Caldwell County, Kentucky Genealogy

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Caldwell County

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

County Facts
County seat: Princeton
Organized: January 31, 1809
Parent County(s): Livingston[1]
Neighboring Counties
Christian  • Crittenden  • Hopkins  • Lyon  • Trigg  • Webster
See County Maps
Caldwell County Courthouse, Princeton, KY
Location Map
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County Information


The County was named for John Caldwell. The County has Princeton as its seat and the County was created 1809. The County is located in the west area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse

Caldwell County Courthouse
100 East Market Street, Room 3
Princeton, KY 42445-1675
Phone: 270-365-6754[3]
Caldwell County Website

Caldwell County, Kentucky Record Dates

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 1809 1852 1809 1809 1809 1810
Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1911. General compliance by 1917.

Record Loss

1864 The courthouse fire on 15 Dec 1864 destroyed some records.

For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:

Boundary Changes

  • 1809--Caldwell County was created 31 January 1809 from Livingston County. Before that, modern-day Caldwell County was part of Christian, Logan, and Lincoln Counties--Lincoln County being one of the three original counties in Kentucky.
  • County seat: Princeton[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

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


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations


Cemeteries of Caldwell, 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 Caldwell county cemeteries.

Census Records

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1810 4,268
1820 9,022 111.4%
1830 8,324 −7.7%
1840 10,365 24.5%
1850 13,048 25.9%
1860 9,318 −28.6%
1870 10,826 16.2%
1880 11,282 4.2%
1890 13,186 16.9%
1900 14,510 10.0%
1910 14,063 −3.1%
1920 13,975 −0.6%
1930 13,781 −1.4%
1940 14,499 5.2%
1950 13,199 −9.0%
1960 13,073 −1.0%
1970 13,179 0.8%
1980 13,473 2.2%
1990 13,232 −1.8%
2000 13,060 −1.3%
2010 12,984 −0.6%
Source: "".

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

Church Records

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.

Court Records


Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

African Americans

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

Funeral Homes



Land and Property Records

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

Local histories are available for Caldwell 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

Crittenden CountyWebster CountyHopkins CountyChristian CountyLyon CountyTrigg CountyKY CALDWELL.PNG
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Military Records

Civil War

Online Records

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

- 48th Regiment, Kentucky Infantry (Union), Companies A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I and K.

World War II

Naturalization and Citizenship


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


Other Records


Probate Records

Probate records are held by the Caldwell County, Kentucky Genealogy Clerk of Court and are housed at the Caldwell 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

  • 1727–1990 Kentucky Probate Records 1727-1990 at FamilySearch — images
  • 1774–1999 Kentucky Wills and Probate Records 1774-1999 at Ancestry ($) — index and images
  • 1809-1834 Will Books at the Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, Caldwell County, Kentucky wills and estate records, will book A (1809-1834) : inventory, appraisal and settlement book 1 and miscellaneous probate records, 976.9815 P28ja, Compiled by Brenda Joyce Jerome, Newburgh, Indiana : B.J. Jerome, 2006, Caldwell County, Kentucky will book B, 1835-1889, 976.9815 P28j, Compiled by Brenda Joyce Jerome
    Newburgh, Indiana : J.J. Jerome, c1995
  • 1809-1968 - Will Books A to G (1809-1968) have been digitized by FamilySearch - free

School Records

Tax Records

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

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 Caldwell County Clerk, with divorce records 1849-1958 located with the Caldwell County Circuit Court. For more information see How to Find Kentucky Marriage Records. For Kentucky divorce records see the wiki page Kentucky Vital Records.





Research Facilities


Family History Centers

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes.





Research Guides


  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, "Caldwell County, Kentucky" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, ",_Kentucky."
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Caldway County, Kentucky page 269, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Caldwell 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, "Caldwell County, Kentucky," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Kentucky, accessed 5 August 2018.
  7. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at

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