WV Culture and Vital Records

If any of your ancestors were born, died, or married in West Virginia, here’s a resource that you may not know about: The West Virginia Vital Research Records Project. Although FamilySearch.org ties its records to this site, the images don’t always appear. I’ve found that the links are sometimes broken and I need to go in search of the record on my own. That’s the link I use.

Although I don’t always find the record I’m searching for, due to no fault of the Archives, if a vital record does exist this is the place to find it. Let me explain “due to no fault of the Archives.” My grandfather Henry McGrew was born in Putnam County in 1910. There is no birth record for Henry at the Putnam County Courthouse, therefore, there is no birth record for him online at the Vital Research Records Project. You can find him in the federal Censuses with his parents up through 1940 but you won’t find a birth record for him (unless its a delayed birth record that I don’t know about). It was for this reason I had to order a copy of Henry’s Social Security Application to which was attached an affidavit attesting to his birth date and place signed by his mother.

The Vital Research Records Project is free but please know that not every county in the State has all of its records online but you can learn more about that in the accompanying pdf. Nevertheless, big Shout Out to West Virginia for this endeavor.


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