This is your project and the success of the project depends on you. Tammy Barber, Kanawha County Coordinator. The WVGenWeb Project makes no claims or estimates of the validity of the information submitted and reminds you that each new piece of information must be researched and proved or disproved by weight of evidence. Also here you will find copies of copyright-expired texts pertaining to the history of West Virginia.
Divorce records are kept by the county clerk of the circuit court. Probate records have been kept by the county courts and are found in deed books and court order books. Naturalization proceedings were recorded in the minutes and dockets of the courts until , since any court could naturalize immigrants. After , only federal courts handled naturalizations. Follow this link to determine what county a city or town is in.
The internet has proven to be a component in this pastime gaining ground among enthusiasts. You should be feeling pride as you attempt to keep your heritage alive with this project. It can be fun to even draft others in your fold to help you in your mission. The act of archiving your personal history can be a rewarding assignment, not a boring one. The preservation of your family culture can be a source for future family members to cherish.
Family Trees Need Proper Seeding at the Start Amateur or professional, the genealogist of all levels starts with a very basic knowledge of his family. At the very beginning, this researcher can jot down on the fresh family tree the names of the family he shares a house with. Without looking at any notes, can you name the members of your family? If you cannot do this task, then you may need some assistance that a genealogy expert cannot give to you. The West Virginia vital records can indeed help the willing genealogy fan. If you have established that you know the members of your family who live with you, and you are ready to take some further steps in research, then you may be ready to look at the West Virginia vital records.
Some people who want to make a family tree know very little about ancestral research. They must keep in mind that family trees have a different look with each family. Social Security program began in but most deaths recorded in the index happened after The index entries give the person's full birth date, last known residence, and residence at the time they first enrolled. Women are listed under their married name at the time of their death.
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Unless the deceased would be at least 75 years old today, the parents' names are not published. You will not find everybody who is listed in the SSDI, as criteria for inclusion differs. If you can prove the individual has died by sending an obituary or copy of their cemetery headstone , the application will also give the deceased's parents' names, if listed.
NOTE: Each database covers different cemeteries, although some may overlap. Don't be discouraged if you do not locate your individual in the first database. Check each collection. Here are some examples of FindAGrave records--although these are not related to the families we are researching--just examples.
Likewise, the World War II draft in may give birth date, birth place, residence, occupation, employer, and other family members as contacts. Search for your male relatives born in this time period at. This collection consists of two card indexes to widows who had applied for a pension renewal. The first covers service between and the second covers service in the Civil War and later. This is helpful in locating a woman in census and death records under her new surname.
The census records may show that your ancestor was born in another country. It will be necessary to try to find the town or city they were born in to continue research in the country of origin. Searches of immigration records usually passenger lists and naturalization citizenship records are the next goal. Immigration refers to people coming into a country, such as the United States, and emigration refers to people leaving a country to go to another.
Usually these records are passenger lists of the ships they sailed on. A typical record will show name, age, and country of origin, but in ship lists after you can find the actual town of birth, the next of kin still living in the old country and their residence, and the names of relatives in the place they are traveling to.
Census records can provide important clues about nationality and immigration. This chart lists data that can be found in each of the census records. Gather the information in the census records specifically about immigration, as it will help narrow down your search. Passenger lists and border crossing lists are the most common immigration records. There are many immigration records available. Click here to see a complete list of available immigration records online. Notice that they are listed by state, but under the letter "U" there is a long list of records that cover all of the United States.
Unless family information tells you the port where family arrived, you will need to search all of the United States Immigration Online Genealogy Records for the time period when your ancestors arrived.
NCSC | National Center for State Courts
Notice that this shipping record for Salvatore Sirna gives his birth place. In the blow-up of the original record you see the column where passengers listed their next-of-kin in Italy. Here Salvatore names his father, Vincenza Sirna. Original record Blow up of father's name. Naturalization is the process of becoming a citizen. Records can include the immigrant's declaration of intent to become a citizen, petitions for citizenship, and final certificate of naturalization.
Naturalization records after can show birth date and place, spouse's name, marriage date and place, and lists of children with their birth dates. West Virginia naturalization records could be recorded at the county court or the Federal District or Circuit Court. You must look for them in both locations. Try searching first in any county where the person lived, unless the census tells you the year they were naturalized, and you have evidence of where they lived that year. If you cannot locate them in the county records, try searching for them in the Federal courts.
You can now go through a process of working back and forth between all the different record types. Most researchers find clues in the census records that alert them to new certificates to obtain. The certificates then give them ideas of new facts to look for in the census. For example, when a marriage certificate gives you a wife's maiden name, you will then want to look for her in earlier censuses listed with her family as a child.
When the census shows you her parents' names, you may then search for their death records. The death records might show their patents' names and take you back to the census to search for them. A naturalization record listing children's names might lead you back to birth certificate searches, and so on.
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Here is a simple pedigree showing what we have discovered so far: Here are some sample research projects you could continue with:. These collections of biographies can be searched online. Most have a table of contents and an index. Or you can use the "Find" function on your computer. This online directory by GenealogyInc.
West Virginia Vital Registration
Here is an example of an internet website for a local genealogical society. Use the Wiki articles for West Virginia and its counties to find out about other records in state, county, or local repositories. Although FamilySearch is actively working to microfilm and preserve records throughout the world, this huge job is nowhere near complete. We have tried in the Wiki to provide information about collections, books, and records held in government and ecclesiastical archives beyond the Family History Library records. In West Virginia, United States Genealogy, you can find links to these records and how to access them.
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Also here you will find information on records from your particular West Virginia county of interest. To request editing rights on the Wiki, click here. From FamilySearch Wiki. West Virginia Step-by-step research present A suggested approach to genealogy research in West Virginia family history records.