Difference between revisions of "McDowell County, West Virginia Genealogy"

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==== Neighboring Counties  ====
==== Neighboring Counties  ====
*[[Buchanan County, Virginia|Buchanan County, Virginia]]  
*[[Buchanan County, Virginia Genealogy|Buchanan County, Virginia]]  
*[[Mercer County, West Virginia|Mercer]]  
*[[Mercer County, West Virginia Genealogy|Mercer]]  
*[[Mingo County, West Virginia|Mingo]]  
*[[Mingo County, West Virginia Genealogy|Mingo]]  
*[[Tazewell County, Virginia|Tazewell County, Virginia]]  
*[[Tazewell County, Virginia Genealogy|Tazewell County, Virginia]]  
*[[Wyoming County, West Virginia|Wyoming]]
*[[Wyoming County, West Virginia Genealogy|Wyoming]]
== Resources  ==
== Resources  ==

Revision as of 20:28, 8 December 2017

United States
West Virginia
McDowell County

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


McDowell County, West Virginia
Map of West Virginia highlighting McDowell 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 February 20, 1858
County Seat Welch
McDowell County, West Virginia Courthouse.JPG
Address McDowell County Courthouse
90 Wyoming Street
#109 Welch, WV 24801 304-436-8344
McDowell County Website

County Information

McDowell County, West Virginia Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1853 1806 1810 1803 1805

County Courthouse

  • County Clerk has birth records from 1872
  • Marriage records from 1861
  • Death records 1894
  • Probate and land records 1897
  • Circuit Court Clerk has divorce records[1]


Early History of McDowell County, West Virginia

McDowell County, West Virginia

Welcome to McDowell County, West Virginia

Parent County

1858--McDowell County was created 20 February 1858 from Tazewell County (Virginia).
County seat: Welch [2]

County seat first Perryville; changed to Welch in 1892.

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

Towns in McDowell County, West Virginia

McDowell County place names

Neighboring Counties



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 McDowell County, West Virginia Genealogy census records online, see: West Virginia Census.  

McDowell Census




  • 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 ($).


Names Early Connected with the Land in McDowell County

Local Histories

West Virginia Archives

Evans, Norma Pontiff. First Families of McDowell County, West Virginia. s.l. Author, 1981.
929.1 M138.
Friedl, Joseph. A History of Education in McDowell County, West Virginia, 1858-1976. Parsons, West Virginia, McClain Printing Company, 1975.
370.9754 F911h.
Goodykoontz, Wells. Address Delivered by Wells Goodykoontz, Tuesday, June 14, 1927, at the Unveiling of Tablet of Black Wolf, McDowell County, West Virginia . s.l., n.p., 1927. 929.2 H287 Pam.
Grisby, Louise Carter. Come Back With Me to Gary, West Virginia. s.l., n.p., n.d. 975.449 G857. 
Lad, Virginia. Sodom and Gomorrah of Today; or the History of Keystone, West Virginia. s.l., n.p., 1912.
975.449 L153.
McDowell County Centennial, 1858-1958. s.l., n.p., 1958. 975.449 M138c.
McDowell County, West Virginia, The Nations Coal Bin. s.l., n.p., n.d. 917.5449 M138.
Solins, Mrs. Samuel and Jones, Mrs. Paul. McDowell County History; A Pictorial History of McDowell County, West Virginia. Fort Worth, Texas, University Supply and Equipment Company, 1959. 975.449 M138.
Sowers, Auburn Daniel. Facts About McDowell County, West Virginia. s.l., n.p., 1912. 975.449 S731 Pam.
Welch West Virginia Chamber of Commerce. Welch, McDowell County, West Virginia. s.l., n.p., n.d.
917.5449 W439 Pam.


McDowell County




Beckley Register Herald

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

Welch Daily News
Box 569
Welch, WV 24801
McDowell Public Library 


Online Probate Records

McDowell County, West Virignia Will Books 1893-1968

West Virginia Will Books


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 1865-1969 - free.

Societies and Libraries

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

McDowell County Historical Society
HC 61 Box 37-B
Paynesville, WV 24873
President: Dr. Tom Hatcher
Secretary/Treasurer: Geneva Steele

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.

The closest family history centers are the Huntington Family History Center and Charleston Family History Center

Craft Memorial Library, Bluefield, WV


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), McDowell 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).