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Harlan County, Kentucky Genealogy

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United States  Gotoarrow.png  Kentucky  Gotoarrow.png  Harlan County

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


Harlan County, Kentucky
Map of Kentucky highlighting Harlan County
Location in the state of Kentucky
Map of the U.S. highlighting Kentucky
Location of Kentucky in the U.S.
Founded January 28, 1819
County Seat Harlan
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Harlan County Kentucky CourthouseEdit

Harlan County's civil records start the following years:

Beginning Dates for Harlan County, Kentucky Genealogy Government Records
Birth* Marriage Death* Census Land Probate
1852 1820 1852 1820 1820 1850
*Many years between 1852 and 1911 are missing
Harlan County, Kentucky Courthouse.JPG

Harlan County Courthouse
205 Central Street PO Box 956
Harlan, KY 40831-0956
Phone: 606.573.3636[1]

Harlan County Kentucky HistoryEdit

Parent CountyEdit

1819--Harlan County was created 28 January 1819 from Floyd and Knox Counties.
County seat: Harlan [2]

Boundary ChangesEdit

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

Record LossEdit

1863--A disaster destroyed some records. For a list of record loss in Kentucky counties see: Kentucky Counties with Burned Courthouses

Harlan County Kentucky Places/LocalitiesEdit

Populated PlacesEdit

Ages Coxton Kenvir Rileyville
Alva Cranks Kilday Rio Vista
Bailey Creek Crummies Kitts River Ridge
Bardo Cumberland Laden Rosspoint
Baxter Darkmont Layman Rutherford
Benham Dillon Lenarue Sampson
Benito Dione Liggett Sand Hill
Big Laurel Divide Longton Short Town
Black Bottom Dizney Louellen Smith
Black Mountain Dressen Loyall South Wallins
Blackjoe Elcomb Lynch Stanfill
Blair Evarts Martins Fork Sunshine
Bledsoe Farmers Mill Mary Alice Tacky Town
Bobs Creek Fresh Meadows Mary Helen Teetersville
Brookside Gano Molus Ten Spot
Cawood Gatun Mount Pleasant Three Point
Chad Georgetown Nolansburg Tin Can Alley (hist.)
Chevrolet Golden Ash Pathfork Totz
Closplint Harlan Pine Mountain Tremont
Clover Harlan Gas Putney Tway
Clover-Darby Highsplint Redbud Twila
Clovertown Hiram Rex Verda
Clutts Holmes Mill Rhea Wallins Creek
Coldiron Keith Ridgeway Woods
Colts Kentenia Yancey

Neighboring CountiesEdit

Harlan County Kentucky Genealogy ResourcesEdit


African AmericansEdit

The following have information concerning African American research.  Both should be used:



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


Historical populations
Census Pop.
Est. 200830,783−7.3%

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


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.



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


Template:KY Land

Local HistoriesEdit

Template:KY History





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



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


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 RecordsEdit

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 {{{1}}} County Clerk, with divorce records 1849-1958 located with the {{{1}}} County Circuit Court. For more information see How to Find Kentucky Marriage Records. For Kentucky divorce records see the wiki page Kentucky Vital Records. See also How to order Kentucky Vital Records

  • 1852-1861 - Harlan County Birth Index 1852-1861. Batch C517451 at FamilySearch - free.[4]
  • 1874-1875 - Harlan County Birth Index 1874-1875. Batch C517452 at FamilySearch - free.[4]

Harlan County Kentucky Genealogy Societies and LibrariesEdit

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. See family history center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.

Harlan County Kentucky Genealogy WebsitesEdit

Harlan County Kentucky Genealogy ReferencesEdit

  1. 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.
  2. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  3. May be used for free at Family History Center. To locate a center near you, click here.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at
  5. May be used for free at Family History Center. To locate a center near you, click here.