Finding West Virginia Vital Records Online

Searching for those elusive West Virginia ancestors may now be just a mouse click away.

You can now search and view scanned images of original birth, death, and marriage records from six counties, as well as most statewide death certificates from 1917-54 at The free database consists of millions of West Virginia births, deaths, and marriages–a goldmine for genealogists and historians.

FamilySearch Archive has scanned and indexed these records and the West Virginia Division of Culture and History is hosting them online. The database has more than 3.5 million names linked to 1.4 million original images of birth, marriage, and death records from Calhoun, Gilmer, Hardy, Harrison, Mineral, and Pendleton counties.

The record dates vary by county and type of record, but typically range from 1816 to 1929. Birth records are for the period 1853-1930, county death records for 1853-1969/1970, and county marriage records from the creation of the county until the late 1960s — all of which are searchable by name, county, and date.

FamilySearch ( — a nonprofit entity — filmed, scanned, and created the automatic index at the heart of the online database. The project required 2,500 volunteers and 64,000 hours to complete. West Virginia plans to add records from additional counties in the future.

Reprinted With Permission: Previously published in RootsWeb Review: 23 November 2005, Vol. 8, No. 47.

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