Hackers Creek Pioneer Descendants
Introduction to LEWIS COUNTY, WV BIRTH RECORDS (1853-1916)
compiled by:  Hartzel G. Strader and Alan L. Strader
 
It was 1850 before a law was passed requiring that births be registered in Virginia and 1853 before the law was implemented. Because our strongly independent ancestors were suspicious of anything governmental and because of the rural nature of (West) Virginia, nearly a century would pass before every birth in the county would be reported when it occurred. Thus, these birth records do not contain every birth in Lewis County 1853-1903; they do, however, contain every birth that was recorded.
 
The information contained herein was copied from a typewritten copy of Birth Registers, donated to the Central West Virginia Genealogy and History Library by the Lewis County Commission and published in five volumes by HCPD.
 
Many of the original entry surnames were spelled phonetically and often the father's name was listed only with initials or first name and middle initial. Others may have had the father's name both first and middle. Sometimes the mother's name was spelled in numerous ways too. In an effort to consolidated these for ease of use, the census records of 1850 through 1900 were consulted in determining name consolidation.
 
The sex of infants having no given name is noted when listed so a researcher can make their family group chart more complete. Infant mortality rate was very high; the parents often waited to see if the baby survived and was healthy before assigning a name.
 
These records are accessible to HCPD members. Click Here to View Them.
 
The birth records in this list are also available in published form from HCPD, 45 Abbotts Run Road, Horner, WV 26372. There are currently six volumes of birth records. You may also place an order from John Sleeth's Trading Post.
 
 
Introduction to LEWIS COUNTY, WV DEATH RECORDS (1853-1955)
compiled by:  Hartzel G. Strader and Alan L. Strader
 
It was 1850 before a law was passed requiring that deaths be registered in Virginia and 1853 before the law was implemented. Because our strongly independent ancestors were suspicious of anything governmental and because of the rural nature of (West) Virginia, nearly a century would pass before every death in the county would be reported when it occurred. These records, however, contain every recorded death in the county during the period. . .including those at the State Hospital.
 
We have discovered that traumatic deaths, particularly suicides, were sometimes not recorded in the early death records. Occasionally, these can be found in the newspapers of the day, not as an obituary, but in the news from the various communities, i.e., Vadis, Berlin, etc.
 
Many entry names in the early records were spelled phonetically and herein alterations were made to consolidate data on surnames to conform with census records and keep the indexing to a minimum. Example of a name alteration: Elnor SHEUVRONT died 6 Feb 1856 and parents being Gideon and Lydia Sheuvront. It is commond knowledge the family name is Cheuvront; therefore, it is changed in these records to the spelling as listed in the census records.
 
The occupation of adult decedents in the majority of the original entries was given or the father's occupation was listed. Up until 1905 the male occupation was usually "farmer" and the wife was usually a housewife. Consequently, until that time, "farmer" and "housewife" were not listed in these records to conserve space. Exceptions were made for other occupations: i.e., blacksmith, physician, lawyer, merchant. From 1906 onward, all occupations were included when listed in the records.
 
Cause of death was copied as they appeared in the record as was the name of the person reporting the death. The age at death does not always agree with the census records. In reading through these records, one cannot help to imagine the feeling of desparity during this period of having two, three or four members of a family dying within a few days of each other due to the same cause.
 
The sex is given of infants having no given name is noted when listed so a researcher can make their family group chart more complete. Infant mortality rate was very high; the parents waited to see if the baby survived and was healthy before assigning a name.
 
There were no deaths recorded in 1863 and 1864 because of the Civil War.
 
The information contained herein was copied copies of Death Registers in the HCPD Library and the Lewis County Courthouse.
 
They are available here for HCPD members. Click Here to View Death Records.
 
The deaths in this list are also available in published form from HCPD, 45 Abbotts Run Road, Horner, WV 26372. There are currently eight volumes of death records. You may place an order from John Sleeth's Trading Post.