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Genealogy Research: Family Histories and Compilations of Genealogical Data

This is a guide to conducting genealogical research at the West Virginia and Regional History Center

Published Family Histories

Genealogists have already published genealogical charts or family histories for many West Virginia families. Individual works of family history can be identified by searching for the family name in the MountainLynx. When searching, treat the family name as a subject heading, for example, Chapman Family, or Morgan Family.

In addition, extensive listings of the published histories of many West Virginia and Virginia families can be found in the following guides:

Stuart E. Brown. Virginia Genealogies: A Trial List of Printed Books and Pamphlets. (Berryville, Va., Virginia Book Company, 1967-1980.)

Robert A. Stewart. Index to Printed Genealogies. (Richmond, Old Dominion Press, 1930. Reprinted: Baltimore, Genealogical Book Company, 1970.)

Useful data concerning people, places, and events in Virginia's and West Virginia's history can be located through this extremely detailed index: Earl Gregg Swem. Virginia Historical Index. (Roanoke, Va. 1934-36. 2 volumes. Reprinted in 1965.)

Virginia Historical Index is a comprehensive index through 1930 to Tyler's Historical and Genealogical Magazine, Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine, and other historical publications.

Unpublished Family Histories

The West Virginia and Regional History Center holds many unpublished individual family histories and compilations of family histories in the manuscript collection. The most prominent of the unpublished collections of family histories were compiled by:

Margaret Ballard

Thomas Ray Dille

Lyman Draper

Joseph C. Jefferds

Mary McKendree Johnson

Joseph M. Kellogg

Frederick B. Lambert

Minnie Kendall Lowther

Minnie McWhorter

W. Guy Tetrick

To locate an unpublished family history, enter the surname as a search in the online Guide to Archives and Manuscripts Collections.

Compilations of Genealogical Data

Printed volumes of various types of records, such as marriages, births, deaths, cemetery readings, estate settlements, census listings, and census indexes are available for most counties. Examples of compilations of genealogical data include:

Connie J. Casilear. Hampshire County (Virginia), West Virginia Births: 1865-1889. (Winchester, Va.: C.J. Casilear, 1996)

Wes Cochran. Tyler County, W.V., Deaths: 1936-1950. (Parkersburg, W.C. : Wes Cochrane, 1999)

Thomas R. Dille. Monongalia Marriage Bonds: 1796-1835.(Morgantown, W.V.: Dille, 1930-1939)

Pauline Haga. Raleigh County Cemeteries. 5 vols.(Crab Orchard, W.V. : P.Haga, 1980)

William A. Marsh. 1880 Census of West Virginia. 14 vols. Baltimore: Gateway Press, 1993)

Obituaries: Glenville Democrat: 1935-2000. 5 volumes.