West Virginia Compiled Genealogies
Most archives, historical societies, and genealogical societies have special collections and indexes of genealogical value. The Family History Library has microfilm copies of many important research collections.
Willis Guy Tetrick Collection. This collection consists of family and other records of Harrison County and central West Virginia. The original collection is in the possession of the Tetrick family in Clarksburg, West Virginia and may be searched by appointment. Microfilm copies are available at the West Virginia University Library and at the Family History Library.
One portion of the collection is listed in the Family History Library Catalog under WEST VIRGINIA, HARRISON - GENEALOGY. This includes the Family Records of Harrison County, West Virginia. (Family History Library films 163723-838) and the Family Sheets, an Uncompleted Survey for a “Genealogical History of Harrison County, West Virginia”. (Family History Library films 163848-96.) which are arranged alphabetically.
Another portion of the Tetrick collection consists of transcripts of county records, cemetery records, Sons of the American Revolution applications, and newspaper obituaries. These are listed in the Family History Library Catalog under the specific counties or cities (and record types).
Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Collection. This collection consists of transcripts of Bible, cemetery, church, marriage, death, obituary, and probate records. It was microfilmed in 1970 at the DAR Library in Washington, D.C. and is available on 44 films at the Family History Library. The volumes are generally arranged by county and many have individual indexes. See the Author/Title Search of the Family History Library Catalog under DAUGHTERS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION - WEST VIRGINIA.
Elisha B. Iams Collection. This is a collection of over 70 volumes of information. It was extracted from the records of 16 counties in southwest Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio and thus is an important source of information about early Virginia and Pennsylvania settlers. It includes a card index with 6,500 entries. The collection has not been microfilmed. It is available at:
55 S. College Street
Washington, PA 15301
'Phone: 724 222-2400
'Fax: 724 225-7303
West Virginia University Library, Genealogies. This is a collection of alphabetized pedigrees and genealogies of West Virginia families. It is available at the Family History Library (Family History Library films 239244-53.).
Smith-Riffe collection of New River genealogy and local history. This collection by Aubrey O. Smith and Winton A. Rife relates mainly to families from Boone, Fayette, Greenbriar, Mercer, Monroe, Raleigh, and Wyoming counties, and some southeast border counties. The original collection is at the Archives and History Library. (Family History Library films 1036968-80.)
The collection is available on microfilm at the Family History Library in two parts. The family section (Family History Library films 1036968-77) consists of loose alphabetized papers such as family group records, obituaries, newspaper clippings, Bible records, pedigrees, and cemetery records for 189 major families. The locality section (Family History Library films 1036978-80) contains cemetery transcriptions, church records, county courthouse abstracts, and other records, arranged by county.
Genealogical Records of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, 18th Century to 1975 by Hazel Hansrote. This handwritten collection of genealogies and research extracts is alphabetized by surname. It is useful for finding information about Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania families who settled the West Augusta District. (Family History Library films 984210-17.)
Writing and Sharing Your Family History
Sharing your own family history is valuable for several reasons:
- It helps you see gaps in your own research and raises opportunities to find new information.
- It helps other researchers progress in researching ancestors you share in common.
- It draws other researchers to you who already have information about your family that you do not yet possess.
- It draws together researchers with common interests, sparking collaboration opportunities. For instance, researchers in various localities might choose to do lookups for each other in remote repositories. Your readers may also share photos of your ancestors that you have never seen before.
- See also:
An excellent source for information on early families and settlers of West Virginians is Jim F. Comstock's West Virginia Heritage Encyclopedia and the supplemental series.
You may also want to consult Earl G. Swem's Virginia Historical Index for references to genealogical information published in several outstanding historical and genealogical periodicals. Also see Wardell's Time Saving Aid to Virginia-West Virginia Ancestors.
Other published sources include:
Brown, Stuart E., Jr. Virginia Genealogies, A Trial List of Printed Books and Pamphlets. Three Volumes. Berryville, Virginia: Virginia Book Company, 1967-89. (Family History Library book 975.5 D23b.) This set indexes about 4,000 family histories from manuscripts and books and periodicals published before 1980. This is a supplement to Robert Armistead Stewart's book, mentioned below.
Stewart, Robert Armistead. Index to Printed Virginia Genealogies. 1930. Reprint. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1970. (Family History Library book 975.5 D22s 1970; the 1965 reprint edition is on film 962558 item 2 and on fiche 6019375.) This book lists indexes about 650 Virginia family histories published before 1930.
Wardell, Patrick G. Virginians and West Virginians, 1607-1870. Bowie, Maryland: Heritage Books, 1986-1992, Three Volumes in four. (Family History Library book 975 D2wp.) Includes genealogical data abstracted from History of Virginia, Six Volumes. New York, New York: American Historical Society, 1924. (Family History Library book 975.5 H2a; films 1421672 item 11 and 1321473.) and an index to the biographical volumes of that history.
Butcher, Bernard Lee. Genealogical and Personal History of the Upper Monongahela Valley, West Virginia. Three Volumes. New York, New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1912. (Family History Library book 975.4 D2b; film 1000647.)
History of the Great Kanawha Valley: With Family History and Biographical Sketches. Two Volumes. Madison, Wisconsin: Brant, Fuller & Co., 1891. (Family History Library film 1000648 items 1-2.)