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Genealogy Research: Genealogical Data and Biographical Resources

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

Online Genealogical Resources

Many resources for genealogy resources are now available online. While travel to courthouses, cemeteries, archives and libraries is likely to be necessary to compile your family history, researchers now have the convenience of accessing many records from home.

West Virginia Genealogy Resources

National and International Genealogy Resources

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 library catalog. 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.

Biographical Resources

A wide assortment of works with compilations of brief biographies of West Virginians of state and local prominence include:

George W. Atkinson. Bench and Bar of West Virginia. (Charleston, W.V.: Virginia Law Book Company, 1919).

George W. Atkinson & Alvaro F. Gibbens. Prominent Men of West Virginia. (Wheeling: W.L. Callin, 1890)

Walter E. Clark. West Virginia Today. (New Orleans: J.O. Jones Co. , 1941)

Jim F. Comstock. West Virginia Women. (Richwood, W.Va.: Comstock, 1974)

Ethel Davie. Talent and Courage: Outstanding West Virginia Women in the 1990s. (Charleston, W.V. :Ethel Davie, 1992)

Encyclopaedia of Contemporary Biography of West Virginia. (New York: Atlantic Pub. And Engraving Co., 1894)

Ethel. C. Leahy. Who's Who on the Ohio River and its Tributaries. (Cincinatti, Ohio: E.C. Leahy Pub. Co., 1931)

Men of West Virginia 2 vols. (Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1903)

Robert E. Murphy. Progressive West Virginians. (Wheeling: Wheeling News, 1905)

West Virginians: A Work of Biography. (New Orleans: J.O. Jones Co. , 1928)

West Virginia Women's Commission. Missing Chapters: West Virginia Women in History. (Charleston, W.V. : West Virginia Women's Commission, 1983)

Who's Who in West Virginia. (Chicago: A.N. Marquis Co., 1916, 1939, 1983)

Additional sources for biography include the Personal Name Index, a card index for 50 works of West Virginia history, and the West Virginia Civil War Union Soldiers Index. The West Virginia Heritage Encyclopedia is also an excellent source for biographical sketches of hundreds of West Virginians.

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.

Sources of Genealogical Data by County

[see Book Locations Map for details on location in the reading room. call numbers starting at: ]

West Virginia Counties
Barbour County       929.375459

Berkeley County        929.375499        

Boone County        929.375439        

Braxton County        929.375466        

Brooke County        929.375413        

Cabell County        929.375442        

Calhoun County        929.375429        

Clay County        929.375467        

Doddridge County    929.375456        

Fayette County        929.375471        

Gilmer County        929.375427        

Grant County        929.375492        

Greenbrier County    929.375488        

Hampshire County    929.375497        

Hancock County        929.375412

Hardy County        929.375493        

Harrison County        929.375457            

Jackson County        929.375431        

Jefferson County        929.375499            

Kanawha County        929.375437            

Lewis County        929.375461        

Lincoln County        929.375443        

Logan County        929.375444        

Marion County        929.375454        

Marshall County        929.375416        

Mason County        929.375433        

McDowell County     929.375449        

Mercer County        929.375474        

Mineral County        929.375494        

Mingo County        929.375448        

Monongalia County    929.375452        

Monroe County        929.375478    

Morgan County        929.375496        

Nicholas County        929.375469        

Ohio County        929.375414        

Pendleton County    929.375491        

Pleasants County        929.375421

Pocahontas County    929.375487

Preston County        929.375482

Putnam County        929.375435

Raleigh County        929.375473

Randolph County            929.375485

Ritchie County            929.375424

Roane County            929.375436

Summers County            929.375476

Taylor County            929.375455

Tucker County            929.375483

Tyler County            929.375419

Upshur County            929.375462

Wayne County            929.375447

Webster County            929.375465

Wetzel County            929.375418

Wirt County            929.375426

Wood County            929.375422

Wyoming County            929.375445

Virginia Counties    

Albemarle County        929.375548    

Alleghany County            929.375581    

Augusta County            929.385591

Bath County            929.375587

Botetourt County            929.375583

Clarke County            929.375598

Culpepper County        929.375539

Frederick County            929.375599

Henry County            929.375569

Montgomery County        929.3755785

Orange County            929.375537

Pulaski County            929.3755775

Rockbridge County        929.375585

Rockingham County        929.375592

Shenandoah County        929.375595

Tazewell County            929.375576

Wight County            929.375554

Wythe County            929.375577