Census Records for Kentucky
This entry was originally written by Wendy Bebout Elliott, Ph.D., FUGA, for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.
• Indexed—1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930
• Soundex—1880, 1900, 1910 (Miracode), 1920
Ancestry.com has digitized images of the entire U.S. Federal Census Schedules 1790-1930 and created searchable indexes for the images. This collection can be accessed at U.S. Federal Census Collection. Along with the entire U.S. Federal Census collection, Ancestry.com has a collection of indexes for Kentucky (Kentucky Census, 1810-90) which were created by Accelerated Indexing Systems in 1999. This collection contains the following indexes: 1810 Federal Census and Index; 1820 Federal Census Index; 1830 Federal Census Index; 1840 Federal Census Index; 1840 Pensioners List; 1850 Federal Census Index; 1850 Slave Schedules; 1860 Federal Census Index; 1870 Federal Census Index; 1890 Veterans Schedules; Early Census Index.
Industry and Agriculture Schedules
• 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880
• 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880
• 1850, 1860
Union Veterans Schedules
• 1890 (part)
Earlier U.S. censuses for Kentucky were destroyed, but published tax lists serve as a replacement for the lost 1790 and 1800 censuses. For substitutes, see these works:
- Clift, Garrett Glenn. “Second Census” of Kentucky, 1800: A Privately Compiled and Published Enumeration of Tax Payers Appearing in the 79 Manuscript Volumes Extant of Tax Lists of the 42 Counties of Kentucky in Existence in 1800. 1954. Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1982. Names of taxpayers are arranged alphabetically. Shows name, county, and date of tax list.
- Early Kentucky Tax Records. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1987. Taken from the Register of the Kentucky Historical Society (see Kentucky Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections) and indexed by Carol Lee Ford.
- Heinemann, Charles Brunk. “First Census” of Kentucky, 1790. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1981. Privately compiled list of taxpayers arranged alphabetically assists in locating the proper county of residence. Provides name, county, and date of tax list. This volume includes a map by Bayless Hardin depicting Kentucky in 1792, with the 1818 Jackson Purchase also noted.
Only returns for sixty-five Kentucky counties remain of the 1890 Union veterans and widows schedule of the federal census of Kentucky. Extracts and indexes for many of Kentucky’s censuses have been compiled and published. Original or microfilm copies of the federal census returns are available at the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives. Several Kentucky indexes to censuses predate those published by AISI.
State School Census
Kentucky infrequently enumerated public school students beginning in 1888. Scattered records are at the office of the respective county Board of Health or Board of Education. These are restricted if held by the school board but are not if held by the county clerk. Some are maintained by the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives and the Kentucky Historical Society.