Kentucky Church Records

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This entry was originally written by Wendy Bebout Elliott, Ph.D., FUGA, for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
the Kentucky Family History Research series.
History of Kentucky
Kentucky Vital Records
Census Records for Kentucky
Background Sources for Kentucky
Kentucky Maps
Kentucky Land Records
Kentucky Probate Records
Kentucky Court Records
Kentucky Tax Records
Kentucky Cemetery Records
Kentucky Church Records
Kentucky Military Records
Kentucky Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
Kentucky Archives, Libraries, and Societies
African Americans of Kentucky
Kentucky County Resources
Map of Kentucky


Church membership of early Kentuckians include Baptist, Church of Christ, Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Roman Catholic. Some church records were published, others were microfilmed, some are housed in church repositories, but many remain in the local church. Church records and histories may be found in periodicals pertaining to Kentucky. Repositories include the DAR Library, the FHL, Kentucky Historical Society, University of Kentucky Library, and Filson Library. The original Shane Manuscript Collection, which pertains to Kentucky Presbyterians, is housed at Presbyterian Historical Society, 425 Lombard St., Philadelphia, PA 19147. It has been microfilmed and is available at other libraries. Catholic families also settled in Ohio River communities. After the Civil War, an increasing number of Irish moved to the state. Generally, Roman Catholic parish and diocese records are maintained locally.

Although Internet sources provide names and locations, few include any genealogical data. Church profiles can be accessed online at www.church-profiles.com/ky/ky.html.

See also Kentucky Bible Records, 6 vols., from files of the Genealogical Records Committee, Kentucky Society of Daughters of the American Revolution. Volume 4 was compiled by Malle B. Coyle and Anne W. Fitzgerald for the Kentucky Records Research Committee (Florence, Ky.: Kentucky State Society Daughters of the American Revolution, 1966). Volume 5 was compiled by Malle B. Coyle and Lorena C. Eubanks (1981). Each volume is individually indexed. Most entries include only name, date, and name and address of the owner of the Bible at the time of publication. These are available at the Kentucky Historical Society and have been microfilmed by FHL. Local genealogical groups publish Kentucky Bible records in genealogical publications such as Bluegrass Roots, and Kentucky Ancestors (see Kentucky Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections).

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