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Jamestown, Virginia was settled in 1607. However, those settlers had no knowledge of what is now West Virginia. That area remained under Native American control for more than 100 more years. In 1660, Governor William Berkeley of Virginia tried to encourage explorers to investigate the area now known as West Virginia. However, there were many barriers in their way, including battles with Native Americans, as well as a 1763 proclamation against settlement by the British Crown and conflicting French and British land claims. The first major settlement in what is now West Virginia was established in Berkeley County, Virginia, by Morgan Morgan.
British aristocrats tended to settle on Virginia's coast, but the western part of the state, which later became West Virginia, was mainly settled by pioneers from Virginia and other states.
Over 55,000 residents are listed in the 1790 census. Around 15,000 of them were German. However, British settlements were established in the valleys of Monongahela, Kanawha, Greenbrier, and New. The Scots-Irish tended to make their homes in harsher terrain. As of 1790, less than1% of those living in West Virginia were slaves. That was due mainly to the fact that the land in the area was not particularly good for farming or agricultural endeavors. When the Civil War ended, the African American population increased. Many of them came to West Virginia to work in the mining and railroad industries. See also West Virginia History Page for more Details
The State of West Virginia entered the union as the 35th state on June 20, 1863. It has 55 Counties
Barbour, Berkeley, Boone, Braxton, Brooke, Cabell, Calhoun, Clay, Doddridge, Fayette, Gilmer, Grant, Greenbrier, Hampshire, Hancock, Hardy, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Kanawha, Lewis, Lincoln, Logan, Marion, Marshall, Mason, McDowell, Mercer, Mineral, Mingo, Monongalia, Monroe, Morgan, Nicholas, Ohio, Pendleton, Pleasants, Pocahontas, Preston, Putnam, Raleigh, Randolph, Ritchie, Roane, Summers, Taylor, Tucker, Tyler, Upshur, Wayne, Webster, Wetzel, Wirt, Wood, Wyoming
Searching for West Virginia Genealogy Materials - West Virginia is a place of gorgeous scenery and unique culture, but it also has a very long history. Someone may search the records in the state for information about their Native American heritage, their Civil War ancestors, and more. This article is going to briefly address the best methods to use when looking for West Virginia genealogy materials of many different kinds.
A Good Method to Use for West Virginia Genealogy - When doing research you will quickly discover that searching for West Virginia genealogy data is something that can actually be done with many online resources. These are places that can allow you to begin gathering information or even requesting copies of documents you need.
There are also many organizations that have not yet been put their collections online, and this means that you must familiarize yourself with the different “offline” locations that will be of use to you in your search. It is extremely important to master both sets of “research tools” to use for West Virginia genealogy, and to understand how to get the most from them.
Your research will probably begin with public records as they are the most widely available of the online resources for West Virginia genealogy. They are always divided into the following three categories:
Best Resources for West Virginia Genealogy - By the time you are done with the public records, will need tools for West Virginia genealogy that will provide you with the most information for your particular project. Below we have identified some of the best advanced resources for West Virginia genealogy:
Additional state and local records can be found at the:
The websites below will provide state-specific details to those in search of information for West Virginia genealogy work.