Rowan County, Kentucky Genealogy

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United States
Kentucky
Rowan County

Guide to Rowan 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: Morehead
Organized: March 15, 1856
Parent County(s): Fleming, Morgan [1]
Neighboring Counties
Bath  • Carter  • Elliott  • Fleming  • Lewis  • Menifee  • Morgan
See County Maps
Courthouse
Rowan County Kentucky Courthouse.jpg
Location Map
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County Information

Description

County Courthouse

Rowan County Courthouse
627 E Main Street
Morehead, KY 40351
Phone: 606-784-5212[2]
Rowan County Website

Rowan 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
1856 1856 1856 1866 1853 1860
*Many years between 1852 and 1911 are missing

Record Loss

1864,1880s--Courthouse disasters destroyed most of the records.

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

Boundary Changes

  • 1856--Rowan County was created 15 March 1856 from Fleming and Morgan Counties.
  • County seat: Morehead[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 Rowan County, Kentucky:

  • Bangor
  • Bluestone
  • Brady
  • Christy
  • Clearfield
  • Cogswell
  • Craney
  • Cranston
  • Elliottville

History Timeline

Resources

Bible Records

Biographies

Business, Commerce, and Occupations

Cemeteries

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

Kentucky cemetery records often identify birth, death, relationship, and military information, as well as religious affiliation.

Census Records

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1860 2,282
1870 2,991 31.1%
1880 4,420 47.8%
1890 6,129 38.7%
1900 8,277 35.0%
1910 9,438 14.0%
1920 9,467 0.3%
1930 10,893 15.1%
1940 12,734 16.9%
1950 12,708 −0.2%
1960 12,808 0.8%
1970 17,010 32.8%
1980 19,049 12.0%
1990 20,353 6.8%
2000 22,094 8.6%
Source: "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau.

1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 federal population schedules of Rowan 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

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

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 Rowan 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

Fleming CountyLewis CountyCarter CountyElliott CountyMorgan CountyMenifee CountyBath CountyKY ROWAN.PNG
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Migration

Military Records

Revolutionary War

Civil War

World War I

Korean War

Vietnam War

Naturalization and Citizenship

Newspapers

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

Obituaries

Other Records

Periodicals

Probate Records

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

KYGenWeb Archives Project-Rowan County Vital Records

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), Rowan County, Kentucky page 275, 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/7/75/Igikentuckymz.pdf.

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