Data Collections


Data Collections
Sorted by West Virginia Census & Voter Lists
Sort by Count
West Virginia, Compiled Census Index, 1860-1890111,809
View other Census & Voter Lists collections related to West Virginia (19)

Data Collections
Sorted by West Virginia Birth, Marriage & Death
Sort by Count
West Virginia, Births Index, 1804-19383,629,628
West Virginia, Marriages Index, 1785-19712,887,474
West Virginia, Deaths Index, 1853-19732,446,976
West Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1724-1985645,134
West Virginia, Compiled Marriage Records, 1863-1900178,740
View all West Virginia Birth, Marriage & Death (17)

Data Collections
Sorted by West Virginia Military
Sort by Count
U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947Updated54,293,029
U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942Updated15,293,445
U.S., Union Soldiers Compiled Service Records, 1861-1865837,569
West Virginia 5th Cavalry Roster1,100
Annual report of the Adjutant General of the State of West Virginia for the year ending, 1864-1865371
View all West Virginia Military (10)

Data Collections
Sorted by West Virginia Immigration & Emigration
Sort by Count
West Virginia, Naturalization Records, 1814-199164,939
View other Immigration & Emigration collections related to West Virginia (38)

Data Collections
Sorted by West Virginia Newspapers & Periodicals
Sort by Count
Post-Herald And Register (Beckley, West Virginia)51,997
View other Newspapers & Periodicals collections related to West Virginia (29)

Data Collections
Sorted by West Virginia Pictures
Sort by Count
There are no Pictures collections unique to West Virginia
View other Pictures collections related to West Virginia (14)

Data Collections
Sorted by West Virginia Directories & Member Lists
Sort by Count
West Virginia, Order Sons of Italy in America, Lodge Records, 1921-19693,642
Extracts from the minutes of the proceedings of the Associate Reformed Synod of the West, held at Chillicothe (O.)36
View other Directories & Member Lists collections related to West Virginia (81)

Data Collections
Sorted by West Virginia Court, Land, Wills & Financial
Sort by Count
West Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1724-1985645,134
Sims index to land grants in West Virginia867
West Virginia Estate Settlements179
View other Court, Land, Wills & Financial collections related to West Virginia (80)

Data Collections
Sorted by West Virginia Dictionaries, Encyclopedias & Reference
Sort by Count
U.S., Select Family History and Bible Records Index14,871
The Shenandoah375
Letters from the Alleghany Mountains211
Documents relating to the French settlements on the Wabash38
View other Dictionaries, Encyclopedias & Reference collections related to West Virginia (87)

Data Collections
Sorted by West Virginia Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers
Sort by Count
There are no Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers collections unique to West Virginia
View other Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers collections related to West Virginia (7)

Data Collections
Sorted by West Virginia Stories, Memories & Histories
Sort by Count
West Virginia Prominent Men2,779
The winning of the West1,736
Who's who on the Ohio River and its tributaries970
A winter in the West676
Voyages des Français sur les Grands Lacs et découverte de l'Ohio et du Mississippi (1614-1684) (in French)597
View all West Virginia Stories, Memories & Histories (76)

A Genealogical History

West Virginia in brief

Statehood: 19 June 1863
Capital: Charleston
Largest City: Charleston
Counties: 55
State motto: Montani Semper Liberi (Mountaineers Always Free)
State nickname: The Mountain State
Neighboring states: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky
 


Harper's Ferry, West Virginia, c. 1874

Interesting Facts

  • According to the Virginia Constitution of 1776, only white males who owned at least 25 acres of improved land, or 50 acres of unimproved land were allowed to vote. This disenfranchised many small land owners in western Virginia until another constitutional convention in 1850-51 gave all white males over the age of 21 the right to vote.
  • When Virginia seceded from the Union in 1861 at the start of the Civil War, the majority of those in western parts of the state opposed secession. A series of conventions were held, beginning in 1861, to determine western Virginia's fate. In order to become a new state, approval was required by the states concerned and Congress. The Virginia State government was reorganized on the grounds that the Secession Convention, convened without the consent of the people was invalid and secessionists were no longer entitled to office. The reorganized government approved the creation of the new state, a constitution was agreed upon and overwhelmingly approved by West Virginia voters in 1862 and in 1863 West Virginia became the 35th state.
  • In 1877, the first national labor strike began in Martinsburg, West Virginia when the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad cut the wages of its workers for the second time in eight months. The work stoppage quickly spread throughout the industry and beyond as canal boatmen, miners, and others struck with them in a display of solidarity. Federal troops were called in to restore order, but by then strikes were taking place all across the country. Despite its widespread support the strike was unsuccessful and ended by August 1st, just over two weeks after it began.

Featured West Virginia Data Collections

U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 194215,293,445
U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-194754,293,029
U.S., Union Soldiers Compiled Service Records, 1861-1865837,569
West Virginia, Naturalization Records, 1814-199164,939
West Virginia, Births Index, 1804-19383,629,628

Famous People

Help and Advice

Resources

West Virginia Census Research

Federal censuses for West Virginia begin in 1870 and continue every ten years thereafter. Transcripts of the 1870 census have been published for Barbour, Boone, Braxton, Calhoun, Doddridge, Gilmer, Lewis, Lincoln, McDowell, Mason, Monongalia, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Tyler, Upshur, Wetzel, Wirt, and Wood counties.

There are no state sponsored censuses for West Virginia. For enumerations prior to 1863, see Virginia.

 

West Virginia Research Resources

The organizations listed below provide information about West Virginia history and genealogy. In addition to these state-level resources, many counties and towns maintain important genealogical collections in local libraries, genealogical societies, or historical societies, so check for a local resource when researching.

 

West Virginia Vital Records
All but five of West Virginia's counties were formed before statehood on 20 June 1863, and governed by the same laws as other Virginia counties, including the requirement to register births and marriages beginning in 1853. State registration began 1 January 1917, although fire destroyed many 1917–21 records.

 

Statewide Research Resources

 

Specialty and Regional Research

  •  KYOWA Genealogical Society: Serves the tri-state area of northeastern Kentucky, southern Ohio, and western West Virginia. The Society holds regular meetings, sponsors events, and maintains a research library.
  • Chronicling America: Online newspapers: Provides searchable online versions of selected West Virginia newspapers.