The Welsh of Harpers Ferry is a cross-referenced collection of genealogical and historical research and transcribed evidence from which our conclusions have been made.

NOTE: At this time, not all of our research has been uploaded.  If you are looking for something in particular, we may have it in queue, please let us know!

Our goal is to tell the stories of those who walked before us, the forgotten history of the critical industrial hub Harpers Ferry, WV and the Irish who built it.
Our website is thoughtfully organized into three major categories to help you effortlessly unearth the history that you are looking for.


The heart of our collection, our stories section details the results of our research.

We aren't into traditional genealogical reports which merely list names and dates (but, we do have those too, if you need them). We prefer to bring our ancestors to life through detailed accounts of their actual lives, writing about events as they most likely saw them.

This is real, raw history -- they history you can't learn out of a textbook. To accomplish this, we study our ancestors and their locations from all angles -- from social history, big and small events and happenings, politics, to more traditional records, and even the weather -- it's all here.


Our people section houses genealogical profiles, timelines, and other various information on the Welsh family of Harpers Ferry and other related lines.

Unrelated people who are important to our research are often profiled as well -- such as employers, family friends, persons of unknown relationship, and people who made significant contributions to the area in which our ancestors lived.

Our people profiles are designed to give you a quick overview and an easy access point for learning about a particular person.

Evidence & Databases

Full of transcribed historical records, published works, family files, and other material of historical interest.

Our evidence and database section is home to all of the records, family files, interviews, newspaper clippings, heirlooms, and other pieces of information from which we draw our conclusions.

We use our own databases in our research, too! We strive to ensure that all of our database records are cross-referenced to related records throughout the website to help you discover more with less effort.

Whenever we transcribe or digitize records, we place them here -- regardless of whether or not they are of relation to our family or our research.

If your family is from the areas in which our ancestor's lived, this section may be worth a check, regardless of your relationship to the families discussed within these pages.

We are continually adding more resources, databases, and records for Eastern Jefferson County, West Virginia researchers.

Can I use your research for my project on ____?
Yes, for any non-commercial purposes you most likely can. We have laid out our thoughts on sharing our research within the historical and genealogical community in the article No, We Don't Own Our Ancestors and our terms of use. If you need further clarification, please do not hesitate to contact us.
What is the best way to determine if I am related to the Welsh of Harpers Ferry or any related families?
Currently, the easiest way would be to browse our people index and surname index. We have plans to make this process much simpler in the future!
I think we may be related!
We'd love to chat with you. We are more than happy to compare notes, collaborate, and share any of our material of interest. Please do not hesitate to contact us.
What surnames are you actively researching?

We are currently primarily researching the surnames "Welsh/Walsh" and "Flanagan", although other surnames of active research include Caton, Dunn, Gray, Murphy, Murray, and Slavin. Of course, we remain very interested in other connecting surnames as well.

For a listing of surnames discussed on the website, please check the surname index. To view a listing of surnames that we have evidence for, visit our evidence database and click on "surnames" beside "Filter By:".

Other than Harpers Ferry, what other locations are discussed?

The residents of the Eastern portion of Jefferson County, WV had strong ties with many areas along the canal route due to their close proximity to the river. For example, many locations in Washington County, MD are frequently referred to as well as Washington D.C.

In order to see an up-to-date listing of all discussed locations please visit our locations index.

My family is from Harpers Ferry or the surrounding area, too!

We would love to discuss your research; feel free to reach out to us. If you post your research online, we would be happy to link to your website on our connect page.

Please do not rule our databases out! We catalog a wide variety of material so that we can gain a better understanding of the history and historical construct of the area. You may be surprised at what you find!

I am researching a specific topic. Is there an easy way to see material related to that topic?
Please check our topic index. If your topic is not listed, you can try our advanced search to filter through all of the material on our website.
Do you offer research services?
While we are happy to help out where we can, we are not currently offering research services.

Basic Searching

An easy-access search is always available by clicking the search icon in the navigation menu to the left. This search will not always pull up all expected material for your search term.

Advanced Searching

Advanced search allows you to more easily narrow in on what you are looking for. The form allows you to narrow your search by content type, names and surnames, and more.