Jackson County, West Virginia Genealogy

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United States
West Virginia
Jackson County

Guide to Jackson 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: Ripley
Organized: March 1, 1831
Parent County(s): Kanawha, Wood, Mason[1]
Neighboring Counties
Kanawha  • Mason  • Meigs (OH)  • Putnam  • Roane  • Wirt  • Wood
See County Maps
Jackson County, West Virginia Courthouse.JPG
Location Map

County Information


From Early Settlers of Jackson County by O. J. Morrison:

William Hannamon, Benjamin Cox, and James McDade were the first known English settlers in Jackson County, moving into the Mill Creek area in May 1796. The first two built homes and took up permanent residence in the county. McDade served as an Indian scout, traveling the banks of the Ohio River, with his only companion, a faithful dog, at his side. It was said that his sole ambition in life was to alert some poor traveler of the presence of Indians and preventing them from becoming a victim of what he viewed were murderous savages.
In the month of May, 1796, William Hannamon, Benjamin Cox and James McDade reared their cabins within the present limits of Union District, and were thus the first to establish civilized homes in what is now Jackson County. The first two became actual settlers and began to fell the forest and cultivate the soil. McDade, who was a soldier in the service of Virginia, selected a site for his future home, but continued to discharge the duties assigned him-that of Indian scout-and many days and nights did he spend in the dreary wilderness between the mouths of the Great and Little Kanawha Rivers, watching to catch a glimpse of the savage foe on the shore of the Old Northwest Territory beyond the Ohio. Jackson County was created in 1831, from parts of Mason, Kanawha and Wood, in compliance with an act of the General Assembly of Virginia, passed March 1st of that year, and named in honor of the hero of New Orleans, who was at that time President of the United States. The present area of the county is 400 square miles.

From Hardesty's History of Jackson County, Page 2:

Wayne's treaty with the Indians in 1795, forever put an end to savage warfare in the Ohio valley. The storm had spent its force and died away, and hundreds of pioneers now found homes on the banks of the Ohio. Among those who sought a dwelling place within the present limits of Jackson county were Samuel McDade, and John Hannamon, both of whom came in 1796. Then followed Charles Parsons, Samuel Tanner, John Greathouse, Elijah Staats, Jacob Starcher, Isaac McKown, John McKown, Joel Buffington, who settled on Buffington's island; John Ingles, Joshua Freehart and Joel Dewey, who built the block-house at the mouth of Pond Creek; John Coleman, who was killed by Indians near where the town of Cottageville now stands; Joseph Hall, James Hydes, Isaac Hydes, George Hydes, John Brown, Benjamin Wright, and A. W. Alkire.
From the formation of Mason county in 1804 to the year 1831. Jackson was a part of Mason and Wood, but in the latter year the old pioneers, wearied with long jaunts to court at Point Pleasant or Parkersburg, court circulated which was numerously signed and sent to Richmond, where it was laid before the general assembly, then in session in that city. The prayer was heard with favor, and in 1831 Jackson county named in honor of Andrew Jackson, then president of the United States-was checkered upon the map of Virginia.
Andrew Jackson

The county is named after President Andrew Jackson (1767-1845).[2]

County Courthouse

Jackson County Courthouse
P O Box 800
Ripley, WV 25271
Phone: 304-372-2011
Jackson County Website

County Clerk has birth and death records from 1853, land records from early 1800s, probate records from 1861, and military records from 1918.
Clerk of the Circuit Court has divorce and court records.[3]

Jackson 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
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1853 1831 1831 1831 1840

Record Loss

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

Boundary Changes

  • 1831--Jackson County was created 1 March 1831 from Kanawha, Wood and Mason Counties.
  • County seat: Ripley[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 MapofUS.org website.

Populated Places

The following are locations in the county:[5]

Unincorporated communites

History Timeline


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations


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

Church Records

Court Records


Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

Funeral Homes



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 Jackson 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

Jackson County


Military Records

Revolutionary War

  • 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 version at Google Books. 1967 reprint: FHL Book 973 X2pc 1840. See Virginia, Western District, Jackson County on pages 134-135.
  • 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.

Civil War

Regiments. Service men in Jackson 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 Jackson County:


- 3rd Regiment, Virginia State Line (Cavalry and Infantry) (Confederate). Companies B, C, and D.
- 10th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (1st Cavalry Regiment, Wise Legion (Confederate). Company G (The Jackson Rangers).[6]
- 14th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate). Company N (Night Hawk Rangers).[7]
- 19th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate). Company C.[8]
- 22nd Regiment, Virginia Infantry (1st Kanawha Regiment). Company F (Border Rifles).[9]
- 26th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate). Company D and Company F.[10]


- 8th Regiment, West Virginia Infantry.[11]

Records and histories are available, including:

World War I

World War II

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.




  • Jackson County Historical Society
    P O Box 22
    Ripley, WV 25271


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, "List of counties in West Virginia," in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_counties_in_West_Virginia, accessed 14 February 2012.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Jackson County, West Virginia. Page 744 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  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, "Jackson County, West Virginia," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackson_County,_West_Virginia, accessed 04 July 2018.
  6. Robert J. Driver, 10th Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, c1992). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 87.
  7. Robert J. Driver, 14th Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, c1988). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 47.
  8. Richard L. Armstrong, 19th and 20th Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1994). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 101.
  9. Terry D. Lowry, 22nd Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1988). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 44.
  10. Richard L. Armstrong, 26th Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1994). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 110.
  11. 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.