Mercer County, West Virginia Genealogy

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United States
West Virginia
Mercer County

Guide to Mercer 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: Princeton
Organized: March 17, 1837
Parent County(s): Giles (VA), Tazewell (VA)[1]
Neighboring Counties
Bland (VA)  • Giles (VA)  • McDowell  • Raleigh  • Summers  • Tazewell (VA)  • Wyoming
See County Maps
Mercer County, West Virginia Courthouse.JPG
Location Map

County Information


The County has Princeton as its seat and the County was created March 17, 1837. The County is located in the southeast area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse

Mercer County Courthouse
P O Box 1716
Princeton, WV 24740
Phone: 304-487-8311
Mercer County Website

County Clerk has birth, marriage and death records from 1853; probate and land records from 1837.
Circuit Court Clerk has divorce and court records from 1837.[3]

Mercer 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.

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1853 1853 1853 1837 1837 1837 1870
Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1917. General compliance by 1925.

Record Loss

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

Boundary Changes

  • 1837--Mercer County was created 17 March 1837 from Giles and Tazewell Counties (Virginia).
  • County seat: Princeton[5]

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

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:[6]

Census-designated places

History Timeline


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations


Cemeteries of Mercer 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

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

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1840 2,233
1850 4,222 89.1%
1860 6,819 61.5%
1870 7,064 3.6%
1880 7,467 5.7%
1890 16,002 114.3%
1900 23,023 43.9%
1910 38,371 66.7%
1920 49,558 29.2%
1930 61,323 23.7%
1940 68,289 11.4%
1950 75,013 9.8%
1960 68,206 −9.1%
1970 63,206 −7.3%
1980 73,942 17.0%
1990 64,980 −12.1%
2000 62,980 −3.1%
2010 62,264 −1.1%
Source: "".

Church Records

LDS Ward and Branch Records

  • Bluefield

Court Records


Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

Funeral Homes


  • Harman - Harman, John Newton. Harman Genealogy (Southern Branch): With Biographical Sketches, 1700-1924. Richmond, Va.: W.C. Hill Print. Co., 1925. Digital version at Ancestry ($).


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

Local histories are available for Mercer 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

McDowell CountyWyoming CountyRaleigh CountySummers CountyMonroe CountyGiles CountyBland CountyTazewell CountyWV MERCER.PNG
About this image
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


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 Collection 973 X2pc 1840. See Virginia, Western District, Mercer 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.

Civil War

Regiments. Service men in Mercer 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 Mercer County:

- 8th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate). Company D (1st) (French's Company), Company E (Border Rangers) and Company H (Tazewell Troop).[7]
- 23rd Battalion, Virginia Infantry Reserves (Confederate). Company B (The Blue Stone Greys).[8]
- 24th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company G.[9]
- 26th Battalion, Virginia Infantry (Edgar's) (Confederate). Company C.[10]
- 30th Battalion, Virginia Sharpshooters (Clarke's) (Confederate). Company A.[11]
- 34th Battalion, Virginia Cavalry (Witcher's Battalion, Virginia Mounted Rifles) (Confederate). Company K.[12]
- 59th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company I2 (Princeton Guard).[13]
- 60th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (3rd Regiment, Wise Legion) (Confederate). Companies 2H (Richmond Light Guard) and I.[14]

Records and histories are available, including:

Civil War Battle
The following Civil War battle was fought in Mercer County.

Naturalization and Citizenship



Other Records


Probate Records

Online Probate Records

School Records

Tax Records

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





Research Facilities


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.





Research Guides


  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, "Mercer 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), West Virginia.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Mercer 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. 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.
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "Mercer County, West Virginia," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_West_Virginia, accessed 12 July 2018.
  7. Jack L. Dickinson, 8th Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1986). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 25.
  8. J.L. Scott, 23rd Battalion Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, c1991). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 79.
  9. Ralph White Gunn, 24th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1987). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 34.
  10. Terry Lowry, 26th Battalion Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1991). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 81.
  11. Michael West, 30th Battalion Virginia Sharpshooters (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1995). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 108.
  12. Scott C. Cole, 34th Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1993). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 94.
  13. G.L. Sherwood and Jeffrey C. Weaver, 59th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1994). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 107.
  14. J.L. Scott, 60th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1997). FHL book 975.5 M2vr v. 130.
  15. Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State