Harrison County, West Virginia Genealogy
Guide to Harrison County, West Virginia ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
- 1 County Information
- 2 Resources
- 2.1 Bible Records
- 2.2 Biographies
- 2.3 Business, Commerce, and Occupations
- 2.4 Cemeteries
- 2.5 Census Records
- 2.6 Church Records
- 2.7 Court Records
- 2.8 Directories
- 2.9 Emigration and Immigration
- 2.10 Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups
- 2.11 Funeral Homes
- 2.12 Genealogies
- 2.13 Guardianship
- 2.14 Land and Property Records
- 2.15 Local Histories
- 2.16 Maps and Gazetteers
- 2.17 Migration
- 2.18 Military Records
- 2.19 Naturalization and Citizenship
- 2.20 Newspapers
- 2.21 Obituaries
- 2.22 Other Records
- 2.23 Periodicals
- 2.24 Probate Records
- 2.25 School Records
- 2.26 Tax Records
- 2.27 Vital Records
- 3 Research Facilities
- 4 Societies
- 5 Websites
- 6 Research Guides
- 7 References
The County was named for Benjamin Harrison V. The County has Clarksburg as its seat and the County was created May 3, 1784. The County is located in the central area of the state.
Harrison County, West Virginia Record Dates
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.
There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.
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.
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:
Business, Commerce, and Occupations
- 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.
For tips on accessing Harrison census records online, see: West Virginia Census.
1785 Enumeration Harrison County Heads of Families - 1785 at U.S. Census Bureau - free. County begins on page 90.
Early Baptist churches (with years constituted):
- Simpson's Creek (1775)
- Buchannon (1786)
- Good Hope (1806)
- Olive Branch (1803)
- Salem (1801)
- Union (1802)
- West Fork
Harrison County fell within the bounds of the Union Association.
LDS Ward and Branch Records
Emigration and Immigration
Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups
- 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 ($); FHL Book 975.5 B2vs.
- Dennison - Dennison, Edmund and Karl C. Priest. Baptized on the 4th of July: The Elder Edmund Dennison Story. South Charleston, W. Va.: K.C. Priest, 1995. FHL.
- Hacker - “A Noted Mason Dead: The Demise of William Hacker at a Ripe Old Age,” [Newspaper obituary] (Shelbyville, Ohio), 29 July 1891, reprinted in Hacker’s Creek Journal, Vol. 6, No. 1 (Fall 1987):31-32 - free digital version at Hacker's Creek website.
- Mills - Hackett, John Davis and Kathryn Dickerson Shannon. "Mills Families of Virginia," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 35, No. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 1991):215-228; Vol. 35, No. 4 (Oct.-Dec. 1991):284-296; Vol. 36, No. 1 (Jan.-Mar. 1992):34-48; Vol. 36, No. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 1992):109-119. Digital version at American Ancestors ($). 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.
Land and Property Records
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 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.
- History of Harrison County, West Virginia at Ancestry ($)
Maps and Gazetteers
- A Census of Pensioners for Revolutionary or Military Services: With their Names, Ages, and Places of Residence, as Returned by the Marshalls of the Several Judicial Districts, Under the Act for Taking the Sixth Census]. 1841. Digital versions at U.S. Census Bureau and Google Books et. al. 1967 reprint: FHL Collection 973 X2pc 1840. See Virginia, Western District, Harrison County on page 134.
- Rejected or Suspended Applications for Revolutionary War Pensions. Washington, D.C., 1852. Reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1969, and 1991. Reprints include "an Added Index to States." FHL Collection 973 M24ur; digital version at Ancestry ($). Includes veterans from this county; Virginia section begins on page 238.
War of 1812
Harrison County men served in the 11th and 119th Regiments.
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:
- - 3rd Regiment, Virginia State Line (Cavalry and Infantry) (Confederate). Company C.
- - 20th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate). Companies E and F.
- - 31st Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company C (Harrison Rifles) presumably was recruited in Harrison County.
Records and histories are available, including:
- West Virginia, Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers, 1861-1865
- 1861 - 1865 U.S., Confederate Soldiers Compiled Service Records, 1861-1865 at Ancestry— index (free)
- 1861 - 1865 U.S., Union Soldiers Compiled Service Records, 1861-1865 at Ancestry— index (free)
Naturalization and Citizenship
- 1814-1991 - West Virginia Naturalization Records, 1814-1991 at FamilySearch — index and images
Online Probate Records
- 1724-1978 West Virginia Wills and Probate Records 1724-1978 at Ancestry ($) — index and images
- 1756-1971 West Virginia Will Books 1756-1971 at FamilySearch — index and images
- Harrison County, West Virginia, will book, 1788-1924
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.
- 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. Online at FamilySearch - free; FHL. The source of this publication is the 1787 personal property tax list. Harrison County is included in Vol. 1.
- 1789 Indexed images of the 1789 Personal Property Tax List of Harrison County, Virginia (now West Virginia) is indexed online, courtesy: Binns Genealogy.
- 1801 Images of the 1801 Personal Property Tax List of Harrison County, Virginia (now West Virginia) are available online, courtesy: Binns Genealogy.
- 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
- West Virginia Vital Records, 1865 - 1969 (varies) - Includes birth, death, and marriage.
- 1780-1970 - West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970 at FamilySearch — index
- 1801-1962 - West Virginia, United States Marriages at FindMyPast — index $
Family History Centers
Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes.
- Central West Virginia Genealogy and Historical Library/Museum
45 Abbott's Run Road
Horner, WV 26372-7091
Operated by the Hacker's Creek Pioneer Descendants, Inc.
- Hackers Creek Pioneers Descendants Inc
Central West Virginia Genealogy and Historical Library
45 Abbotts Run Road
Horner, WV 26372-0056
- West Virginia Genealogy Network Community on Google+
- West Virginia Genealogy Network Group on Facebook
- 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
- 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.
- Wikipedia contributors, "Harrison County, West Virginia" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrison_County,_West_Virginia."
- 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.
- 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.
- Wikipedia contributors, "Harrison County, West Virginia," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrison_County,_West_Virginia, accessed 04 July 2018.
- 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.
- 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.
- Richard L. Armstrong, 19th and 20th Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1994). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 101.
- John M. Ashcraft, 31st Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1988). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 48.