Virginia Border Changes
You've got questions about discovering, preserving and celebrating your family history; our experts have the answers.
Q. My fifth-great-grandfather died in Berkely County, Va., in 1799. This county is now in West Virginia. Which state should I research in?

A. According to the Library of Virginia Web site, when the state of West Virginia was established in 1863, the counties retained their original local records.

That means for most records, you'll contact the Berkeley County clerk and the West Virginia Archives. For a list of the West Virginia Archives' Berkeley County records on microfilm, see You'll find many of the same records at the Family History Library (FHL)—click the Library tab and then Family History Library Catalog, and do a place search of the online catalog on the county name. You can rent FHL microfilm through your local branch Family History Center.