West Virginia Genealogy

This guide contains a sample of The Newberry's resources on this topic. To locate additional resources, please check our catalog or consult a reference librarian.

Guides and Bibliographies

McGuinness, Carol. West Virginia Genealogy: Sources and Resources. Baltimore: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1988. Call # Local History Ref. Z1349. M36 1988 (2nd floor open shelf).

Wardell, Patrick. Timesaving Aid to Virginia-West Virginia Ancestors: A Quick and Easy Guide… Athens, Georgia: Iberian Press, 1985. Call # F225. W33 1985.


Atkinson, George Wesley. Prominent Men of West Virginia. Wheeling, WV: W.L. Callin, 1890. Call # F240. A83. Includes a list of all political officeholders up to the time of publication.

Encyclopedia of Contemporary Biography of West Virginia. New York: Atlantic Publishing Co., 1894. Call# E4864.265.

Men of West Virginia. 2 vols. Chicago: Biographical Publishing Company, 1903. Call # E4864.55.

Wardell, Patrick. Virginia and West Virginians, 1607- 1870, Vol. 1-3. Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, 1986-1992. Call# F225. W34 1986. Name indexes to various historical and genealogical works about the Virginias.


U.S. population schedule for 1870 and Veterans Schedule for 1890 available on microfilm, behind the Genealogy Reference Desk. Indexes for 1870 and 1880 available on CD-ROM- ask at the Genealogy Reference Desk. A transcription of the 1880 census and a paper copy of the 1870 census index may also be found on the 2nd floor open shelves. Other census records and indexes available in the library through Ancestry.com. For Virginia censuses, see the Virginia pathfinder.

West Virginia 1890 Veteran’s Census Index. Bountiful, Utah: HeritageQuest, 1999. Call # Local History Ref. E494. D588 1999 (2nd floor open shelf).


R.L. Polk and Company’s West Virginia State Gazetteer and Business Directory. 1904-1905. Pittsburgh?: 1904. Call # F864.7.

Geographical Sources and Land Records

Kenny, Hammil. West Virginia Place Names. Piedmont, WV: Place Name Press, 1945. Call # E8958.463.

West Virginia Gazetteer of Physical and Cultural Place Names. Morgantown, WV: West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey, 1986. Call # F239. W45 1986.

West Virginia County Formations and Boundary Changes. Charleston: Historical Records Survey, WPA, 1938. Call # F864.41.

Dyer, M.H. Dyer’s Index to Land Grants in West Virginia. Charleston: M.W. Donnally, 1896. Call # Local History Ref. HD243.W4 D9 1896 (2nd floor open shelf).


Lewis, Virgil Anson. The Soldiery of West Virginia…Baltimore: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1978. Call# Local History Ref. F241 .L685 1978 (2nd floor open shelf). This reprint of a 1911 work covers soldiers from western Virginia in conflicts prior to the Civil War.

Johnston, Ross B. West Virginians in the American Revolution. Parkersburg, WV: West Augusta Historical and Genealogical Society, 1959. Call # Local History Ref. E263. V8 J67 1959 (2nd floor open shelf).

Shetler, Charles. West Virginia Civil War Literature: An Annotated Bibliography. Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University Library, 1963. Call #f 864.817.

Probate Records

Johnston, Ross. West Virginia Estate Settlements. Baltimore: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1977. Call # Local History Ref. F240.J63 1985 (2nd floor open shelf). Records estate settlements up to 1850.

Vital Records

Inventory of Public Vital Statistics in West Virginia. Charleston: Historical Records Survey, WPA, 1941. Call # F864.405. Describes state and local vital records holdings at the time of publication, but does not index individual records.

Vital Research Records Project. West Virginia Division of Culture and History.