Harrison County, West Virginia Genealogy

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Guide to Harrison County, West Virginia ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, and military records.

County Facts
County seat: Clarksburg
Organized: May 3, 1784
Parent County(s): Monongalia[1]
Neighboring Counties
Barbour  • Doddridge  • Lewis  • Marion  • Taylor  • Upshur  • Wetzel
See County Maps
Harrison County Courthouse, Clarksburg, WV.jpg
Location Map

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Benjamin Harrison V. The County is located in the central area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Harrison County Courthouse
301 W Main Street
Clarksburg, WV 26301-2909
Phone: 304-624-8611
Harrison County Website

County Clerk has birth and death records from 1853, and marriage records from 1784.[3]

Harrison County, West Virginia Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1853 1784 1853 1784 1786 1788 1870
*Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1917. General compliance by 1925.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

  • 1784--Harrison County was created 3 May 1784 from Monongalia County.
  • County seat: Clarksburg[1]

For animated maps illustrating West Virginia county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation West Virginia County Boundary Maps" (1617-1995) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website.

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit Hometown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[5]

Census-designated places

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]


  • Cutten, George Barton. The Silversmiths of Virginia (together with Watchmakers and Jewelers) from 1694 to 1850. Richmond, Va.: The Dietz Press, Incorporated, 1952. FHL Collection. Includes a section on Clarksburg silversmiths.

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Harrison County, West Virginia online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See West Virginia Cemeteries for more information

Census Records[edit | edit source]

For tips on accessing Harrison census records online, see: West Virginia Census.

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1790 2,080
1800 4,848 133.1%
1810 9,958 105.4%
1820 10,932 9.8%
1830 14,722 34.7%
1840 17,669 20.0%
1850 11,728 −33.6%
1860 13,790 17.6%
1870 16,714 21.2%
1880 20,181 20.7%
1890 21,919 8.6%
1900 27,690 26.3%
1910 48,381 74.7%
1920 74,793 54.6%
1930 78,567 5.0%
1940 82,911 5.5%
1950 85,296 2.9%
1960 77,856 −8.7%
1970 73,028 −6.2%
1980 77,710 6.4%
1990 69,371 −10.7%
2000 68,652 −1.0%
2010 69,099 0.7%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

1785 Enumeration Harrison County Heads of Families - 1785 at U.S. Census Bureau - free. County begins on page 90.

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Early Baptist churches (with years constituted):

  1. Simpson's Creek (1775)[6]
  2. Buchannon (1786)[6]
  3. Good Hope (1806)[6]
  4. Olive Branch (1803)[6]
  5. Salem (1801)[6]
  6. Union (1802)[6]
  7. West Fork[6]

Harrison County fell within the bounds of the Union Association.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Ward and Branch Records of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  • Clarksburg

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

  • W. Guy Tetrick, comp. Family sheets, an uncompleted survey for a "Genealogical History of Harrison County, West Virginia"
  • Criss - Johnston, Aaron Montgomery. Ancestors and Descendants of James and Althea (Loose) Johnston and Allied Families: Bennett, Criss, Gay, Loose, Maitland, Montgomery, Palm and Round. Knoxville, Tenn., 1983. FHL Book 929.273 J644j.
  • Cunningham - Newman, Betty Cunningham. Adam and 500 More Cunninghams of the Valley of Virginia, c.1734-c.1800. Bowie, Md.: Heritage Books, Inc., 2000. FHL Book 929.273 C917n.
  • Deakins - Ganley, Gladys Dickens. "Some Speculations on a Dickens/Washington Connection," Magazine of Virginia Genealogy, Vol. 27, No. 2 (May 1989):75-81. Digital version at Ancestry ($); FHL Book 975.5 B2vs.
  • Dennison - Dennison, Edmund and Karl C. Priest. Baptized on the 4th of July: The Elder Edmund Dennison Story. South Charleston, W. Va.: K.C. Priest, 1995. FHL.
  • Hacker - “A Noted Mason Dead: The Demise of William Hacker at a Ripe Old Age,” [Newspaper obituary] (Shelbyville, Ohio), 29 July 1891, reprinted in Hacker’s Creek Journal, Vol. 6, No. 1 (Fall 1987):31-32 - free digital version at Hacker's Creek website.
  • Mills - Hackett, John Davis and Kathryn Dickerson Shannon. "Mills Families of Virginia," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 35, No. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 1991):215-228; Vol. 35, No. 4 (Oct.-Dec. 1991):284-296; Vol. 36, No. 1 (Jan.-Mar. 1992):34-48; Vol. 36, No. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 1992):109-119. Digital version at American Ancestors by NEHGS ($). FHL Book 975.5 B2vg v. 35 (1991)-v. 36 (1992).
  • Prunty - Wassenaar, Ardyth. Memoirs and Geneology of the Prunty Family. Seattle, Wash.: A. Wassenaar, 1984? FHL Book 929.273 P953w.
  • Shore - Dennis, Barbara. The Shore Family: Michael Shore and His Descendants. 1971; reprint, Spokane, Wash.: M.B. Shore, 1992. FHL Book 929.273 Sh78d.
  • Swisher - Swisher, Robert Edward. The Swisher Family of Harrison and Lewis Counties, West Virginia. Richmond, Va.: Whittet and Shepperson, 1974. FHL Book 929.273 Sw65r.

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.

See West Virginia Land and Property for additional information about early West Virginia land grants. After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions were usually recorded at the county courthouse and where records are currently housed.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for Harrison County, West Virginia Genealogy. County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories see the wiki page section West Virginia Local Histories.

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Marion CountyTaylor CountyBarbour CountyUpshur CountyLewis CountyDoddridge CountyWetzel CountyWV HARRISON.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War[edit | edit source]

  • A Census of Pensioners for Revolutionary or Military Services: With their Names, Ages, and Places of Residence, as Returned by the Marshalls of the Several Judicial Districts, Under the Act for Taking the Sixth Census]. 1841. Digital versions at U.S. Census Bureau and Google Books et. al. 1967 reprint: FHL Collection 973 X2pc 1840. See Virginia, Western District, Harrison County on page 134.
  • Rejected or Suspended Applications for Revolutionary War Pensions. Washington, D.C., 1852. Reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1969, and 1991. Reprints include "an Added Index to States." FHL Collection 973 M24ur; digital version at Ancestry ($). Includes veterans from this county; Virginia section begins on page 238.

War of 1812[edit | edit source]

Harrison County men served in the 11th and 119th Regiments.[7]

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Regiments. Service men in Harrison served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed in Harrison County:


- 1st Regiment, West Virginia Cavalry


- 3rd Regiment, Virginia State Line (Cavalry and Infantry) (Confederate). Company C.
- 20th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate). Companies E and F.[8]
- 31st Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company C (Harrison Rifles) presumably was recruited in Harrison County.[9]

Records and histories are available, including:

World War II[edit | edit source]

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Online Probate Records

The earliest Harrison County Will Books also include estate inventories and some accountings and settlements of both testate and intestate estates.

There are mistakes in the titles of some of the Will Books listed at the above list of links and in the Family Search Library Catalog's listing of microfilms.

a) The volume entitled Will book, v. 001 1822-1880 is actually Record of Wills 1822-80. It includes disputed or otherwise unrecorded wills and District Court wills. It appears to have been compiled from loose wills, but when it was created is unknown. It is not Will Book 1

b) The volume entitled Will book, v. 002 1788-1794 is actually Will Book 1 (1788-1814) and with it, as microfilmed, Will Book 2 (1814-1818), which begins with image 254 of 497 uploaded images.

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

How can West Virginia tax list help me?

  • 1784-1800 Harrison County, [West] Virginia Lands: 1784-1800. Extracts in the West Virginia Collection at the West Virginia University Library, Morgantown, West Virginia; also available on microfilm at FHL.
  • 1784-1824 Harrison County, [West] Virginia Tithables Lists, 1784-1824. Original records, Harrison County Courthouse; also available on microfilm at FHL.
  • 1787 Schreiner-Yantis, Netti and Florene Speakman Love. The 1787 Census of Virginia: An Accounting of the Name of Every White Male Tithable Over 21 Years, the Number of White Males Between 16 and 21 Years, the Number of Slaves over 16 and Those Under 16 Years, Together with a Listing of Their Horses, Cattle and Carriages, and Also the Names of All Persons to Whom Ordinary Licenses and Physician's Licenses Were Issued. 3 vols. Springfield, Va.: Genealogical Books in Print, 1987; FHL. The source of this publication is the 1787 personal property tax list. Harrison County is included in Vol. 1.
  • 1815 Ward, Roger D. 1815 Directory of Virginia Landowners (and Gazetteer). 6 vols. Athens, Georgia: Iberian Pub. Co., 1997-2000. Available at FHL. The source for this publication is the 1815 land tax. Harrison County is included in Vol. 6.

Online West Virginia Tax site

West Virginia real and personal property tax records are managed by the County Assessor in each county. Land and land improvements are considered real property while mobile property is classified as personal property.

Many County Assessors offer an online searchable database, where assessment record searches can be performed by name, account number, year, or mp/parcel number. Where online records are not available, requests for records can be made to the Assessment Office in person, by phone, or in writing.

The search for tax information can start here

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Death[edit | edit source]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Voting Records[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Listed below are archives in Harrison County. For state-wide archival repositories, see West Virginia Archives and Libraries.

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

  • Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
  • FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Listed below are libraries in Harrison County. For state-wide library facilities, see West Virginia Archives and Libraries.

  • Central West Virginia Genealogy and Historical Library/Museum
    45 Abbott's Run Road
    Horner, WV 26372-7091
    Phone: 304-269-7091
    Email: hcpd@hackerscreek.com
    Operated by the Hacker's Creek Pioneer Descendants, Inc.

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Listed below are societies in Harrison County. For state-wide genealogical societies, see West Virginia Societies.

Hackers Creek Pioneers Descendants Inc
Central West Virginia Genealogy and Historical Library
45 Abbotts Run Road
Horner, WV 26372-0056
Phone: 304-269-7091
Email: hcpd@hackerscreek.com
Hacker's Creek Pioneer Descendants Inc. Website
Hackers Creek Pioneers Descendants Inc
West Virginia Genealogy Network Group on Facebook

Neff-Hardesty Memorial Archives
445 West Main Street
Suite 150
Clarksburg, WV 26301
Phone: 304-709-4902
Email: hcwvhs@gmail.com
Harrison County Historical Society
Harrison County West Virginia Historical Society

Websites[edit | edit source]

  • USGenWeb project. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county. Select the state, then the county.
  • Cyndi's List for West Virginia
  • Harrison County, West Virginia Microfilms at the Library of Virginia
  • FamilySearch Catalog - The FamilySearch catalog contains descriptions and access information for all genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, and publications) in their collection.  Use Historical Records to search for specific individuals in genealogical records

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), West Virginia.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Harrison County, West Virginia" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrison_County,_West_Virginia."
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Doddridge County, West Virginia. Page 743 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Harrison County, West Virginia. Page 743-746 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 742-743.
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Harrison County, West Virginia," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrison_County,_West_Virginia, accessed 04 July 2018.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Robert Baylor Semple and George William Beale, A History of the Rise and Progress of the Baptists in Virginia (1810; reprint, Richmond, Va.: Pitt and Dickinson, 1894), 434. Digital version at Google Books.
  7. Stuart Lee Butler, A Guide to Virginia Militia Units in the War of 1812 (Athens, Ga.: Iberian Pub. Co., 1988), 104. FHL Book 975.5 M2bs.
  8. Richard L. Armstrong, 19th and 20th Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1994). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 101.
  9. John M. Ashcraft, 31st Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1988). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 48.