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The importance of West Virginia military records in family history research for ancestors who have been veterans are obvious but West Virginia military records can also be essential to researchers whose direct ancestors just weren’t soldiers in any war. Due to the quantity of genealogical details contained in some West Virginia military pension files they should not be overlooked all through the research process.The early military history of West Virginia is that of Virginia. So, researchers interested in those early records may have to search repositories in Virginia. West Virginia did not develop its own military history until the Civil War was fought. West Virginia was neither a Confederate nor a Union state. It’s residents were split about which side to support. It’s estimated that 10,000 soldiers from the state were Confederates, while 23,000 were Union soldiers. However, exact numbers aren’t known. Published military records for West Virginia can be found at the FHL, the West Virginia and Regional History Collection, and the Archives and History Library.

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

West Virginia Pre 1860s

War Website Links

West Virginia in the Civil War


Civil War Website Links

West Virginia Modern Wars

War Website Links

Further Reading

  • The Soldiery of West Virginia (1911, reprint, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2002), has rosters of soldiers from West Virginia who served in the French and Indian War, Indian Wars, Lord Dunmore’s War, the Revolutionary War, Whiskey Rebellion of 1794, the War of 1812, Mexican War, and the Civil War.
  • West Virginia Civil War Almanac. Charleston, W.Va.: Pictorial Histories Publishing Co., 1998.
  • The Roster of Union Soldiers, 1861–1865. Vol. 4. Wilmington, N.C.: Broadfoot Publishing, 1999 – Alphabetical listing of Union soldiers in West Virginia. Provides name, regiment, and company
  • Index to the Soldiery of West Virginia. Pueblo, Colo.: Pathfinders Books, 1985.
  • Virginia’s Colonial Soldiers. 1988. Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1998.
  • West Virginians in the American Revolution. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1977.
  • West Virginia Revolutionary Ancestors. 1977. Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2001 – Indexes claims reviewed by the “court of claims” for nonmilitary service.