West Virginia, County Vital Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.



Record Description

The collection consists of images of births, marriages, and deaths from county courthouses. The content and time period varies by county. Some indexing has been done and other indexed records will be added as they become available. Some records exist prior to West Virginia becoming a state in 1863. See also the West Virginia statewide collections of births, marriages, and deaths.. This collection covers the years 1794 to 1969.

You will be able to browse through images in this collection when it is published.

Coverage Map

To see a coverage map of FamilySearch's holdings of West Virginia, marriages, click here.

Record Content

The information varies by record. You may find any of the following:

  • Name of the primary individual
  • Date and place of the birth, marriage or death
  • Birthplace
  • Names of parents or other family members
  • Age
  • Race
  • Residences
  • Names of witnesses
  • Name of the officiator
  • Name of the informant or person registering the event
  • Marital status
  • Occupation

How To Use The Record

To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:

  • The approximate date and place of the event.
  • The name of the individual or individuals such as the names of the bride and groom, the infant, or the deceased.

Search the Collection

To search the collection;
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the appropriate "Record Type"
⇒Select the appropriate "Year Range, and Volume number or letter" which takes you to the images.

Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination. Keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.

Using the Information

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family. For example:

  • Use the marriage date and place as the basis for compiling a new family group or for verifying existing information.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth of each partner to find a couple's birth records and parents' names.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
  • Use the parent’s birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Occupations listed can lead you to employment records or other types of records such as military records.
  • The name of the officiator may be a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county.
  • Use a marriage number to identify previous marriages.
  • The name of the undertaker or mortuary could lead you to funeral and cemetery records which often include the names and residences of other family members.
  • Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname as the bride or groom, this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have been born, married, or died in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
  • The information in the records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1900.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one marriage record to another record.

Unable to Find Your Ancestor?

  • Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
  • Check for a different index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.

Related Web Sites

West Virginia GenWeb

Related Wiki Articles

West Virginia Vital Records

How You Can Contribute

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the data and images published on FamilySearch.org Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.

"West Virginia, County Vital Records, 1794-1969, 1867-1984" Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2015. Citing county clerks throughout West Virginia.

Image Citation:

The citation for an image is available on each image in this collection by clicking Show Citation at the bottom left of the image screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for West Virginia, County Vital Records, 1794-1969.


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  • This page was last modified on 4 September 2015, at 14:16.
  • This page has been accessed 1,010 times.