Kentucky County Resources

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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


Early Kentucky vital records, beginning from the dates indicated and until 1911, are held by the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (see Kentucky Vital Records). Land and probate records may be available at the office of the county clerk or at the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives.

Legal enactment dates for counties often vary from effec-tive date of organization and beginning of record maintenance. The latter date is the one reflected in the following chart. Inventory sheets from the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives and the Kentucky Historical Society were used for beginning dates of some records. Land records may pre-date county organization because records were transferred from the parent county.

Dates given for court records may apply to one of many court records located in the county seat (see Kentucky Court Records). Not all records are extant from the first date given.

For all records, it is advisable to direct correspondence to the county official at the county courthouse address listed in the following chart to determine present location and availability of records. In many cases, the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives will hold either the original or microfilm records.

The Historical Records Survey, Guide to Public Vital Records in Kentucky (Louisville: Historical Records Survey, 1942) was used to extract some information found in the following county listing. County formation information comes from Wendell Holmes Rone, Sr., An Historical Atlas of Kentucky and Her Counties (Mayfield, Ky.: Mayfield Printing Co., 1965). It contains photographs, chronologically arranged maps, and historical data from 1772 through 1856. Campbell and Kenton counties have two county courthouses.

Additional sources used to provide the most up-to-date information for courthouse addresses and to verify county formation data include: www.kysos.com/ADMIN/LANDOFFI/kycounties.asp, www.naco.org, and www.uky.edu/KentuckyAtlas/kentucky-counties.html. The most current phone numbers for Kentucky county courthouses are available through www.kysos.com/Elecfil/Genelectionfiles/countyclerk.asp. This website provides names of county clerk, telephone number, fax number, address, while some include online contact data.

Additionally, some telephone calls to courthouses helped determine dates and addresses when sources showed conflicting information.

Microfilmed county records in the Family History Library collection were used to confirm dates of extant records for each Kentucky county. Although in some cases one or more published works cover a broader period, dates shown reflect those of original documents microfilmed in the county repository. In a few cases, the earliest date may be for an order book or survey rather than more substantial court minutes or deeds.


Map County County Address Date Formed Parent County(ies) Birth Marriage Death Land Probate Court
E7 Adair 424 Public Sq., Columbia 42728-1451 1802 Green185218021852180118041802
D8 Allen 201 W. Main St./P.O. Box 336, Scottsville 42164-0336 1815 Barren/Warren185218151852181618151826
F5 Anderson 151 S. Main St., Lawrenceburg 40342-1192 1827 Franklin/Mercer/Washington185218271852182718271827
This is a big fat note that I am hoping will appear in the right place.
A2 Ballard 424 Court St./P.O. Box 145, Wickliffe 42087-0145 1842 Hickman/McCracken185318531853184218421842
This is a big fat note that I am hoping will appear in the right place.
D7 Barren 117-1A N. Public Sq., Glasgow 42141 1799 Green/Warren185217991852179817981798
H5 Bath Main Street/P.O. Box 609, Owingsville 40360-0609 1811 Montgomery185218111852181118111811
H8 Bell P.O. Box 157, Pineville 40977-0157 1867 Knox/Harlan187418671874186718691867
F3 Boone 2950 E. Wash. Sq./P.O. Box 874, Burlington 41005-0874 1799 Campbell185217991852179918001799
G5 Bourbon 310 Main St./P.O. Box 312, Paris 40361-0312 1786 Fayette18521786185217861786 (wills)1780
K4 Boyd 2800 Louisa St./P.O. Box 523, Catlettsburg 41129-0523 1860 Carter/Lawrence/Greenup18591860185918601860 (wills)1860
F6 Boyle 321 W. Main St., Danville 40422-1848 1842 Mercer/Lincoln185218521852184218421800
G3 Bracken 116 W. Miami St./P.O. Box 147, Brooksville 41104-0147 1797 Campbell/Mason185217971852179717971797
J6 Breathitt 1137 Main St., Jackson 41339-1194 1839 Clay/Estill/Perry185218521852187318731838
C6 Breckinridge P.O. Box 538, Hardinsburg 40143-0538 1800 Hardin18521860185218001800 (wills)1803
D5 Bullitt 149 N. Walnut St./P.O. Box 6, Shepherdsville 40165-0006 1797 Jefferson/Nelson185417971854179717971797
C7 Butler 110 N. Main St./P.O. Box 449, Morgantown 42261-0449 1810 Logan/Ohio185318101853181018101811
C2 Caldwell 100 E. Market St., Princeton 42445-1696 1809 Livingston185218081852180918091809
B4 Calloway 101 S. Fifth St., Murray 42071-2569 1821 Hickman185218231852182218361856
G3 Campbell 340 York St., Newport 41071-1682 1795 Harrison/Mason/Scott185217951852179517951791
A3 Carlisle P.O. Box 176, Bardwell 42023-0176 1886 Ballard191118861904188618861886
E3 Carroll 440 Main St., Carrollton 41008-1064 1838 Gallatin/Henry/Trimble185218361852179518381838
J4 Carter 300 W. Main St., Grayson 41143-1298 1838 Greenup/Lawrence185218381852183818351838
F6 Casey P.O. Box 310, Liberty 42539-0310 1807 Lincoln185218071852180718061807
A8 Christian 511 S. Main St., Hopkinsville 42240-2300 1797 Logan185217971852179717971797
G5 Clark 34 S. Main St./P.O. Box 4060, Winchester 40392-4060 1793 Bourbon/Fayette185217931852179317931793
H7 Clay 316 Main St., Manchester 40962-1265 1807 Madison/Floyd/Knox185218071852179918301809
E8 Clinton 212 Washington St., Albany 42602-1263 1836 Wayne/Cumberland185218521852184818631864
B2 Crittenden 107 S. Main St., Marion 42064-1563 1842 Livingston185218421852184218331842
E8 Cumberland P.O. Box 275, Burkesville 42717-0275 1799 Green185217991852179918151820
B6 Daviess P.O. Box 609, Owensboro 42302-0609 1815 Ohio185318151853181518121822
C7 Edmonson P.O. Box 830, Brownsville 42210-0830 1825 Grayson/Hart/Warren185218431852182518241824
J5 Elliott P.O. Box 225, Sandy Hook 41171-0225 1869 Carter/Lawrence/Morgan187418741874186919661958
H6 Estill P.O. Box 59, Irvine 40336-0059 1808 Clark/Madison185218081852180818081808
G5 Fayette 162 E. Main St., Lexington 40507-1334 1780 Kentucky (Va.)185218031852178717891787
H4 Fleming Court Sq./P.O. Box 324, Flemingsburg 41041-0324 1798 Mason185217981852179817981798
K6 Floyd P.O. Box 1089, Prestonsburg 41653-1089 1800 Fleming/Mason/Montgomery185218031854180618121808
F5 Franklin P.O. Box 338, Frankfort 40602-0338 1795 Woodford/Mercer/Shelby185217951852179517951795
A4 Fulton P.O. Box 126, Hickman 42050-0126 1845 Hickman185218451852184518451845
F3 GallatinP.O. Box 1309, Warsaw 41095-0616 1799 Franklin/Shelby185217991852179917991799
F6 Garrard15 Public Sq., Lancaster 40444-1057 1797 Madison/Lincoln/Mercer178917971852179717971797
F4 Grant101 N. Main St., Williamstown 41097-1107 1820 Pendleton185218201852182018201820
A3 Graves101 E. South St., Mayfield 42066-2324 1824 Hickman185218871852188718821858
C6 Grayson10 Public Sq., Leitchfield 42754-1199 1810 Hardin/Ohio18521852185218961856 (wills)1906
E7 Green203 W. Court St., Greensburg 42743-1552 1793 Lincoln/Nelson185217931852179317931794
J4 GreenupP.O. Box 686, Greenup 41144-0686 1804 Mason185218031852181118221807
B5 HancockP.O. Box 146, Hawesville 42348-0146 1829 Daviess/Ohio/Breckinridge18521829185218291820 (wills)1834
D6 HardinP.O. Box 1030, Elizabethtown 42702-1030 1793 Nelson185217931852179317931793
J8 HarlanP.O. Box 670, Harlan 40831-0670 1819 Knox185218201852182018291821
G4 Harrison190 W. Pike St., Cynthiana 41031-1242 1794 Bourbon/Scott185217941852179417941794
D7 HartP.O. Box 277, Munfordville 42765-0277 1819 Hardin/Barren1852185218521783 1819
A6 HendersonP.O. Box 374, Henderson 42419-0374 1799 Christian18521806185217971799 (wills)1816
E4 HenryP.O. Box 615, New Castle 40050-0615 1799 Shelby185218001852179917651803
A4 Hickman 110 E. Clay St.,Clinton 42031-1296 1821 (1822) Caldwell/Livingston185218221852182218221822
Although Hickman was created in 1821, county administration didn’t become effective
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