Bibliography for Hampshire County

Hampshire County, West Virginia, 1754-2004,
edited by Roberta R. Munske and Wilmer L. Kerns; published by the Hampshire County 250th Anniversary Committee, Romney, West Virginia, 2004. Hardbound, 262 pages, 50 illustrations, fully indexed. [Over 80 authors have written on a wide range of topics about the history of the county from prehistory to recent times. May be ordered from The Fort Edwards Foundation Museum Shop]

Titles arranged by time periods:

Colonial times:

Newly Available and of Note:

Colonial Records of the Upper Potomac, Volume One, From a Native American Wilderness to 1744 by William H. Rice; McClain Printing Co., Parsons, W. Va., 2010. ISBN 0-87012-800-0

Colonial Records of the Upper Potomac, Volume Two, From 1744 to 1748, The Peaceful Years by William H. Rice; McClain Printing Co., Parsons, W. Va., 2012. ISBN 0-87012-818-3

Colonial Records of the Upper Potomac, Volume Three, From 1748 to 1750, Settlement Expansion by William H. Rice; McClain Printing Co., Parsons, W. Va., 2013. ISBN 0-87012-835-3

Colonial Records of the Upper Potomac, Volume Four, Surveys and Land Claims Before 1757 by William H. Rice; McClain Printing Co., Parsons, W. Va., 2014. ISBN 0-87012-835-4

Colonial Records of the Upper Potomac, Volume Five, A Path to Destruction by William H. Rice; McClain Printing Co., Parsons, W. Va., 2015. ISBN 0-87012-854-X

Colonial Records of the Upper Potomac, Volume Six, The French and Indian War and Frontier Devastation 1755-1761 by William H. Rice; McClain Printing Co., Parsons, W. Va., 2016. ISBN 0-87012-872-8

[This six book series by William Rice represent the broadest and most intensive survey of many types of colonial records of Hampshire County that exists today. They are not simply indexes of records, but rather include excerpts from the actual records. If you are interested in people, places and events of the colonial era in old Hampshire County, you should see these volumes. Available from the Estate of William Rice, P.O. Box 303, Elkins, WV 26241; $29 + $3 p&h; WV addresses + 6% tax or from Fort Pearsall Press page 2 of book list.]
Note: these books are referenced on this web site as: [CRUP-Rice]

History of Hampshire County, West Virginia, From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present; by Hu Maxwell and H. L. Swisher; A. Brown Boughner, Morgantown, WV, 1897 (reprinted by McClain Printing Company, Parsons, WV, 1972) [This is the most important and complete history of the county; although much of the information is anecdotal, no researcher can afford to overlook this source.  Covers periods from earliest days to late 1800s.]

A History of the Valley of Virginia by Samuel Kercheval, Woodstock, Va., 1850 [This is one of the most important sources for research on the colonial Virginia northern frontier; although much of the information is anecdotal, it does contain information and stories found no where else. Kercheval was broadly copied by later authors.]

French & Indian War in Frederick County, Virginia by Norman L. Baker; Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society, Wincester, Virginia, 2000. [This book contains perhaps the most inclusive listing of forts in old Frederick County (including current Hampshire, Mineral, Grant and Hardy) of any work covering the French and Indian War.]

Frontier Forts Along the Potomac and Its Tributaries, by William Ansel; McClain Printing Company, Parsons, West Virginia, 1984 [A well documented reference to colonial Virginia frontier forts, the work does have some mistakes as certian types of records were not researched and this subject is a very difficult one to get contemporary, authoritative information on; no other work covers the subject as extensively.]

Pioneers of Old Frederick County, Virginia by Cecil O'Dell; Walsworth Publishing Company, Marceline, Missouri, 1995. Pages 533-544 covers roads west of Winchester to Fort Cumberland and point on the South Branch River. Very extensive coverage of roads in Frederick County and surrounding areas.

Braddock's Road Historical Atlas by Norman Baker; French and Indian War Foundation & Braddock Road Preservation Association, 2016

Historic Hampshire, A Symposium of Hampshire County and Its People, Past and Present; by Selden Brannon; McClain Printing Company, Parsons, West Virginia, 1976. [This book contains information on the various communities of Hampshire County.]

Capon Valley: Its Pioneers and Descendants, 1698-1940; by Maud Pugh; originally published in two volumes in 1946 and 1948. (republished as a single indexed volume) [Miss Pugh often refers to items for which no current documents are available; although her work has some of the mistakes and inconsistencies of early genealogies and anecdotal histories, her work is among the most important sources for Hampshire County genealogies and family histories. Preface has wonderful description of North River Mills.]

George Washington and the Virginia Backcountry; ed. by Warren Hofstra; Madison House Publishers, Madison, WI, 1998 [This is a new book which deals in depth with the area of Hampshire County in Washington's day and his effect on it and its effect on him. There are two chapters of special interest: one on Washington the surveyor and the other on Washington's experience as Commander of the Virginia Regiment during the French and Indian War.]

For King and Country, George Washington, the Early Years;  by Thomas A. Lewis;  John Wiley & Sons, Inc. New York, 1993.  [A very good indepth look at George Washington's years in Hampshire County first as a surveyor for Lord Fairfax and then as commander of the Virginia Regiment during the early years of the French and Indian War.]

Virginia Baron: The Story of Thomas 6th Lord Fairfax; by Stuart E. Brown, Jr.; Chesapeake Book Company, Berryville, Va., 1965. [Well researched biography of the man who owned all of Hampshire County (and several other counties) in the colonial era and was responsible for developing his proprietary.]

The Backcountry Towns of Colonial Virginia  by Christopher E. Hendricks;  The University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, 2006. [A work studying the establishment of towns in the interior of Virginia.]

The Planting of the Presbyterian Church in Northern Virginia, prior to the organization of Winchester Presbytery, December 4, 1794, by James R. Graham; Winchester, VA : The Geo. F. Norton Publishing Co., 1904. [available online at: Google Books]


Pre-Civil War era:

Catalogue of the Members and Library of The Literary Society of Romney, June 1, 1849; Harper Pr., Romney, VA, 1849.  Copy recently added!


Civil War era:

Hanging Rock Rebel; ed by Dan Oates; Pearsall Press, Romney, WV, 1994. [A new publication of Lt. John Blue's recollections of his experiences in Hampshire County as a Confederate spy. He mentions many people and places of his day.]

Romney in the Civil War; by C. H. Ambler; a manuscript in the West Virginia Archives. [Available in the Romney Library; in depth look at actions in Romney during the War of the Rebellion.]

Stonewall Jackson's Romney Campaign, January 1 - February 20, 1862; by Thomas M. Rankin; H. E. Howard, Inc., Lynchburg, Virginia, 1994. [New publication covers this campaign in detail.]

The Devastating Hand of War: Romney, West Virginia During the Civil War; by Richard A. Sauers; The George Tyler Moore Center for the Study of the Civil War, Shepherdstown, WV, 2000. ISBN 0-9628218-7-X [This book available from the Fort Mill Ridge Foundation (304)822-4320 or]

Four Years in the Stonewall Brigade; by John O. Casler; Press of Morningside Bookshop; Dayton, Ohio, 1982 [first published in 1893; second enlarged and corrected edition published in 1906; the current reprint has added numerous informative footnotes to corroborate or correct the original manuscript. Casler enlisted at Springfield and served in most of Jackson's Romney campaign; he offers names of local persons and identifies locations in Hampshire County.]

Romney, West Virginia, During The Civil War by Arthur G. Slonaker; Masters Thesis, West Virginia University, 1941.

Civil War Soldiers From Hampshire County West Virginia by Susan R. Crites; Butternut Publications, Hedgesville, WV, 2001.

The Baltimore and Ohio in the Civil War; by Festus P. Summers; New York, G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1939. [This book also has information on the political shenanigans that brought Hampshire and surrounding counties into the new state of West Virginia althought the prominent sympathies were with the south.]

Romney, West Virginia, During the Civil War M.A. Thesis, West Virginia Univesity, 1941.

Dear Esther: the Civil War letters of Private Aungier Dobbs, Centerville, Pennsylvania ... by Aungier Dobbs, Ralph Haas and Philip Ensley; Publisher: Closson Press, Apollo, Pa., 1991. [The Ringgold Cavalry of Pennsylvania was one of the main Union units operating in Hampshire County during the Civil War.]

See also the Civil War page

A short memoir of Julius S. Waddle about life around Capon Springs and Winchester during the Civil War can be found in Debbie Boyce's Capon Notes listed below.


Other sources and books of interest:

Recent books of local interest:

Beyond the Great North Mountain, A History and Guide by Gary Mason; ZeusQUILL Press, Gore, Virginia, 2016 is an extensive and well illustrated history of the area from Capon Bridge and Gore to Wardensville

Capon Notes edited by Debbie Boyce; Xlibris, 2007 is a compilation of articles from the Hampshire Review and other sources dealing with the Cacapon River Valley area.

Capon Folks edited by Debbie Boyce; Xlibris, 2009 is a compilation of articles from the Hampshire Review and other sources dealing with the Cacapon River Valley area.

Historical Records of Old Frederick and Hampshire Co., Va.; by Wilmer L. Kerns; Heritage Books, Bowie, Md., 1992.(revised edition 2007) [Contains genealogical information on the Edwards and other early Hampshire County families.]

Frederick County, Virginia: Settlement and Some First Families of Back Creek Valley 1730-1830, Wilmer L. Kerns, Gateway Press, Baltimore, Md., 1995.

Historic Romney, 1762-1937; sponsored by The Town Council; Romney, 1937. [Deals primarily with the Town of Romney.]

The Truth, volume 1, number 9, August-September, 1937; Ward W. Hibbs, editor; Romney Ministerial Society; Romney, West Virginia. (Romney's 175th Anniversary Number)

A Synopsis of Historic Romney, (small 12 page pamphlet privately printed by Kelly Messick, Romney, West Virginia)

Hampshire County death records (1866-1922) by Vicki Bidinger Horton; Romney, WV, Hampshire Review, 1993.

The Annals Of A Country Bank: The First 100 Years of the Bank Of Romney 1888-1988 by Ned Miller(1993).

Ordinary Journal (1766-1775) by Peter Steenbergen; A&M 2337, West Virginia Collection, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV. [a Romney Ordinary on lot #35]

Capon Valley Sampler: Sketches of Appalacia from George Washington to Caudy Davis; by Willard Wirtz; Dartleby Press, Silver Spring, Md., 1990. [Former Secretar of Labor tell stories and yarn from the beautiful Cacapon Valley were her and his wife retired; stories cover the span from 1748 to the 1970s. Included is a sketch of the voting shenanigans that brought Hampshire County into the Union.]

Hollows, Peepers, and Highlanders: An Appalachian Mountain Ecology; by George Constantz; Mountain Press Publishing Co., Missoula, MT, 1994 [Very readable and informative insight into the eastern deciduous forest and the natural flora and fauna therein.]

What to See and Do in the Lost River and South Branch Valleys; by Nancy Powell; Lost River, 1997.

A Colonial Feast in Capon Bridge; by Roberta Munske & Charles Hall; The Fort Edwards Foundation, Capon Bridge, 1997 [A collection of delights that local history buffs have brought to the famous Colonial Feast sponsored by the Foundation; sales help preserve and interpret the site of Joseph Edwards home and fort.]

A Geological and Geophysical Investigation of Ice Mountain Algific Talus, Hampshire County, West Virginia by Kevin M Andrews, M.S.;Morgantown, W. Va.,West Virginia University Libraries, 2003. [A study of the unique algific talus along the North River near North River Mills.]

The History of the Bridges Across The South Branch of the Potomac River (U.S. Route 50) Hampshire County, West Virginia; compiled and written by Brenda Kitzmiller; West Virginia Department of Transportation, Division of Highways, November 1991.

Historic Springs of the Virginias, A Pictorial History by Stan Cohen; Pictorial Histories Publishing Company, Charleston, West Virginia, 1981 [brief history of Capon Springs]

Archeologic Investigations in the James and Potomac Valleys by Gerard Fowke, (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1894)

Potomac Naturalist by J. Lawrence Smith; McClain Printing Company, 1968-1972. A look at the varied flora, fauna and natural history of the Potomac Headwaters.

Surveys of the Potomac headwaters:

   "Maps of the First Survey of the Potomac River, 1736-1737" by James W. Foster, William and Mary Quarterly 18, nos. 2 and 4

   "Patowmeck Above ye Inhabitants" by W. S. Marye, Maryland Historical Magazine, March and June, 1935

   The South Branch of the Potomac by C. H. L. Johnston, ed. 1931


There is a good explanation of the Virginia land grant system available at the Virginia State Library.


Journals with brief descriptions of Hampshire places:

Two Years Residence In The Settlement On The English Prairie In The Illinois Country, United States, With An Account Of Its Animal And Vegetable Productions Agriculture &c &c, A Description Of The Principal Towns Villages &c &c, With The Habits And Customs of the Back Woodsmen; By John Woods; London, Printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme And Brown, Paternoster Row, 1822. [Contains a brief description of Springfield, South Branch Mountain and Patterson's Creek in the early nineteenth century (pp. 49-52). Can be seen online at: ]

Hanging Rock Rebel
Frontier Forts Along the Potomac
A Colonial Feast in Capon Bridge
Hollows, Peepers, and Highlanders

Available either from the Fort Pearsall Press (see link at bottom of page) or may be available at the Hampshire Review at 25 S. Grafton St. in Romney ( or at the Hampshire County Library on West Main St. across from the Rite Aid.


Very good outline of Hampshire County food related subjects published online by The Farm2U Collaborative.


For further information see:

The official records of Robert Dinwiddie, Lieutenant-Governor of the Colony of Virginia, 1751-1758. First printed from the manuscript in the collections of the Virginia Historical Society, by R. A. Brock. Richmond, The Society, 1883-84. New York, AMS Press.

First Biennial Report of the Department of Archives and History of the State of West Virginia; by Virgil A. Lewis; Charleston, The Tribune Printing Company, 1906.

Virginia Northern Neck Land Grants, compiled by Gertrude E. Gray; Baltimore, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1987.

Abstracts of Virginia's Northern Neck warrants & surveys by Peggy Shomo Joyner; privately printed, Portsmouth, Va., 1985-1995.

The Personal Property Tax Lists for the Year 1787 for Hampshire County, Virginia [now West Virginia] by Netti Schreiner-Yantis and Florene Speakman Love; Genealogical Books in Print, Springfield, Virginia, 1987


Web links of interest

Fort Pearsall Press, the work of Dan Oates is of growing importance as a source of Hampshire County history publications. The web site carries a good selection of books by various publishers on Hampshire County history and people. Equally important is the selection of free downloads of items such as undertakers's journals, digital versions of old articles on various sources and lists of graduates, marriages and other topics. As a help to researchers he also offers some indexes of histories which were published without an index.

Potomac State Local Newspaper Project for old Hampshire Co. newspapers. The Hampshire Review (1884-1941), South Branch Intelligencer (1837-1896) and other local newspapers can be word searched in this archive. Make sure you first choose the newspaper you want. You can click the "More" button at bottom of newspaper list to find the South Branch Intelligencer and other surrounding papers.

Family Search Org Hampshire County links

Frederick County Road Orders 1743-1772 .pdf shows road location, supervisor, citizen workers maintaining road. Shows Hampshire County roads before creation of the county from Frederick Co.


Videos on Hampshire County

"Romney on the Menu" Youtube Video Links

1940 Census & The Pre-WWII Era - An Oral History of Romney, WV by Dan Oates

1940s & 1950s Main Street - An Oral History of Romney, WV by Mary French Barbe 2019.06.21

All Aboard at the Depot! - An Oral History of Romney, WV by Norwood Haines Feb 28, 2018

All Bottled Up in History - An Oral History of Romney, WV by Isaac Lewis

An Oral History of Romney, WV by Nancy Judd and JC Fisher

An Oral History of Romney, WV & North River Mills, WV by Steve & Terry Bailes

Capon Chapel - An Oral History of Romney, WV & Capon Bridge, WV by Brenda Hiett

Coca-Cola Bottling Works - An Oral History of Romney, WV by Mike Smith

Collectibles Illuminate History - An Oral History of Romney, WV by Fred Fields

Creating a Walking Tour - An Oral History of Romney, WV by Dale Brady

Dr. Garrett "Gary" Long - An Oral History of Romney, WV

Early Houses of the South Branch - An Oral History of Romney, WV by Jane McBride & Judy Buckbee

Hanging Rock Rebel - An Oral History of Romney, WV by Dan Oates

John J. Cornwell House - An Oral History of Romney, WV by Carter Wagoner

The Keller Century Hotel - An Oral History of Romney, WV by Louisa Hardy

Nick Gardner - WV Newspapers Portal Project. An Oral History of Romney, WV.

Orchards & Indian Mounds - An Oral History of Romney, WV by Jane Wright Slocum

Parker Hotel & Other Stories - An Oral History of Romney, WV by Dave Parker

Ringgold Cavalry & John Corbett - An Oral History of Romney, WV by Isaac Lewis

Romney Women in the Civil War - An Oral History of Romney, WV by Louisa G. Bridges

The Romney Literary Society - An Oral History of Romney, WV by Genny Heatwole

Valley View House - An Oral History of Romney, WV by Bob Mayhew

           as of 1/19/20

Other Hampshire Video Links

Capon Bridge history book session on photos with Wilmer Kerns 3/21/22