Q. I’m having a difficult time finding family records in Kentucky. Where’s the best place to start?
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A. The Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives in Frankfort is the main depository for records in the Bluegrass State. Its holdings include birth and death records for 1852 to 1862, 1874 to 1879 and 1891 to 1910; city birth and death registers for Covington, Lexington, Louisville and Newport; death certificates for 1911 to 1960; marriage records; census and military records; judicial records (civil, criminal and court of appeals); wills and deeds; and state agency records. Online, you can search its e-Archives for Civil War Confederate pension records, retrievable by pensioner/veteran’s name, home county, application number, military unit and date. There’s even a chart tracing the formation of Kentucky’s counties.
If you can’t travel to Frankfort, a new online ordering system makes it easy to get records of all types, including vital records, wills, tax records, military records and court files. Most requests cost $15 for out-of-state customers. Copying fees (50 cents per microfilm copy, 25 cents per photocopy)
apply to requests that require the reproduction of extensive records consisting of more than six microfilm copies and/or 12 photocopies.
Another good starting place is the Kentucky Historical Society, also in Frankfort, whose website made our December 2011 Family Tree Magazine list of the best state sites. You can search its online Kentucky Cemetery Records Database—hundreds of thousands of names transcribed from gravestones across Kentucky—or explore oral histories, Civil Rights history and “Kentuckiana.”
From the May/June 2012 issue of Family Tree Magazine