Discover your heritage through 'doors to the past'
For local history and genealogy buffs, there is now an online portal of
information available to aide in your research. "Doors to the Past" is a
website that is filled with accurate Cabell County history. Unlike many
other genealogy sites, this one is not just genealogy but also the history
surrounding the area and the families. Webmaster Barry Huffstutler and his
assistant Ed Prichard strive to keep the site updated with new and accurate
information as they discover it.
Both Huffstutler and Prichard are retired teachers. They have taught at
several different middle and high schools around the area but actually did
not meet each other until the creation of this website. Both first got
interested in genealogy when they decided to research their own family
histories. After that Huffstutler continued doing research in Cabell and
uploaded what he found to many different local sites. He then got the idea
to start his own site dedicated to his findings and "Doors to the Past" was
born. Prichard was researching his family and stumbled across the site. From
that point on they have been the fun loving history-hunting duo.
The site originally started with old records from Heck's Funeral Home and
surrounding cemeteries. However, the more they discovered the more they
expanded the site. They have discovered over 200 cemeteries in Cabell
County. With each one they document each headstone, take pictures and make a
database for the site.
Many of the headstones that they have discovered have been cracked, broken
or damage by the weather over the years. However, there are methods that
they have in order to read the headstones such as rubbings or using shaving
cream to fill the grooves of the words. They take extreme precaution so that
they do not damage the headstone in anyway. "The important thing is to get
the information off the headstone in order to preserve the history. If the
headstone completely deteriorates without knowing what it said then that
history is lost," said Huffstutler.
A lot of the information that they get comes from public records. Births,
deaths, marriages, churches, photos and bible records are just a few things
that are documented on the site. "We just want to share the information with
those that are interested because not everyone has the time and money to dig
through public records," said Prichard. Also, the information that is
available online is very limited or incomplete so Huffstutler wanted to
create this site so that people who are originally from Cabell but do not
live here now, can easily access the information to learn about their
People that want to share the history of their families and land have
submitted a lot of the information that can be found on the site.
Huffstutler is always looking for more information to update the site with.
Currently they do not receive any funding for the work that they do.
Huffstutler has funded everything himself. "I'm just doing it for fun, not
recognition or glory. It's a hobby. I want more people to be able to use the
information and the site for their hobbies," said Huffstutler.
According to Prichard, "Barry does all the work. I just assist him where I
can for the fun of it. I'm like his Vanna White, head cheerleader and
secretary. He finds something good and I applaud him."
Visit the site at www.rootsweb.com/~wvcccfhr or by googling "Cabell County
Doors to the Past".