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06 September 2019

Our Library Collections: West Virginia

Our West Virginia has a book about highway
One in a series by CGS member Chris Pattillo,  highlighting some of our holdings at the Library in Oakland.  For a fuller listing of books, journals, and more, consult the CGS Library catalog in WorldCat.

At first glance, our collection of books for West Virginia seems to include a notable number of interesting books. Compared to other states I’ve written about there are fewer of what I would term “traditional” genealogy books – compilations of data on pioneers, marriage, death, bible records, etc. There are more books on unique topics. The first book in this category is West Virginia Highway Markers – about those small metal signs you see throughout the country. My personal perception is that the southern United States have more than their share of these signs, which I found very helpful while traveling in the south. While not primarily genealogical reading, these mini-history markers are a quick way to learn about the highlights of local history.

Indian Warfare and Massacres on the West Virginia Frontier is another somewhat unusual reference. We have two volumes of this book. Each chapter includes several articles. Chapter 5 is all about pioneer women and Chapter 6 contains personal recollections of persons living on the frontier during the Indian wars.
Indian Warfare and Massacres on the West
Virginia Frontier
For a good overview of the state you could choose to look at The 55 West Virginias: A Guide to the State’s Counties by E. Lee North. Each county is summarized in two pages. Articles include a couple of photos, a short narrative, a location map, a larger map showing the featured county and what counties surround it, an economic profile and a table of statistics for that county.

History of The Pan-Handle: Being Historical Collections of the Counties of Ohio, Brooke, Marshall and Hancock, West Virginia is a hefty volume with over 500 pages of fine print. First published in 1879, it was donated to CGS by Stanley Ross. The book includes a number of nice illustrations and individual biographies.
55 West Virginias provides concise data on each
West Virginia county

We have four volumes of Family Stories & Bible Records of Central West Virginia. These are extracts from the Clarksburg Exponent Telegram, and provide detailed biographies for families. An example is a profile of Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Stonestreet of Near Wolf Summit during their sixty years of marriage. Chapter subheadings tell us what sort of information is included. They include: "English Stock," "Friends Form Screen," "Recalls Trip," "Nine Children," "Drove Sheep on Foot," "Buried on Tenmile," "Married Wetzel Farmer," "Two Sons Marry," "Mathematics Instructor," "Court Reporter," "Invalid at 17," "Union Soldier, Killed at Antietam," "Weds Three Times," ""Dies of Infection," "Husband Stayed on Farm, …. And it continues with nine additional topics. Who wouldn’t love to discover one such article about their ancestors?

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