Kentucky Compiled Genealogies

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The term "genealogy" is used in this Wiki article and in the Family History Library Catalog to describe a variety of records containing family information previously gathered by other researchers, societies, or archives. These records can include pedigree charts, compiled data on families, correspondence, ancestor lists, research exchange files, record abstracts, and collections of original or copied documents. These sources can save time, but because they are compiled from other sources, they must be carefully evaluated for accuracy.

Most archives, historical societies, and genealogical societies have special collections of previous research and indexes of genealogical value. These must usually be searched in person. Some major genealogical collections and published sources for Kentucky are found below.

Nationwide Indexes

You will find information about your ancestor in the following important nationwide genealogical indexes described in United States Genealogy.

World Connect. Hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians appear in family trees submitted to the online World Connect Project. The accuracy of the data varies, but the database is commendable for its ability to include transcribed sources within each individual's file. These databases will provide many researchers clues as to what has been done in the past, and where future research efforts should be directed.

  • International Genealogical Index (IGI) ("Genealogy" section. Also partially available on FamilySearch™ Internet Genealogy Service .)
  • Index to National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC) ("Genealogy" section. Also available on the Internet at )
  • Old Surname Index File ("Genealogy" section)
  • Pedigree Resource File consists of unedited, lineage-linked pedigrees submitted over the Internet to the Family History Department since 1999. It also includes the associated family groups, descendancy charts, and sometimes notes or sources. It is available for purchase at the Family History Library for use on personal computers.
  • Periodical Source Index (PERSI) ("Periodicals" section. Also available on the Internet at for a subscription fee.)
  • Social Security Death Index ("Vital Records" page) This index is also available on the Internet at or on compact disc from several companies. The Internet version sometimes includes a few more recently reported deaths than compact disc versions. For details about the FamilySearch compact disc version see the resource guide, U.S. Social Security Death Index.
  • U.S. Military Death Index lists deaths of service men and women in the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. It is available at most Family History Centers as part of FamilySearch. For details see the resource guide, Military Index.

These indexes are available at the Family History Library and many libraries with family history collections.

Web Sites about Your Family

Search the Internet for family history web sites about you surname. Use the "Search for Ancestors" feature of the FamilySearch™ Internet Genealogy Service at to help you find such sites.

Printing Your Family History

Pulling together a family history is without question one of the most rewarding activities you can do. The end product will provide a wonderful depository for family stories, traditions, and other memories. The fruits of your labors will be appreciated for years to come.

Brigham Young University's Print and Mail Production Center has consultants that can answer questions regarding formatting, layout, scanning photos, and can assist in the printing process.

See also A Guide to Printing Your Family History

Statewide Collections and Publications

American Genealogical-Biographical Index. Vols.1–198+. Middletown, Connecticut: Godfrey Memorial Library, 1952–. (on 31 Family History Library films, beginning with 1698167.) This is a continuing series. An earlier edition of 48 volumes was published as The American Genealogical Index for 1942 to 1951. The expanded edition consists of 198+ volumes indexing over 12 million brief citations (name, date, and source) to over 1,150 manuscripts, periodicals, or books. This index is also available through:

"Biography & Genealogy Master Index (BGMI)." In [Internet site]. [Orem, Utah]: Ancestry, 1999: available at for a subscription fee. It is also available on CD-ROM.

To help interpret citations and locate the original sources use the colored pages in some volumes or:

Key Title Index to the American Genealogical Biographical Index: Register of Family History Library Call Numbers. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1990. (Family History Library film 1698167 item 4; fiche 6088377.) This shows which sources are at the Family History Library and their call numbers.

Manuscript Collections

Barton, E. E. Collection of Northern Kentucky Families. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1963. (On 94 Family History Library films, beginning with 341195.) Most of this collection relates to Pendleton County, but some of the material extends to neighboring counties and to Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. It contains biographies, guardian bonds, appraisements, marriages, and church records, which are arranged in alphabetical order by families. It was microfilmed at the Margaret I. King Library.

Daughters of the American Revolution (Kentucky). Genealogical Collection. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1971. (On 28 Family History Library films, beginning with 851641.) This collection consists of transcripts of Bible, cemetery, church, marriage, death, obituary, and probate records at the DAR Library, in Washington, D.C. The volumes are generally arranged by county and many have individual indexes.

Ardery, Julia Hoge Spencer. Ardery Collection, ca. 1750–1970. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1970. (On 81 Family History Library films, beginning with 831459.) This is a set of volumes containing abstracts of Kentucky and Virginia court records, deeds, family Bibles, family histories, and correspondence. It is not indexed, but most of the 24 volumes are in an alphabetical series, either by county or by first letter of surname. It is at the Margaret I. King Library.

Wilson, Samuel M. Collection of Samuel M. Wilson of Lexington, Kentucky. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1958. (Family History Library films 174919–28.) This is a private collection of correspondence, genealogical notes, and abstracts of records about families from central Kentucky. The collection is in alphabetical order by county. Most of the information in each county is arranged alphabetically by surname.

Filson Club. Surname Folders. The Filson Club (see Kentucky Societies) has folders containing records of approximately 3,000 Kentucky families. These are filed by surname and have not been microfilmed.

Published Sources

Kentucky Family Records. Owensboro, Kentucky: West- Central Kentucky Family Research Association, 1970–. Records in this publication are mainly from west central Kentucky.

Fowler, Ila Earle. Kentucky Pioneers and Their Descendants. 1941–1950. Reprint, Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. This book is indexed and contains abstracts of family, church, and county records.

Genealogies of Kentucky Families: From The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society. 2 vols. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing, 1981. These genealogies are listed alphabetically by surname, and an index is included.

Genealogies of Kentucky Families: From the Filson Club History Quarterly. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing, 1981. This book contains histories of families and abstracts of cemetery records. It is alphabetical by surname and includes an index. These volumes are reproduced on the following compact disc:

     Family History: Kentucky Genealogies. Part 1. [Novato, California]: Brøderbund Software, 1996. (Family History Library compact disc no.9 pt. 185.) This disc contains about 15,000 names from the 1700s to 1800s.

Hehir, Donald M. Kentucky Families: A Bibliographic Listing. Bowie, Maryland: Heritage, 1993. This book is arranged alphabetically by surname and includes a list of sources for each name. It is indexed.

Kozee, William Carlos. Early Families of Eastern and Southeastern Kentucky, and Their Descendants. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing, 1961. The families are arranged alphabetically by surname, and there is a general index.

McAdams, Ednah Wilson. Kentucky Pioneer and Court Records, Abstracts of Early Wills, Deeds, and Marriages from Court Houses, and Records of Old Bibles Churches, Graveyards, and Cemeteries.... 1929. Reprint, Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. (Family History Library film 459632 item 2.) This book includes records from 15 counties in north central Kentucky.

For genealogy sources for the United States, see United States Genealogy.

Other genealogical records of Kentucky can be found in the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:



Web Sites