West Virginia Research Guide Digital Download

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You'll love this if…

  • You're getting started tracing your ancestors in West Virginia
  • You want new ideas and resources to get past a West Virginia brick wall
  • Your genealogy search is focused mainly on West Virginia

Trace your West Virginia ancestors with the advice and resources in our State Research Guide! This four-page download includes:

  • a how-to article detailing West Virginia’s history and records, with helpful advice on tracking your family there
  • the best websites, books and other resources for West Virginia research, handpicked by our editors and experts
  • listings of key libraries, archives and organizations that hold the records you need
  • timeline of key events in the state's history

Here's a sampling of the helpful tips you'll get in the West Virginia guide:

  • Early settlers to what is now West Virginia include Scots-Irish and German Palatines, the former of whom tended to migrate to the northern Shenandoah Valley.
  • After statehood, many West Virginia counties continued recording births and deaths (some sporadically) until statewide registration began in 1917. Many counties recorded marriages from their formation, though the earliest records may not survive.
  • Early land grants and bounty warrants were given by Virginia's government. FamilySearch has some land records, though you may need to visit a FamilySearch Center or affiliate library to access them.

Plus, each guide contains active web links for one-click access to every recommended online resource. You can view this PDF on your computer and print pages for reference.

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