Shelby County, Kentucky Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

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

County Facts
County seat: Shelbyville
Organized: June 23, 1792
Parent County(s): Jefferson [1]
Neighboring Counties
Anderson  • Franklin  • Henry  • Jefferson  • Oldham  • Spencer  • Bullitt  • Owen
See County Maps
Shelby County, Kentucky Courthouse.JPG
Location Map
Adopt-a-wiki page
Kylogosm.gif This page adopted by:
KYGenWeb Project
who welcome you to contribute.
Adopt a page today
Isaac Shelby

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Shelby County was named for Isaac Shelby. The county is located in the north-central area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Shelby County Courthouse
501 Main Street
Shelbyville, KY 40065-1133
Phone: 502-663-4410[3]
Shelby County Website

Shelby 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
1911 1792 1852 1804 1792 1794 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]

  • 1792--Shelby County was created 23 June 1792 from Jefferson County.
  • County seat: Shelbyville[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

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Additional Information
The county is named after Kentucky's First Governor Isaac Shelby (1750-1826).[7]

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 Rockcastle, 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

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1800 8,191
1810 14,877 81.6%
1820 21,047 41.5%
1830 19,030 −9.6%
1840 17,768 −6.6%
1850 17,095 −3.8%
1860 16,433 −3.9%
1870 15,733 −4.3%
1880 16,813 6.9%
1890 16,521 −1.7%
1900 18,340 11.0%
1910 18,041 −1.6%
1920 18,532 2.7%
1930 17,679 −4.6%
1940 17,759 0.5%
1950 17,912 0.9%
1960 18,493 3.2%
1970 18,999 2.7%
1980 23,328 22.8%
1990 24,824 6.4%
2000 33,337 34.3%
2010 42,074 26.2%
Source: "".

1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 federal population schedules of Shelby County are available online. For tips on accessing census records online, see Kentucky Census. If you're having trouble finding your ancestors in online indexes, try checking printed indexes. Created by local experts familiar with the area's families, these indexes are often transcribed more accurately than online nationwide indexes.

See Kentucky Population Schedule Indexes: Fiche, Film, or Book for more information about statewide printed indexes.

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.

Baptist[edit | edit source]
  • Brashear's Creek. Typescript of church minutes (1807-1818) available at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
  • Buffalo Lick. Church minutes and membership rolls (1805-1838) are available at the Filson Historical Society, Louisville: Description.
  • Burks Branch. Church minutes (1801-1872) available at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
  • Pigeon Fork. Church minutes (1825-1920) are available online.

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court Records[edit | edit source]

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]

  • [Boswell] Hasskarl, Eula Richardson. The Boswells of Shelby County, Kentucky. Ada, Okla., 1970. FHL Collection.
  • [Bush] Skelley, Mildred. The John Bush Family of Washington County, Indiana. 1976. FHL Book 929.273 B963sm.
  • [Cottrell] Edgeworth, M.J. Some Descendants of Rev. Reuben Cottrell, Shelby and Daviess Counties, Kentucky. Microfilmed 1968: FHL Film 564126 Item 10.
  • [Figg] Figg, Edward Clarence. Sketches of the Figg Family From 1719 to 1921. Press of Moll & Company, 120 South First Street, Louisville, KY, 1921. - free.
  • [Flournoy] Rivers, Flournoy. "The Flournoy Family," The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 2, No. 1 (Jul. 1894):81-90; Vol. 2, No. 2 (Oct. 1894):190-213; Vol. 2, No. 3 (Jan. 1895):318-327; Vol. 2, No. 4 (Apr. 1895):437-447; Vol. 3, No. 1 (Jul. 1895):67-79; Vol. 3, No. 4 (Apr. 1896):414-416; Vol. 4, No. 1 (Jul. 1896):97-101. Digitized by JSTOR - free.
  • [Gilliland] Weedman, H.N. The Robert and Adam Gilliland Families of Shelby County, Kentucky. St. Louis, Mo.: H.N. Weedman, 1988, 1990. FHL Book 929.273 G415w.
  • [Graves] Erickson, Emma Louise Graves. Richard and Cynthia Goggins Graves Descendants, Shelby Co., Kentucky, Pulaski Co., Arkansas, Northern California: Side Line of Abraham and John Blue of Nelson Co., Ky., Washington Co., Miss., Chicot Co., Ark. Corvallis, Ore.: E.L. Erickson, 1982. FHL Collection.
  • [Gregg] Roberts, Gary Boyd. Ancestors of American Presidents. Boston, Mass.: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2009. FHL Book 973 D2r 2009; online bookstore.
  • [Hickman] Fay, Mary Smith. "The Three James Hickmans: Identifying Revolutionary War Veterans," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 41, No. 1 (Jan.-Mar. 1997):52-54. Digital version at American Ancestors ($). FHL Book 975.5 B2vg.
  • [Hollingsworth] Stewart, J. Adger. Descendants of Valentine Hollingsworth, Sr. Louisville, Ky.: John P. Morton and Co., 1925. Digital version at FamilySearch Digital Library.
  • [Holmes] Roberts, Gary Boyd. Ancestors of American Presidents. Boston, Mass.: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2009. FHL Book 973 D2r 2009; online bookstore.
  • [Lane] Quackenbush, Nancy. "Some Northern Neck Lanes," Magazine of Virginia Genealogy, Vol. 24, No. 4 (Nov. 1986):3-22. Digital version at Ancestry ($); FHL Book 975.5 B2vs.
  • [Lee] Scott, Hattie Marshall. Miscellaneous Records on the Lee Family of Shelby, Kentucky, 1798-1871. 2006. Digital version at FamilySearch Digital Library.
  • [Miles] Miles, Samuel Robert. Record of Samuel and Sarah James Miles, about 1740, and Their Descendants. Typescript. Microfilmed 1967: FHL Films 481084-481085.
  • [Snider] Franklin, James O. Descendants of Jonas Snider and Anna Hostutler Snider, Shelby and Spencer Counties, Kentucky. 1950; reprint 1990s.
  • [Truman] Roberts, Gary Boyd. Ancestors of American Presidents. Boston, Mass.: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2009. FHL Book 973 D2r 2009; online bookstore.
  • [Young] Davis, Elsie Jean Spry. Descendants of Jacob Young of Shelby County, Kentucky: Including President Harry S. Truman. Coronado, Calif.: E.S. Davis, 1980.
  • [Young] Roberts, Gary Boyd. Ancestors of American Presidents. Boston, Mass.: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2009. FHL Book 973 D2r 2009; online bookstore.

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 Shelby 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]

Oldham CountyHenry CountyFranklin CountyAnderson CountySpencer CountyJefferson CountyKY SHELBY.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Online Records

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 Shelby 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 Shelby County, Kentucky Genealogy Clerk of Court and are housed at the Shelby 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 Shelby County Clerk, with divorce records 1849-1958 located with the Shelby 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 Shelby County. For state-wide archival repositories, see Kentucky Archives and Libraries.

Archives of Appalachia
East Tennessee State University

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 Shelby County. For state-wide library facilities, see Kentucky Archives and Libraries.

Shelby County Public Library
309 8th Street
Shelbyville, KY 40065
Phone: 502-633-3803

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

Shelby County Historical Society
627 Main Street
P.O. Box 444
Shelbyville, KY 40066
Phone: 502-513-5555

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, "Shelby County, Kentucky" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, ",_Kentucky."
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Shelby County, Kentucky page 275, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Shelby 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, "Shelby County, Kentucky," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Kentucky, accessed 11 September 2018.
  7. "List of Counties in Tennessee," Wikipedia.
  8. G. Glenn Clift, 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, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 2005).
  9. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at