Searching Birth Records in West Virginia - Question May Apply To Other States As Well
I'm looking for a better may to search birth records in West Virginia. To give a specific example, I'm searching for a child with the last name Smith who, according to the 1900 census, was born in July 1889. The father's name was S. M. Smith, and the mother's name was E. A Jenkins. I enter Smith for the Ancestor's last name, indicate that the birth was in West Virginia between 1888 and 1890 (I like to bracket even known birth years, just in case), then put the person's parents' names in the appropriate places for Mother and Father. In the results, I get a lot of records with the mother's name on the left side of the page, all with the last name Smith, but with fathers (and children) listed on the right side, often with other surnames. Maybe it's just the way West Virginia records are organized, but Family Search doesn't seem to do a very good job of recognizing which name belongs to the child, which belongs to the father, and which belongs to the mother.
Can anyone suggest another way to search these records so that all the results have the child's surname as Smith? (As a side note, I know I can also search wvculture.org for birth information, but their records have their own deficiencies, particularly in the search parameters offered.)