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West Virginia State Archives Manuscript Collections
MS 80-9 Smith-Riffe Collection

This microfilm collection focuses on the genealogy and general history of the New River counties of West Virginia and Virginia. The collection was given to the West Virginia Department of Culture and History by the heirs of Aubrey O. Smith (1893-1978. It is the product of one-half century of research and thirty years of close collaboration with Judge Winton A. Riffe (1887-1962.

The collection was intended as an aid to genealogical and general historical research concerning the New River area of southern West Virginia and adjacent Virginia counties. It consists of correspondence, research notes, legal documents, deeds, land grants, surveys, lists, books, pamphlets, brochures, flyers and newspaper clippings. The materials date from 1769 to 1977, with the majority of the primary source documents concentrated between 1800 and 1860.

The West Virginia State Archives microfilm edition of the Smith-Riffe Collection replaces the first microfilm edition by The Genealogical Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah. The State Archives filmed the collection to include items which did not appear on the original film, to improve the film quality of some documents, and to correlate the film to the arrangement of the collection. The fragility and advanced state of deterioration of many original documents dictated their removal from constant handling by patrons or staff. This new microfilm edition of the Smith-Riffe Collection corrects the deficiencies of the former film by making the complete collection available and accessible to researchers. In the cases of poor quality of original documents, the State Archives' 16mm microfilm edition, with its frame reference number system, provides easy staff access to individual documents to supply patron requests for legible copies available only from a master copy, an enhanced copy from the poor original.

This index of the State Archives microfilm edition to the Smith-Riffe Collection reflects the arrangement of the original materials in the West Virginia State Archives. Following each roll number, the materials are grouped by family name, presented alphabetically A to Z. In most cases the entry begins with a miscellaneous section, followed by documents, clippings with many brief family name references, and then each family name grouping. Geographic areas, also arranged alphabetically, follow the family listings. Each of these entries has a beginning and ending frame number given so the user can immediately access the family name by noting the frame numbers on the microfilm.

Microfilm Index to the Smith-Riffe Collection

Roll 1: beginning frame /end frame Roll 2: beginning frame / end frame Roll 3: beginning frame / end frame Roll 4: beginning frame / end frame Roll 5: beginning frame / end frame Roll 6: beginning frame / end frame Roll 7: beginning frame / end frame

Manuscript Collections

West Virginia Archives and History