Genealogy Toolbox: Links to West Virginia Land Deeds on FamilySearch

As I’m back to working on US families, I found it necessary to search the catalog at FamilySearch for records which would help to fill in the timeline of the ancestors.

The people at FamilySearch have been busy changing the availability of collections in their catalog. More and more can be viewed at our leisure from home instead of in a family history center or an affiliated library.

Last year I found Mason County Land Deeds were online which helped with The Estate of William Clonch (1807-1863) of Mason County, West Virginia. Land deeds for Greenbrier and Monroe counties were found with the camera icon when I worked on my last post, The Ancestors: Bailey WOOD and Nancy, his wife (392 & 393).

I’ve been waiting quite some time for the Nicholas County land deeds to be available as I have a special project planned for an ancestor from the county. Nicholas County, West Virginia County Clerk has a site for Public Records Search. All of the land deeds are indexed and linked to the deeds on the site. However, downloading images from the site was not possible. I sent an email to the county clerk requesting permission to use screenshots from the site but never received a reply. Last week I found the land deeds are now available online on FamilySearch.

When I realized Nicholas (and most of the counties I research) were available, I decided to share the links in a blog post. As I checked the catalog, I found land deeds are available for 54 of the 55 West Virginia counties.

The links below will take you to the FamilySearch catalog page for the land deeds of each county. Below the description, you will find the BROWSE-ONLY collections. Most counties include an index of grantee (a person to whom a grant or conveyance is made) and index of grantor (a person or institution that makes a grant or conveyance) which facilitates the search.

Land Deeds and Index to Deeds for West Virginia counties

Barbour County est. 1843 from Harrison, Lewis, and Randolph counties
Deeds, 1843-1965

Berkeley County est. 1772 from Frederick County (Virginia)
Deeds, 1772-1926

Boone County est. 1847 from Cabell, Kanawha, and Logan counties
Deeds, 1847-1968

Braxton County est. 1836 from Kanawha, Lewis, and Nicholas counties
Deeds, 1836-1969

Brooke County est. 1796 from Ohio County
Deeds, 1797-1901; deed index, 1797-1948

Cabell County est. 1809 from Kanawha County
Deed records, 1808-1901; index to deeds, 1808-1968

Calhoun County est. 1856 from Gilmer County
Deeds, 1856-1903; index to deeds, 1856-1969

Clay County est. 1858 from Braxton and Nicholas counties
Deed books, 1858-1914

Doddridge County est. 1845 from Harrison, Lewis, Ritchie, and Taylor counties
Deeds, 1845-1912; deed index, 1845-1970

Fayette County est. 1831 from Kanawha, Greenbrier, Logan, and Nicholas counties
Deed book, 1831-1902; deed book index, 1831-1951

Gilmer County est. 1845 from Kanawha and Lewis counties
Deeds, 1845-1902; index to deeds, 1845-1969

Grant County est. 1866 from Hardy County
Deeds, 1865-1908; index to deeds, 1866-1969

Greenbrier County est. 1778 from Montgomery County (Virginia) and Botetourt County (Virginia)
Deeds (Greenbrier County, West Virginia), 1780-1901
Deed index, 1780-1969 (11 of the 35 are not yet online)

Hampshire County est. 1754 from Augusta County (Virginia) and Frederick County (Virginia)
Deeds, 1757-1901; index to deeds, 1757-1969

Hancock County est. 1848 from Brooke County
Deeds, 1863-1902; deed index, 1848-1928

Hardy County est. 1786 from Hampshire County
Deeds, 1786-1901; index to deeds, 1786-1970

Harrison County est. 1784 from Monongalia County
Deeds, 1786-1903; deed index, 1786-1923

Jackson County est. 1831 from Kanawha, Mason, and Wood counties
Deed books, 1831-1901

Jefferson County est. 1801 from Berkeley County
Deeds, 1801-1901; deed index, 1801-1968

Kanawha County est. 1789 from Greenbrier and Montgomery County (Virginia)
Record of deeds, 1790-1946

Lewis County est. 1816 from Harrison County
Deeds, 1817-1902; deed index, 1817-1965

Lincoln County est. 1867 from Boone, Cabell, Kanawha, and Putnam counties
No deed books (online) in the catalog. There is a substitute:
Commissioner’s record of destroyed title papers, v. 1-3 : pre-1909
Note: These records were reviewed by a commissioner of the county court and concern land titles before 1909 as the courthouse burned down and the records were destroyed. The records were made from 1910-1914.

Logan County est. 1824 from Cabell and Kanawha counties, Giles County (Virginia), and Tazewell County (Virginia)
Deed books, 1835-1968

Marion County est. 1842 from Harrison and Monongalia counties
Deeds, 1842-1905; deed index, 1842-1968

Marshall County est. 1835 from Ohio County
Deeds, 1835-1901; index to deeds, leases, etc., 1835-1971

Mason County est. 1804 from Kanawha County
Deed books, 1803-1901

McDowell County est. 1858 from Tazewell County (Virginia)
Deeds, 1868-1969

Mercer County est. 1837 from Giles County (Virginia) and Tazewell County (Virginia)
Deeds, 1837-1900; index to deeds, 1837-1968

Mineral County est. 1866 from Hampshire County
Deeds, 1866-1903; index to deeds, 1806-1969

Mingo County est. 1895 from Logan County
Deeds, 1836-1955

Monongalia County est. 1776 from Augusta County (Virginia)
Deeds (Monongalia County, West Virginia), 1789-1900; indexes to deeds, 1789 (1776?)-1935

Monroe County est. 1799 from Greenbrier County
Deed book, 1789-1901; deed index, 1789-1969

Morgan County est. 1820 from Berkeley and Hampshire counties
Deeds, 1820-1969

Nicholas County est. 1818 from Greenbrier, Kanawha, and Randolph counties
Deed book, 1818-1907; deed book index, 1818-1969

Ohio County est. 1776 from Augusta County (Virginia)
Deeds, 1778-1901; index to deeds, 1778-1935

Pendleton County est. 1788 from Augusta County (Virginia), Rockingham County (Virginia), and Hardy
Deeds, 1788-1902; deed index, 1788-1951

Pleasants County est. 1851 from Ritchie, Tyler, and Wood counties
Deeds, 1851-1904; deed index, 1851-1948

Pocahontas County est. 1821 from Bath County (Virginia), Pendleton, and Randolph
Deeds, 1822-1904; index to deeds, 1822-1869 (of 26 microfilms, 3 films with the index of grantees and/or grantors are not available as of 15 January 2020)

Preston County est. 1818 from Monongalia County
Deed index, 1869-1960
Deeds, 1854-1947

Putnam County est. 1848 from Cabell, Kanawha, and Mason counties
Deed books, 1848-1900

Raleigh County est. 1850 from Fayette County
Deeds, 1850-1903

Randolph County est. 1787 from Harrison County
Deeds, 1787-1905; index to deeds, 1787-1966

Ritchie County est. 1843 from Harrison, Lewis, and Wood counties
Deeds, 1843-1903

Roane County est. 1856 from Gilmer, Jackson, and Kanawha counties
Deed books, 1856-1902

Summers County est. 1871 from Fayette, Greenbrier, Mercer, and Monroe counties
Deed book, 1870-1904; deed index, 1871-1969

Taylor County est. 1844 from Barbour, Harrison, Marion counties
Deeds, 1844-1901, index to deeds, 1844-1970 (24 Films are viewable only in a family history center or FamilySearch affiliate library as of 15 January 2020.)

Tucker County est. 1856 from Randolph County
Deeds, 1856-1902; index to deeds, 1856-1970 (Of the 19 microfilm reels, the one for Deeds, v. 1-2 1856-1872 is only available on microfilm at the family history center as of 15 January 2020)

Tyler County est. 1814 from Ohio County
Deeds, 1815-1902; deed index, 1815-1970 (There are restrictions on about half of the films; only deed books 4-29 and 50 are available online as of 15 January 2020.)

Upshur County est. 1851 from Barbour, Lewis, and Randolph counties
Deeds, 1851-1901; index to deeds, 1851-1970 (2 of the 34 microfilms are not viewable online as of 15 January 2020)

Wayne County est. 1842 from Cabell County
Deed book, 1842-1901; index, 1848-1969

Webster County est. 1860 from Braxton, Nicholas, and Randolph counties
Deed index, 1888-1969 and deed books, 1798-1902

Wetzel County est. 1846 from Tyler County
Deeds, 1845-1902; deed index, 1845-1970

Wirt County est. 1848 from Jackson and Wood counties
Deeds, 1848-1901; deed index, 1848-1951

Wood County est. 1798 from Harrison County
Deed book, 1802-1901; deed book index, 1798-1969

Wyoming County est. 1850 from Logan County
Deeds, 1850-1902; deed index, 1850-1969

Happy hunting and I hope these keys will open the doors in your brick walls.

© 2020, 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.

23 thoughts on “Genealogy Toolbox: Links to West Virginia Land Deeds on FamilySearch”

      1. Ain’t that the truth…I am currently mentoring a gentleman on RAOGK who is not on Ancestry and I am getting him hooked up with Familysearch. Thanks again for pushing this info out!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. As I mentioned to Brian, so many people don’t realize how helpful the catalog on FamilySearch can be to their research. I’ve gotten so much help from other West Virginia researchers in the past 20 years and this is my way of paying back by paying forward. Thank you, Amy. And it would be so much fun to work with you if you had West Virginia ancestors!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Thanks so much for this information (and thanks to Michael John Neill who mentioned it on one of his blogs). My great-grandparents lived in Putnam County, WV, for a number of years and I’ve always wondered if they owned property. It’s one of those things I hadn’t gotten around to checking and now you’ve made it so much easier. Again, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your note is well taken about access rights changing, too. I’m almost certain that the land records for Berkeley Co used to be only viewable from a FHL, but that has changed in recent months. As you note, it’s important to check in and see not just which new records have been digitized but whether access has been expanded.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wish there was a way to keep track of the changing access. I’ve been using Availability: Online to narrow searches at county level. It would be nice to be able to further narrow this by what is available with/without restrictions. Thanks for dropping in, Michael.


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