The importance of West Virginia military records in family history research for ancestors who have been veterans are obvious but West Virginia military records can also be essential to researchers whose direct ancestors just weren’t soldiers in any war. Due to the quantity of genealogical details contained in some West Virginia military pension files they should not be overlooked all through the research process.The early military history of West Virginia is that of Virginia. So, researchers interested in those early records may have to search repositories in Virginia. West Virginia did not develop its own military history until the Civil War was fought. West Virginia was neither a Confederate nor a Union state. It’s residents were split about which side to support. It’s estimated that 10,000 soldiers from the state were Confederates, while 23,000 were Union soldiers. However, exact numbers aren’t known. Published military records for West Virginia can be found at the FHL, the West Virginia and Regional History Collection, and the Archives and History Library.
Until 1863 West Virginia was part of Virginia, See Virginia Military Records for Info and links for years prior to 1863.
West Virginia Pre 1860s
War Website Links
- West Virginians in the American Revolution (search.ancestry.com)
West Virginia in the Civil War
Civil War Website Links
- Research in the Civil War 1861-1865
- Civil War links from fold3.com with original data from the National Archives:
- Compiled Service Records of Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of West Virginia
- Civil War and Later Veterans Pension Index from West Virginia
- West Virginia Civil War “Widows’ Pensions”
- Barred and Disallowed West Virginia Claims – The Southern Claims Commission denied these claims by West Virginia citizens seeking compensation for property loss. They were barred or disallowed for a number of reasons. Original data from the National Archives
- West Virginia Civil War Maps – Maps, charts, and atlases depicting battles, troop positions and movements, engagements, and fortifications in West Virginia during the Civil War, 1861-1865.
- West Virginia, Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers, 1861-1865 (familysearch.org) Union service records of soldiers who served in organizations from West Virginia. The records include a jacket-envelope for each soldier, labeled with his name, his rank, and the unit in which he served. The jacket-envelope typically contains card abstracts of entries relating to the soldier as found in original muster rolls, returns, rosters, payrolls, appointment books, hospital registers, prison registers and rolls, parole rolls, inspection reports; and the originals of any papers relating solely to the particular soldier.
- Civil War links from ancestry.com:
- U.S., Confederate Soldiers Compiled Service Records, 1861-1865
- U.S., Union Soldiers Compiled Service Records, 1861-1865
- U.S., Union Soldiers Compiled Service Records, 1861-1865 (search.ancestry.com)
- West Virginia 5th Cavalry Roster (search.ancestry.com)
- Annual report of the Adjutant General of the State of West Virginia for the year ending, 1864-1865 (search.ancestry.com)
- The Soldiery of West Virginia (search.ancestry.com)
- Union and Confederate Soldiers and Sympathizers of Barbour County, West Virginia (search.ancestry.com)
- Pardons by the President : final report of the names of persons who lived in Alabama, Virginia, West Virginia, or Georgia, were (search.ancestry.com)
- West Virginia Civil War Books (amazon.com)
West Virginia Modern Wars
War Website Links
- The Soldiery of West Virginia (1911, reprint, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2002), has rosters of soldiers from West Virginia who served in the French and Indian War, Indian Wars, Lord Dunmore’s War, the Revolutionary War, Whiskey Rebellion of 1794, the War of 1812, Mexican War, and the Civil War.
- West Virginia Civil War Almanac. Charleston, W.Va.: Pictorial Histories Publishing Co., 1998.
- The Roster of Union Soldiers, 1861–1865. Vol. 4. Wilmington, N.C.: Broadfoot Publishing, 1999 – Alphabetical listing of Union soldiers in West Virginia. Provides name, regiment, and company
- Index to the Soldiery of West Virginia. Pueblo, Colo.: Pathfinders Books, 1985.
- Virginia’s Colonial Soldiers. 1988. Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1998.
- West Virginians in the American Revolution. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1977.
- West Virginia Revolutionary Ancestors. 1977. Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2001 – Indexes claims reviewed by the “court of claims” for nonmilitary service.