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Updated Sept. 23, 2019.
West Virginia Genealogy Resources
Links, books and newspaper articles
FREE ONLINE INFORMATION
- Find a Grave, information on cemeteries in every state and a forum where you can ask questions about cleaning tombstones, locating cemeteries, etc. (I have some information on the Cemeteries page here.)
- West Virginia Memories. You are here!
- Unknown No Longer, a free database with the names (as of September 2011) of 1,500 slaves from Virginia.
- Gadd Genealogy by Joseph Hayden Gadd (1939, Princeton, W.Va.), online at HathiTrust Digital Library.
W.VA. GENEALOGY/COMMUNITY SITES
Meadow Bluff Meanderings, Greenbrier County, W.Va., a site created by Troy M. Hunter, has photos of Smoot High School staff and alumni. The site also includes a list of surnames including Gadd and Via. I haven’t been able to make a connection yet. (Go to Gadd page 1 here.) But maybe you’ll find family. Other names: Crane, McClung, and Walkup. (Go to Shoebox page here to access articles about the 1842 death of Abigail McClung and her children.) History of Streeter, West Virginia, a site created by Brian. Includes information, stories and photos. Surnames include Pack, Basham, Harvey, Vest and Lilly. The community was originally named Vandalia.
ON MY BOOKSHELF
- Bragg, Melody. Thurmond and Ghost Towns of the New River Gorge.
- Bragg, Melody. Window to the Past: Thurmond, Ghost Towns in the New River Gorge, Lawmen and Legends, Coal Mines/Coal Miners (Glen Jean, W.Va.: Gem Publications, 1990).
- Breeden, Shirley Seal. The Decendants of Francis Meadows of Orange & Rockingham Counties, Va. (Boyce, Va.: Carr Publishing Co., 1978) Note: Francis Meadows, born 1725, and Mary Bell, born 1758. The book originally belonged to Mabel A. Bonner of Princeton. I found it in a Frankfort, Ky., bookstore.
- Gadd, Joseph Hayden, Gadd Genealogy, 1939, Princeton, W.Va.
- Haga, Pauline, 1950 Centennial Edition of Beckley Post-Herald, Vol. 1 and 3. Note: Most of the articles are now available online at NewspaperArchives and Ancestry.com When I bought these publications, Ms. Haga also gave me a print copy of an earlier Post-Herald historical edition.
- Haga, Pauline, Chasing Ancestors, Vol. 1, No. 1. Note: A mixed bag of information.
- Haga, Pauline. Historical Footprints, Vol. 1
- Haga, Pauline. Recipes for Cookin’ on the Old Coal Camp Cook Stove, Circa 1914-1917
- Haga, Pauline. Tribute to the Police Officer, Vol. 1.
- Haga, Pauline, and Fran Klaus. Looking Back: A Pictorial History of Beckley.
- Janssen, Quinith & William Fernbach, West Virginia Place Names: origins and history, J and F Enterprises, Shepherdstown, W.Va., 1984.
- Kincaid, William Harold, Kincaid-Claypool Descendants: Mountain Tom Kincaid’s Second Family (Ann Arbor, Mich., Kincaid Publishing, 1991).
- Lang, Theodore E. Loyal West Virginia 1861-1865, (1895, reprint 1998, Huntington, W.Va., Blue Acorn Press, 1998).
- McKinney, Tim The Civil War in Fayette County, West Virginia Pictorial Histories Publishing Co., Charleston, W.Va., Feb. 1995, Third Printing.
- McKinney, Tim West Virginia Civil War Almanac, Vol. 1 (Charleston, W.Va., Pictorial Histories Publishing Co., 1998).
- Miller, James H. History of Summers County (1908, third reprint, 1981). Google Books has a scanned copy of Mr. Miller's book. The index -- Pages 835-838 -- has links to the listed subjects.
- Mockler, William E. West Virginia Surnames: The Pioneers, West Virginia Dialect Society (Parsons, W.Va., McClain Printing Co., 1973) Note: Harvey, Gadd, Vest or Via NOT included.
- Morgantown Bicentennial Descendants Committee, Descendants of First Lot Owners, Morgan’s Town – 1785. Compiled by Morgantown Bicentennial Descendants Committee, 1985. . Compiled by Morgantown Bicentennial Descendants Committee, 1985. INDEX.
- Plumley, Roscoe Kessler, Plumley Genealogy.
- Plumley, Roscoe K., Memories of Richmond District.
- Sanders, William. A New River Heritage, Volume I, (McClain Printing Co., Parsons, W.Va., 1991).
- Sanders, William. A New River Heritage, Volume II, McClain Printing Co., Parsons, W.Va., 1992.
- Sanders, William. A New River Heritage, Volume III, McClain Printing Co., Parsons, W.Va., 1994.
- Sanders, William. Lilly on the Bluestone. McClain Printing Co., Parsons, W.Va., Third Printing, 1997. Link to William Sanders page with a biography of Mr. Sanders and information on buying his books.
- Shady Spring District Woman’s Club, A History of Shady Spring District, Compiled and Published by the Shady Spring District Woman’s Club, 1979, Central Printing Co., Beckley, W.Va. INDEX.
- Shuck, Larry G. Our Families: Shuck, Fleshman, Sydenstricker, Smith, Lewis, Kincaid, Keister, et. al., of West Virginia, (Gateway Press Inc., Baltimore, MD, 1995).
- Stevenson, Mary Legg. Coal Towns of West Virginia: A Pictorial Recollection.
- Stevenson, Mary Legg. From Affinity to Winding Gulf: A Pictorial Recollection of Coal Camps, Circa 1920
- Summers County in Vintage Postcards
- Thomas, Bob. The Thomas Family of St. Albans, West Virginia: A Family History, second edition, iUniverse Inc., New York, 2004.
- Wood, Jim. Raleigh County, West Virginia.
- Estes, Roberta J., Jack H. Goins, Penny Ferguson and Janet Lewis Crain. Melungeons: A Multi-Ethnic Population, Journal of Genetic Genealogy, April 2012. Link to pdf.
- Goins, Jack H., Melungeons: and Other Pioneer Families. Mr. Goins is a Tennessee resident. His book includes the genealogy of his extended family -- the Goins, Minor, Bledsoe, Fisher, Hurd, Wallen, Johnson, Riddle, Rogers, Lawson, Reed, Vanzant, Arrington, England and Sizemore families.
- Kennedy, N. Brent with Robyn Vaughan Kennedy, The Melungeons: The Resurrection of a Proud People. And Untold Story of Ethnic Cleansing in America. Revised edition. The book has a surname section that includes on Page 173: Guineas (West Virginia Melungeon). Adams, Collins, Croston, Dalton, Dorton, Kennedy, Male, Mayle, Minard, Miner, Minor, Newman, Norris and Pritchard.
- Elder, Pat Spurlock, Melungeons: Examining an Appalachian Legend. Core-group surnames: Collins, Gibson, Gipson. Secondary core-group: Bell, Bolling, Bowling, Bolen, Bolton, Bunch, Denham, Denhan, Denning, Denny, Denton, Goins, Miner, Monor, Mullins, Williams. Other surnames: Adkins, Atkins, Baldwin, Barnes, Bean, Been, Bragan, Brogan, Branham, Brannam, Cole, Delp, Fields, Freeman, Gibbens, Goodman, Gorvan, Gorven, Graham, Haile, Hale, Hambrick, Hammrick, Hamrick, Ivey, Jones, Lawson, Louvin, Loven, Loving, Loving, Lucas, Maloney, Melons, Mise, Mize, Miser, Mizer, Moore, Moseley, Mosley, Nichols, Nicholas, Noel, Piniore, Sexton, Sizemore, Sweat, Sweet, Sweeney, Swiney, Wright. (More surnames in charts in the back of the book.)
The Hinton News archives at the SmallTownNewspapers site. Available years: 1979-82, 1991-2003, and 2011. Other West Virginia newspapers listed here. Note: If you interested in the following newsclips, e-mail me.
Billy E. Richmond articles
Billy Eugene Richmond was born 12 Apr 1937 in Abraham, Raleigh County, W.Va., a son of Billy Richmond and wife Rachel Marie Smith. He died in June 1995. Mr. Richmond earned bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees from Concord College (now Concord University), Athens, W.Va., and a master’s degree in English from West Virginia University, Morgantown. He wrote extensively about Richmond District in Raleigh County with a focus on the pioneering Smith and Richmond families.
- First Families of Richmond District, Beckley Post-Herald, W.Va., 20 March 1968, Page 6.
- Richmond District In A Time To Shoot Or Be Shot, Post-Herald, 14 Nov 1968, Page 11.
- Richmond Place Names Come From Reference Points Use, Post-Herald, 05 Feb 1969, Page 8. Information from Billy Richmond.
- Richmond District Post Offices Dwindle From Seven To One, Post-Herald/Raleigh Register, Beckley, W.Va., 15 Aug 1976, Page 38.
- New Author Will Address County Historical Society, Raleigh Register/Post-Herald, 09 March 1968, Page 14. Billy E. Richmond presents Highlights of Richmond District History.
- 106-Year-Old Church Keeps Up Homecoming Tradition, Raleigh Register, Beckley, W.Va., 11 Aug 1976, Page 7. New Salem Missionary Baptist Church, Abraham, W.Va.
- Billy Redden Mill Scene Of Historic Events, Post-Herald/Raleigh Register, 21 Nov 1976, Page 25.
Yesterday and Today by Shirley Donnelly, Post-Herald, Beckley, W.Va.
The Rev. Shirley Donnelly wrote Yesterday and Today, a history column for the Post-Herald, Beckley, W.Va., for many years – from 1955 to just six weeks before his death in 1982. He founded the Fayette County (W.Va.) Historical Society and authored Hatfields and McCoys: The Feud and David S. Creigh, the Greenbrier martyr: A tragedy of the Civil War, the Shirley Donnelly Sampler (1973) and Yesterday and Today, a Keepsake (1981). Rev. Donnelly was born Clarence Shirley Donnelly on 02 Feb 1885 at Rock Castle, Jackson County, W.Va., a son of Hugh Parker Donnelly and wife Rosa Parsons. He died at age 87 on 17 Oct 1982 in the Veterans Administration Hospital in Beckley. He was a Baptist minister. Rev. Donnelly commanded 586 U.S. Army chaplains during World War II and later served as chaplain at the VA Hospital in Beckley. He served as pastor of the Main Street Baptist Church, Christiansburg, Va., Oak Hill Baptist Church, Oak Hill, W.Va., and the Crab Orchard Baptist Church, Beckley. He presided at 2,326 funerals and 1,355 weddings. (Sources: Shirley Donnelly Dies, Raleigh Register, Beckley, 18 Oct 1982, Page 7A, and obituary.) He is buried in the Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens Mausoleum, Raleigh County, W.Va. Find a Grave. Note: If you interested in the following newsclips, e-mail me.
- Some Old Bear Stories, Beckley Post-Herald, W.Va., 09 Sep 1955, Page 4. John Hoye of Richmond District, Raleigh County, W.Va., tells some tales. Names mentioned include George Plumley and Bud Reed.
- A Reason Why Smiths Abound In This Area, Post-Herald, 25 March 1958, Page 4
- Richmond Also Split Over Civil War, Post-Herald, 15 Mar 1963, Page 6
- Long-Delayed Trip to Irish Mountain, Parts 1-4, 21 May 1963 on Page 4, 22 May on Page 4, 23 May on Page 4, and 24 May on Page 7, Post-Herald.
- Richmond District A Wilderness Retreat, Post-Herald, 14 Oct 1966, Page 5
- Richmond District Families Big: 27 in One, Post-Herald, 15 Oct 1966, Page 4
- Churches Hold Richmond District History, Post-Herald, 17 Oct 1966, Page 4.
- Richmond District Kept Courthouse Here, Post-Herald, 18 Oct 1966, Page 4
- Genesis of Richmond District Plumleys, Post-Herald, 07 Nov 1966, Page 4
- Nail From Old Church Preserved, Post-Herald, 19 May 1971, Page 4. Old Log Church in Richmond District.
- Backus Is Third Name For Hamlet, Post-Herald, 01 May 1972, Page 4
- Pear, Abraham, Pluto Names Traced, 13 June 1973, Post-Herald, Page 4
- Richmond District People Fine Folks, Post-Herald, 05 May 1970, Page 4
Pauline Haga articles, Post-Herald, Beckley, W.Va.
- Abraham Post Office Once Site of Booming Business, Beckley Post-Herald, W.Va., 09 Aug 1974, Page 13. Interview with Golda Fox Smith.
- Diphtheria epidemic: 1887 Year of Tragedy In Richmond District, Post Herald, 13 Aug 1974. Mentions family of General Marion Smith and wife Frances.
- Early Richmond District Residents: Plumleys Settled In Area 174 Years Ago, Post-Herald, 19 Aug 1974, Page 9. Richmond District Rich in Plumley Family History, reprint in the Raleigh Register, Beckley, W.Va., 22 Aug 1974, Page 3
- Richmond Family Still Operating Ferry, Post-Herald, 22 Aug 1974, Page 17. Sons of Mr. and Mrs. Webster Richmond continue a tradition.
- Third Generation Is Running The Smith Farm At Abraham, Post-Herald, 30 Aug 1974, Page 13. Della Bowling Smith, Audra Smith Hurley, B.B. Hurley.
- Richmond Farm Becomes Family Chateau, Post-Herald, W.Va., 4 Sept 1974, Page 9. Mary Catherine Smith and husband, B.F. Jones.
- Remains of War of 1812 Veteran Placed In VFW Cemetery In City, Post-Herald, W.Va., 21 Oct 1974, Page 9. Article about reinterment of Jacob Smith's remains.
- Richmond District Road Improved by Coal Firm, Post-Herald, 15 July 1975, Page 14
Bug Dust column, Raleigh Register, Beckley, W.Va.
- Letter from Ethel Plumley, Ota and Sebird Smith, Bug Dust by Harold Riffe, Sunday Register, Beckley, W.Va., 24 March 1935, Page 12
- Item on Ota Smith, Bug Dust by Harold M. Riffe, Sunday Register, Beckley, W.Va., 02 Feb 1936, Page 12
- Richmond schools column, Bug Dust by Randolph Nolan, Raleigh Register, Beckley, W.Va., 15 Jan 1942, Page 4
- Richmond roads column, Bug Dust by Thomas F. Stafford, Raleigh Register, Beckley, W.Va., 18 Feb 1949, Page 4.
- How Many Beckleyans Have Visited Abraham? Bug Dust column by John Hodel, Raleigh Register, Beckley, W.Va., 17 Sep 1953, Page 4
- Death of Mrs. Trump, Raleigh Herald, Beckley, W.Va., 03 Jan 1907, Page 1. Beckley resident, wife of Dick Trump and daughter of William Richmond, Richmond District, Raleigh County, W.Va..
- Abraham news – Raleigh Register, Beckley, W.Va., 21 Dec 1911, Page 8. Child of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Plumley of Abraham, W.Va., dies. Other names mentioned: Smith, Garten, Bennett.
- Lightning’s Queer Freak, Raleigh Herald, Beckley, W.Va., 06 Sept 1912, Page 8. Lightning hits the Freezeland Mountain home of Misses Mint. and Pearl Richmond.
- Squire Bennett Passes Away, Raleigh Herald, 29 Nov 1912, Page 8. Jacob Bennett of Richmond District, justice of the peace, dies of heart failure.
- Wild Hog Killed, The Beckley Messenger, 16 Jan 1917, Page 1. George W. Meador tells about a wild hog killed by hunters in Richmond District.
- Richmond District News, Sunday Register, Beckley, W.Va., 24 Jan 1932, Page 2. Marshall Plumley has the mumps and other news from Richmond District.
- Beckley Area Fruit Not Badly Injured By Frost, Raleigh Register, Beckley, W.Va., 04 June 1947, Page 8. Orchard expert visits farms of Calvin Plumley and Luther Bennett.
- Double-Dealing Is Public Interest, editorial, Sunday Register, Beckley, W.Va., 13 Aug 1950, Page 6. Richmond District roads neglected.
- Progenitor of Smith Family In This Area Settled in Greenbrier in 1790’s, Post-Herald Centennial Edition, Beckley, W.Va., 26 Aug 1950, Page 16
- Grass Softens Richmond Road for Homecoming by Charles Stafford, Sunday Register, Beckley, W.Va., 27 Aug 1950, Page 14. New Salem Missionary Baptist Church, Abraham, W.Va.
- Irish Mountain Founded By Hardy Sons of “Old Sod,” by Opal Ripley, Post-Herald/Raleigh Register, Beckley, W.Va., 16 June 1963, Page 7
- Richmond Students Are Now Happy About Switch to Shady Spring High School, Raleigh Register, Beckley, W.Va., 17 March 1969, Page 12
- Smith Awarded Pinecrest Post, Beckley Post-Herald, Beckley, W.Va., 25 March 1969, Page 1 C.O. Smith Jr., grandson of George Washington Smith Jr.
- Richmond Stripping Damage Cited, Post-Herald, Beckley, W.Va., 27 July 1972, Page 19
- Plumleys Hold First Reunion, Raleigh Register, Beckley, W.Va., 26 Sep 1973, Page 7
- Richmond District Series Noted! Top O’ the Morning column, Emile J. Hodel, 19 Aug 1974, Post-Herald, Beckley, W.Va., Page 4
- One Post Office, Six Families, 14 Post Boxes by Joe Kay, Raleigh Register, Beckley, W.Va., 28 Aug 1977, Page 1
- County Board Of Education Closes Three Schools, Raleigh Register, Beckley, W.Va., 26 June 1968, Page 7
- Shady Spring High School Farm One of Four In State, Post-Herald/Raleigh Register, Beckley, W.Va., 03 Aug 1969, Page 13
- Schools – Richmond District Down To One, Post-Herald/Raleigh Register, Beckley, W.Va., 20 March 1977, Page 40
- 97-year-old remembers horse and buggy days, article by John Blankenship, undated. Inteview with Golda Fox Smith of Abraham, W.Va.