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McDowell County Queries - 2015

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Note:  There is a lot of good information and contacts in the 1996 through 2014 queries.

Also, if you've posted queries in prior years and since then, changed your email address, please send us an updated address!

In addition, we occasionally get requests for information that requires living in or near McDowell County and visiting a cemetery, the local library or courthouse. If you live in or near McDowell County and would be willing to help, we would love to hear from you.

Do you know if anyone has a map for the Justice Cemetery. I'm looking for my grandfathers grave.

Thank you,
S Walnut
Dec 19, 2015

I am looking for anyone who might know something about a George Kiser Cripple who married Louise/Lou Wallce, he was born 1882 in KY and died 1951 in Welch, McDowell Co, WV. His 2nd wife was Ollie Jawery and 3rd wife was Cora Elsie Self.

Thank you,
S Walnut
Dec 2, 2015

My family name is Whitt.

My grandfather was Sam Ray Whitt (went by Ray). My grandmother (Sarah) always told my father that his father was a Beavers. So now I am trying to figure out how he got the name Whitt.

My father says his grandmother's name was Peggie Whitt and she married a Belcher. And that Sam had half brothers Bennie, and Paris. But I can only find a Peggie Harman. She was 28 (?) when she married Belcher. Before she married Belcher she had Sam Ray, Dan (Harman/Whitt). My grandmother told my father, Dan was a Harman but went by Whitt. After she married Belcher she had Benny, Eliza, Paris Belcher and possibly Garrett. I have found that Garrett was not her child. The only records I can find are:

     Peggie Harman married William Belcher
     Benjamin "Benny"
     No mention of Ray or Dan.
     According to the 1910 census it states:
     Peggie Belcher - 48
     Dan Harman - 24
     Ray Harman -20
     Eliza Belcher - 15
     Bannie Harman - 13

It shows Ray in 1917 & 1919 getting married as a Whitt. For Peggie in 1930 census it shows her living with her son Paris. But when she passed it shows Ray Whitt as the informant on the death record.

I cannot find any marriage records to a Whitt. Or anyone who lived around her that was a Whitt.

If you have any questions, please email me.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

Thanks so much,
Nov 18, 2015

I am searching for African American/White "Peeples/Peeple/Peoples that once worked in the coal mines in McDowell County. Please contact me at MSSISI@AOL.COM if you have any info to share.

Thank you,
Faye Howell
Oct 23, 2015

I'm looking for a cousin of mine, maiden name Donna Short. Daughter of James Short and Fanny Atwell, originally lived on Atwell mountain but moved away in the 60's. I have only met her once since then, at my mother's funeral around 2000.

If anyone can help me that will be great,
Terry Atwell
Oct 18, 2015

Howdy, I am trying to identify the following cemetery – Panther Cemetery in Panther, WV. I have the Union Army Civil War tombstone records for John Wesley Blankenship Sr. He served - Private, Company F, 45th Kentucky Volunteer Mounted Infantry Regiment, UA. His date of death was 5 Mar 1914, however the tombstone wasn’t ordered until 1934 per the file. I think George W Blankenship was his grandson, son of his daughter Judia “Judy” Blankenship, wife of Ance H “AJ” Blankenship. Any ideas which cemetery location in FAG or has it been identified yet?

Thank you,
Scott D. Hill
Sept 8, 2015

Hello. I have been researching great-grandparents and have record that they resided in Browns Creek area in McDowell County, WV. They include two individuals, husband and wife, who immigrated from Austria-Hungary in the 1880’s. Also, their children were born there before they moved to Gary, Indiana.

I don’t know what records you have in addition to what’s on various web sites, like Ancestry, but I thought to drop a quick note and ask. The names are as follows according to the 1900 census for Browns Creek area in McDowell County (side note: later record of eldest son from WW I enlistment, Joseph says he was born in “Keystone” which I believe is a bit to the east of Welch and near Elkhorn Creek):

John Trigg (Father, head of household) West Virgina, born 1861 aged 39, origin Austria-Hungary, Immigrated 1882, Saloon Keeper, owned home.

Ilona (Elinor, Hellen with various spellings in different census years) (mother), born 1877 aged 23, origin Austria-Hungary, Immigrated 1892(perhaps 1888)

Joseph born 1895 aged 5 (eldest son) (in a WW I draft card notice on microfilm, Joseph lists his home/birthplace as “Keystone, WV”

Mary born 1898 aged 3 (first daughter), later daughter was born in 1907 and names Helen, but shows as “Elinor” in 1910 census)

John Kovatch (was a boarder in the household, born 1870 in Aus-Hungary, immigrated 1886 (must be from similar village)

Would there be any record of the owner/operator of the Saloon that is referenced in the employment column (e.g., this area seems to be just to the north end of the town of Welch and a center for McDowell County. So, guessing that the saloon was near the junction of the two rivers, Browns Creek and Tug River, or Elkhorn Creek?

Please let me know if there are other records you have access to.

Thanks you,
Grant Ricketts
Date July 3, 2015

HELP ME FIND MY BIRTH FATHER, PLEASE! My mother, who has since passed, worked at Gary Grade School in 1959/1960. I was born in 1960. My birth father was a Navy man whose first name was Raymond but he was called Buddy. Either his sister or his sister's daughter's name was or is Trudy. His sister worked with my mother at Gary Grade School. If you have any leads, please let me know. I have been told he is/was of Hungarian descent.

Thank you,
Date July 31, 2015

Looking for the Steele family of Jayson and Mary Kennedy Steele. My name is William Steele, and my dad was James Steele. My granddad was Elbert Steele, aka as Ladd. Call me at 706-367-5824.

Thank you,
Bill Steele
June 5, 2015

I am looking for information on Roger Lee Clemins. He was born on Sept. 26, 1922, and was the son of Lettie Simpson and Beauty Clemins. He was in the Marines, but I don't know what year. He died Nov. 27, 1983.

Thank you,
Norma Clemins
May 26, 2015

I am trying to find information about the McDowell County Poor Farm Cemetery in Hensley, WV: McDowell County Poor Farm

Specifically I am trying to find:

1) its precise location (GPS coordinates if possible) and 2) a list of those buried there.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide,
Steven Seim
May 16, 2015

Looking for the Rose family.

Thank you,
Tebanye Rose
May 15, 2015

My name is Angela Ryan and my grandparents are buried in Dry Branch Cemetery and was looking for some info on them. Their names are James and Margaret Jervis. I was also looking to get a map to the location and the burial spots. Any info would greatly be appreciated.

Thank you,
Angela Ryan
May 1, 2015

My name is Arrita Summers and I am researching family members who lived in McDowell County, WV. I am specifically looking for information pertaining to land grants. Using the following site, http://www.wvgenweb.org/mcdowell/landnames.html , I was able to pull up some information. However, when I reviewed "Grants of Land Issued by the State of West Virginia in McDowell County" it only lists names beginning with the letters "B" and "C". Would anyone happen to know where I can locate land grants for additional individuals? Thank you, Descendant of the Blankenships, Pucketts, Waldrons, Atwells, and Coopers.

Thank you,
Arrita Summers
March 22, 2015

Hello, I need someone to do a lookup for me in the McDowell Co. circuit court divorce records of Feb. 1870. Do you know of anyone who will do this?

Thank you for you time,
Sharon Pettit
Mar 16

I’m looking parents of Morgan Davis born 1832 Russell county KY. Also found that one of his wives was Patsy born 1810.

Any info helps!,
Jacqueline Davis
Mar 13

Hello, was wondering if anyone remembers the Mullins family of Jolo? My grandfather John Henry Mullins lived there in the thirties. My father, John Henry Jr., was living there too. Anyone have info on Rife or Mullins family? Thank you, David

Thank you,
Feb 24

I was born and grew up in McDowell co wv. I'm looking for anyone who may have a pic of a boarding house from Garland WV. My grandma Payne and uncle Jessie used to live at the boarding house. I'm the daughter of will Payne from Bradshaw WV. Please send pic to Barbara Mitchell (address below).

Thank you,
Barbara Mitchell
Feb 22


Thank you,
Ella Anderson Hockett
Jan 6

Looking for information on Phyllis Ann Jackson (10-13-1938). Daughter of James and Elizabeth chambers Jackson.
Daughter born 1950? Son 1954? And son 1955?

Thank you,
Jan 6

I recently purchased a tax receipt dated December 1st 1888 for a MRS A.M REED for annual tax she apparently paid for property in NORTH COVE Township.

I've attached a picture of the receipt and ask if any of the signatures or information provided is true to the county.

Thank you,
Dean Williams
Jan 4

My grandmother is Cosby Cantrell.

She was excluded from the list on the McDowell and Wyoming WV Cantrell family line. Her parents were Alexander Cantrell (who disappeared) and mother was Magdeline Vance. Her brothers were David Wilson and James Wilburn Cantrell. I am daughter of Diana Laney. Cosby married William Laney and moved to Michigan, where she had 9 children, one being my mom.

I don’t know why, but she’s not included on any lists. It hurts and bothers me. I would love to change this and am willing to gather death, marriage and birth records.

Please contact me,
Stacy Yoas
Jan 3

Happy New Year.


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