A Gazetteer for the United States and Canada

Rift, West Virginia

Nearby Census Genealogy
Cemeteries Tidbits &
Other WV

The location of Rift

Our Genealogy Helper for Rift ...

We have a couple of goals for our Gazetteer:

  • That it be a tool that can help us with planning our trips.
  • That it also helps us to understand the community in which our ancestors lived, the community that was part of their daily lives.

By learning about Rift (and the surrounding area) during the time that our ancestors lived, we hope to have a better understanding of both their community and its relationship to their lifes. We hope that this tool helps to give us an insight into their world.

As we add data and organize our Gazetteer to help with our family research, we will be adding to this, our Genealogical Helper for Rift. While we don't have information that is specific to any given person or family, we intend to expand our understanding about where and how people lived.

It's still very early in our research, but as we gather more information it will be added to this page.

Neighboring Counties ...

When searching for family records, we have frequently made the mistake of not checking the neighboring counties.

For example, we have great-grandparents who lived in the southwest corner of their home county. During their lives, most hospitals and doctors were in the next county to the west. Almost all of the nearby churches and cemeteries were in the county to the south.

So when searching for records, we had our best success by looking in neighboring counties instead of the county in which they lived:  their home county contained property and probate records; the county to the west contained birth and death records; the county to the south contained their burial records. If we hadn't included the neighboring counties, we would have missed many valuable sources of information.

If you're in a similar situation, we hope that the following information helps.

Rift is located in McDowell County.

The following counties adjoin and form the boundaries of McDowell County: Buchanan (VA), Tazewell (VA), Mercer, Mingo & Wyoming.

Below are the counties that are near Rift. For each of these counties, we show a sample of those communities that are closest to Rift:

McDowell     (The home county for Rift)
  War   [Map]     N   Less than 2 miles<1>
  Gary   [Map]     NE   8 miles [12.9 km]
  Bradshaw   [Map]     NW   8 miles [12.9 km]
  Thorpe   [Map]     NE   10 miles [16.1 km]
  Welch   [Map]     NE   11 miles [17.7 km]
  Big Sandy   [Map]     N   12 miles [19.3 km]
  Union City   [Map]     NW   12 miles [19.3 km]
  Anawalt   [Map]     E   13 miles [20.9 km]
  Davy   [Map]     N   13 miles [20.9 km]
  Kimball   [Map]     NE   13 miles [20.9 km]
  Iaeger   [Map]     NW   14 miles [22.5 km]
  Elkhorn   [Map]     NE   15 miles [24.1 km]
  Keystone   [Map]     NE   15 miles [24.1 km]
  Rocklick   [Map]     N   38 miles [61.2 km]
  Greenwood   [Map]     N   39 miles [62.8 km]
  Bald Knob   [Map]     N   40 miles [64.4 km]
  Mallory   [Map]     N   32 miles [51.5 km]
  Mineral City   [Map]     N   32 miles [51.5 km]
  Man   [Map]     N   33 miles [53.1 km]
  Omar   [Map]     NW   37 miles [59.5 km]
  Switzer   [Map]     NW   39 miles [62.8 km]
  Bramwell   [Map]     E   19 miles [30.6 km]
  Coopers   [Map]     E   19 miles [30.6 km]
  Montcalm   [Map]     E   23 miles [37 km]
  Bluefield   [Map]     E   24 miles [38.6 km]
  Weyanoke   [Map]     NE   24 miles [38.6 km]
  Matoaka   [Map]     E   25 miles [40.2 km]
  Edison   [Map]     E   28 miles [45.1 km]
  Johnston Town   [Map]     E   29 miles [46.7 km]
  Princeton   [Map]     E   32 miles [51.5 km]
  Athens   [Map]     E   37 miles [59.5 km]
  Oakvale   [Map]     E   39 miles [62.8 km]
  Gilbert Creek   [Map]     NW   23 miles [37 km]
  Baisden   [Map]     NW   24 miles [38.6 km]
  Wharncliffe   [Map]     NW   24 miles [38.6 km]
  Gilbert   [Map]     NW   25 miles [40.2 km]
  Pie   [Map]     NW   32 miles [51.5 km]
  Musick   [Map]     NW   33 miles [53.1 km]
  Blackberry City   [Map]     NW   35 miles [56.3 km]
  Matewan   [Map]     NW   35 miles [56.3 km]
  Red Jacket   [Map]     NW   35 miles [56.3 km]
  Delbarton   [Map]     NW   40 miles [64.4 km]
  Rhodell   [Map]     NE   30 miles [48.3 km]
  Eastgulf   [Map]     NE   31 miles [49.9 km]
  Helen   [Map]     NE   31 miles [49.9 km]
  Coal City   [Map]     NE   37 miles [59.5 km]
  Lester   [Map]     NE   37 miles [59.5 km]
  Sophia   [Map]     NE   37 miles [59.5 km]
  Tolleys   [Map]     NE   37 miles [59.5 km]
  Fairdale   [Map]     NE   38 miles [61.2 km]
  Crab Orchard   [Map]     NE   39 miles [62.8 km]
  Arnett   [Map]     N   40 miles [64.4 km]
  Tilden   [Map]     NE   40 miles [64.4 km]
  Baileysville   [Map]     N   21 miles [33.8 km]
  Mullensville   [Map]     N   21 miles [33.8 km]
  Pineville   [Map]     N   21 miles [33.8 km]
  Clear Fork   [Map]     N   23 miles [37 km]
  Cub City   [Map]     N   23 miles [37 km]
  Bud   [Map]     NE   23 miles [37 km]
  Uno   [Map]     N   24 miles [38.6 km]
  Mullens   [Map]     NE   25 miles [40.2 km]
  Oceana   [Map]     N   28 miles [45.1 km]
Pike (KY)
  Stopover (KY)   [Map]     NW   28 miles [45.1 km]
  Majestic (KY)   [Map]     NW   29 miles [46.7 km]
  Phelps (KY)   [Map]     NW   30 miles [48.3 km]
  Freeburn (KY)   [Map]     NW   32 miles [51.5 km]
  Fedscreek (KY)   [Map]     W   32 miles [51.5 km]
  Mouthcard (KY)   [Map]     W   32 miles [51.5 km]
  Ransom (KY)   [Map]     NW   34 miles [54.7 km]
  Lick Creek (KY)   [Map]     W   34 miles [54.7 km]
  McCarr (KY)   [Map]     NW   35 miles [56.3 km]
  McVeigh (KY)   [Map]     NW   36 miles [57.9 km]
  Pinsonfork (KY)   [Map]     NW   37 miles [59.5 km]
  Cedarville (KY)   [Map]     W   37 miles [59.5 km]
  Elkhorn City (KY)   [Map]     W   37 miles [59.5 km]
Buchanan (VA)
  Bearwallow (VA)   [Map]     SW   4 miles [6.4 km]
  Janey (VA)   [Map]     W   20 miles [32.2 km]
  Grundy (VA)   [Map]     W   23 miles [37 km]
  Royal City (VA)   [Map]     W   23 miles [37 km]
  Vansant (VA)   [Map]     W   23 miles [37 km]
  Kelsa (VA)   [Map]     NW   24 miles [38.6 km]
Dickenson (VA)
  Haysi (VA)   [Map]     W   34 miles [54.7 km]
  Clinchco (VA)   [Map]     W   38 miles [61.2 km]
Russell (VA)
  Dye (VA)   [Map]     SW   20 miles [32.2 km]
  Russell (VA)   [Map]     SW   22 miles [35.4 km]
  Honaker (VA)   [Map]     SW   24 miles [38.6 km]
  Lebanon (VA)   [Map]     SW   34 miles [54.7 km]
  Spring City (VA)   [Map]     SW   34 miles [54.7 km]
  Cleveland (VA)   [Map]     SW   35 miles [56.3 km]
Smyth (VA)
  Allison Gap (VA)   [Map]     S   27 miles [43.5 km]
  Cardwell Town (VA)   [Map]     S   27 miles [43.5 km]
  Saltville (VA)   [Map]     S   28 miles [45.1 km]
  Mount Carmel (VA)   [Map]     S   31 miles [49.9 km]
  Atkins (VA)   [Map]     SE   31 miles [49.9 km]
  Marion (VA)   [Map]     S   32 miles [51.5 km]
  Chilhowie (VA)   [Map]     S   33 miles [53.1 km]
  Adwolf (VA)   [Map]     S   34 miles [54.7 km]
  Sugar Grove (VA)   [Map]     SE   37 miles [59.5 km]
Tazewell (VA)
  Dunford Village (VA)   [Map]     S   7 miles [11.3 km]
  Abbs Valley (VA)   [Map]     E   12 miles [19.3 km]
  Tazewell (VA)   [Map]     SE   13 miles [20.9 km]
  Cedar Bluff (VA)   [Map]     S   14 miles [22.5 km]
  Richlands (VA)   [Map]     SW   14 miles [22.5 km]
  Boissevain (VA)   [Map]     E   15 miles [24.1 km]
  Claypool Hill (VA)   [Map]     S   15 miles [24.1 km]
  Raven (VA)   [Map]     SW   16 miles [25.7 km]
  Pocahontas (VA)   [Map]     E   18 miles [29 km]
  Little Town (VA)   [Map]     SE   21 miles [33.8 km]
  Bluefield (VA)   [Map]     E   22 miles [35.4 km]
Washington (VA)
  Fleet (VA)   [Map]     S   34 miles [54.7 km]
  Glade Spring (VA)   [Map]     S   34 miles [54.7 km]
  Lowland (VA)   [Map]     SW   39 miles [62.8 km]
Wythe (VA)
  Rural Retreat (VA)   [Map]     SE   34 miles [54.7 km]
  Wytheville (VA)   [Map]     SE   39 miles [62.8 km]

For an expanded list of the communities that are closest to Rift, see our County-by-County Page for Rift.

Cemeteries Near Rift ...

Below are cemeteries that are in the vicinity of Rift.

This is a new section and is likely to have errors. If you find an error, such as a missing cemetery or we have the wrong name, please let us know. If you know of them, we would also appreciate learning about previous or alternate names.

If you click on the [Map] that follows each cemetery's name, a Google map will open showing a satellite view of the area where the cemetery is located. We have tried to place the cemetery in the center of the map, but we're still working on our data and the map might not not be centered properly. If you don't see the cemetery right away, try zooming-in. Usually, but not always, you can see the outline of the cemetery or some of the headstones.

If you need information about a burial or interment, photos, transcripts, how to contact the cemetery or local authorities, please visit our selection of Genealogy Websites (see below).

If not found below, our Cemetery List for Rift covers a larger area, with the cemeteries listed in alphabetical order.

Distance &

      Name of Cemetery  
      About 3 miles [4.8 km]  
  SSE Hartwell - Berwind Cemetery   [Map]     
  NW Lomax Cemetery   [Map]     
      About 4 miles [6.4 km]  
  WSW Altizer Cemetery   [Map]     
  WSW Altizer Cemetery   [Map]     
      About 5 miles [8 km]  
  WSW Sparks Cemetery   [Map]     
  W Sparks Cemetery   [Map]     
      Within 6 miles [9.7 km]  
  WNW Rose Cemetery   [Map]     
  WNW Puckett Cemetery   [Map]     
  WNW Hagerman Cemetery   [Map]     
  W Knob Cemetery   [Map]     
  W Knob Cemetery   [Map]     
  W Knob Cemetery   [Map]     
  W Knob Cemetery   [Map]     
  W Mitchell Cemetery   [Map]     
      Within 7 miles [11.3 km]  
  W Day Cemetery   [Map]     
  NW Deskins Cemetery   [Map]     
  NW Atwell Cemetery   [Map]     
  NW Riffe Cemetery   [Map]     
  WNW Rowe Cemetery   [Map]     
  W Cole Cemetery   [Map]     
      Within 8 miles [12.9 km]  
  WSW Mullins Cemetery   [Map]     
  WSW White Cemetery   [Map]     
  WSW White Cemetery   [Map]     
  WNW Oak Grove Cemetery   [Map]     
  WNW Roe Cemetery   [Map]     
  WNW Buckeye Cemetery   [Map]     
  W Cooper Cemetery   [Map]     
  W Wimmer Cemetery   [Map]     
  W Wimmer Cemetery   [Map]     
  W Wimmer Cemetery   [Map]     
  W Wimmer Cemetery   [Map]     
  W Adams Cemetery   [Map]     
  W Adams Cemetery   [Map]     
  W Adams Cemetery   [Map]     
  W Kaiser Cemetery   [Map]     
  W White Cemetery   [Map]     
      Within 9 miles [14.5 km]  
  SW Company Cemetery   [Map]     
  NNW Blevins Cemetery   [Map]     
  WNW Woods Cemetery   [Map]     
  WNW Mitchell Cemetery   [Map]     
  W Blankenship Cemetery   [Map]     
  W Blankenship Cemetery   [Map]     
  W Horne Cemetery   [Map]     
  W Horne Cemetery   [Map]     
  W Wimmer Cemetery   [Map]     
  W Wimmer Cemetery   [Map]     
  W Horne Cemetery   [Map]     
  W Horne Cemetery   [Map]     
  W Wimmer Cemetery   [Map]     
  W Wimmer Cemetery   [Map]     
      Within 10 miles [16.1 km]  
  SW Smith Cemetery   [Map]     
  SSW Lowe Cemetery   [Map]     
  ESE Yates Cemetery   [Map]     
  NW Rowe Cemetery   [Map]     
  WNW Vance Cemetery   [Map]     
  WNW Sparks Cemetery   [Map]     
  WNW Day Cemetery   [Map]     
  W Keen Cemetery   [Map]     
  W Keen Cemetery   [Map]     
  W Keen Cemetery   [Map]     
  W Keen Cemetery   [Map]     
  W Stewart Cemetery   [Map]     
  W Stacy Cemetery   [Map]     
  W Compton Cemetery   [Map]     

Newspapers Published in Rift ...

An ongoing effort between the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has resulted in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

To share their results, the partnership has created the Chronicling America website. The goal of this partnership is to assemble a database about the current and historic newspapers of the United States. This includes a growing collection of scanned images from selected papers. All of it available to the public on their website.

Using information that we've taken from the Chronicling America website, we've identified 14 newspapers that have been published in the area around Rift.

Although we're unaware of any newspapers that were published in the immediate area of Rift, there are papers which were published within 15 miles [24.1 km]. A list of those papers, sorted by paper name, can be found on the Extended Newspaper List for Rift.

Nearby Communities in 1895 ...

We've built the following list with information that came from an Atlas published by Rand McNally in 1895. The Atlas had details such as the population of the community (which appears to have come from the 1890 Census) and whether there was a post office and/or railroad service available. We also indicate if the community no longer exists and is now historic.<2>

While we didn't find Rift in the Atlas, the following 1895 communities would have been found near the current location of Rift.

These communities are listed based on their distance from Rift, with the one closest to Rift listed first.

Bearwallow (VA)   [Map]
 - Located 4 miles [6.4 km] to the Southwest (SW) from Rift
 - 1895 population of 18 people
 - Bearwallow had a post office and no railroad service
Pleasant Hill (VA)   [Map]
 - Located 7 miles [11.3 km] to the South Southwest (SSW) from Rift
 - Pleasant Hill had a post office and no railroad service
Sayersville (VA)   [Map]
 - Located 7 miles [11.3 km] to the South Southeast (SSE) from Rift
 - 1895 population of 11 people
 - Sayersville had a post office and no railroad service
Harman (VA)   [Map]
 - Located 8 miles [12.9 km] to the South Southwest (SSW) from Rift
 - Harman had a post office and no railroad service
Shraders (VA)   [Map]
 - Located 8 miles [12.9 km] to the Southeast (SE) from Rift
 - 1895 population of 8 people
 - Shraders had a post office and no railroad service
Bradshaw   [Map]
 - Located 8 miles [12.9 km] to the Northwest (NW) from Rift
 - Bradshaw had a post office and no railroad service
Gap Store (VA)   [Map]
 - Located 10 miles [16.1 km] to the South Southeast (SSE) from Rift
 - 1895 population of 62 people
 - Gap Store had a post office and no railroad service
Maxwell (VA)   [Map]
 - Located 12 miles [19.3 km] to the South Southeast (SSE) from Rift
 - Maxwell had a post office and railroad service

We've also created an expanded list of communities that existed in the 1890's and were located in the area around Rift. The list can be found on our page for Communities Neighboring Rift in the 1890's.

Websites to Help With Your Genealogy Research ...

When we do our genealogical research, we like to start with the websites of Cyndi's List, FamilySearch and Genealogy Trails. These websites offer the information directly or else point to where you can find it. Their information is open to all and free to view - although they might link to other websites which do charge.

To help you get started, the following links will take you to the pages that are relevant to Rift:

These websites are specific to West Virginia:

Cyndi's List     Family Search     Genealogy Trails    

Website for the West Virginia State Archives

Not to be confused with the official state website, we've found the Digital State Archives website for the State of West Virginia to be a good source for additional links.

These pages are specific to McDowell County:

Cyndi's List     Family Search     Genealogy Trails    

Genealogy information for nearby counties:

Boone County:       Cyndi's List     Family Search     Genealogy Trails    
Logan County:       Cyndi's List     Family Search     Genealogy Trails    
Mercer County:       Cyndi's List     Family Search     Genealogy Trails    
Mingo County:       Cyndi's List     Family Search     Genealogy Trails    
Raleigh County:       Cyndi's List     Family Search     Genealogy Trails    
Wyoming County:       Cyndi's List     Family Search     Genealogy Trails    
Pike County (KY):       Cyndi's List     Family Search     Genealogy Trails    
Buchanan County (VA):       Cyndi's List     Family Search     Genealogy Trails    
Dickenson County (VA):       Cyndi's List     Family Search     Genealogy Trails    
Russell County (VA):       Cyndi's List     Family Search     Genealogy Trails    
Smyth County (VA):       Cyndi's List     Family Search     Genealogy Trails    
Tazewell County (VA):       Cyndi's List     Family Search     Genealogy Trails    
Washington County (VA):       Cyndi's List     Family Search     Genealogy Trails    
Wythe County (VA):       Cyndi's List     Family Search     Genealogy Trails    

Cemetery Information and Directories for West Virginia:

Cyndi's List:   Cemeteries for West Virginia, for McDowell County
Cemetery Junction:   Directory for West Virginia   Cemetery Wiki for West Virginia
Find-A-Grave:   Home Page   Cemeteries for West Virginia, for McDowell County

Of Special Interest ...

The GenDisasters website specializes in newspaper articles about tragedies and disasters. While it makes interesting reading all by itself, it should be of special interest to genealogists and family historians looking for people who were either affected by or directly involved in such tragedies.

Disaster Stories from West Virginia
Also see Disaster Stories for ...

Other Roadside Stops ...

Search for a Community in West Virginia

About McDowell County

About West Virginia

Off-the-Road Links ...

Unfortunately, we don't know of a website for Rift. If you can help, please contact us through our Feedback Page.

The official website for State of West Virginia:

Footnotes ...

<1>Our distances are not driving distances, but are calculated as a 'point-to-point' distance. A straight line distance ignores things like rivers, canyons, lakes, et cetera - it's truly a line from Point A (ie- Rift) to Point B.

Our distance measurements begin at a specific point in Rift. The point we use is located at these GPS coordinates - Latitude: 37.2848, Longitude: -81.6718     [Map].   In this case, the coordinates for Rift have been provided by the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS).

- Return to Citation

<2>We use the term 'Historic' broadly and it generally means that the community no longer exists. However, it can also mean that the community might still exist, but was significantly larger or had a more 'official' existence in the past than it does now. Unfortunately our sources of data have proven to be unreliable. If you can provide us with more specific information about Rift, please let us know so that we can improve our accuracy.

- Return to Citation






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This page was last modified: 03 Jan 2019