I No Longer Need that Lookup, Folks!

A little over a week ago a Facebook friend, the descendant of a half-sibling of my 2nd great-grandfather’s half-sister (let that sink in), shared a post I wrote in 2014.

52 Ancestors: #26 William Clonch abt. 1807-1863

Note: As of 13 January 2019, the 2014 post has been updated with sources and images. 

My 3rd great-grandfather William CLONCH was a challenge to research. Ralph Hayes worked on the CLONCH families years before I did and posted his finding on the CLAUNCH surname mailing list on Rootsweb as well as in other forums popular over 17 years ago. Most of the descendants of William’s father Dennis CLAUNCH use the CLONCH spelling. Dennis had brothers whose descendants go by CLAUNCH.

William CLONCH never married my 3rd great-grandmother Mary E. “Polly” DOSS. He left land to her and her children in his will in 1863. In 2011 after FamilySearch added the collection of West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971, I went in and found his will and transcribed it. It was only then that I actually saw the words he had written, naming her children with the DOSS surname.

In my 2014 post, the transcriptions were included for the will and three other records produced at the time the will was ordered to be recorded.

I wrote further in the post:

The land left to Mary E. DOSS and her children by William was sold by his heirs in 1892 to Louvenia PATTERSON, seen as Loving Ann DOSS in the will:

In Mason County deed book 53, page 202, dated 29 April 1892, John W. and wife Mary E. Clonch, Alexander and wife Bertha (sic, Tobitha), Charles and wife Mary, Thomas and wife Missouri, Joel and wife Betsy, heirs of William Clonch to Louvenia Patterson all of the Mason County, West Virginia, property in Clendenin District, Mason County, West Virginia. According to these records, William Clonch is the father of the Doss children. Note: I don’t have images of or a true transcript of this record. A look-up would be appreciated. 

When my Facebook friend shared the link to William’s post, one of her friends made a comment about the missing record. This lead me to take a new look at FamilySearch‘s catalog to see if land records for Mason County, West Virginia, might have been added since the last time I checked.

I No Longer Need that Lookup, Folks!

Last year while working on my Rewriting the Biography of James SIMS 1754-1845 series, I found tax records for the area he lived. And it seemed each time I went in to look for something another collection had the camera icon indicating the digital images were available. If the counties of Kanawha, Nicholas, and Fayette where the SIMS families lived were going online then wouldn’t the rest of the West Virginia counties also be updated?

I went to the catalog and searched for Mason County, West Virginia, and began looking at the list of records. I opened up Land and Property and found Deed books, 1803-1901. These are browse-only records and include the grantor and grantee indexes as well as the deed books for 1803 to 1901.

I went straight for the record I’d requested over four years ago. It was there in Deed Book 53, on pages 202 through 204 – but I won’t be sharing an image or transcription in this post.

The deed books have an index at the front and I noticed there was another record for a CLONCH individual, my Alexander CLONCH, the son of the above mentioned William. When I read the record I knew I had to take a closer look at the grantor and grantee indexes. I found, in all, five deeds dealing with the land left to the children of William CLONCH. Transcriptions will be shared in a separate post next week.

Folks, pass the word around to check the FamilySearch catalog. They may have collections of interest to you with the camera icon instead of the camera with a key (indicating restrictions) or the microfilm icon.

Clonch cousins, sorry for keeping you hanging. If you can’t wait until next week, go to the catalog, and do the searches I did. Happy huntings!

© 2019, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Author: Cathy Meder-Dempsey

When I’m not doing genealogy and blogging, I spend time riding my racing bike with my husband through the wonderful Luxembourg countryside.

19 thoughts on “I No Longer Need that Lookup, Folks!”

    1. Hello Linda! I know William was your 4th grandfather and your 3rd grandmother Mariah was his daughter through his marriage to Ann Eliza Hill. You are also descended from Levina DOSS, mother of Mary E. “Polly” DOSS who was the mother of William’s other children. We have a DNA match!!


  1. Way cool!!! You’re awesome!!
    I love how you can remember so much information and how you can go back and put it all together.
    Its like you can put together one of those giant 5000 piece puzzles all by yourself. I’m proud to have a connection to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Would you like to know my secret, Robert? I had people sending me emails with all kinds of information they were finding and getting from others. Sound familiar? You’ve always pushed me to do better. The ROOPs were easy compared to the CLONCHs and I’m glad you put me onto Ralph Hayes’ work. But I’ve always wanted to be able to use the original document. This is awesome! To be able to access them from my living room and so far away.


      1. Well, what ever it is, keep it up. There are a lot of us out here in “computerland” that really appreciate what you do, and have done. You make us One Big Happy Family.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I always learn things from your posts. Good reminder to go back and check again for records that may become available. I’ve run into different problem since last year. Since new privacy laws went into effect in EU last year, records i need from Prussia in 1860’s are only available digitally (camera icon) for members of LDS to see. Staff at local LDS research library have been instructed not even to use their login to pull up the record and let me see my ancestors who are long dead. Contractual reasons they say. I may still be able to see the same record on microfilm roll but it is missing from local library and LDS stopped shopping rolls to other libraries last year. Looking for possible options like archion…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kathy, DPR (the new privacy laws in the EU) has nothing to do with records from the 1860s. It protects only the living.
      The originals of the records you want were likely filmed with special conditions. For example Catholic records which are held by the diocese in Trier, Germany have this condition, “Access in Europe limited to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” There is no mention of access outside of Europe. They are in the catalog with a camera icon with key and most have been indexed and have the magnifying glass. But there may be more detailed restrictions showing when a person in the LDS library accesses the collection.
      For Trier, if you visit the diocese archive in person you are only allowed to take notes. No possibility of getting any kind of copy of the record. This is one of the reasons I am happy to see the civil records for the same area available in the archives in Bitburg. Which reminds me I need to go there from time to time to get images of the missing records in my tree.
      Thank you, Kathy, and good luck with the records you are trying to access.


  3. That’s terrific, Cathy! I do try to check the catalog periodically as I am researching new people, and someday I will have to go back to those I researched earlier to see what might have been added.

    Liked by 1 person

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