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Preston County, West Virginia Genealogy

Guide to Preston 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: Kingwood
Organized: January 19, 1818
Parent County(s): Monongalia[1]
Neighboring Counties
Barbour  • Fayette (PA)  • Garrett (MD)  • Grant  • Monongalia  • Taylor  • Tucker
See County Maps
Preston County Courthouse, West Virginia.jpg
Location Map

County InformationEdit


The County was named for James Patton Preston. The County has Kingwood as its seat and the County was created January 19, 1818. The County is located in the north central area of the state.[2]

County CourthouseEdit

Preston County Courthouse
101 West Main Street, #101
Kingwood, WV 26537
Phone: 304-329-0070
Preston County Website

County Clerk has birth, marriage, deaths, probate and land records from 1869.
Clerk of the Circuit Court has divorce and court records.[3]

Preston County, West Virginia Record DatesEdit

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
1869 1869 1869 1881 1869 1869 1870
Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1917. General compliance by 1925.

Record LossEdit

1869--The courthouse burned and many records were destroyed.

For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:

Boundary ChangesEdit

  • 1818--Preston County was created 19 January 1818 from Monongalia County.
  • County seat: Kingwood[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 PlacesEdit

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]

Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places

History TimelineEdit


Bible RecordsEdit


Business, Commerce, and OccupationsEdit


Cemeteries of Preston 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 RecordsEdit

Census Pop.
1820 3,422
1830 5,144 50.3%
1840 6,866 33.5%
1850 11,708 70.5%
1860 13,312 13.7%
1870 14,555 9.3%
1880 19,091 31.2%
1890 20,355 6.6%
1900 22,727 11.7%
1910 26,341 15.9%
1920 27,996 6.3%
1930 29,043 3.7%
1940 30,416 4.7%
1950 31,399 3.2%
1960 27,233 −13.3%
1970 25,455 −6.5%
1980 30,460 19.7%
1990 29,037 −4.7%
2000 29,334 1.0%
2010 33,520 14.3%
Source: "".

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

Church RecordsEdit

Court RecordsEdit


Emigration and ImmigrationEdit

Ethnic, Political, and Religious GroupsEdit

Funeral HomesEdit


  • Genealogy of Some Early Families in Grant and Pleasants Districts, Preston County, West Virginia. Baltimore, Md., 1977.
  • Wotring - Bell, Raymond Martin and Mabel Ghering Granquist et al. The Wotring-Woodring Family of Pennsylvania. 3rd ed. Washington, Pa., 1968. Digital version at FamilySearch Books Online; FHL Book 929.273 A1 no. 2243.


Land and Property RecordsEdit

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 HistoriesEdit

Local histories are available for Preston 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.

  • A History of Preston County, West Virginia. By Morton, Oren Frederic. 1914. Kingwood, W. Va.: Journal Pub. Co. Online at: Ancestry ($)
  • History of Preston County, West Virginia. By Wiley, Samuel T. 1968. Parsons, W. Va.: McClain Print. Co. Online at: Ancestry ($)

Maps and GazetteersEdit

Grant CountyTucker CountyBarbour CountyTaylor CountyMarion CountyMonongalia CountyFayette CountyGarrett CountyWV PRESTON.PNG
About this image
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Military RecordsEdit

Revolutionary WarEdit

  • 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, Preston County on page 136.
  • 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.

War of 1812Edit

Preston County, Virginia (now West Virginia ) War of 1812

Civil WarEdit

Regiments. Service men in Preston 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 Preston County:

- 3rd Regiment, Virginia State Line (Cavalry and Infantry) (Confederate). Company D.

Records and histories are available, including:

Naturalization and CitizenshipEdit



Other RecordsEdit


Probate RecordsEdit

Online Probate Records'--

School RecordsEdit

Tax RecordsEdit

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 RecordsEdit





Research FacilitiesEdit


Family History CentersEdit

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.




  • Preston County Historical Society
    PO Box 307
    Rowlesburg, WV 26425


Research GuidesEdit


  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, "Preston 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), Preston 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, "Preston County, West Virginia," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_West_Virginia, accessed 17 July 2018.