Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     The latest addition to O’Levia Neil Wilson Wiese’s series about the Magnolia State is now available: THE WOODVILLE REPUBLICAN, MISSISSIPPI’S OLDEST EXISTING NEWSPAPER, VOLUME 7: JANUARY 5, 1892 – DECEMBER 28, 1895. As it has in her previous volumes, the Wilkinson County periodical delivers a treasure trove of genealogical gems and details about historical events.

     Naturally, Wiese’s Mississippi newspaper extracts encompass a wide assortment of topics. Subjects range from marriages, divorces, and deaths to crimes and legal disputes to announcements concerning public elections as well as religious and community events like Masonic Lodge meetings. Standing alone, many of the items provide fascinating reading as well as moments of humor.

     Established in 1823, the periodical is one of the oldest newspapers in the nation. As a result, THE WOODVILLE REPUBLICAN, MISSISSIPPI’S OLDEST EXISTING NEWSPAPER series provides an ongoing picture of life in the nineteenth-century South and often furnishes information about people that may not be found anywhere else. VOLUME 7: JANUARY 5, 1892 – DECEMBER 28, 1895 is particularly useful because it covers the period immediately after the 1890 census, which was mostly destroyed.

     The 320-page work has soft covers, an introduction, a photograph, and a full name index. Entries are arranged chronologically. The volume (item order W5475HB) costs $29.00.

     Another new work that will be of interest to many people is JEFFERSON COUNTY, VIRGINIA (LATER WEST VIRGINIA), WILL BOOK ABSTRACTS, VOLUMES 1 AND 2, 1801-1816 by Patricia B. Duncan and Elizabeth R. Frain. As family researchers know, wills are one of the most important genealogical resources.

     Jefferson County was created from Berkeley County, Virginia, in 1801. Both counties voted for secession from the United States in 1861 and they remained a part of Virginia until 1863. In that year, they voted in favor of annexation to the new state of West Virginia, which had separated from Virginia.

     The abstracts of Will Books 1 and 2 cover the years from 1801, when Jefferson County was formed, to 1816. As usual, the will books include not only wills but also estate accounts and sales. Therefore, names appearing in the records pertain to the testators, executors, administrators, appraisers, legatees, slaves, and purchasers at sales. Some recurring surnames are ALT/AULT, BENNETT, BLUE, BOLEY, BRISCOE, BUCKLES, CHERRY, CRAMER, DARKE/DARKES, DUST, ENDLER/ENDTLER, EVERSOLE, FRY, HENDRICKS/HENDRIX, HITE, LUCAS, MCCORMICK, MELVIN, MOLER, PULSE/PULTS, STRIDER, and WASHINGTON.

     Of course, will books furnish information about family connections. But genealogists can also learn something about the lives of individuals and the times in which they lived by paying attention to the items bequeathed or sold. Because JEFFERSON COUNTY, VIRGINIA (LATER WEST VIRGINIA), WILL BOOK ABSTRACTS, VOLUMES 1 AND 2, 1801-1816 furnishes names of some of the earliest settlers in the county, the publication makes the data readily available to researchers in genealogical library collections.

     The 286-page book has soft covers, an introduction, and a full name index. Definitions of abbreviations used are included in the introduction. The volume (item order D5514HB) costs $28.00.

     To the price of each book, buyers should add the cost for shipping charges. For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $7.00 for one book and $2.50 for each additional copy. They may be purchased by check, money order, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express from Heritage Books, Inc., 5810 Ruatan Street, Berwyn Heights, Maryland 20740. For phone orders, call toll free 1-800-876-6103; fax 410-558-6574;; website

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