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McDowell County, West Virginia

McDowell County

McDowell County was established on February 28, 1858 from Tazewell County (Virginia). The county was named in honor of James McDowell (1795-1851), Governor of Virginia.

The County Seat is located in Welch and the county government website is

Areas adjacent to McDowell County are Wyoming County (north), Mercer County (east), Tazewell County, Virginia (south), Buchanan County, Virginia (west), Mingo County (northwest).

Cities and towns located in the county include Algoma, Anawalt, Asco, Ashland, Avondale, Bartley, Berwind, Big Sandy, Bradshaw, Canebrake, Capels, Caretta, Coalwood, Crumpler, Cucumber, Davy, Eckman, Elbert, Elkhorn, English, Filbert, Gary, Gilliam, Havaco, Hemphill, Hensley, Iaeger, Isaban, Jenkinjones, Jolo, Keystone, Kimball, Kyle, Leckie, Maybeury, McDowell, Mohawk, Newhall, Northfork, Pageton, Panther, Raysal, Roderfield, Skygusty, Squire, Superior, Switchback, Thorpe, Twin Branch, Vallscreek, Vivian, War, Warriormine, Welch, Wilcoe, Worth, Yukon

McDowell County vital records can be found at the West Virginia Office of Vital Records which has copies of birth, marriage, divorce and death records. There is a fee for each copy requested. Please refer to the information to the Statewide Vital Records in West Virginia for current fees and application process.

You can search online for McDowell County Birth, Marriage, Divorce or Death Records. You can also Order Electronically Online or can download an application for West Virginia Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Death Certificate Applications to mail.

McDowell County consists of Federal Census Schedules to aid in researching your family tree. Federal government Population Schedules are present for 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.

McDowell Co. Mortality Schedules can be acquired for 1860, 1870 and 1880. McDowell Co. Industry and Agriculture can be found for 1860, 1870 and 1880. McDowell Co. Union Veterans Schedules can be obtained for 1890. One can find free down-loadable and also printable census forms to assist with your research.

McDowell County Society and Family History Resources

A list of McDowell County Historical  and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.

McDowell County Courthouse and Government Records

Researchers often overlook the benefits of McDowell County court, probate, and land records as a useful resource of ancestry and genealogy information and facts. Buried away in West Virginia courthouses and archives just about everywhere could be the dreams and worries of many West Virginia residents.

The chances are excellent that your potential ancestors and forefathers have left a comprehensive document of at least a few factors of their lives in the McDowell County court records. Even if your ancestors and forefathers is not referred to in a Court case, take into account all of the other procedures which often can have lead to him or her to appear in court records.

The below information denotes whatever death, marriage, birth, property, wills, and legal records can be found in McDowell County. The years pointed out below could be the first known documents for this particular county.

You need to contact the clerk's office to determine hours, mailing address, fees and other particulars just before visiting or seeking information because of from time to time changing contact information. The Department Offices DO NOT DO RESEARCH. The records and documents are readily available to interested parties, barring private issues. Many employees will aid men and women in locating the resources, but it is up to the man or women to carry out the researching.
  • McDowell County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
    • Address: 90 Wyoming Street STE , Welch, WV 24801
  • McDowell County Clerk has many duties which include some of the following: the issuance of marriage licenses, birth and death certificates, record births, marriages and deaths in the county, serve as the recorder of all documents, prepare and send to all heirs a Notice to Redeem and take care of publications, redemptions or recording deeds with regard to delinquent property, issue military service discharge records and probate wills and assist in administration of estates.
    • Phone: 304-436-8544
    • Birth / Death Records: 1872 / 1894
    • Marriage Records: 1859
    • Land Records: 1868
    • Probate Records: 1893 
  • McDowell County Clerk of Circuit Court has many responsibilities which include some of the following: Serve as the Clerk to the Circuit and Family Court, Issue mesne (during the progress of a case) process, Issue final process to enforce and execute judgements, Appoint guardian ad litem where required, Responsible for all papers filed in the office; serve as registrar, recorder and custodian for all pleadings, documents and funds pertaining to cases filed in circuit court and family court, Responsible for the administration and management of the petit and grand jury systems in the county.
    • Phone: 304-436-8560
    • Court Records: 1859 

McDowell County Links

The following are web links to Genealogy and family history, Records and Resources related to McDowell County. Each of these genealogy links fall into 3 categories: Business oriented Sites, Personal Sites or Organization Sites. Some have free access some have to have a payment. This is basically a list which has been collected or submitted. I do not endorse or promote one genealogy site above another. Feel free to suggest your own preferred McDowell County genealogy or family history related sites.

Until 1863 West Virginia was part of Virginia, See Virginia State Records for Info and links for years prior to 1863.

McDowell Co. WV Books, Newspapers & Publications

McDowell Co. WV Birth, Marriage & Death Records

McDowell Co. WV Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

McDowell Co. WV Census Records

McDowell Co. WV Church & Cemeteries

McDowell Co. WV Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

McDowell Co. WV General and History Websites

McDowell Co. WV Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

McDowell Co. WV Military Records

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