Harlan County, Kentucky Genealogy

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United States
Kentucky
Harlan County

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

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County Facts
County seat: Harlan
Organized: January 28, 1819
Parent County(s): Floyd, Knox[1]
Neighboring Counties
Bell  • Lee (VA)  • Leslie  • Letcher  • Perry  • Wise (VA)
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Courthouse
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Location Map
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County Information

Description

County Courthouse

Harlan County Courthouse
205 Central Street
PO Box 956
Harlan, KY 40831-0956
Phone: 606.573.3636[2]
Harlan County Website

Harlan 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
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1852 1820 1852 1820 1850 1820
*Many years between 1852 and 1911 are missing

Record Loss

1863--A disaster destroyed some records.

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

Boundary Changes

  • 1819--Harlan County was created 28 January 1819 from Floyd and Knox Counties.
  • County seat: Harlan[3]

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

Populated Places

The following are locations in Harlan County, Kentucky:

  • Ages
  • Alva
  • Bailey Creek
  • Bardo
  • Baxter
  • Benham
  • Benito
  • Big Laurel
  • Black Bottom
  • Black Mountain
  • Blackjoe
  • Blair
  • Bledsoe
  • Bobs Creek
  • Brookside
  • Cawood
  • Chad
  • Chevrolet
  • Closplint
  • Clover
  • Clover-Darby
  • Clovertown
  • Clutts
  • Coldiron
  • Colts
  • Coxton
  • Cranks
  • Crummies
  • Cumberland
  • Darkmont
  • Dillon
  • Dione
  • Divide
  • Dizney
  • Pathfork
  • Pine Mountain
  • Putney
  • Redbud
  • Rex
  • Rhea
  • Ridgeway
  • Rileyville
  • Rio Vista
  • River Ridge
  • Rosspoint
  • Rutherford
  • Sampson
  • Sand Hill
  • Short Town
  • Smith
  • South Wallins
  • Stanfill
  • Sunshine
  • Tacky Town
  • Teetersville
  • Ten Spot
  • Three Point
  • Tin Can Alley (hist.)
  • Totz
  • Tremont
  • Tway
  • Twila
  • Verda
  • Wallins Creek
  • Woods
  • Yancey

History Timeline

Resources

Bible Records

Biographies

Business, Commerce, and Occupations

Cemeteries

Cemeteries of Harlan, 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 Harlan county cemeteries.

Census Records

Historical populations
Census Pop.
18201,961
18302,92949.4%
18403,0152.9%
18504,26841.6%
18605,49428.7%
18704,415−19.6%
18805,27819.5%
18906,19717.4%
19009,83858.8%
191010,5667.4%
192031,546198.6%
193064,557104.6%
194075,27516.6%
195071,751−4.7%
196051,107−28.8%
197037,370−26.9%
198041,88912.1%
199036,574−12.7%
200033,202−9.2%
Est. 200830,783−7.3%
http://ukcc.uky.edu/~census/21095.txt

For tips on accessing Harlan 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

Directories

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

Genealogies

  • [Bailey] Armstrong, Zella. Notable Southern Families. Chattanooga, Tenn.: Lookout Publishing Company, 1926. Vol. 3. Digital version at FamilySearch Books Online - free.

Guardianship

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 Harlan 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

Leslie CountyPerry CountyLetcher CountyBell CountyWise CountyLee CountyKY HARLAN.PNG
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Migration

Military Records

Civil War

Online Records

World War I

Korean War

Naturalization and Citizenship

Newspapers

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

Obituaries

Other Records

Periodicals

Probate Records

Probate records are held by the Harlan County, Kentucky Genealogy Clerk of Court and are housed at the Harlan 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 Harlan County Clerk, with divorce records 1849-1958 located with the Harlan County Circuit Court. For more information see How to Find Kentucky Marriage Records. For Kentucky divorce records see the wiki page Kentucky Vital Records.

Calendar of the Kentucky papers of the Draper Collection of Manuscripts at Ancestry ($)

Birth

Marriage

Death

Divorce

Research Facilities

Archives

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.

Libraries

Museums

Societies

Websites

Research Guides

References

  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. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Harlan County, Kentucky page 271, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  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. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/0/0b/Igikentuckygl.pdf.