Wise County, Virginia Genealogy
Guide to Wise County Virginia ancestry, family history, and genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, immigration records, and military records.
|Wise County, Virginia|
Location in the state of Virginia
Location of Virginia in the U.S.
- 1 County Information
- 2 Wise County, Virginia History
- 3 Wise County, Virginia Places/Localities
- 4 Wise County, Virginia Genealogy Resources
- 4.1 Bible Records
- 4.2 Biographies
- 4.3 Cemeteries
- 4.4 Census
- 4.5 Church Records
- 4.6 Court Records
- 4.7 Genealogy
- 4.8 Land and Property
- 4.9 Local Histories
- 4.10 Maps
- 4.11 Military
- 4.12 Miscellaneous Records
- 4.13 Naturalization
- 4.14 Newspapers
- 4.15 Private Papers
- 4.16 Probate Records
- 4.17 Research Guides
- 4.18 Taxation
- 4.19 Vital Records
- 5 Wise County, Virginia Genealogy Societies and Libraries
- 6 Wise County, Virginia Genealogy Websites
- 7 References
Wise County is located in the Southwest Appalachian area of the Commonwealth of Virginia and was created on February 16, 1856 by an Act of the Virginia Legislature. The County was named after Henry A. Wise, Virginia Governor at the time, and Wise is the County seat.
Wise County, Virginia Courthouse
Wise County, Virginia History
The county is named after Virginia Governor Henry A. Wise (1806-1876), who was in office at the time of Wise County's organization. He later served as a Confederate States Army General during the Civil War.
For animated maps illustrating Virginia county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Virginia County Boundary Maps" (1617-1995) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website.
There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.
- Lost census: 1890
Wise County, Virginia Places/Localities
Wise County, Virginia Genealogy Resources
Images of the Virginia Historical Society's family Bible collection have been digitized:
- Virginia Historical Society Papers, 1607-2007 - browse collection at FamilySearch; free.
Additional Bible records include:
- Sutherland, Elihu Jasper. Some Sandy Basin Characters. Clintwood, Va.: Hettie Sutherland, 1962. 1985 reprint available at FHL.
|Tombstone Transcriptions Online||Tombstone Transcriptions in Print||List of Cemeteries in the county|
|Findagrave.com||Family History Library||Findagrave.com|
|See Virginia Cemeteries for more information.|
- Adams, James Taylor (1892-1954). Wise County Historical Inventory: Family Burying Grounds. St. Louis, Mo.: R.R. Seibel and D.A. Griffith, 1971. Available at FHL.
- Ben Bolling Cemetery, Flat Gap, Wise Co., VA
- Kilgore, Paul. Butcher's Fork, American Legion, Skeen's Ridge and Back Valley Cemeteries of Wise County, Virginia. [West Virginia]: Wise County Historical Society (Va.), [1997?]. Available at FHL.
- Kilgore, Paul. Powell Valley Memorial Gardens: Located in Beautiful Powell Valley, Wise County, VA. Wise, Va.: Wise County Historical Society (Va.), 2003. Available at FHL.
For tips on accessing Wise County, Virginia Genealogy census records online, see: Virginia Census.
1860 Agriculture Census
- Weaver, Jeffrey C. The 1860 Agriculture Census of Wise County, Virginia. Clintwood, Va.: Mullins Printing, 1992. Available at FHL.
1890 Union Veterans
- "Virginia's Union Veterans: Eleventh Census of the United States 1890." Prince William County Virginia, by Ronald Ray Turner. FHL Collection.
- Little Primitive Baptist Church, Wise, Va. (by 1856).
- Indexes (1855-1925) and images (1855-1912) to Wise County, Virginia Chancery Records are available online through Virginia Memory: Chancery Records Index. These records, often concerned with inheritance disputes, contain a wealth of genealogical information.
More than 25 genealogies have been published about Wise County families. To view a list, visit Wise County, Virginia Compiled Genealogies.
Land and Property
- Johnson, Charles A. A Narrative History of Wise County, Virginia. Norton, Va.: Norton Press, 1938. Reprint edition, The Overmountain Press, 1988. FHL Collection; digital version at Ancestry ($); and World Vital Records ($). Google Books page.
- Wise County: Her Industries, Resources and Prominent Men. Norton, Va.: n.p., 1920. FHL Collection; digital version at Ancestry ($).
War of 1812
- List of Pensioners on the Roll, January 1, 1883; Giving the Name of Each Pensioner, the Cause for Why Pensioned, the Post-Office Address, the Rate of Pension Per Month, and the Date of Original Allowance... Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1883. FHL Collection 973 M2Lp v. 5; digital versions at Google Books and Internet Archive. [See Vol. 5, Virginia, Wise County, p. 107. Identifies War of 1812 veterans living in this county in 1883.]
Regiments. Service men in Wise County, 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 Wise County, Virginia Genealogy:
- - 4th Regiment, Virginia State Line (Cavalry and Infantry) (Confederate). Company C.
- - 29th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company F.
- - 50th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company H (Wise Yankee Catchers).
Records and histories are available, including:
- 1861-1865 - Virginia, Civil War Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, 1861-1865 at FamilySearch — index
- 1861-1865 - Virginia, Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers, 1861-1865 at FamilySearch — index
- 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)
- 1861-1865 - The Civil War in Wise County, Virginia: 1861-1865. Wise, VA: Wise County Historical Society, 2004. WorldCat page.
- Gobble, Lillian and Rhonda Robertson. Between Brothers: Civil War Soldiers of Wise & Dickenson County [Virginia]. [Big Stone Gap, Va.: L. Gobble & R. Robertson, 200-?]. FHL Collection
Virginia Naturalization Petitions, 1906-1929
The Virginia Newspapers Project identifies local Wise County, Virginia Genealogy newspapers.
- The Big Stone Gap Post, Big Stone Gap, VA, 1892-1928. (Chronicling America at the Library of Congress)
- The Big Stone Post, Big Stone Gap., VA, 1890-1892. (Chronicling America at the Library of Congress)
- Clinch Valley Times
- The Coalfield Progress, The Dickenson Star, and The Post
- Meade, Angie Bell. A Collection of Obituaries and Other Published Death Notices: Mostly of Russell, Scott and Wise Counties of Virginia, a Few Other Counties, Some Out-of-state: Most Collections Before 1940. Wise, Va.: Wise County Historical Society (Va.), [2000?]. FHL Collection
- Wise County, Virginia Obituaries (NewspaperObituaries.net)
Virginia, Historical Society Papers, 1607-2007
- "A Guide to the Counties of Virginia: Wise County," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 24, No. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 1980):204-206. Available at American Ancestors ($).
-  Weaver, Jeffrey C. The 1857 Wise County, Virginia Land Tax List (Surnames A through M only), available online, courtesy: New River Notes.
Indexes to Wise County, Virginia Genealogy births, marriages, and deaths are available online. These collections are incomplete, but are easy to search. Most records can also be ordered electronically online as well. Courtesy: FamilySearch - free. See also How to order Virginia Vital Records
- 1856-1861 - Wise County, Virginia Births 1856-1861 (VAGenWeb) - free.
- 1867-1871 - Wise Co., Va., Births, 1867-1871, MSS., James Taylor Adams Collection, Box 68. St. Louis, Mo.: R.R. Seibel and D.A. Griffith, 1971. Microfilmed reproduction: FHL Collection
- 1912-1913 - Virginia, Birth Certificates, 1912-1913 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1660-1959 - Virginia, United States Marriages at FindMyPast — index $
- 1856-1908 - Wise County Marriage Index 1856-1908. Batch M868697 at FamilySearch - free.
- 1936-1988 - Virginia, Marriage Certificates, 1936-1988 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1856-1892 - Wise County, Virginia Deaths 1856-1892 (VAGenWeb) - free.
- 1856-1894 - Robertson, Rhonda. The Wise County, Virginia Death Register 1856-1894. [Wise, Virginia]: Wise County Historical Society (VA), [200-?]. FHL Collection
- 1912-1987 - Virginia, Death Certificates, 1912-1987 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1927-1935 - Kilgore, Paul and Fred Harry King Funeral Home. Death Records, Fred H. King Funeral Home, 1927-1935. Wise, Va.: Wise County Historical Society (Va.), [1999?]. FHL Collection
Vital Record Substitutes
|For birth, marriage, and death record substitutes, see Bible Records, Cemeteries, Church Records, Newspapers, and Probate Records.|
Wise County, Virginia Genealogy Societies and Libraries
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.
Wise County, Virginia Genealogy Websites
- FamilySearch Catalog
- Wise County, Virginia Genealogy, History & Facts (Genealogy Inc)
- Lumbee Indians and Goins Family: Wise County, VA Early Records
- RootsWeb Mailing List: SW_VA-L (Topic: Southwest Virginia)
- Wise Co., VA (RootsWeb)
- VA Genealogy Forum (GenForum)
- Wise County Genealogy and Family History (Linkpendium)
- Wise County, Virginia (government, tourism, etc.)
- Wise County, Virginia (Wikipedia)
- Wise County, Virginia History, Genealogy (New River Notes)
- Wise County, Virginia Genealogical Research Site (VA GenWeb)
- Wise County, Virginia Genealogy Links (GenealogyLinks.net)
- Wise County, Virginia Genealogy Trails
- Cyndi's List
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Wise County, Virginia. Page 723 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
- "Henry A. Wise," in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_A._Wise, accessed 13 January 2012.
- Charles A. Johnson, A narrative history of Wise County, Virginia (Norton, Va.: Norton Press, 1938), 8. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
- The Virginia State Line: Organizational Structure of the Virginia State Line, Ranger95.com, accessed 11 June 2012.
- John Perry Alderman, 29th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1989). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 53.
- John C. Chapla, 50th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1997). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 129.
- Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/3/37/Igivirginia.pdf.