788-1866; Inventories, Sale Bills, Settlements, 1788-1846: Rick Toothman, 1999.

Tyler County WV Deaths: 1936-1950: Wes Cochran, 1999.

Mason County WV Marriages 1901-1915: Wes Cochran, 1999.

The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy: Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking, Rev. Ed., 1997.

Lovely: Descendants of William Riley Lovely of Tennessee 1777-2000: Johnny B. Lovely, Rev. 2nd Ed., 2000.

Ohio County (WV) Index, Vol. 6: Index to the County Court Order Books (Part 6) 1777-1881: Kenneth Fischer Craft, Jr., 2000.

Finding Your African American Ancestors: A Beginner's Guide: David T. Thackery, 2000.

The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual: Board for Certification of Genealogists, 2000.

Kentucky Place Names: Robert M. Rennick, 1987.

Atlas of Kentucky: Richard Ulack, 1998.

Inside West Virginia: Public Policy Perspectives for the 21st Century: Bruce Keith and Ronald Althouse, 1999.


By Bobby Taylor

Helen Stinson compiled many books of cemetery records, transcriptions of county records, and suggestions for genealogical research in several states. She wrote A Handbook for Genealogical Research in West Virginia. Most of her work is available for visitors to the West Virginia Archives Library. When asked why she performed these countless hours of labor, she said, "It is a labor of love." She has passed away, leaving a legacy that will continue to benefit the people of West Virginia for generations to come.


In recognition of Black History Month, one hundred photographs from the West Virginia Archives collection have been placed on our Web site. Moments captured include visits of notable national leaders, family portraits, street and business scenes, school and church groups, and civic events. Some of the images are unidentified. If you can identify any of the people and places in these photographs, please contact Debra Basham, Archivist. (The Web site provides a direct link for e-mail.) To view Celebrating Lives, visit the "What's New" section of the Archives and History Web site,



LINCOLN'S BIRTHDAY, FEB. 12. * Archives Library will be open.

WASHINGTON'S BIRTHDAY, FEB. 19.* Archives Library will be open.

HISTORY HERO NOMINATIONS DEADLINE, FEB. 24. (Entries must be postmarked by Feb. 24.)

HISTORY DAY 2001, MARCH 22. Capitol Complex, Charleston.

"HOOT OWL" RESEARCH IN THE WV ARCHIVES, MARCH 23-24. Archives Library, Charleston.

"STANDING ON THE MOUNTAIN, LOOKING TO THE FUTURE." MARCH 30- APRIL 1. Annual Conference of the Appalachian Studies Association, Snowshoe Mountain Conference Center.

ANNUAL GENEALOGY FAIR, APRIL 21. West Augusta Historical and Genealogical Society, Wood County Courthouse.

ANNUAL WEST VIRGINIA BLACK HISTORY CONFERENCE, APRIL 30-MAY 1. West Virginia State College History Dept., Institute.

GENEALOGY FAIR, MAY 12. West Virginia Genealogical Society, Elkview.

*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.



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 and Allen Fowler.

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.

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 Herholdt, Commissioner

Archives and History News

West Virginia Archives and History