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McDowell County Queries - 2016

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Note:  There is a lot of good information and contacts in the 1996 through 2015a queries.

Also, if you've posted a query 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.

Hello friends in McDowell County! I'm working on a family legend about Sarah Coleman and her father Michael Coleman who along with Sarah's husband John Gibbs came "over the mountains" to Warren County, Tennessee from North Carolina. Once there, they had associations with the Farris family, also of NC. Some branches of the Farris clan started using Parris instead of Farris after the Revolutionary War, probably because there was a Loyalist named Farris and they wished not to be associated with him.

So when I discovered a place called Coleman, situated along Parris Creek in your neck of the woods, I really paid attention. I've been searching hard for online historical information and Library of Congress keywords about this Coleman place-name that appears on Google maps just northwest of Old Fort. The names Coleman and Parris so close together may hold a key to the family story.

I'll plan to visit the Old Fort area in person next time I'm visiting my parents near Asheville. That trip might be in November.

I would appreciate the chance to work with a local historian who might know more about these placenames and the families for whom they were christened. Is anyone at this email address knowledgeable in this area? Or could you please refer me to a local family historian?

Thank you,
Christine Gibbs Garrison
Date Aug 15

I'm looking for family members of David Thomas Wallace from War. Sons were Leon, Fred and Roy.

Thank you,
Esther Wallace
Date July 19, 2017

Hi, my name is Barbara Steward-Goins and my family is from Kimball, West Virginia.

As a child I would travel to West Virginia and meet relatives but the majority of them have passed on. I have been trying to work on my family tree for a few years now.

I learned that my grandfather Arthur Terry was killed in the Koppers coal mines in 1952 when a slate fell on him and crushed him to death. I do have the paperwork from the coal mines describing how he died. I have searched and searched to find a photo of my grandfather as a coalminer.

Could you possibly help me find out more info about my grandfather? I will give you any information that I have about my grandfather.

Thank you,
Barbara Steward
Date July 6. 2017

I am looking for information on my great-grandfather, last name Gullion born circa 1896 (possibly in Maryland). He married Lindon Airlean (Sells) Gullion in 1925 in McDowell and had a few kids: Greta (my grandma), Bennie, Ellen and Jimmie. They resided in Switchback and Eckman between 1925-1926. I cannot determine if his first name was Thomas or Robert because both are used on census reports, marriage certs, etc. I know he worked in the mines in 1925 and was a boarder at the home of Bettie Waugh in McDowell on a 1930 census. By 1938 my grandma was remarried to a Carmie Gardner. They lived near Elkhorn High School.

Thank you. If anyone has any information on my great-grandfather it would be most appreciated,
Mary Compton
Date Jun 20, 2017

I am looking for information on William Ireland Davis also known as Arlen. I really want to know who his parents were.
Thanks, Brenda Jones
Date March 11

Do you have any information on the Frigo Brothers store that operated in Kimball during the 1920's and 1930's? Thank you,
Thanks, Jeff Hayes
Date March 10

I'm trying to find information on who was the pastor during the 70's for the Switchback Memorial Baptist Church.
Douglas Clark
Feb 2
Douglas, This doesn't quite answer your question, but have you seen Renee Bolden's photo documentary on the Switchback church: https://mcdowellwvchurches.com/2012/08/09/churches-and-emptiness-part-8/

Also, if you try Googling Switchback Memorial Baptist Church, there are a number of churches in the near vicinity, with telephone numbers. Perhaps someone from one of them can help you. Thanks, Cherryl and Reggie

I'm looking for information on my great grandpa William Brewster.
His wife was Emma Dunford. His death record states his father was Arch Brewster & his mother was Bekie Baker.

I'm very interested in finding more information on his parents. Thanks,
Brenda Jones
Jan 17

Brenda, Have you looked here: http://www.coalexchange.com/smith/mcdowella/pafg2435.htm#80905 The WV Coal Exchange is my go-to source for WV genealogy.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Thanks for visiting the McDowell web page, Cherryl

I am looking for information on my aunt Ruby Pruitt Bandy and info on her murder. She was murdered April 1941 in McDowell county. Would appreciate any info.<
Lawona Coleman
Jan 11

Happy New Year.


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