McDowell County, West Virginia
Genealogy and History

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County Information
McDowell County
is the southern-most county in the state, geographically. The county is named in honor of James McDowell, Governor of Virginia from 1843 to 1846. McDowell County was nationally known for its prominence in the coal mining industry, setting records for coal production and was a major player in the state's economy. Before the industry's decline that began in the 1950s, McDowell's population was almost at 100,000 residents, third highest in the state in 1950, then declined at a rapid pace after each decennial census afterwards, setting the highest percentage in the state for population loss each time as younger residents move out of the county to seek better futures and leaving behind a much older population and many that lack transportation to find work. For many years McDowell County was nicknamed the "Free state of McDowell" due to social and political race relations that is uncommon in the rest of the state. McDowell County is considered as one of the core counties in Appalachia on which the national War on Poverty focused, a national effort started during President Lyndon B. Johnson's administration.  Its county seat is Welch. - (source: wikipedia.org)

Founded February 28, 1858
Named for James McDowell

County Seat and Largest City: Welch

Towns and Cities
Town of Anawalt * Town of Bradshaw * Town of Davy * City of Gary * Town of Iaeger *
City of Keystone * Town of Kimball * Town of Northfork * City of War * City of Welch

Unincorporated Communities
Algoma * Apple Grove * Asco * Ashland * Atwell * Avondale * Bartley * Beartown * Berwind
Big Four * Big Sandy * Bishop * Black Wolf * Bottom Creek * Canebrake * Capels * Caretta
Carlos * Carswell * Coalwood * Crumpler * Cucumber * Eckman * Elbert * Elkhorn * English * Ennis *
Erin * Faraday * Filbert * Gilliam * Havaco * Hemphill * Hensley * Hull * Isaban (part) * Jacobs Fork *
Jed * Jenkinjones * Johnnycake * Jolo * Kyle * Landgraff * Leckie * Lex * Lila * Litwar * Maitland *
Maybeury * McDowell * Mohawk * Mohegan * Monson * Newhall * Pageton * Panther * Paynesville *
Powhatan * Premier * Raysal * Ream * Rift * Rockridge * Roderfield * Rolfe * Sandy Huff *
Six * Skygusty * Squire * Superior * Switchback * Thorpe * Twin Branch * Union City * Upland *
Vallscreek * Venus * Vivian * Warriormine * Wilcoe * Worth * Yerba * Yukon

Online Data

Birth Records

Church Histories / Records

County Records

Death Records

Family Bibles

County History

Miscellaneous Data

School Records

Wills/Probate Records

Website Updates:
July 2013: mine accident story; obits for BEAVERS, PAYNE, MYERS, WELLS, EFFLER, MCFARLAND, BALLARD, NANCE; Sick list news for FITE; Gossip news for BEAVER, MABRY; Crime news for ADAMS, LITTLE; Political new for TIERNEY, MCFARLAND, BALLARD; Community news: What McDowell county was like in 1855; story on Moonshine booze killing cows
Dec 2012: 1883 Census of Pensioners, Rachel Hall Obituary, Phillip Lambert Obituary, L. T. Murphy Obituary, Abner Stevens Obituary, John Wellman Obituary
Aug 2012: William Henry Harrison Biography, Isaiah C. Herndon Biography
Jun 2012: Pensions Granted



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Adjacent Counties

Wyoming County (north)
Mercer County (east)
Mingo County (NW)
Buchanan County, VA (SW)
Tazewell County, VA (south)

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