West Virginia
Archives & History News
Volume II, No. 8
October 2001


From the Editor:

We are entering the fall and winter months when many people turn to indoor activities such as genealogy and history reading and research. We hope that you will look to West Virginia Archives and History for assistance with your projects, either in person or by mail. Remember, if your family or an organization to which you belong had a reunion this summer, please send us a copy of any booklets or identified photographs resulting from the get- together. Several groups, such as the Ward, WV, reunion have faithfully supplied us with their annual booklet, providing a rare source of information about a West Virginia rural community and company town. Genealogical/historical societies that take the summer off usually have regular meetings this time of year. We would love to hear any suggestions or comments your organization may have concerning Archives and History News.


Although the 1930 United States Census cannot be released until April of 2002, the anticipation is rising among genealogists eager to learn what these records can tell them about their families. In this issue of Archives and History News we are giving you a better idea of when the records will be publicly available and what to expect once the microfilm rolls are in the Archives and History Library.

The National Archives and Record Administration (NARA) will make the 1930 Census and the existing Soundex indexes available to the public on April 1, 2002, at the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C., and at NARA's thirteen regional facilities, exactly 72 years after the official 1930 Census day of April 1, 1930. Other than the District of Columbia main office, the closest facility to West Virginia is in Philadelphia, PA. Most users will be waiting for a library in their home area to purchase film and make it available.

NARA began accepting orders for the entire United States set or for any individual state on October 1, 2001, to be shipped the first week of April 2002. They will not accept orders for individual counties or single rolls until April 1, 2002. The West Virginia Mining Your History Foundation (MYHF), on behalf of the Archives and History Library, will be ordering the 34-roll set for the state of West Virginia. MYHF collected donations from Archives and History Library patrons and from genealogical/historical societies, and conducted various fund-raising projects to pay for the microfilm. We cannot predict exactly when the 1930 Census rolls will be available to our public, since that will depend on how quickly the shipment reaches us, but we will catalog and label the film as quickly as possible once it is in our hands. If all goes well, we hope to have the microfilm ready for use by Library patrons by April 15, 2002, but of course we cannot promise access exactly on a certain date. If you are planning a trip to the Archives solely to research the 1930 Census, please call us or check our Web site for an announcement before coming to be sure your trip will not result in disappointment.

MYHF will also be ordering (at the same time as the Census set) the available West Virginia Soundex on 39 rolls: Fayette, Harrison, Kanawha, Logan, McDowell, Mercer and Raleigh Counties. If you are interested in the census for the remaining 48 counties, be aware that there will be an indeterminate wait for someone to provide a statewide index and individual county indexes. If you can determine ahead of time the district in which your family was most likely to have lived in 1930, you will have a lot less searching to do. (Good project for this winter!) Some tips:

If the household was listed in the 1920 Census, try the same or the closest equivalent district in the 1930 Census first.

Determine where members of the household were born or died in the years immediately prior to and after 1930, if you have no information for 1930 itself. Even for a person who died well after 1930, an obituary can be very helpful in finding the specific community or neighborhood the deceased or his family was from, or where that person may have resided in the past, all locations worth investigating.

Check marriage records to see if a home town was listed for each person, then check both communities in addition to the community where the marriage took place, if different.

If a city directory is available for the area you think most likely, you may be able to find an actual street address for them. Contact that county's main library, or write to us to see if there is a directory for the area concerned. Most major West Virginia cities had R. L. Polk city directories by 1930. (Whether the one you seek is in the Archives and History collection is another matter.)

Especially in rural areas, if you know where other relatives lived, but not the residence of a particular household, check the neighbors of the known family home locations for kin living nearby.

What was the occupation of the head of household circa 1930? Was that occupation more associated with town or country living? Was the company or industry employing the person tied to a certain town or county?

If you cannot locate older family members, look for their children's households. Elderly parents may have moved in with a son or daughter, particularly if widowed after the 1920 Census.

For those of you interested in other states, the following states will have statewide Soundex indexes available: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

Kentucky will have Soundex for Bell, Floyd, Harlan, Kenton, Muhlenberg, Perry and Pike Counties. Since all but Kenton County were associated with the coal industry then as now, some West Virginians may have gone to those areas for work, making these good places to check for known miners. Kenton County would be a reasonable place to look for anyone employed in the railroad and river-related industries, as well as for immigrant populations, particularly German.

A reminder: The West Virginia Archives and History Library will have the 1930 Census of West Virginia and associated Soundex indexes. We will not have any 1930 Census rolls for other states.


Fredrick H. Armstrong, Director of Archives and History, is willing on behalf of genealogical and historical societies throughout the state to order a second set of West Virginia 1930 Census microfilm along with the MYHF pre-release order for April 1, 2002, shipment. He can do this only if enough organizations are willing to purchase the roll(s) for their home counties in order to cover the cost of an entire state set ($34.00 per roll). Combining resources to order a state set would allow each organization to receive an area's individual 1930 Census reels at the earliest possible date. Otherwise, individual county rolls cannot even be ordered until April 1, 2002, when many thousands of others will be ordering at the same time. NARA will not accept any orders for single counties or rolls before that date.

Please contact Mr. Armstrong through Archives and History immediately if your organization would like to take advantage of this opportunity. Each roll costs $34.00. Multi-county rolls will be on a first-come, first-served basis, although division of a roll may be possible.

Of course, there is an ulterior motive! We hope all of the genealogical/historical societies in West Virginia are preparing now to index their area's 1930 Census and to publish their work ASAP! Since most of West Virginia will not have Soundex coverage, county indexes should be a great fund-raiser for your group. Archives and History News can announce each publication as it becomes available, although the newsletter does not accept advertising. If a copy is donated to the Archives and History Library, it will be publicized through our "New Titles" list and/or acknowledged in a "Donations" article, as well.


1. Place of abode: street address, number of dwelling house, and number of family in order of visitation.

2. Name of each person who resided with this family on April 1, 1930.

3. Relationship of each person to the head of the family.

4. Home data: if owned (value) or rented (amount of monthly rent), if living on a farm, and if a radio set is owned.

5. Personal description of each person: sex, color or race, age at last birthday (should be last birthday before April 1, 1930, if answered correctly), marital status, and age at first marriage.

6. Education: whether attended school or college any time since Sept. 1, 1929, and whether able to read and write.

7. Place of birth of each person, and of that person's mother and father.

8. Mother tongue of foreign born: language spoken before coming to the United States.

9. Citizenship: year of immigration to the United States, naturalization, and whether able to speak English.

10. Occupation & industry: trade, profession or particular kind of work done, plus industry or business and class of worker.

11. Employment: whether worked last regular working day, and if not, line number on Unemployment Schedule. (Note: Unemployment Schedule records no longer exist.)

12. Veterans: whether a veteran of U.S. military, and if so, what war or expedition. (World War appears as WW, Spanish- American War as Sp, Civil War as Civ, Philippine Insurrection as Phil, Boxer Rebellion as Box and Mexican Expedition as Mex.)

13. Farm Schedule: Number of Farm Schedule. (Note: Farm Schedule records no longer exist.)


Reconnaissance of Stream Geomorphology, Low Streamflow, and Stream Temperature in the Mountaintop Coal-mining Region, Southern West Virginia, 1999-2000: Jeffrey B. Wiley, 2001.

Aquifer-characteristics Data for West Virginia: Mark D. Kozar and Melvin V. Mathes, 2001.

Genealogies of Pascoe, Scheid, Maunus of Welsh, German, Finnish, Descent: Patty Dahm Pascoe, 2000.

Charles Clendinen of Virginia: His Parents, His Son Alexander and Some of Alexander Clendinen's Descendants: John F. and Harriet M. Clendenen, 2000.

War and Work: The Autobiography of Thurman I. Miller: Thurman I. Miller, 2001.

Tygart River Reservoir: West Virginia: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1959. [Map, including photographs, text and statistics]

The Cemetery Map of Mineral County: Mineral County Historical Society, 2001.

Directory of Archives and Historical Records Repositories in Tennessee: John-Paul Richiuso, 2001.

Official Journal and Year Book of the West Virginia Annual Conference: United Methodist Church, 2001.

West Virginia High School Track & Field State Meet: Boys: A Statistical History 1914-2001: Jesse Skiles, 2001.

West Virginia High School Track & Field State Meet: Girls: A Statistical History 1975-2001: Jesse Skiles, 2001.

Monroe County West Virginia in the Civil War: Leona Lynch Kessel, 2001.

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


Annual History Day will be Thursday, February 28, 2002. Once again, organizations statewide with an interest in preserving and disseminating West Virginia history will converge on the Capitol to demonstrate to the state legislature and to the general public the importance of people, places and events prominent in West Virginia's history.

In order to honor those individuals who have made great contributions to promotion and preservation of West Virginia history, History Hero Awards will be given. Nomination forms soon will be mailed to all organizations on our mailing list. Nominations will be accepted any time after December 1, 2001, until the final deadline on January 11, 2002, from organizations only. Nominations cannot be accepted from individuals. Please start planning your displays and begin thinking about who you think should be designated a West Virginia History Hero.


The West Virginia Historical Education Foundation donated several mint-condition copies of textbooks, as well as copies of other history books of significance that they published over the years. Manuscript copies of several books were also given to the West Virginia Archives for preservation. We appreciate the Foundation's generosity and their recognition of the West Virginia State Archives as the most appropriate institution to receive their donation. Scholars will be able to study how the history of West Virginia was taught to the state's students in the latter half of the 20th century.

Almost all of the titles in the September New Title List were donated by the authors or publishing organizations. Again, we acknowledge the sacrifice many authors make in donating their works to us. We cannot build the collection without your help.



West Virginia Archives and History is proud to announce the addition of a wonderful collection of photographs, postcards, letters and other material to our Web site in the form of an on-line exhibit. These materials and more were donated to the West Virginia State Museum in December 2000 by Clyde Lathey, USS West Virginia memorabilia collector and founder of a USS West Virginia (BB- 48) Museum in Parkersburg, WV. The documents and photographs Mr. Lathey collected from individuals who served on the battleship, including many letters describing service aboard the vessel during both peace and war from 1923-1946, were transferred to Archives and History. To relate the history of the ship and the men who served aboard her, Web master Joe Geiger has arranged the on- line exhibit into eight chapters:

I. The First USS West Virginia
II. Launching a Battleship
III. 1930s
IV. Crossing the Equator
V. Pearl Harbor
VI. Salvage
VII. The Fighting Wee-Vee
VIII. End of the Line

Joe's favorite part of the site is "Remembering Pearl Harbor" in Chapter V. Joe read through many letters written to Mr. Lathey by people who had served on the USS West Virginia, finding about two dozen letters written by Pearl Harbor survivors. Portions of these letters describing what had happened to the writers during the attack on Pearl Harbor and its aftermath, including a few experiences of family members dealing with their reaction on the home front to the news of the tragedy, can be read on-line. Joe has also incorporated the USS West Virginia's Pearl Harbor attack Action Report, previously placed on-line to coincide with the release of the new Pearl Harbor movie, into Chapter V of the new on-line exhibit. By comparing the contemporary official reports written by surviving officers with the candid accounts of both officers and enlisted men written many years later, one can see that the horrifying memories of the event did not dim over time. In both sets of documents, the love and devotion of the men for their ship and for their shipmates shines through. (The Editor admits to shedding more than one tear.)

On the lighter side, the peacetime observance of "Crossing the Equator" as described in Chapter IV reveals the camaraderie and fraternity that develops in a group of men at sea. The first time new sailors crossed the equator aboard ship, even during war, was the perfect excuse for a raucous celebration, complete with parades of oceanic "royalty"and initiation rites. The photographs of these events are not to be missed!

USS West Virginia: An On-Line Exhibit, by West Virginia Archives and History, is found at Take a voyage into the past that no one should miss. The USS West Virginia certainly lived up to the patriotism, strength and pride of the state whose name she bore.


Most of you are probably not aware that the Archives must subscribe by mail to all of the newspapers we receive. The cost of subscriptions takes a considerable percentage of the Archives budget. Many free papers have a very limited local distribution; consequently, we miss out on a lot of potentially valuable local history and genealogy. If you are interested in sponsoring a subscription or in arranging for the forwarding of "local" titles to the Library's collection, please call or write us.



CIVIL WAR SCHOLARS LECTURE SERIES: THE VORTEX OF HELL: The 5th New York Infantry at Second Bull Run: Brian C. Pohanka, Lecturer, NOVEMBER 5. The Cultural Center, Charleston.

VETERANS DAY, NOVEMBER 12. Archives Library will be open.*

THANKSGIVING DAY, NOVEMBER 22. Archives Library will be closed. FRIDAY AND SATURDAY AFTER THANKSGIVING, NOVEMBER 23 AND 24. Archives Library will be open.*

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


9:00 a.m. 8:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
9:00 a.m. 6:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Holiday hours as posted.

Staff Copy Service and the Microfilm Storage Room will close one half hour prior to closing each day. Archives and History office hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. The office is closed on all state holidays. Please make viewing arrangements for manuscript, photograph, moving images and other special collections during regular office hours.


If you are planning to spend the winter months compiling all that research you did this summer into a history of your family, or if you have transcribed and indexed some of your county's records that you will self-publish, please review Archives and History News, Volume I, No. 3, May 2000. This issue and all other issues of the newsletter can be read on-line at If you do not have access to the Internet, or if you would like a copy of a sample title page, please write or call Susan Scouras, Editor.


Fredrick Armstrong: Director
Debra Basham: Archivist (photographs, special collections)
Constance Baston: Researcher (Veterans Memorial Archives)
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)
Terry Lowry: Cultural Program Associate (Civil War)
Cathy Miller: Library Assistant (WV State documents, periodicals)
Sharon Newhouse: Secretary
Harold Newman: Library Assistant (microfilming, Revolutionary War)
Pat Pleska: Veterans Memorial Archives Manager
Susan Scouras: Librarian (cataloging, Kentucky, library collection, newsletter editor)
Jaime (Lynch) Simmons: Library Assistant (Records of the 1700's and early 1800's, Pennsylvania)
Bobby Taylor: Library Manager
Nancy Waggoner: Office Assistant

On special projects: Allen Fowler. Intern: Ethan Byler. Volunteers: Caroline Connor, Bill Kelley and Angela Tolbert.

Archives and History News

West Virginia Archives and History