West Virginia County records differ vastly from county to county in either quality as well as quantity. Some have already been carefully preserved while some have been significantly misused and mistreated. Some West Virginia records have simply vanished. For genealogists undertaking research in West Virginia there’s no valuable replace for an on-site search of county courthouse records. For Definitions of all court terms see the Genealogy Encyclopedia
West Virginia Map of Counties
West Virginia Counties – Hampshire County, West Virginia was formed in 1754. Many other counties were formed from that time until 1860, including Webster County, which was the last in that group. However, the counties of Grant, Mineral, Mingo, Lincoln, and Summers were formed after 1860. County courthouses hold records created by the clerks since the counties were formed. Records from the 1800s and 1900s can also be found at the FHL, West Virginia University Library (West Virginia Regional History Collection) in Morgantown and the Archives and History Library in Charleston.
The circuit court clerk’s office, located at the county seat, holds records on divorces and other court proceedings. The clerk’s office at the county seat holds land records, as well as vital records. Most counties will charge small fees for researching and copying records. Inquiries can be made by mail, in most cases. See also a list of links to county and county seat government run websites.