Learn More About Your Marion Roots

older gentleman looking through files on a shelf

If your family origins trace back to Marion County, it’s time to plan a genealogy road trip! Our area has extensive resources available to visitors that can help you uncover your roots through the ages. Whether you are interested in tracing your history back to the pioneer days or want to spend some time connecting with your older relatives, this is a wonderful trip to keep your past alive! But, before you head our way, here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind as you’re starting.

person going through files in a file cabinet

Uncover Your Goals 

First things first — you should have an idea of what you’d like to learn. Determine your research goal or note some questions you’d like to explore. This allows you to create a blueprint for your research. Once you set your goals and find the places you may want to tour, gather some tools such as charts and notebooks to help you prepare. 

Retrace Your History

You would be surprised at how many genealogical resources you already have at your fingertips! Go from the known to the unknown — meaning, start with what you already know about yourself and your family, then progress toward a public search. Ask your relatives about their stories and find new pieces of your family puzzle just from a quick phone call. Family photo albums, diaries, Bibles, letters, and other essential documents are great resources for your research. 

1962 Fairmont city directoryExpand Your Search

The next step is to check out public records to add to the information you’ve already collected from your family and their documents. The best place to start is at the Marion County Public Library’s Genealogy Room. With vital records for most of the state’s 55 counties, including birth, death, census, wills, and cemetery records, you can double-check your information and learn more about your family history at the Genealogy Room. Dig further by using the Society’s unique research materials that are not found anywhere else in West Virginia. If your research leads you to questions about the Civil War or World War II, plan a trip to the Marion County Historical Society & Museum in Fairmont. Or perhaps your aim is focused on retracing your family history to the back to the 18th century. To be successful in your search, you would want to add a visit to the Thomas Library to your itinerary. The library, located in the Visitor Center at Pricketts Fort, contains records and books of histories of the Prickett Family and other significant artifacts from the frontier. Another helpful resource is the West Augusta Historical Society, which maintains the Wilson School Museum and the Hamilton Round Barn. Both historic locations store an astonishing amount of antiques, historical publications, and heirlooms from the local area. 

bronze plaque on a red brick piliar

Visit The Past 

Finally, reveal the stories of long ago with a visit to our cemeteries. Cemeteries are crucial to genealogy projects because they hold a wealth of information about the past and those who have passed on. Fortunately, Marion County has more than 400 cemeteries across the county, so there’s plenty of opportunities to learn.

If you are interested in learning more about Marion County history, request a copy of our Marion County History Guide. Discover your family history in the Middle of Everywhere. 



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