West Virginia Public Records
West Virginia was a part of Virginia until 1863; early West Virginia public records are found in Virginia archives. Virginia mandated marriage registration as of 1780 and birth registration in 1853. West Virginia is a closed-record state; certified copies are available only to family members from the Vital Registration Office. However, the West Virginia Division of Culture and History offers a free online search with free scanned informational copies for 1790-1910 for births, 1753-1970 for deaths, and 1780-1970 for marriages. Historical West Virginia public records, vital records, and court records for 1853-1900 are microfilmed at the Archives and History Library in Charleston.
Lookup Public Records In West Virginia Counties
West Virginia's Kanawha County Office of the Circuit Clerk maintains all records relating to the courts, including the circuit court, the family court and the mental hygiene court. As such, the Clerk is responsible for maintaining records relating to civil, criminal, divorce, child custody, child support, domestic violence, juvenile delinquency and juvenile neglect cases. Individuals may retrieve copies of records using the Circuit Clerk's website; however, documents that are sealed or deemed confidential are not available through this search engine, and individuals are required to register in order to use this service. The service includes separate charges for either non-certified or certified documents.
West Virginia's Berkeley County Clerk's Office is responsible for maintaining the following records relating to Berkeley County: birth certificates, death certificates, marriage licenses, and marriage certification. Other information obtained by this office includes: voter registrations, hunting and fishing licenses, document recording, justification of surety and minister's licenses.