So many people are searching for their family roots, and Elkins has a hidden gem to help in that search.
The Allegheny Regional Family History Library is located nearby, offering tons of history and genealogy information - and a group of individuals willing to help with the search.
Items archived in the library include centuries of family genealogy; funeral home records; obituaries; birth, death and marriage records from Randolph and Barbour counties; cemetery records for Randolph and Barbour counties; patriot records; and records for the Daughters of the American Revolution.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Beth Christian Broschart
The Allegheny Regional Family History Library sign is made possible by a donation from member Garrison Phillips, in memory of his parents, Homer and Valentina Ramirez Phillips. Members gathering at the sign include in back, from left, Vicki Alfono, Phyllis Daniels and Larry Ferguson; and in front, from left, Ella Montoney, Janet Isner and Marvin Hill.
Volunteer Larry Ferguson said the library also has a copy of Henry Gassaway Davis' diary; "Welcome to Glenmore" by Daisy Martin; and a history of Montrose.
"We also have more than 200 books on African-American genealogy and history," Ferguson said. "There are many books from different states as well."
Other items include the Virginia Census beginning in 1790 and every 10 years since; as well as information from the German Reformation Church. The library also houses items such as immigration records from Pennsylvania, yearbooks, city directories, Criss-Cross directories and maps showing trails of the original settlers of the area.
"Searching your family history is very fun and very addictive," Ferguson said. "You don't know what you will find out until you begin digging."
Ferguson said people of all ages use the library.
"Each year, we have school children who come here to do research on a great number of history topics," Ferguson said. "Everyone is welcome."
The library is located in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Lodge Building on the Beverly Five-lane, across from Elkins Rehabilitation Care Center. It is open and staffed from 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. It also is open by appointment. Special arrangements can be made by calling Janet Isner at 304-636-8528 or Phyllis Daniels at 304-636-5558.
Library volunteer Marvin Hill said the library could expand its hours with the help of more volunteers.
"We are much busier during the summer when people are traveling," Hill said. "Some days we have five or six people searching ancestry."
Hill said the organization is nonprofit, and it moved to its existing location in 2004.
"The organization is dedicated to promoting interest in and preservation of family history and genealogy throughout the Allegheny Mountain Region," Hill said.
The Allegheny Mountain Region includes northeast West Virginia, southwest Pennsylvania, western Maryland and northwest Virginia.
Hill said the library also welcomes donations of history items and family collections.
Contact Beth Christian Broschart by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.