McCracken County, Kentucky Genealogy

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Guide to McCracken County, Kentucky ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, and military records.

County Facts
County seat: Paducah
Organized: December 17, 1824
Parent County(s): Hickman[1]
Neighboring Counties
Ballard  • Carlisle  • Graves  • Livingston  • Marshall  • Massac (IL)  • Pulaski (IL)
See County Maps
McCracken County Courthouse, Paducah, KY
Location Map
McCracken County svg.png
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Virgil McCracken. The County is located in the southwest area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

McCracken County Courthouse
132 S 4th Street
Paducah, KY 42001
Phone: 270-335-5168[3]
McCracken County Website

McCracken County, Kentucky Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1852 1825 1852 1825 1825 1825 1810
*Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1911. General compliance by 1917.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

  • 1824--McCracken County was created 17 December 1824 from Hickman County.
  • County seat: Paducah[5]

For animated maps illustrating Kentucky county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Kentucky County Boundary Maps" (1776-1939) may be viewed for free at the website.

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit Hometown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[6]

Unincorporated communities
  • Avondale Heights
  • Bryans Ford
  • Camelia
  • Cecil
  • Ceredo
  • Chiles
  • Cimota City
  • Concord
  • Crawford Lake
  • Epperson
  • Forest Hill
  • Freemont
  • Futrell
  • Future City
  • Grahamville
  • Hardmoney
  • Heath
  • High Point
  • Hinkleville
  • Hovekamp
  • Kauffman
  • Krebs
  • Lamont
  • Littleville
  • Lone Oak
  • Maxon
  • Maxon Crossing
  • Melber
  • Oakdale
  • Oaks
  • Ragland
  • Riverview
  • Rossington
  • Rowlandtown
  • Rudolph
  • Saint Johns
  • Shady Grove
  • Sheehan Bridge
  • Spring Hill
  • Stiles Crossing
  • Tyler
  • West Future City
  • West Paducah
  • Woodlawn
  • Woodville
  • Wurth
  • Yopp
Census-designated places

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of McCracken, Kentucky online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
TombstoneTranscriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Kentucky Cemeteries for more information

The following web sites have additional information on McCracken county cemeteries.

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1830 1,297
1840 4,745 265.8%
1850 6,067 27.9%
1860 10,360 70.8%
1870 13,988 35.0%
1880 16,262 16.3%
1890 21,051 29.4%
1900 28,733 36.5%
1910 35,064 22.0%
1920 37,246 6.2%
1930 46,271 24.2%
1940 48,534 4.9%
1950 49,137 1.2%
1960 57,306 16.6%
1970 58,281 1.7%
1980 61,310 5.2%
1990 62,879 2.6%
2000 65,514 4.2%
2010 65,565 0.1%
Source: "".

For tips on accessing McCracken County, Kentucky Genealogy census records online, see: Kentucky Census.

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Church records and the information they provide vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. For general information about Kentucky denominations, view the Kentucky Church Records wiki page.

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Abstracts of Early Kentucky Supreme Court Cases
Contact information for all Kentucky County Court Clerks. Scroll down or use index at top of page to find desired county.

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

African Americans[edit | edit source]

More information about African American resources in Kentucky can be found on the African American Resources for Kentucky and the United States African Americans Wiki pages.

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.

See Kentucky Land and Property for additional information about early Kentucky land grants. After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions were usually recorded at the county courthouse and where records are currently housed.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for McCracken County, Kentucky Genealogy. County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories see the wiki page section Kentucky Local Histories.

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

IllinoisMassac CountyLivingston CountyMarshall CountyGraves CountyCarlisle CountyBallard CountyKY McCRACKEN.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Online Records

Regiments. Men in McCracken County served in various regiments and companies. Those listed below were specifically formed in this county:

- 4th Regiment, Kentucky Mounted Infantry (Union), Company C.
- 12th Regiment, Kentucky Cavalry (Union), Companies I, K, L and M.
- 15th Regiment, Kentucky Cavalry (Union), Companies A, B, C, D, E and F.

Civil War Battle
The following Civil War battle was fought in McCracken County:

  • March 25, 1864 Paducah[7]
  • Map showing Civil War battles in Kentucky.

World War I[edit | edit source]

Korean War[edit | edit source]

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as McCracken County, Kentucky Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Probate records are held by the McCracken County, Kentucky Genealogy Clerk of Court and are housed at the McCracken County, Kentucky Genealogy Courthouse. Microfilmed records can be found online at Kentucky, Probate Records, 1792-1977 for Caldwell, Henry, Hickman, Russell and Trimble counties. See the wiki page Kentucky Probate Records for information about how to use probate records.

Content: Probate Records may give the decedent's date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, associates, relatives, and their place of residence.

Record types: Wills, estates, guardianships, naturalizations, and adoptions.

Online Probate Records

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

Taxes were levied on free white males over 21 and slaves aged 21 to 60. These persons are referred to as "polls." Tax listings, or digests, of a county generally list the taxable landowners and other polls and the amount of tax. The records for each county are divided by militia district. For more background information and state-wide resources see the wiki page Kentucky Taxation.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Vital records consist of birth, death, marriage and divorce records. Although Kentucky enacted a statute in 1852-1862 requiring registration of births and deaths,many counties did not comply. A second law was written in 1874-1879, and 1892-1910 but, again, was not always followed. By 1911, the law was more clearly defined and kept by 1920. Any existing births 1852-1960 and death records 1852-1953 can be accessed online. See How to Find Kentucky Birth Records and How to Find Kentucky Death Records for links to indexes and images.

Original marriage records are held at the office of the McCracken County Clerk, with divorce records 1849-1958 located with the McCracken County Circuit Court. For more information see How to Find Kentucky Marriage Records. For Kentucky divorce records see the wiki page Kentucky Vital Records.

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Death[edit | edit source]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Listed below are archives in McCracken County. For state-wide archival repositories, see Kentucky Archives and Libraries.

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

  • Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
  • FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Listed below are libraries in McCracken County. For state-wide library facilities, see Kentucky Archives and Libraries.

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Listed below are societies in McCracken County. For state-wide genealogical societies, see Kentucky Societies.

McCracken County Genealogical & Historical Society
P.O. Box 7651
Paducah, KY 42002-7651

Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Kentucky. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "McCracken County, Kentucky" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, ",_Kentucky."
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), McCracken County, Kentucky page 273, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), McCracken County, Kentucky. Page 268-276 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 251-254.
  5. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Kentucky. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "McCracken County, Kentucky," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Kentucky, accessed 31 August 2018.
  7. Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State, (accessed 7 August, 2012)
  8. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at