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


Wood County, West Virginia
Map of West Virginia highlighting Wood 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 December 21, 1798
County Seat Parkersburg
Wood County, West Virginia Courthouse.JPG
Address Wood County Courthouse
1 Court Square
Parkersburg, WV 26101
Phone: 304-424-1844
Wood County Website

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

County Clerk has birth, marriage and death from 1850
Probate record, military records from 1900
County Assessor has land records from1798
Clerk Circuit Court has divorce and county records[1]

County Information[edit | edit source]

Wood County, West Virginia Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Beginning Dates for Major County Records
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1853 1800 1800 1798 1800

History[edit | edit source]

Wood County History Wood County Historical and Preservation Society

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1798--Wood County was created 21 December 1798 from Harrison County.
County seat:Parkersburg [2]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

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

Places / Localities[edit | edit source]

Wood County

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

Wood County, West Virginia Genealogy Communities

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

  • "A Guide to the Counties of Virginia: Wood County," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 24, No. 4 (Oct.-Dec. 1976):297-300. FHL; digital version at American Ancestors ($).

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

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.

Census[edit | edit source]

For tips on accessing Wood County, West Virginia Genealogy census records online, see: West Virginia Census.

Wood County, West Virginia Census

Church[edit | edit source]

Wood County, West Virginia Bible Records

Court[edit | edit source]

Genealogy[edit | edit source]

  • Agnew - Roberts, Gary Boyd. The Royal Descents of 600 Immigrants to the American Colonies or the United States: Who Were Themselves Notable or Left Descendants Notable in American History. Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2008. FHL Book 973 D2rrd 2008; online bookstore; 2004 digital edition at Ancestry ($).
  • Blennerhasset - Roberts, Gary Boyd. The Royal Descents of 600 Immigrants to the American Colonies or the United States: Who Were Themselves Notable or Left Descendants Notable in American History. Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2008. FHL Book 973 D2rrd 2008; online bookstore; 2004 digital edition at Ancestry ($).
  • Cooke - Welles, Albert. American Family Antiquity. New York: Society Library, 1880. Digital version at Internet Archive - free.
  • Cunningham - Newman, Betty Cunningham. Adam and 500 More Cunninghams of the Valley of Virginia, c.1734-c.1800. Bowie, Md.: Heritage Books, Inc., 2000. FHL Book 929.273 C917n.
  • Kiger - Pappas, Carolyn H. "Christopher Beeler, 1705-1775," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 43, No. 4 (Oct.-Dec. 1999):243-255; Vol. 44, No. 1 (Jan.-Mar. 2000):18-30; Vol. 44, No. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 2000):115-125. Digital version at American Ancestors ($). FHL Book 975.5 B2vg.
  • Page - Rutherford, Dolores Crumrine. Page Family Records in Virginia Counties. 2 vols. Carmichael, Calif.: D.C. Rutherford, 1982-2006. FHL Book 929.273 P141rdc v. 2 Wood County appears in Vol. 2 Part 4
  • Page - Rutherford, Dolores Crumrine. The Page Family in Virginia Personal Property Taxes (1782-1850). 2 vols. Carmichael, Calif.: D.C. Rutherford, 2002. FHL Book 929.273 P141rd v. 1-2 Wood County appears in Vol. 2

Land[edit | edit source]

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

West Virginia Archives History Wood County

“Area Families Have Interest in Saga of John Jones His Sister Polly”
by Helen E White of the Parkersburg (Wood County, WV) News Staff, December 1964

The Thornes, the McCutcheons, Bumgarners, Cheuvronts, Roberts, McClungs, the Ashleys, Browns, and many other old families in Wood, Wirt and adjoining counties all have a common ancestor and interest in the little known saga of John Jones and his sister Polly.

The story begins on a June evening on Dunkard Creek in Monongalia County in the year 1777 when Polly was 13 and John 11.

On this fresh, rain-washed evening there was excitement in the cabin of Jacob Jones as he, accompanied by his two children, John and Polly, were preparing to go and spend the night at the cabin of Jacob Farmer, about two miles up the creek.

By staying the night with the Farmers, they would be up early the next morning to help their neighbor with his corn hoeing, which helpful customs being common among pioneer families.

At dusk, the trio started out, Jones carrying his flintlock, Polly skipping along in her nut-brown linsey-woolsey and John bringing up the rear clad in homespun jeans. The children carried three hoes against the morrow’s task.

About a mile up the creek, so the story has been handed down in the families, they were joined by Alexander Clegg, Nathan Worley and John Marsh who were also on their way to the Farmer’s cabin.

Sometime in the small, silent hours between midnight and dawn, the whinnying of a horse awoke the sleeping occupants of the cabin who discovered they were surrounded by a large band of hostile Inidans. The loopholes of the cabin were quickly manned and the long wait began for morning and the inevitable attack. At the first light of dawn, the Indians opened fire on the isolated dwelling eventually killing Worley and Farmer and leaving the defense to Marsh, Jones, Clegg, Mrs. Farmer and the children.

Against such odds, the outcome was certain. When the Indians finally streamed shrieking into the cabin, Jones and Marsh managed to make their escape. From their concealment they watched the victorious Indians with John and Polly Jones, and Susie Farmer as captives, start out on the long trek back to the Wyandotte settlement near what is now Sandusky, Ohio. Jones and Marsh set out to follow the savages and free the captive children, but about the second day, the Indians’ trail seemed made of air and the men were finally forced to abandon the pursuit and turn back.

Polly, so the old story goes, was quick, unafraid and keen enough to obey the Indians orders while John, although he patterned his behavior much after his sisters, fretted constantly and spent much time in making plans to escape. But Susie Farmer, two years older than Polly, spent her entire time crying. So, when the Ohio River was reached, Susie was tomahawked and scalped before the eyes of the Jones children. A great celebration was held when the two young white children were led captive into the Indian village. They were made to run the gauntlet several times, and their courage must have impressed the braves, as the two children were adopted into Wyandotte families.

Five years later, John managed to escape and reach Detroit where he was adopted by a Dr. Harvey who educated him to be a physician. Six years after his escape, on his way to England to finish his education, he returned to his old home for a visit. Eventually Dr. John Jones married and settled west of Grafton. His daughter Mary, married Thomas Thorne from near Fairmont, and the young couple came to Palestine in Wirt County to establish their home.

Mary and Thomas Thorne were the parents of 12 children and their descendants are numerous in and around this area; one of whom, a great grandson, Benjamin Franklin Thorne, who died in 1930 was said to be the last Confederate soldier in Wood County.

Polly Jones adjusted to her life among the Indians and lived with them until her rescue in 1787. She was taken to Detroit and adopted by the family of General McCoombs, an English army officer. In 1790, she married Peter Melott, a Frenchman, and they made their home in Kingsville, Ontario.

Polly made but one trip back to her childhood home in 1817. Appearing at the cabin of her parents one spring evening like a ghost from the past, she stayed several months and then returned to Kingsville.

However, the combined descendants of John and Polly Jones hold a large annual family reunion for many years. When Tilden Thorne, the last “president” of the family passed away, the yearly reunions were discontinued, but there are still many of the older ones who remember hearing the story of brown-eyed Polly and her younger brother, John.

Maps[edit | edit source]

Military[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War[edit | edit source]
  • 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. 1967 reprint: FHL Book 973 X2pc 1840. [See Virginia, Western District, Wood 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 Book 973 M24ur; digital version at Ancestry ($). [Includes veterans from this county; Virginia section begins on page 238.]
War of 1812[edit | edit source]
  • Wood County men served in the 113th Regiment.[3]
Civil War[edit | edit source]

Regiments. Service men in Wood County, West 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 Wood County, West Virginia Genealogy:

- 14th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate). Company N (Night Hawk Rangers).[4]
- 20th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate). Company G.[5]

Records and histories are available, including:

Naturalization[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Wood County, WV Genealogy News Clippings

Wood County, West Virginia Newspapers

Probate[edit | edit source]

Online Probate Records

Wood County, West Virginia Will Books 1833 - 1969

West Virginia Will Books

Wood County, West Virginia Wills

Taxation[edit | edit source]

How can West Virginia tax lists help me?

  • Ward, Roger D. 1815 Directory of Virginia Landowners (and Gazetteer). 6 vols. Athens, Georgia: Iberian Pub. Co., 1997-2000. Available at FHL Book 975 E4w v. 6. [The source for this publication is the 1815 land tax. Wood County is included in Vol. 6.]
  • Wood County, West Virginia Tax List
Online West Virginia Tax site[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

. Includes marriages 1804-1969 - free.

Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]

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

Wood County West Virginia Genealogical and Historical Societies

Wood Wood County Public Library

Family History Centers
[edit | edit source]

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.

[edit | edit source]

Web Sites[edit | edit source]

Hands on keyboard.png Genealogy courses: Learn how to research from an expert in Fun Five Minute Genealogy Videos.

Learning How toEdit our Wiki Sites

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Wood County, West Virginia. Page 746 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).
  3. Stuart Lee Butler, A Guide to Virginia Militia Units in the War of 1812 (Athens, Ga.: Iberian Pub. Co., 1988), 215. FHL Book 975.5 M2bs.
  4. Robert J. Driver, 14th Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, c1988). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 47.
  5. Richard L. Armstrong, 19th and 20th Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1994). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 101.