Land Record Resources for Pulaski county, Kentucky

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Pulaski County, Kentucky genealogical Land Record research page. Guide to Pulaski County (established 1799) grants, entries, surveys, and deeds.

The basic types of land records that exist for Pulaski County, Kentucky are: Entries, Surveys, Grants, and Deeds. Each serves a different need in genealogical research and each can be broken into subcatagories. Deeds are the most commonly used, and an index to the Deeds is an ideal place to start when gathering land records for one's ancestor.


A deed is the transfer of land between individuals, a group of individuals, or a company to another individual, group of individuals, or company. If you follow a deeds owners backwards in time, in theory, you should come to an original grant owner. At that point you will need search grant records instead of deed records.


The organization Strictly By Name provides free online indexes to early Pulaski County land records. They offer a record retrieval service to photocopy and transcribe microfilm copies of the original documents for a small fee. Available indexes:

  1. Deed Book 1: 1799-1805
  2. Deed Book 2: 1806-1814
  3. Deed Book 3: 1815-1819
  4. Deed Book 4: 1819-1822
  5. Deed Book 5: 1822-1825

The FHL has acquired copies of Pulaski County's Real Estate Conveyances Indexes, 1799-1936 (4 microfilms), which was produced by E & K Microfilming (Morgantown, Ky., 1993). The FamilySearch Catalog states: "This is an index to deeds, commissioner's deeds, mortgages, chattel mortgages and divisions of land": FHL US/CAN Films 1912843-1912846.

The FHL also has this filming of a set of indexes: Indexes (1799-1934): FHL US/CAN Films 804628 ff. Deeds, mortgages, bills of sale, and apprenticeships are included in the index.


Abstracts of some early Pulaski County deeds were published in the periodical Kentucky Genealogist (Louisville, Ky.):

For an index to the above consult Glenda K. Trapp and Michael L. Cook's Kentucky Genealogical Index: An Every Name Index to Kentucky Ancestors, Kentucky Genealogist, Kentucky Pioneer Genealogy & Records, The East Kentuckian, All Issues through 1980 [FHL US/CAN Book 976.9 D22kg].


In 1969, the Genealogical Society of Utah microfilmed Deed Books 1 to 50 (1799-1901)

The FHL films also are available at the Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives (KDLA). KDLA also has the Pulaski county, Kentucky deed books on a second series of microfilms. KDLA archivist, Walter Bowman, recommends the KDLA films for producing the best print copies from microfilm, but the LDS [FHL] microfilms for best microfilm reader viewability.[1]

Original Records

The original Pulaski County Deed Books are held at the County Couthouse in Somerset.

Commissioners Deeds

A commissior became envolved in the sale of deed when an additional legal action was envolved such as the selling of property to satisfy the demand of a creditor. Prior to 1866 Commissioners Deeds are found in the Deed books. Starting in 1886 Commissioners Deeds had their own separate books.

  • 1816-1956 See Kentucky State Archives catalog. The Kentucky State Archive catalog entry might be found confusing. The start date of 1816 is indictative only that Commissioner Deeds are available at the Kentucky State Archives (in the microfilms of the deed books). It does not mean that the Archives have separate Commissioner Deed Book beginning in 1816.
  • 1886-1905 See FamilySearch Catalog

If you find a Pulaski county land record where a commissioner is selling the land due to a Interlocutory Decree of a suit in Chancery, check the Circuit Court records as the Circuit Court held the Chancery sittings.


  • [1936-1962] Pulaski County, County Clerk. Real Estate Mortgages. See Kentucky State Arcives.

Land Grants

A grant refers to the original transfer of land from the goverment or a proprietor to an individual.  Some of the land in Pulaski county was granted prior to the 1799 county formation, and so will be under another counties jurisdiction---usually Lincoln county, although exceptions abound. Around 1835 the Pulaski County Court became authorized to grant the remaining ungranted land in Pulask county. To understand the grant process and to know how to find a grant for your ancestor read Kentucky Land and Property.

There is an article on the early Kentucky/Virginia land grants as it pertains to Pulaski County in the Oct 1990 edition of the Pulaski County, Kentucky Historical Society's Newsletter.

Some of Pulaski county, Kentucky tax lists have columns for citing the names of the people for whom the property was originally entered, surveyed, and granted.

For Kentucky Grants South of the Green River see content under Pulaski county, Kentucky main page: County Court Orders.

For Tellico Land Grants in Pulaski county, see content under Pulaski county, Kentucky main page: Circuit Court Orders, 1810-1815.

County Court Order Land Patents for Pulaski county, Kentucky. Search by: "county". Search for: "Pulaski". Sort by: "Survey Date". Then browse or use your browser's find command along with your ancestors surname.

Jeff Renner's Line Creek Land Grants and Ownership 1799-1889 is an excellent resource for recreated maps of the original Line Creek surveys and grants.


Kentucky Land and Property


The are two catagories of surveys associated with land in Pulaski county. The first are the surveys created during the pre-county formation grant process. These are on-line. See Kentucky Land and Property page. The second catagory of surveys are the surveys generated after county formation by the Deputy Pulaski Surveyor and recorded at the courthouse. The originals for the surveys created by the Deputy Pulaski Surveyor are found in the survey books at the courthouse in Somerset. The surveys in the survey books at the Pulaski County Courthouse were made prior the patent process and also whenever ever someone just wanted to have their land surveyed---usually in conection with a pending sale or inheritance division.

The surveys books which start with the county formation in 1799 are found (as of Jun 2011) in the county clerks office in the courthouse in Somerset, Kentucky. When you enter the clerks office, the clerk at the desk may not know where the early survey books are, but to your left is a room where you will find all the survey, deed, and marriage books. They will let you get the books and digitally photograph them yourself. And there is an elbow height counter there that you can use. The index to the survey books is across the aisle the survey books. The early survey books all have little maps drawn in next to the entry. The entries tend to be very good about detailing the pattern of assignation if the land was assigned to one or more people prior to being entered in the books. These entries also contain the chain carriers. The early entries appear to be copies of the originals as the handwritting is very well done and by about book 2 we see blue and red detailing/highlighting of key items.

A good article to help you understand the key components of the surveys is the Kentucky Land Office's article, "Surveys".

If your ancestor shows up in a tax list with surnames (or given names) other than his own in the entry, survey and grant columns; consider looking those names up in the survey book index at the courthouse and then pulling the associated surveys.

Identifying a piece of land on a map

After you have a land record, you may have a desire to know where that piece of land was located in Pulaski county. If your ancestors land records mentions a waterway the website Pulaski County Physical Features: Streams can help with that process. If your record does not mention a watercourse,  you can often find that information in the tax lists. For locating hollows and ridges iGuides "Getting to Somerset" [scroll down for hollows and ridges list] is a great resource. Of course, you can always google earth a geographical feature, but often old records have crazy spellings, so you may find things easier to locate using the previous mentioned websites.


  1. Conversation of Jana Stokes with Walter Bowman, KDLA head archivist, 24 Jun 2011.