Kanawha County, West Virginia Genealogy

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United States
West Virginia
Kanawha County

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


Kanawha County, West Virginia
Map of West Virginia highlighting Kanawha County
Location in the state of West Virginia
Map of the U.S. highlighting West Virginia
Location of West Virginia in the U.S.
Founded November 14, 1788
County Seat Charleston
Kanawha County, West Virginia Courthouse.JPG
Address Kanawha County Courthouse
409 Virginia StreetEast
Charleston, WV 25301
Phone: 304-372-2011
Kanawha County Website

County Information

Kanawha County, West Virginia Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1853 1792 1800 1790 1789

County Courthouse

County Clerk has Birth, Death Records 1853
Marriage Records 1831
Probate Records 1831
Land Records 1786[1]


History of Kanawha County (Google ebook)
History of Charleston and Kanawha County, West Virginia (on line)
About Kanawha County, West Virginia
Kanawha River Facts
Kanawha County Early History
Welcome to Kanawha County, West Virginia

Parent County

Kanawha Valley History

1788--Kanawha County was created 14 November 1788 from Greenbrier and Montgomery (Virginia) Counties.
County seat: Charleston[2]

Boundary Changes

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.

Record Loss

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

Places / Localities

Populated Places

Districts and Towns of Kanawha County

Sissonville A Time to Remember

Neighboring Counties


African American

Wolfgang, Meldon J. Kanawha County, Virginia, personal property tax lists, 1806 and 1809. Albany, NY : J. Sheppard Enterprises. 1977. 33p.  FHL 975.4 A1 no. 57

Bible Records


Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county
Findagrave.com Family History Library Findagrave.com
WVGenWeb WorldCat Billion Graves
WVGenWeb Archives
WVTombstone Project
Billion Graves
See West Virginia Cemeteries for more information.



For tips on accessing Kanawha County, West Virginia Genealogy census records online, see: West Virginia Census.

Kanawha County, West Virginia Census Records


Churches of Kanawha County, West Virginia


Early Baptist churches (with years constituted):

  • Cole River (1807)[3]
  • Kenhawa (1796)[3]
  • Peter's Creek (1803)[3]
  • Taze's Valley (1805)[3]
  • Mud River (1807)[3]

Kanawha County fell within the bounds of the Greenbrier Association.


LDS Ward and Branch Records

  • Charleston



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 online(labelled William Fletcher of Accomac County, Virginia/James Fletcher of Brunswick County, Virginia), courtesy: The Fletcher DNA Project.


It is anticipated that 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]
  • Kanawha CountyBiography Library
  • West Virginia Biographies Project - Kanawha County
  • Asbury - Holtzclaw, B.C. "Asbury of Westmoreland County, Virginia," Virginia Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 5, No. 3 (Jul. 1967):55-65; Vol. 5, No. 4 (Oct. 1967):77-87; Vol. 6, No. 1 (Jan. 1968):10-26. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Ashley - Ross, Clara Mae. John Thomas Ashley (1838-1923), His Ancestors of Surry County, North Carolina, His Descendants of Roane County, West Virginia, and Related Families. Colfax, N.C., n.d. FHL Collection.
  • Brown - Nichols, Helen Brown. The Brown Connection to Ancient and Royal Families, Ancestry A to Z, Roots Along the Great Kanawha. 2003.
  • Dickinson - "The Dickinson Family," Virginia Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 2, No. 2 (Apr. 1964):31. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Page - Rutherford, Dolores Crumrine. Page Family Records in Virginia Counties. 2 vols. Carmichael, Calif.: D.C. Rutherford, 1982-2006. FHL Book 929.273 P141rdc v. 2 Kanawha County appears in Vol. 2 Part 3
  • Page - Rutherford, Dolores Crumrine. The Page Family in Virginia Personal Property Taxes (1782-1850). 2 vols. Carmichael, Calif.: D.C. Rutherford, 2002. FHL Book 929.273 P141rd v. 1-2 Kanawha County appears in Vol. 2.
  • Ruffner - "Rev. Dr. Henry Ruffner," Virginia Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 2, No. 3 (Jul. 1964):43-44. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Shields - Shields, Carolyn Ann Dean, Shields, Charles Louis, Kanawha County cousins: a history of the history of the families of Dean--Perry--Painter--Ritz .


Kanawha County Land Owners in 1791

Kanawha County Land Grants and Deeds

Local Histories

Ambler, Charles Henry. "Poor Relief Education: Kanawha County, Virginia, 1818-1847." West Virginia History, Charleston, West Virginia, 1941-42.
Arc 1. 4:3.

Andre, Richard A. Bullets and Steel: the Fight for the Great Kanawha Valley 1861-1865. Charleston, West Virginia, Pictorial Histories, 1995. 975.438 A555.

Atkinson, George Wesley. History of Kanawha County. Charleston, West Virginia, West Virginia Journal, 1876. Reprint West Virginia Genealogical Society, 1994. 975.437 A875.

Atkinson, Rama Casdorph, Bratt, Helen Jenkins, Haynes, Helen Young. Our Heritage: Brookside Centennial Paper, West Virginia Centennial 1863-1963. s.l., n.p., 1963. 975.437 O93 Pam.

Bailey, H. R. History of the Liberty Mountaineers . St. Albans, West Virginia, Harless Printing, 1979.
785.067 B154 Pam.

Belle West Virginia Women's Club. Historic Belle Area Bi-Centennial, 1773-1976. Charleston, West Virginia, Capitol Printing and Supply, 1976. 975.437 B438.

Broyles, Bettye J. The St. Albans Archeological Site, Kanawha County, West Virginia: Preservation or Destruction. Morgantown, West Virginia, n.p., 1974. 913.75437 B885.

Burford, Herschel W. "Steam Packets on the Kanawha River." Charleston, West Virginia, West Virginia History, 1965-66.  Arc 1. 4:27.

Coal River Railroad Company. Prospectus of the Coal River Railroad Company, West Virginia. Cincinnati, Ohio, Applegate, Pounsford and Company, 1872. 333.8 C652 1872 Pam.

Cohen, Stan. Kanawha County Images: A Bicentennial History, 1788-1988. Charleston, West Virginia, Pictorial Histories Publishing Company, 1987.
975.437 C678.

Cole, John L. On Fitzwaters. 1791-.Notes on Fitzwaters Family, Mostly Isaac Fitzwater and His Early Struggles With Indians and Exploration in the Kanawha, Fayette and Nicholas County Area.
MS 80-25.

Comstock. Jim. Hardesty's Historical and Geographical Encyclopedia. Richwood, West Virginia, Jim Comstock, 1973. 975.4003 H259 v.4.

Conley, Philip Mallory. Early Coal Development in the Kanawha Valley, West Virginia History, Charleston, West Virginia, 1946-47.Arc 1. 4:8.

Cook, Roy Bird. The Annals of Fort Lee. Charleston, West Virginia. West Virginia Review Press, 1935.
975.438 C771.

Damewood, Elizabeth Rhodes. Kanawha County's Great Textbook Controversy: Regional Heritage, National History and Public Education, 1974-1975. n.p., 1990.  379.156 D157.

Dayton, Ruth. Pioneers and Their Homes on Upper Kanawha. Charleston, West Virginia, West Virginia Publishing Company, 1947.  975.43 D276.

DeGruyter, Julius Allen. The Kanawha Spectator, Charleston, West Virginia, n.p., 1953-1976.
975.437 D321.

East Bank, Celebrating 100 Years, 1889-1989. s.l., n.p., 1989  975.437 El3.

Elk-Blue Creek Historical Society. Elk River Communities in Kanawha County, A Continuing History. Cleveland, Ohio, Typemasters, Inc., 1993.  975.437 E43.

Farley, Bob. Carbon Fuel Reunion, 1998. s.l., n.p., 1998.  975.437 C264.

FMC Corporation. Chemical Divisions. The Salt Industry in the Kanawha Valley. n.p., 197_.
338.47664 F648.

Galbraith, Julia. History of the Cross Lanes Area. s.l., n.p., 1976.975.437 G148.

Gibbons, J. The Kanawha Valley, 1872 Resources, Developments and Special Business Directory of Charleston and Other Cities. Gibbons, Atkinson and Company Printers, 1872.
917.543 G441.

Hale, John Peter. History of the Great Kanawha Valley. Madison, Wisconsin, Brant, Fuller and Company, 1891.  975.43 H162 closed stacks.

_____________. History and Mystery of the Kanawha Valley. Charleston, West Virginia, West Virginia Historical and Antiquarian Society, 1897.  913.7543 H162.

_____________. List of Delegates to the Virginia Assembly From Kanawha County 1789-1863. Trans Allegheny Pioneers, Cincinnati, Ohio, Cincinnati Graphics, 1886.  975.402 H162.

_____________. Some Local Archaeology: a Paper Read Before the West Virginia Historical and Antiquarian Society, January 18th, 1898. Charleston, West Virginia, Gazette Publishing Company, 1898.  913.75437 H162s Pam.

Hanson, Todd. Campbell's Creek: A Portrait of a Coal Mining Community. Charleston, West Virginia, Pictorial Histories Publishing Company, 1989.  975.437 H251c.

Harmon, Dale Lynn. Kanawha County, West Virginia, Bruen Property Land Purchases From 47,000 Acre Sheba Tract 1850-1908. Durham, North Carolina, Harmon, 1984.
333.3 H288.

Harris, V.B. Great Kanawha...An Historical Outline. Charleston, West Virginia, Jarrett Printing Company, 1976.
975.43 H316.

Hereford, C.D. Early History of St. Albans. St. Albans, West Virginia: b s.n.\c 1950.
975.437 S133h.

Humphreys, Milton Wylie. Incidents Related Concerning Mercer Academy and Other Kanawha County Schools. n.p. n.d.
B H927 Pam.

___________. Kanawha's Black Gold and the Miners' Rebellion. Ann Arbor, Michigan, Braun- Brumfield, 1987.
331.881 H316.

Hunt, Doris J. Index of Names to the History of Kanawha County by George W. Atkinson. Charleston, West Virginia, Department of Culture and History, Archives and History Division, 1981.
975.437 A875i.

Jones, James A. Diaries, James A. Ward, West Virginia, 1878-1930.
MS 79-43.

Kanawha County Court House, Account Book, Charleston, Virginia, 1843.
MS 79-24.

Kanawha County Court House, Account Book, Charleston, Virginia, 1849.
MS 79-34.

Kanawha County Election, April 1, 1835. Book for a Precinct Election Held at the House of John Jones, Kanawha County to Choose Delegate to Virginia Assembly, April, 1835.
MS 80-202.

Kanawha Valley Airport, s.l., n.p, n.d.
629.136 K16k.

Kanawha Salt Company. Cincinnati, Ohio, Moore, Wilstach and Baldwin Printers, 1864.
338.47664 K16 Pam.

Kanawha Salt Company, Account Book, 1820-1842.
MS 79-61.

Laidley, William Sydney. History of Charleston and Kanawha County, West Virginia and Representative Citizens. Chicago. Illinois, Richmond Arnold Publishing Company, 1911.
975.437 L185.

Lawrentz, Jeff. Endangered Homes on the Upper Kanawha. s.l., n.p, 1986.
917.5437 L242 Pam.

MacKenzie, Scott A. 2015. "Forming a Middle Class: The Civil War in Kanawha County, West(ern) Virginia 1861-1865." West Virginia History 9, no. 1: 23-46. America: History and Life with Full Text, EBSCOhost.

Memorial of the Manufacturers of Salt in Kanawha County, Virginia...Addressed to the Senate and House of Representatives of the U.S. Kanawha County Court House, Virginia, Office of the Kanawha Banner, 1830.
338.47664 U58m Pam.

Minute Book, Directors of Kanawha Board of James River and Kanawha Company, June 14 to 1858 to July 8 1861. Gift of Alexander Laidley, 1895.
MS 79-58.

Moore, E.T. Description of a Tract of Land Embracing About 5,000 Acres on Davis Creek, Kanawha County, West Virginia. Charleston, West Virginia, E.T. Moore, Printer, 1875.
333.8 D449 Pam.

Moving Mountains to Build Kanawha Airport, Charleston, West Virginia, Kanawha County. s.l, n.p., n.d.
629.136 K16.

National Education Association of the United States. Inquiry Report, Kanawha County, West Virginia: A Textbook Study in Cultural Conflict. Washington DC, National Education Association , Teachers Rights Division, 1975.  379.156 N277.

Olson, James S. "THE DEPTHS OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION: ECONOMIC COLLAPSE IN WEST VIRGINIA, 1932-1933." West Virginia History 38, no. 3 (April 1977): 214-225. America: History and Life with Full Text, EBSCOhost.

Parker, Franklin. The Battle of the Books: Kanawha County. Bloomington, Indiana, Phi Delata Kappa Educational Foundation, 1975.  379.156 P239 Pam.

Pease, Louise McNeill. The Great Kanawha in the Old South, 1671-1861. Morgantown, West Virginia, 1959.
975.43 P363.

Proceedings, Resolutions, etc. of a Mass Meeting of the Citizens of Kanawha County, April 29 and May 13, 1865. Charleston, West Virginia, Journal Office, 1865.973.781 P963 Pam.

Quarrier, Alexander. Indictment of Alexander C. Quarrier and His Response Regarding Charges of Falsely Entering Information in Account of Joint Stock Company. @ 1871.  MS 79-157.

Rice, Otis K. Charleston and the Kanawha Valley, an Illustrated History. Woodland Hills, California, Windsor Publications, Inc., 1981.975.438 R497.

Shaler, Nathaniel Southgate. Black Band Iron and Coal Company. Cambridge, Wheeler, Printer, 1881.
557.5437 S528 Pam.

Simmons, Pat. Winifrede, West Virginia, First Reunion. Winifrede, West Virginia, the Author, 1998.
975.437 W772.

Sissonville Historical Awareness Committee. Sissonville, A Time to Remember. s.l., n.p., 1988.
975.437 S623.

Slack, Greenbury. Greenbury Slack Letters, Account Books Justice of Peace, 1865-1868.
MS 80-122.

Souvenir Program, Kanawha County History and The 35th Star. Charleston, s.l., n.p., 1963.
975.437 S279.

Stealey, John Edmund. The Salt Industry of the Great Kanawha Valley of Virginia: A Study in Ante-Bellum Internal Commerce. Ann Arbor, Michigan, University Microfilms, 1977.  338.47664 S799.

Stuber, Gary Lee. Blue Creek West Virginia Coloring Book. Blue Creek, West Virginia, Larry Maynor, 1977.
975.437 S932 Pam.

Super, Joseph. "West Virginia Incorporated: Religion and the Railroad in the Timber Counties." West Virginia History7, no. 2 (Fall2013 2013): 33-62. America: History and Life with Full Text, EBSCOhost.

Tompkins, C. Report to the Board of Directors and Stockholders of the Paint Creek Coal and Iron Mining and Manufacturing Company, Kanawha County, Virginia. Richmond, Virginia, Dispatch Steam Printing Office, 1856.
333.8 T662 Pam.

Uchimura, Kazuko. "Coal Operators and Market Competition: The Case of West Virginia's Smokeless Coalfields and the Fairmont Field, 1853-1933." West Virginia History 4, no. 2 (Fall2010 2010): 59-86. America: History and Life with Full Text, EBSCOhost.

United States Congress. Memorial of the Citizens of Kanawha County, Virginia, Against the Measures of the Executive and Praying for Relief. Washington, DC, 1834.
975.43 W52 Pam.

Upper Falls of Coal, Daybook, 1851-1853.  MS 80-273.

Ward Reunion Committee. History of Ward, West Virginia. Smithers, West Virginia, Rod-Jack Printers, Inc., 1984.  975.437 W256w.

_____________________.Ward News. Smithers, West Virginia, Ward Reunion Committee, 1981-1986.
975.437 W256wa.

_____________________. Ward Reunion Souvenir, To Honor Old Friends. Smithers, West Virginia, Rod-Jack Printers, Inc., 1984.
975.437 W256s.

West Virginia Genealogical Society. Index for W.S. Laidley's History of Charleston and Kanawha County West Virginia. Elkview, West Virginia, West Virginia Genealogical Society, 1994.  975.437 L185 Index.

Wiseman, Eloise. Tornado Remembers...Upper Falls of Coal River, 1788-1988. n.p., n.d.
975.437 W814.


Kanawha County


West Virginia Military Records

Revolutionary War
  • 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 Book 973 X2pc 1840. [See Virginia, Western District, Kanawha 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 Book 973 M24ur; digital version at Ancestry ($). [Includes veterans from this county; Virginia section begins on page 238.]
War of 1812

Kanawha County in the War of 1812

Kanawha County men served in the 80th Regiment.[4]

Civil War

Regiments. Service men in Kanawha County, West Virginia Genealogy 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 Kanawha County, West Virginia Genealogy:


- 4th Regiment, Virginia State Line (Cavalry and Infantry) (Confederate). Company E.[5]
- 8th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate). Company I (Kanawha Rangers).[6]
- 19th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate). Company G (Dixie Boys).[7]
- 22nd Regiment, Virginia Infantry (1st Kanawha Regiment). Company E (Elk River Tigers) and Company I (Kanawha Riflemen).[8]
- 34th Battalion, Virginia Cavalry (Witcher's Battalion, Virginia Mounted Rifles) (Confederate). Company B.[9]


- 8th Regiment, West Virginia Infantry.[10]

Records and histories are available, including:

World War II

Kanawha County, West Virginia World War I and World War II




  • 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 Charleston silversmiths.]


Online Probate Records

Kanawha County, West Virginia Will Books 1820-1967

West Virginia Will Books

Kanawha County Will Records Volume A

.Index cards to court records, Kanawha County, West Virginia : 1754-1933

Kanawha County, West Virginia Obituaries


How can Virginia tax lists help me?

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

. Includes marriages 1789, 1792-1797, 1800, 1802-1929, 1936, 1940-1967 - free.

West Virginia Health Statistics Center


Societies and Libraries

See also a List of West Virginia Archives, Libraries, Publications, Historical & Genealogical Societies

Genealogical Society


Episcopal Diocese of West Virginia
1608 Virginia Street East
Charleston, WV 25311
Fax 304-343-3295


Archives and History Library
Division of Culture and History
The Cultural Center
Capital Complex
Charleston, West Virginia 25305-0300
fax 304-558-2779

  • Vital Registration Office; State Capitol Complex No 3, Run 516 Charleson, WV 25305 304-558-2931; Fax 304-558-1051

Kanawha County Public Library

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. See family history center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.



Hands on keyboard.png Genealogy courses: Learn how to research from an expert in Fun Five Minute Genealogy Videos.

Learning How to Edit our Wiki Sites


  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Kanawha County, West Virginia. Page 744 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 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), 421. Digital version at Google Books.
  4. Stuart Lee Butler, A Guide to Virginia Militia Units in the War of 1812 (Athens, Ga.: Iberian Pub. Co., 1988), 115. FHL Book 975.5 M2bs.
  5. The Virginia State Line: Organizational Structure of the Virginia State Line, Ranger95.com, accessed 11 June 2012.
  6. Jack L. Dickinson, 8th Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1986). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 25.
  7. Richard L. Armstrong, 19th and 20th Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1994). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 101.
  8. Terry D. Lowry, 22nd Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1988). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 44.
  9. Scott C. Cole, 34th Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1993). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 94.
  10. Ronald R. Turner, 7th West Virginia Cavalry (Manassas, Va.: R.R. Turner, 1989). Digital version at Raleigh County West Virginia GenWeb; FHL Book 975.4 M2t.