West Virginia Archives & History News

From the Editor:

Welcome to the newly revived Archives and History Newsletter. We will be publishing a new issue monthly by posting on our Web site (, and by distributing copies to historical and genealogical societies and our Archives Library patrons. Among the topics to be covered regularly are new titles available in the Archives Library, upcoming and on-going projects in Archives and History, tips for researching in the Archives Library and for genealogical research in general, recognition of donors and volunteers, and a Calendar of Events. We welcome your questions and comments. Please direct any correspondence concerning the newsletter to the editor, Susan Scouras, Archives and History. Please direct any correspondence concerning our Web site to Joe Geiger, Archives and History.

Watch for our April issue for complete reporting on the events of History Day at the Capitol, March 2, 2000. We will profile our West Virginia History Heroes and list exhibitors.

The 1930 United States Census is due to be opened to the public in 2002 and must be ordered six months in advance from the National Archives in order to receive it by the release date. Because we want to be able to purchase the West Virginia Census and make it available as soon as it is released, Mining Your History Foundation and the West Virginia Archives and History Library are accepting donations toward that cost. A similar campaign ten years ago enabled the Library to purchase the 1920 Census and make it available immediately upon release. Your assistance will be greatly appreciated by the patrons who rely on the Archives Library for their research.

The card catalog in the Archives Library is only valid for items added by 1991. We have left the card catalog available for the convenience of patrons who prefer to use the cards rather than the computerized catalog. If you use the card catalog only, and do not use the VTLS catalog, then you are missing out on ten years of material! Some residents of West Virginia have the VTLS system in their home public libraries, so they can practice using it before coming to the Archives Library. For those of you who are not familiar with VTLS, the guidelines included in this issue are intended to help you make better use of the on-line catalog. Once you have mastered the basic steps of typing "a/" for author searches, etc., you will find our tips helpful in making your catalog searches easier, faster and more productive. Never hesitate to ask our library staff for help in using the VTLS terminals.

If you are cleaning out pamphlets, books, old West Virginia newspapers and magazines, city directories and telephone books, photographs, postcards, letters, etc., please check with Archives and History staff . You may have items we can add to the Archives Collection. Items do not have to be very old to be of interest to us. We are always interested in hearing about your finds; however, please do not send items to us without checking with us by mail or phone. Items we have accepted recently include community festival programs, scrapbooks, high school yearbooks, church histories and directories, and tourism brochures. We have also picked up copies of several volumes of Comstock's West Virginia Heritage Encyclopedia, as well as West Virginia- related biographies, histories and maps, from book sales of area libraries and charitable organizations. We are interested in duplicate copies of some items and in each edition of a title for the collection, so often we are grateful to acquire additional copies of things already in the library.

We particularly would like to receive donations of hardback and paperback books in good condition by West Virginia authors, both fiction and non-fiction. Some examples of currently available authors who may turn up in a used book bin: Homer Hickam, Sharyn McCrumb, Pearl Buck, Henry Louis Gates, Jed Purdy, Mary Lee Settle, Eugenia Price, Catherine Marshall, Stephen Coontz, Cynthia Rylant (including her children's books), Otis Rice, Jayne Anne Phillips and Christopher Janus. Keep your eyes open--you may find a real treasure in the trash!


HISTORY DAY, MARCH 2. Awards ceremony, 10:00 a.m., State Theater, The Cultural Center. Exhibits in the Capitol Rotunda, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
MARCH 23-26. 1st Annual Conference of the Middle States African Studies Association, "Shadows of the Past." The Cultural Center.
MARCH 25-JUNE 20. A Slave Ship Speaks: The Wreck of the Henrietta Marie. Exhibit, State Museum, The Cultural Center.
PRIMARY ELECTION DAY*, MAY 9. Archives Library will be open regular hours.
MEMORIAL DAY, MAY 29. Archives Library will be closed.

*Archives Library only will be staffed. All other Archives offices will be closed.



SEARCHING BY SUBJECT: Avoid broad, general topics such as "Genealogy" or "West Virginia-Genealogy" because you will get hundreds of listings. Search by county name whenever possible, then look for subheadings under that county name, for example: "Kanawha County (W.Va.) - genealogy." If you are looking for a specific family name, search under the surname + "family" such as "Smith family." Some subjects have many hundreds of listings, and can be thought of in several ways, but actually have only one correct heading. The best example is "Civil War." The correct heading is "United States-History-Civil War, 1861-1865." You will find many subheadings under that topic that may help narrow your search, such as "United States—History-Civil War, 1861-1865—Biography." There is no way to avoid typing in the entire heading on this topic.

SEARCHING BY AUTHOR: Search by last name, then a comma, then first initial, in order to be sure of seeing all possible listings for that author. An author should be listed under a single heading, with a uniform name, but many are not. Unless entries match exactly, in terms of first name, initials, birth dates, etc., they are listed separately. *

SEARCHING BY TITLE: Search by the first few words of the title. It is not necessary to type in "The" or "An", etc. if that is the first word. If you do not find your item under its title, be sure to check under the author's name as well*

*Be sure to check all entries to see all of our holdings. Different editions or other slight variations will be listed separately.

ONCE YOU HAVE A PAGE OF LISTINGS:Type the number of the line most closely matching your search, then hit "enter." If you get a second page of listings, again type the number of the entry you would like to see, then hit "enter."

UNDERSTANDING WHAT YOU FIND: The designation for the Archives is WVCA. If the Archives has the title, our holdings will show immediately, under the title information, and will include our Dewey decimal call number. The listing will also tell you if the book is in the Library or on other floors which are closed to the public. If you do not find the book in theLibrary, or if the book is on another floor, fill out a request form and give it to the staff member at the Reference Desk. (Because our libraries are linked on the system, you may also see "WVLC", which is the West Virginia Library Commission Library, located in the Cultural Center directly across the Great Hall from the Archives Library, or you may see "UC", which is the University of Charleston Library.) If the Archives does not have the item, and if you would like to see where the book is available, type in "ma" to see the main listing for the title. Check the line designated with the code "049" for a listing of libraries which have that title. A list of the abbreviations is on this desk. Example: WVKK is the Kanawha County Library. You can visit that library, or you can request an inter-library loan through your home library or through the Library Commission Library.


Saint Matthew's Episcopal Church of Wheeling, West Virginia: The church.
Bluefield Daily Telegraph: Abstracts ofObits: 1996, 1997, 1998: Charlene P. Leist.
The Matewan Shoot-out: The Trial at Williamson : Burial Along the Tug: Bob Miller.
The Judge and Clyde Beale: Bob Miller.
Informational Report of Investigation Underground Coal Mine Explosion and Fire [Consol No. 9
Mine, Farmington, WV, November 21, 1968.]: MSHA.
Buffalo Creek: Valley of Death: Dennis Deitz and Carlene Mowery.
75* Birthday: Gassaway, WV: 1905-1980: The Gassaway Birthday Celebration Committee.
Historical Summary of Mine Disasters in the United States: U.S. Bureau of Mines.
V.I Coal Mines 1810-1958
V.2 Coal Mines 1959-1998
V.3 Metal and Nonmetal Mines 1885-1998
(This set contains reissued or incorporated information from previous U.S. Bureau of Mines publications, with additional summaries added.)
1900 Kanawha County, West Virginia Census: Charleston District: West Virginia Genealogical Society.
101 Kanawha County, WV Cemeteries: West Virginia Genealogical Society.
Elk Hills Memorial Park: Big Chimney, WV: West Virginia Genealogical Society.
Carbon Fuel Reunion: 1998: Bob Farley, Betty Farley and Pauline Billanti, editors.
The Voices ofSummerlee: Oral Histories of the Life and Times ofSummerlee, WV: Charles A. Beasley, editor. (An oral history concerning the coal camp ofSummerlee, WV.)
Belmont County, Ohio 1870 Census: Colerain, Flushing, Goshen, Kirkwood, Mead, Pease & Pultney Townships: Wes Cochran.
Greenbrier County Cemeteries: White Sulphur District: Greenbrier Historical Society.
Greenbrier County Cemeteries: Meadow Bluff District: Greenbrier Historical Society.
Flemington, West Virginia District History: We Were We Are: Geneva M. Phelps.
Flemington, West Virginia District History: We Were We Are: Vol. II: Geneva M. Phelps.
Berkeley county, [W]VA Deeds and Wills Abstracts: Deed Books 1-5 (1772-1781) : Will Books 1-3 (1772-1805): Larry G. Shuck.
Pisgah Methodist Church Cemetery: Listing and Plat: DeKalb, Gilmer County, West Virginia.
The Last Survivor: the Memoirs of George William Watson: A Horse Soldier in the 12th Virginia Cavalry (Confederate States Army): Brian Stuart Kesterson.
Finding a Place Called Home: A Guide to African-American Genealogy and Historical Identity: Dee Parmer Woodtor.
The Significance of the Jenkins Plantation: Karen N. Cartwright.
Civil War Diary ofC. F. Ropes: 38th/24th Iowa Volunteer Infantry Co. "H": 1865: Karen N. Cartwright Nance.
Obituaries: Glenville Democrat, 1986-1995: David M. Gillespie, compiler.
The Monongahela: River of Dreams, River of Sweat: Arthur Parker.
The Sourcebook of Local Court and County Record Retrievers: 1998 Edition: The Definitive Guide to Searching for Public Record Information at the State Level.
Wonders of the African World: Henry Louis Gates.
Passenger and Immigration Lists Index: 2000 Supplement, Part 2.
(Note: New family histories will be listed next month.)

1850 Free Census: Knox, Larue, Laurel, Lawrence, Letcher, Pike, Pulaski, Rockcastle and Russell Counties.

1850 Slave Census: Jessamine, Johnson, Kenton, Knox, Larue, Laurel, Lawrence, Letcher, Lewis, Lincoln, Livingston, Logan, McCracken, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Mason, Meade, Mercer, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Muhlenberg, Nelson, Nicholas, Ohio, Oldham, Owen, Owsley, Pendleton, Perry, Pike, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Russell, Scott, Shelby, and Simpson Counties.

1860 Free Census: Bourbon, Boyd, Boyle, Lawrence, Letcher, Lewis, Pendleton, Perry, and Pike Counties.

1860 Slave Census: Adair, Allen, Anderson, Ballard, Barren, Bath, Boone, Bourbon, Boyd, Boyle, Bracken, Breathitt, Breckinridge, Bullitt, Butler, Caldwell, Calloway, Campbell, Carroll, Carter, Casey, Jessamine, Johnson, Kenton, Knox, Larue, Laurel, Lawrence, Letcher, Lewis, Lincoln, Livingston, Logan, Lyon, McCracken, McLean, Madison, Magoffin, Marion, Marshall, Mason, Meade, Mercer, Metcalfe, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Muhlenberg, Nelson, Nicholas, Ohio, Oldham, Owen, Owsley, Pendleton, Perry, Pike, Powell, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Rowan, Russell, Scott and Shelby Counties.

1870 Census: Boyd, Boyle, Knox, Larue, Laurel, Lawrence, Pike and Powell Counties.

1850 Census: Fulton, Gallia, Lake, Lawrence, Meigs and Mercer Counties.

1860 Census: Lawrence and Meig Counties.
1870 Census: Gallia, Lawrence and Pike Counties.


If you love West Virginia, or if you just like trivia games, be sure to test and expand your knowledge of West Virginia history and geography by answering Joe Geiger's Daily Trivia questions, and by taking the Quick Quizzes. If you have ideas for questions or topics that you would like to see included, please submit them in writing to Joe Geiger, Archives and History.

Spring of 2000: An updated Historical Highway Markers guide. A survey of West Virginia's Historical Highway Markers was recently completed, thanks to an Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) grant.

MEET OUR STAFF Fredrick Armstrong: Director
Debra Basham: Archivist (photographs, special collections, manuscripts, state government records)
Greg Carroll: Historian (Civil War, Native American history, WV Civil War medals)
Dick Fauss: Archivist (microfilm and audio-visual collections)
Joe Geiger: Historian (Web site, publications)
Ed Hicks: Photographer (archival photography, darkroom)
Jamie Lynch: Library Assistant (17th and early 18th century records, Pennsylvania)
Cathy Miller: Library Assistant (WV State documents, periodicals)
Sharon Newhouse: Secretary to the Director
Harold Newman: Library Assistant (microfilm, Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Adoptions)
Susan Scouras: Librarian (cataloging, Kentucky, Archives library collection)
Bobby Taylor: Library Manager
Nancy Waggoner: Office Assistant
Contract employees working on special projects: Constance Baston, Allen Fowler and Mary Johnson.

In future issues we will feature an individual employee and tell you more about each person's responsibilities and areas of special knowledge.


This newsletter is a publication of:

The Division of Culture and History
Archives and History
The Cultural Center
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East
Charleston, WV 25305-0300
(304) 558-0220

Commissioner: Renay Conlin
Director: Fredrick H. Armstrong

Archives and History News

West Virginia Archives and History