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State Coordinator:
Jeff Kemp
Assist. State Coordinator:

Linda Fluharty


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When the state of Virginia voted to secede from the United States during the Civil War (1861-65), the people of the rugged and mountainous western region of the state opposed the decision and organized to form their own state, West Virginia, in support of the Union. Congress granted statehood to West Virginia on June 20, 1863. The West Virginia town of Harpers Ferry was the site of John Brown’s ill-fated 1859 raid on the federal armory there. Although Brown’s plan to arm a large-scale revolt of enslaved people with weapons from the armory ultimately failed. Brown was hanged, the raid did succeed in inflaming white Southern fears of rebellions and increased the mounting tension between North and South prior to the Civil War.

Today, West Virginia is a major coal-producing state, supplying 15 percent of the nation’s coal. The New River Gorge Bridge near Fayetteville is the longest steel arch bridge in the world. Every October, the town hosts a Bridge Day celebration when the road is closed to traffic and individuals are allowed to parachute and bungee jump off the bridge; the event attracts close to 100,000 participants and spectators each year. Famous West Virginia natives include actor Don Knotts, gymnast Mary Lou Retton and test pilot Chuck Yeager.

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The WVGenWeb Project went online on June 22, 1996 and has come a long way since then. This is not a commercial project, but the work of many volunteers who have and are devoting their free time to helping put genealogical information on the web. We are once again needing several volunteers to fill the role of County Coordinators. Now that the framework is laid, we need to add more substance to our project. If you can help by providing genealogical information or would like to work on a particular project, please contact the appropriate county coordinator or the State Coordinator.



Last Edited: 01/23/24
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