Monroe County, West Virginia Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Union
Organized: January 14, 1799
Parent County(s): Greenbrier[1]
Neighboring Counties
Alleghany (VA)  • Craig (VA)  • Giles (VA)  • Greenbrier  • Mercer  • Summers
See County Maps
Confederate Monument in Monroe County, West Virginia.jpg
Location Map

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for the James Monroe. The County is located in the southeast area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Monroe County Courthouse
Main Street
Union, WV 24983
Phone: 304-772-3096
Monroe County Website

County Clerk has birth and death records from 1853, marriage and land records from 1799, and probate records.

Monroe 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[3]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1853 1799 1853 1799 1799 1799 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]

  • 1799--Monroe County was created 14 January 1799 from Greenbrier County.
  • County seat: Union[4]

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 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]

Unincorporated communities

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]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Monroe 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 Monroe census records online, see: West Virginia Census.

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1800 4,188
1810 5,444 30.0%
1820 6,620 21.6%
1830 7,798 17.8%
1840 8,422 8.0%
1850 10,204 21.2%
1860 10,757 5.4%
1870 11,124 3.4%
1880 11,501 3.4%
1890 12,429 8.1%
1900 13,130 5.6%
1910 13,055 −0.6%
1920 13,141 0.7%
1930 11,949 −9.1%
1940 13,577 13.6%
1950 13,123 −3.3%
1960 11,584 −11.7%
1970 11,272 −2.7%
1980 12,873 14.2%
1990 12,406 −3.6%
2000 14,583 17.5%
2010 13,502 −7.4%
Source: "".

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Early Baptist churches (with years constituted):

  • Indian Creek (1792). A History of the Rise and Progress of the Baptists in Virginia. By Robert Baylor Semple and George William Beale. 1810; reprint, Richmond, Va.: Pitt and Dickinson, 1894. Page 432-433. Available online at Google Books.

Monroe County fell within the bounds of the Greenbrier Association.

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]

DNA has been collected from men claiming descent from the following Kanawha County, (West) Virginia residents. Attempts have not been made to verify the lineages of those tested.

  • Fletcher - Descendant of William Fletcher, b. England, resident of Kanawha and Monroe Counties, Virginia. Y-DNA 12 Marker Test, FTDNA. Genetic signature available (labelled William Fletcher of Accomac County, Virginia/James Fletcher of Brunswick County, Virginia), courtesy: The Fletcher DNA Project.

This bibliography will eventually identify all known family histories published about residents of this county. Use this list to:

  • Locate publications about direct ancestors
  • Find the most updated accounts of an ancestor's family
  • Identify publications, to quote Elizabeth Shown Mills, about an ancestor's "FAN Club" [Friends, Associates, and Neighbors]


  • Blankenship, Gayle King. Virginia Families of Louisa, Hanover and Monroe Counties. Poquoson, Va.: G.K. Blankenship, 1991. FHL 975.5 D2bg
  • Bean - Beane, Fannie B. William Bean of Monroe County and His Descendants. St. Albans, W.Va., 1988.
  • Long - Beane, Fannie B. William Bean of Monroe County and His Descendants. St. Albans, W.Va., 1988.
  • Long - Buchanan, Paul C. "Long Families in Monroe Co. (Then) Virginia," Mountain Empire Genealogical Quarterly, Vol. 8. Pages 146-153.
  • Long - Buchanan, Paul C. and Susie M. Owens. "Henry Long and Some Descendants of Colonial Virginia," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 38, No. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 1994):115-126; Vol. 38, No. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 1994):190-200; Vol. 38, No. 4 (Oct.-Dec. 1994):263-273; Vol. 39, No. 1 (Jan.-Mar. 1995):27-31. Digital version at American Ancestors by NEHGS ($). FHL Book 975.5 B2vg v. 38 (1994)-v. 39 (1995).
  • Mann - Malott, Eva, Ada McPhilliamy, and Dick Pence. Digging Our Roots: The Pence Kids. Baltimore, Md.: Gateway Press, 1977. FHL Book 929.273 P372a.
  • Riggins - Burgess, James A. Burgess, Mullins, Browning, Brown and Allied Families. Parsons, W.Va.: McClain Printing Company, 1978. FHL Film 1035668 Item 10; digital version at Family History Archives - free.
  • Tiffany - McIlhany, H.M. Some Virginia Families. Staunton, Va.: Stoneburner & Prufer, 1903, pp. 239-242. 1962 reprint: FHL US/CAN Book 975.5 D2m 1962; digital version at Ancestry ($).

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 Monroe 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]

Mercer CountyGreenbrier CountySummers CountyAllegheny CountyCraig CountyGiles CountyWV MONROE.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, Monroe County on page 135.
  • 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]

  • Monroe County men served in the 75th Regiment.[6]
  • Turk, David Scott, The memorialists an antebellum history of Alleghany, Craig and Monroe counties of West Virginia, 1812-60 (Bowie, Maryland, Heritage Books, c1997) page 168 FHL Book 975.5 H2

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Regiments. Service men in Monroe 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 Monroe County:

- 8th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate). Company G (Mountain Rangers).[7]
- 22nd Regiment, Virginia Infantry (1st Kanawha Regiment). Company G (Rocky Point Grays).[8]
- 26th Battalion, Virginia Infantry (Edgar's) (Confederate). Company A (Red Sulphur Yankee Hunters) and Company B.[9]
- 27th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate) . Company D (Monroe Guards).[10]
- 30th Battalion, Virginia Sharpshooters (Clarke's) (Confederate). Company C.[11]
- 59th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company B1 (Beirne's Sharpshooters).[12]

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 Indexes and Records

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

At first glance, researchers might conclude that Virginia tax lists contain very little family history data, though one soon learns that valuable genealogical conclusions can be drawn from these records, nicknamed "annual censuses," such as: relationships, approximate years of birth, socio-economic status, identification of neighbors, the ability to distinguish between persons of the same name, evidence of land inheritance, years of migration, and years of death.

Virginia began enumerating residents' payments of personal property and land taxes in 1782. These two types of taxation were recorded in separate registers. Personal property tax lists include more names than land tax lists, because they caught more of the population. The Family History Library has an excellent microfilm collection of personal property tax lists from 1782 (or the year the county was organized) well into the late nineteenth century for most counties, but only scattered land tax lists. Microfilm collections at The Library of Virginia include land tax lists for all counties and independent cities for the years 1782 through 1978, as well as personal property tax lists for the years 1782 through 1930 (and every fifth year thereafter). Taxes were not collected in 1808.

Some tax records are available online or in print, though published abstracts often omit useful details found only in the original sources. Statewide indexes can help genealogists identify specific counties where surnames occurred in the past, providing starting points for research.[13][14]

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]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

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

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

Monroe County Historical Society, Inc.
P O Box 465
Union, WV 24983
Phone: 304-772-4449
Monroe County Historical Society, Inc.

Monroe County Public Library
383 South Main Street
P O Box 558
Union, WV 24983 Phone: 304-772-3038
Monroe County Public Library

Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

  • "A Guide to the Counties of Virginia: Monroe County," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 18, No. 4 (Oct.-Dec. 1974):295-298. Available at FHL; digital version at New England Ancestors by NEHGS ($).

References[edit | edit source]

  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, "Monroe County, West Virginia" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, ",_West_Virginia"
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Monroe 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Monroe County, West Virginia," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_West_Virginia, accessed 12 July 2018.
  6. Stuart Lee Butler, A Guide to Virginia Militia Units in the War of 1812 (Athens, Ga.: Iberian Pub. Co., 1988), 145. FHL Book 975.5 M2bs.
  7. Jack L. Dickinson, 8th Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1986). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 25.
  8. Terry D. Lowry, 22nd Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1988). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 44.
  9. Terry Lowry, 26th Battalion Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1991). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 81.
  10. Lowell Reidenbaugh, 27th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1993). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 90.
  11. Michael West, 30th Battalion Virginia Sharpshooters (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1995). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 108.
  12. G.L. Sherwood and Jeffrey C. Weaver, 59th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1994). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 107.
  13. "Using Personal Property Tax Records in the Archives at the Library of Virginia," Library of Virginia,
  14. "Using Land Tax Records in the Archives at the Library of Virginia," Library of Virginia,