WorldVitalRecords Database in Review: Sims Index

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Sims Index to Land Grants in West Virginia (http://www.worldvitalrecords.com/indexinfo.aspx?ix=gpc0806317140_simsindex)

Land records comprise one of the most important sources for early American genealogical research, since sometimes they are the only records that can place an individual in a particular place at a particular time. For this reason Sims Index to Land Grants in West Virginia is an essential resource for anyone researching their early Virginia/West Virginia ancestors. A comprehensive guide to pre-1900 land records in West Virginia (which until 1863 was part of the Commonwealth of Virginia), Sims Index lists land grants that were made by Lord Fairfax prior to the creation of the Virginia Land Office in 1779, as well as those issued by the Commonwealth of Virginia for land now located in West Virginia, and by the State of West Virginia under its first Constitution.

The information contained in this exhaustive compilation was compiled by Edgar Sims, the State Auditor of West Virginia, from copies of land grants filed in his office. More than 50,000 entries are included, each containing the name of the grantee, amount of acreage, location and date of grant, and the grant book and page numbers. Sims meticulously examined each record to ensure that the spellings of the names of grantees, location, and descriptions of tracts were accurate, and that any variations of spellings of grantees’ names were also indexed or noted. Records are listed for Barbour, Berkeley, Boone, Braxton, Brooke, Cabell, Calhoun, Clay, Doddridge, Fayette, Gilmer, Grant, Greenbrier, Hampshire, Hancock, Hardy, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Kanawha, Lewis, Logan, Marion, Marshall, Mason, McDowell, Mercer, Monongalia, Monroe, Morgan, Nicholas, Ohio, Pendleton, Pleasants, Pocahontas, Preston, Putnam, Raleigh, Randolph, Ritchie, Roane, Taylor, Tucker, Tyler, Uphur, Wayne, Webster, Wetzel, Wirt, Wood, and Wyoming counties, West Virginia, as well as for the portions of Augusta, Bath, Botetourt, Frederick, Montgomery, Russell, Tazewell, and Wythe counties, Virginia, that were used in the formation of West Virginia.

In a great many cases the land grants indexed here pre-date the earliest extant census records or supplement existing census records, and are thus indispensable for finding individuals who lived in the area that later became West Virginia.

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