ABOUT WEST VIRGINIA MEMORIES
This site has photographs and genealogical information about southern West Virginia families including the Vest family of White Oak Mountain, Smith family of Abraham in Richmond District, the Gadd and Cochran families, and the Biars family of West Virginia and Ohio. A whole bunch of cousins contributed to this site. Thank you! The aerial photo above, taken in 1985, is my childhood home, the Earl and Golda Smith farm on Route 3, Hinton Road, White Oak Mountain, Raleigh County, W.Va. The yellow house was built by my grandparents, Leonard and Stella Vest.
Giving credit where credit is due
If you've shared a photo or information and I haven't given you credit, please e-mail me and I'll add your name. If you use photos or information from West Virginia Memories, please make note and include this site address: http://wva.homestead.com I want more cousins to find their way here. If you have photos or information to share or corrections/suggestions or if you just want to say hello, I am always glad to get e-mail.
MUSIC & MEDIA
Come Back Home To Beckley by Del Shatley. A "must listen" for anyone who grew up in the Beckley, W.Va., area. Mr. Shatley hits all the locales on memory lane: G.C. Murphy's, King Tut's Drive-In and so forth. You Tube. Amazon.com CNN: Inside Man. Hosted by Morgan Spurlock, born in Parkersburg, W.Va., and raised in Beckley, W.Va.
Appalachian Lifestyles -- Stories, tales, lies, musings and daily life in the mountains of central Appalachia. Dedicated to the education of the American public on the unique culture of Appalachia. Site owned by Matthew Burns. A good place to browse. An entry from 2008: MURDERED I SAY -- George Bible Bennett (1831-1864) of Pendleton County, was killed by the Swamp Dragons, a Yankee unit. His father Elijah Bennett carved this on his son’s tombstone: "Here lies GBB/Killed by the Swamps/Murdered I Say." A page with links to obituaries of those with a connection to the families on West Virginia Memories. Recent entries: Cathy Lynn Gadd Daniels of Huntington, W.Va., died on 30 Nov 2013 at St. Mary's Hospital in Huntington. She was a former resident of Bluefield, W.Va. Charles O. “C.O.” “Smitty” Smith Jr., 92, of Beckley, W.Va., passed away Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013. He was a son of C.O. Smith Sr. and wife Flora Arthur and a grandson of Emily Alice Vandall and George Washington Smith Jr. Bonnie Plumley Pack Helton of Oak Hill, W.Va., died 30 June 2013. Linda Louise Smith Nugen, 62, of Shady Spring, Raleigh County, W.Va., passed away on June 12, 2013, at her home following a long illness. Ennis Elane White Gadd, 79, Princeton, W.Va. died on April 10, 2013, at Princeton Community Hospital; Carrie Eileen Smith Mann, 88, Daniels, W.Va., died on April 8, 2013. Lucille Martin Bolton, 88, Princeton, W.Va., died 29 Dec 2012. Elizabeth Ann Sampson Biars, 69, Hinton, Summers County, W.Va. died 23 Dec 2012; Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Basil L. Plumley, 92, formerly of Shady Spring, Raleigh County, W.Va., died 10 Oct 2012; Imogene Smith Gwinn, Meadow Bridge, W.Va., died on 17 Sep 2012. (Go to In Memory for more information and other entries.) While researching my folks, occasionally I come across an interesting, but unrelated, article, and place it on my Shoebox page. The number of articles about former slaves grew, so I created a new page. (Updated 07 July 2013)
FAMILY IN THE NEWS
- Vest Page 1. Updated information for James Edward Kelly Sr. (under Martha Adeline Vest). (27 Oct 2013)
- Smith Page 2 (George W. Smith Sr.) Adding information to the family of Mary Catherine Smith Jones and her husband Benjamin Franklin Jones under General Marion Smith.(25 Oct 2013)
- Smith-Biars Page 1 (George W. Smith Jr.). Added under Charles Ota (C.O.) Smith Sr.: “Forgotten Americana – 109-Year-Old Farm Defies Urban Sprawl,” a 1977 article about the childhood home of Flora Arthur Smith. (18 Oct 2013)
- Random Quotations. Quotes on various subjects, added just because I like them. Added (Trouble) Wake up with the shoo buddies. (14 Oct 2013)
- Kentucky In-Laws - SNAPS. Added 1913 photo of Alma Lucille Debord on her first day in school. Photo courtesy of Lisa L. The photo is under Old Family Photos/Debords. (05 Oct 2013)
- West Virginia Talk -- Added in time books. (12 Aug 2013) Added Fanny the train and railroad Gwinns/railroad Irish (03 March 2013)
- Resources -- Added link to "A History of My Austin-Anderson Families in Virginia and West Virginia" by Ruth S. Widener, 1977. (21 July 2013). Added section with links to community pages online with genealogical information. If you have suggestions, please e-mail me. (04 July 2013) Added link to online family history: “The Gwinns of Round Bottom” by Leona Gwinn Brown. (04 March 2013.)
- Gadd page 2 - Powell and Emma -- Added 2010 obituary for Clowney Gadd Jr. (17 Apr 2013) Corrected Alvie Gadd's birth year. (28 Sep 2012) NOTE: The grave of Powell and Emma's daughter Mahala "Hallie" Gadd Harvey has been found by a descendant. Find a Grave link added on Gadd page 2. (24 June 2012)
- You Tube -- Very cool video with pictures of of the Fox and Garten families. (Thanks to Katherine for the link.)
- Passing Through Sandstone, a new documentary by film-maker Jon Averill recreates the death of Samuel Richmond during the Civil War. “The main focus of the movie is a man named Samuel Richmond who came from the founding family of this area, and who was one of the large land owners around here around the time of the Civil War,” said Averill.“He was a staunch Union supporter in what became a pretty heavily Confederate-dominated area. And he was bush-whacked, assassinated during the war." (Register-Herald, Suzanne Higgins, West Virginia Public Broadcasting, 12 Jan 2012) Passing Through Sandstone YouTube trailer. Information from Billy Richmond is in a 1968 article on the deaths of Arthur Richmond and Samuel Richmond: Richmond District In A Time To Shoot Or Be Shot, Post-Herald, 14 Nov 1968, Page 11. Part 1 Part 2
BARNS OF SUMMERS COUNTY
Phyllis Campbell Whitley has been reseaching and photographing old Summers County, W.Va., barns built before 1950. (Mrs. Whitley originally contacted West Virginia Memories about a site near Indian Mills with three pre Civil War barns. The present owners believe the original owners were named Via.) The book, Barns of Summers County and the 2013 calendar are available for purchase: Barn Lady site. Barn Lady e-mail. Articles about the project: Barns of Summers County, Hinton News, 16 June 2009. Sunday Profile: Phyllis Campbell Whitley by Sarah Plummer, Register-Herald, Beckley, W.Va., 09 Jan 2011. Barn Lady captures memories of W.Va. barns, by Kathryn Gregory, The Charleston Gazette, W.Va. Reprinted in the Herald-Dispatch, Huntington, W.Va., 07 March 2011.