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From:
Subject: Re: [WVMONONG] Andrew Friend and Keziah
Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2007 11:12:33 -0400


Matt asked, >>Do you know if these records have been microfilmed or is held in the county court records?<<

I am not really sure what you mean by 'these records'. The item(s) you found in Melba Pendern Zinn's abstracts is on microfilm.

Ms. Zinn abstracted from microfilm of the County Court of Common Pleas case-file papers for up to ca. 1854, when that Court was replaced by a reorganized Circuit Court system.

The case files and associated matter were taken apart and de-organized by volunteers (I think in the 1930s under auspices of the WPA Historical Records Survey). They tried to put similar-type documents together in file folders, quite unsuccessfully. As a result the material is extremely hard to find. The same group created a name index typed on fragile slips of paper. The microfilm, the original papers and the slip index are all at the WVU Library, Morgantown. Ms Zinn's abstracts serve as a helpful group of quasi-indexes to the raw papers. Since the microfilm is arranged according to the Envelope number, and Ms Zinn gives that number, you can find a given document's location and with some work the document. Some envlopes have scores of documents.

There may be additional entries in the Court Minutes Books, which have not been abstracted. In the County Clerk's office there is an index to these Minutes Books, but it is grouped by record book, not a consolidated index. Most of the Minutes Books still retain their original indexes as well, but they are not every-name indexes; they index cases' parties and sometimes witnesses' and jurors' fees, but not all petitioners for a road (as just examples).

There could be land records for your folks, either originally made before the fire in John Evans' shed and re-recorded, or disposing of land well after your folks had left the area. These might be recorded in the District Court Deeds, which have not been abstracted for publication but which are indexed along with the regular Deeds series in the County Clerk's office.

This comes to another problem. The Monongalia Co. records include matters that took place in Preston Co. only up to about the time Preston Co. was set off as its own County. So if there were some really belated (say, 1820s) action brought or deed for land recorded, it would have been within Preston Co. jurisdiction. A fire burned nearly all Preston Co. records in 1869.

Don't overlook Chalkley's volumes, indexing court matters filed in Staunton, Augusta Co., which back ca. 1800 was the seat of the appeal court for chancery matters. Chalkley does not include some Land Book tax assessment rolls dating back into the 1780s which landed there when Staunton was also central to the District of West Augusta. Some of these are transcribed in Rick Toothman's abstracts of Monongalia Co. Deeds (the first few deeds books) published some years ago by Heritage Books. There may be others at Staunton, and the VA State Library may have a few additional ones.

I am sure you have already checked the Library of Virginia's land grants index. You would already be familiar with Jonas and Andrew Friend re: Dunmore's War.

Hope this helps,
Judy


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