Photographs from West Virginia African American Community: 1870-1950

Welcome to my blog. I discovered a wealth of historical photos in my grandmother’s old suitcase. She was born and lived in West Virginia during the first half of the 20th century. The photos include tintypes, “Real Photo” postcards, portrait photographs, and snapshots; therefore, I believe a number of the photographs are over 100 years old.  Some of these pictures are labeled with the names and/or dates. I will include this information on the post. There are also pictures of churches, schools, and events. Of those that are labeled, the majority include only a first name. The majority have no notations; however, they are a beautiful representation of a past place and time.

I cannot verify without doubt that all photographs are from West Virginia. I will verify by Census any complete names. It is my hope that some of the subjects in the photos will be recognized. Also, it would be wonderful to discover what roles these individuals played in the lives of my family.   My grandmother and her family lived in Randolph County, West Virginia. I believe most of the photos originated there or in adjacent counties.

Tom Thumb wedding  Circa 1929
Tom Thumb wedding Circa 1929

6 thoughts on “Photographs from West Virginia African American Community: 1870-1950

  1. I grew up in Phila and my family had property we visited in Pocahontas Co. W . Va. I like to see photos of W. Va. History. Thank you


    1. Thanks. I hope you find them interesting. I know its a long shot but it would be great if you recognized someone. In any event, I hope you enjoy the images and thank you again for viewing my blog.


    1. In the 19th Century two little people (Tom Thumb & Fiancé) who were members of the PT Barnum troop, were married in a grand ceremony that was covered by many newspapers across the country. Subsequently, parents began holding Tom Thumb faux weddings for their little children. Here is a link with a little more information: Hope this is helpful.


  2. Hi. Could you tell me the name of your grandmother. My family is from Randolph County and I grew up here. O will show this picture to my dad. He may recognize some of the children if this occurred in Randolph County.


    1. My grandmother’s maiden name was Margaret Beard. Her married name was Margaret Newsome. She was Margaret Vaughn after her second marriage. Please let me know if you Dad knows anyone from the pictures. Thanks


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