Estill County, Kentucky Genealogy

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United States
Estill County

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

County Facts
County seat: Irvine
Organized: January 27, 1808
Parent County(s): Clark, Madison[1]
Neighboring Counties
Clark  • Jackson  • Lee  • Madison  • Powell
See County Maps
Estill County Courthouse, Irvine, KY
Location Map
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County Information


The County was named for James Estill. The County is located in the northeast area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse

Estill County Courthouse
130 Main Street
Irvine, KY 40336-1098
Phone: 606-723-5156[3]
Estill County Website

Estill 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 1808 1852 1808 1808 1808 1810
Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1911. General compliance by 1917.

Record Loss

1864, 1964-- Disasters destroyed some records.

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

Boundary Changes

  • 1808--Estill County was created 27 January 1808 from Clark and Madison Counties.
  • County seat: Irvine[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
  • Knob Lick
  • Leighton
  • Locust Branch
  • Millers Creek
  • Pryse
  • Mountain Spring (hist.)
  • Noland
  • North Irvine
  • Palmer
  • Patsey
  • Pilot
  • Pitts
  • Ross Creek (hist.)
  • Shade
  • Sparks
  • South Irvine
  • Spout Springs
  • Texola
  • Wagersville
  • West Irvine
  • Winston
  • Wisemantown
  • Witt
  • Witt Springs
Ghost towns

History Timeline


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations


Cemeteries of Estill, 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 Estill county cemeteries.

Census Records

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1810 2,082
1820 3,507 68.4%
1830 4,618 31.7%
1840 5,535 19.9%
1850 5,985 8.1%
1860 6,886 15.1%
1870 9,198 33.6%
1880 9,860 7.2%
1890 10,836 9.9%
1900 11,669 7.7%
1910 12,273 5.2%
1920 15,569 26.9%
1930 17,079 9.7%
1940 17,978 5.3%
1950 14,677 −18.4%
1960 12,466 −15.1%
1970 12,752 2.3%
1980 14,495 13.7%
1990 14,614 0.8%
2000 15,307 4.7%
2010 14,672 −4.1%
Source: "".

For tips on accessing Estill 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.

The following have information concerning African American research

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 Estill 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

Clark CountyPowell CountyLee CountyJackson CountyMadison CountyKY ESTILL.PNG
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Military Records

Civil War

Online Records

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

- 11th Regiment, Kentucky Cavalry (Confederate), Company D

Union soldiers

- 14th Regiment, Kentucky Cavalry (Union), Companies E, F, G, H, I K, L and M.
- 47th Regiment, Kentucky Infantry (Union), Companies A, B, C, D, E, F, G and H.

World War I

Korean War

Naturalization and Citizenship


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


Other Records


Probate Records

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

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 Estill County Clerk, with divorce records 1849-1958 located with the Estill 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, "Estill County, Kentucky" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, ",_Kentucky."
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Kentucky. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Estill 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, "Estill County, Kentucky," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Kentucky, accessed 10 August 2018.
  7. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at

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