West Virginia
Archives & History News
Volume III, No. 5
July 2002

From the Editor:

I hope you will all take advantage of the new comment form added to the Archives and History News section of the Web site. I genuinely would like to hear your opinions and ideas regarding future issues of this newsletter. The Archives and History Library is experiencing the normal summer influx of out-of-state visitors who are seeking their West Virginia roots. We have also been doing some cleaning and reorganizing on the non- public floors, which means some staff members have been a little less available to work with the public. We appreciate your patience and also hope you will overlook our red faces and dusty clothes until the work is finished.


West Virginia Archives and History has a number of microfilm and microfiche readers available for loan to historical/genealogical societies and public libraries. The machines, which are described below, will be loaned to qualifying organizations for an extended, indefinite period, and must be picked up at the Cultural Center in Charleston. They are in various conditions and must be taken as-is. If an organization borrows a machine, but cannot utilize it, the machine must be returned to Archives and History at the borrower's expense. The deadline for requesting loan of a microfilm or microfiche reader is July 31, 2002. For more information, contact Cathy Miller at (304) 558-0230, Ext. 706.

Two Kodak Recordak MPE 1 hand crank microfilm readers, 16/35 mm, 19X lens. Each has a broken flexible crank shaft assembly.

One Kodak Recordak Motormatic microfilm reader, 16/35 mm, 19X lens.

One Kodak IMT 50 Microimage microfilm reader/printer terminal, fully motorized, 16 mm only, 48X lens.

One Kodak IMT 150 Microimage microfilm reader/printer terminal, fully motorized, 16 mm only, 48X lens.

Three Kodak IMT 200 Microimage microfilm reader terminals, fully motorized, 16 mm only, 48X lens.

One Bell and Howell Duo microfiche reader.

One Vantage III microfiche reader, "D" lens.


The Archives and History Library has a small collection of yearbooks spread over a wide range of years for high schools and colleges around the state. Recently we have had increased requests from patrons for West Virginia yearbooks. If you have yearbooks which your family is no longer interested in keeping, please consider donating them to the Archives. When we can not fulfill a request, we refer the researcher to a genealogical society in the area of the school in question, or to the school itself when the institution is still in existence. An inventory of the yearbooks available in school and public libraries in their home counties would be a great project for societies to undertake.

Similarly, we would appreciate receiving copies of church directories, particularly commemorative editions for anniversary years that include a history of the congregation and photographs of the interior and exterior of church buildings. Please encourage directory committees to order at least one extra copy for donation to the West Virginia Archives.

Mark Your Calendars!!
2003 History Day
Thursday, Feb. 27.


In the February 2001 and August 2001 issues of Archives and History News, West Virginia county records were discussed and specific problems with records were listed on an individual county basis. Please take the time to reread those articles and to make note of any damaged records, peculiarities in any particular county's records (such as a stretch of years where the "Name of Parents" column on marriage records was left blank), or periods of missing records. Call, write or e-mail ( Susan Scouras with your comments. We would like to compile our information and yours into a new, more complete list for the benefit of genealogists and historians who research these valuable sources.

Sometimes what is common knowledge to those of you experienced in researching your home counties is completely unknown to beginning genealogists in particular. An example is the fact that although the microfilm labels and lists only identify Kanawha County marriage books for the years 1816-1843 and 1850-1867, seemingly indicating that the records for 1844-1849 are missing, the "missing" records are included in the 1816-1843 ledger in proper chronological order. The error arises from the fact that the ledger itself is stamped "1816-1843" although it actually runs through 1849.


If you don't use the on-line library catalog, you may be overlooking the very clue you need to solve a problem in your genealogy. The piece of information you seek may be hiding in a book that is largely about another subject, but covers enough of your topic to have it listed as a subject heading. For instance, every family tree, no matter where you choose to begin your research, is a combination of both the father's family and the mother's line. While this may seem obvious, beginning researchers in particular often lock onto one surname and limit their search to that name. A book about any family most likely has only the patronymic, or father's name, in the title and as the main subject, and is therefore cataloged under that surname; however, if a significant number of people in the mother's line are included in the index, her maiden surname will be listed as a subject heading also. Similarly, if their married daughter had several sons, who also produced mostly male offspring, the book may contain a significant amount of information about people with the daughter's married surname, and should have that surname as an additional subject heading.

Whether searching from the computer terminals in the Library or from your home computer, select "Subject" for type of search, type in the surname you are seeking and add the word "family." Be sure to check alternate spellings as well.


USS West Virginia, BB-48: Turner Publishing, 1997.

The Giannini's of Virginia: Omer Allan, Jr., 1997.

Tour Guide: Ruffner Historical Sites: Ruffner Family Association, 2002.

Press On!: Further Adventures in the Good Life: Chuck Yeager and Charles Leerhsen, 1988.

The Mountain Artisans Quilting Book: Alfred Allan Lewis, [1973].

River on the Rocks: The Birch River Story: Skip and Rob Johnson, 2001.

Birch River Watershed and Stream Profile: map work by Eddy Grey. [Map: request from staff.] Lightning Time: A Novel: Douglas Rees, 1997.

The Big Inch and Little Big Inch Pipelines: The Most Amazing Government-Industry Cooperation Ever Achieved: Texas Eastern Transmission Corp., 2000. [Book and videotape.]

History and Genealogy of Rockymount Baptist Church Missionary Order: 1869-1919: James R. Pettry, [no date].

Company Rolls War of 1812 in Virginia: Counties Now in West Virginia, Including Some Maryland and Pennsylvania Companies: Copied by the United Daughters of 1812 from records prepared by the Historical Records Survey Federal Works Project, [no date].

The Handywoman Stories: Lenore McComas Coverly, 2002.

It Only Takes a Spark: The History of Christ Episcopal Church, Clarksburg, West Virginia: Rev. Scott T. Holcombe, 1997.

The Country Boy: J. W. Williams, 2001.

Braxton County WV Deaths 1941-1955: Wes Cochran, 2002.

A Comprehensive History of the West Virginia State Police, 1919-1979: Merle T. Cole, 1998.

Black Residents of Greenbrier, Monroe, Pocahontas and Summers Counties West Virginia: Carol L. Haynes, 2002.

Jackson County WV 1850 Census: Wes Cochran, 2002.

A Short Census of Virginia 1779: William H. Dumont, 1958. [Note: excerpted from National Genealogical Society Quarterly. Information compiled from records of the United States Treasury of Virginians who turned in their paper money to the Virginia Continental Loan Office in 1779-80.]

Rails and Rivers in the History of St. Albans: J. W. Williams, [no date].

Gilmer County, WV Deaths, 1881-1903: Wes Cochran, 2002.

Organization of the Virginia Militia, War of 1812: [no author, no date].

Cooke Funeral Home (Formerly Cooke & Pauley): Nitro, West Virginia: Records: Volume 2, 1955-1967: Gwen Sizemore, 2001.

Useful Information for Oil Men: Silas W. Munn, 1900.

Wood County: Virginia, now West Virginia, Deed Book 5: Sylvia Bargeloh, [no date].

Gilmer County WV Deaths: 1904-1951: Wes Cochran, 2001.

Appalachia: Social Context Past and Present, 4th ed.: Edited by Phillip J. Obermiller and Michael E. Maloney, 2002.

1920 Lewis Co., WV, Census: Nettie Gregory, 2002.

They Started It All: A Guide to Hackers Creek Historic Sites: Joy L. Gregoire Gilchrist [Stalnaker], [no date].

A Map Book of Historical Sites and Places in the Hackers Creek Watershed: Robert B. Smith, 1988.

1830 Census Lewis County, Virginia: Now West Virginia: Linda Brake Meyers, [no date].

1840 Census: Lewis County West Virginia: Linda Brake Meyers, 1996.

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


Whether you are reading your very first issue of Archives and History News, or you haven't missed a month in keeping up with the Archives and History section's activities and of increasing your West Virginia research skills, please let us know what you think about our publication, and what topics you would like to see covered in the future. If you are visiting the Archives and History Library, or would prefer to telephone, ask to speak to Susan Scouras, the newsletter's editor. You can send an e-mail directly from our Web site on the links provided. We have also added an e-mail comment form to the newsletter section of the Web site. We want to hear from you!



"SHAPING THE CAPITOL COMPLEX: CASS GILBERT, INC.": Collection of photographs and documents on display in the Archives and History Library and on the Archives and History Web site.

INDEPENDENCE DAY, JULY 4. Archives Library will be closed.

"JOHN ADAMS: FIRST PRINCIPLES," JULY 17. David McCullough, speaker, sponsored by the Humanities Council. The Cultural Center, Charleston.

BELLE BOYD HOUSE 10TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION, AUGUST 17: Berkeley County Historical Society, Martinsburg.

"HERITAGE TOURISM FOR WEST VIRGINIA," SEPTEMBER 6-7: Conference sponsored by Preservation Alliance of West Virginia, Morgantown.

HISTORY DAY 2003, FEBRUARY 27: The Capitol and 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.


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: Carolyn Conner, Bill Kelley, Dale Newhouse, Angela Tolbert, Bob and Lucile Foster, Heather Sayre and Barry Williams. Interns: T. W. Hindman, Phillip Sword, and Zachary Warren.

Archives and History News

West Virginia Archives and History