March 25, 2023, 11:30 pm
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General Information On West Virginia Genealogy Records
In West Virginia, genealogy records are readily available through various sources. Individuals who want to build their family tree will need to contact various resources to gather valuable information and then piece that information together. The more sources you turn to, the more likely you are to find valuable details about who your family was, where they lived and what happened to them. Chances are good you will learn a lot about those who you know little about today.
West Virginia has a storied past and because it was once a part of Virginia as a whole, those looking for data from the early 1800's and beyond will need to use Virginia's record keeping system as well. The state of West Virginia first was formed in June of 1863 as and off split of Virginia. Prior to this time, those who lived in the counties were under the same law system as those who lived in Virginia. Many of the laws carried over, too.
For those who wish to learn about the vital records of their family from West Virginia, genealogy records should start with the Department of Health. It has the records for most births and marriages from 1853 onward. However, records from 1917 through 1921 are no longer available because they were destroyed during a fire. For West Virginia genealogy records, start with a search at the Department of Health. You can write to them or visit them in person to do so.
West Virginia Department of Health
Division of Vital Statistics
Capitol Complex
Charleston, West Virginia 25305
If you do not find enough information there, the next step is to look locally. Many of the counties and town clerks kept detailed records of the births, deaths and marriages occurring in their region. This can be hard since you will need to know information that is more specific about where the person lived.
However, you can continue your West Virginia genealogy records search in other places. Some of the oldest records are from the area's oldest churches. This state has a long history of Christianity and numerous churches have been in practice for hundreds of years. You can also turn to cemeteries in the area. Some contain the records of people and whole families dating back to the 1700's. For those who are looking for military records, check into the West Virginia Civil War Battlefield achieves. You may also find information in the 1840 Pensioners Database that includes information from the Revolutionary War.
If you have Native American ancestry, you may want to check into those records as well. There are several groups in the area that maintained this data. Keep in mind that you may need to use Virginia's resources and achieves to find this information, though. It is not readily available in West Virginia for any information prior to 1853 when the state was initially founded.
As you create West Virginia genealogy records, keep in mind the importance of using multiple sources. You will appreciate turning to Virginia's Department of Vital Records for additional information.
West Virginia Genealogy Records
  • State Archives

    Archives & History Section
    Bldg 9, 1900 Kanawha Blvd E
    Charleston, WV 25305-0300
    p (304) 558-0230 x168
    f (304) 558-4193
  • West Virginia Genealogical Society, Inc.

    West Virginia Genealogical Society, Inc.
    Post Office Box 249
    Elkview, WV 25071
    p (304) 965-1179
West Virginia Resource Links

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