Archives • Museums • Libraries • Periodicals • Historical & Genealogical Societies • Newspapers & Publications
It is recommended to familiarize personally with just about any repository in Kentucky that you might visit by making contact with to the appropriate archive or library ahead of time.
The majority of, if not all, Kentucky repositories include published resources that present its collections in addition to research policy.
Kentucky archives and historical agencies likewise have Internet web sites which provide the same content. Several actually contain down-loadable data for some or parts within their collections.
- Kentucky Department for Libraries & Archives, 300 Coffee Tree Road, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601; (502) 564-8300; Also has birth and death records for the cities of Louisville, Lexington, Covington, and Newport, which were established under city ordinance prior to 1911.
- Kentucky Office of Vital Statistics, 275 East Main Street – 1E-A, Frankfort, KY 40621
- Hancock County Archives , P.O. Box 667, Hawesville, Kentucky 42348; (270) 927-8095
- Jefferson County ARCHIVES/RECORDS DEPARTMENT, 514 West Liberty Street (Room 100), (Old Jail Building)
- Mason County Museum, (has a genealogical department) (606)564-5865
- Breathitt County Museum, 329 Broadway, Jackson, Ky 41339; Phone: 606-666-4159
- Breckinridge County Historical Society Museum, Main St., Hardinsburg 40143; 270-756-2347 or 270-756-2867. Open Sat. 9-12. FREE. Across from the county courthouse in a former bank building, the museum contains artifacts from the entire county’s historic past.
- University of Kentucky Libraries, William T. Young Library, Lexington, KY 40506-0456; Phone: (859) 257-0500, ext. 2083
- Boyd County Public Library, Minnie Crawford Winder Room, 1740 Central Avenue, Ashland, KY 41101
- Boyle County Public Library, Broadway &North Third Street, Danville; Phone: 859-236-8466
- Breathitt County Public Library, 1024 College Avenue, Jackson, KY 41339; 606-666-5541
- Bullitt County Public Libraries
- Clay County Public Library, 211 Bridge Street, Manchester, KY 40962-1203; (606) 598-2617
- John Fox Jr. Memorial Library, Duncan Tavern Historical Center, 323 High Street, Paris, KY 40361; (859) 987-1788
- Mason County Public Library, East Third St. , Maysville, KY 41056; (606) 564-3286
- Marshall County Archives, P.O. Box 373, 1100 Main Street, Benton, KY 42025-1450; (270) 527-4749
- Nelson County Public Library
- Perry County Public Library, 289 Black Gold Blvd, HAZARD, KY 41701; Phone: 606 – 436 – 2475
- Powell County Public Library, 725 Breckinridge Street, Stanton, Kentucky 40380; 606-663-4511
- Scott County Public Library
- Todd County Public Library, 302 East Main Street, Elkton, Ky 42220; (270) 265-9071
- Clay County Public Library, 211 Bridge Street, Manchester, KY 40962-1203; (606) 598-2617
- Public Library – Historical Research , Scheben Branch, 8899 HWY 42, Union, KY, 41091; (859)384-5550
- Paris-Bourbon County Public Library
Genealogical journals make available many sources of information, they are usually overlooked by genealogy and family history researchers and genealogist in exploring for family history. Many regional and county genealogical and/or historical societies produce periodicals that may contain records associated with the region or vicinity they serve. Usually these publications offer articles concerning records which aren’t accessible somewhere else.
- The Bull (1968–present)West-Central Kentucky Family Research Association
- Bluegrass (1973–present)Kentucky Genealogical Society
- Tree Shaker. (1982–present) Ashland, Ky: Eastern Kentucky Genealogical Society.
- The East Kentuckian: Journal of Genealogy and History. (1965–present)
- Lexington, Ky.: published privately by Clayton R. Cox
- Filson Club Historical Quarterly. (1926–present)Louisville, Ky.: Filson Club
- Kentucky Ancestors. (1965–present)Frankfort, Ky.: Kentucky Historical Society
- Kentucky Family Records. (1969–present)West-Central Kentucky Family Research Association
- The Kentucky Genealogist.(1959–present) James R. Bentley, ed.
- Kentucky Kinfolk. (1985–present) Kentucky Tree-Search.
- Kentucky Pioneer Genealogy and Records. (1979–present) Cook and McDowell Publications.
- The Register of the Kentucky Historical(1903–present) Kentucky Historical Society
- South Central Kentucky Historical and Genealogical Society Quarterly. (1974–present)
- South Central Kentucky Historical and Genealogical Society. Changed name to Traces in 1982.
- Western Kentucky Journal, PO Box 325, Newburgh, IN; Covers the following counties:Henderson, Union, Webster, Trigg, Caldwell, Crittenden, Livingston, Lyon, Hopkins
- Kentucky City Directories (search.ancestry.com)
- Shaffer’s advertising directory for 1839-40 (search.ancestry.com)
- The Cincinnati directory for the year 1834 (search.ancestry.com)
Kentucky Historical & Genealogical Societies
For almost each individual Kentucky you will find a Kentucky genealogical society, a Kentucky genealogical council, or both. Besides their own work, Kentucky-level groups oftentimes help manage the efforts of local societies within the Kentucky. Their publications, newsletters and quarterlies, supplement those produced through the local societies.
State or Regional Societies
- The Kentucky Historical Society, 100 W. Broadway, Frankfort, KY 40601; 877-444-7867, [EMAIL]
- The Kentucky Genealogical Society, PO Box 153, Frankfort, KY 40602-0153
- Eastern KY Genealogical Society, Box 1544, Ashland, KY 41105-1544; Dues are $10.00 per yr. Publication TreeShaker quarterly
- Northern Kentucky Historical Society, Box 151, Fort Thomas, Kentucky 41075
- South Central Kentucky Historical and Genealogical Society, PO Box 157, Glasgow, KY 42142-0157; Serving Barren, Cumberland, Metcalfe & Monroe Counties.
- Southern Kentucky Genealogical Society, PO Box 1782, Bowling Green KY 42102-1782
- The Filson Historical Society, 1310 South Third Street – Louisville, KY 40208; Phone: (502) 635-5083 FAX: (502) 635-5086
- Kentucky Society of Daughters of the American Revolution, 323 High Street, Paris, Ky, 40361;(859) 987- 1788
- National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution,
- Kentucky Society of Sons of the American Revolution,
- National Society of Sons of the American Revolution, 1000 South Fourth Street, Louisville, Kentucky 40203; (502) 589-1776
- Ancestral Trails Historical Society, PO Box 1796, Elizabethtown, KY 42702-1796; (270) 982-0881. We are a Regional Society representing Breckinridge, Bullitt, Edmonson, Grayson, Hardin, Hart, Jefferson, LaRue, Meade, Nelson counties in Kentucky. We have a free research library with over 1200 books and many research books for sale. We have a index of the articles from our Quarterly News Magazine listed on our website. These articles can be requested at a minimal charge.
- Society of Kentucky Pioneers, 11129 Pleasant Ridge Road, Utica KY 42376
County, City, Town or Township Societies
- Adair County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 613, Columbia, KY 42728
- Anderson County Historical Society, 114 N. Main Street, Lawrenceburg KY 40342
- The Allen County Historical Society, 301 North Fourth Street, Scottsville, KY 42164
- Ballard-Carlisle Historical-Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 279, Wickliffe, KY 42087
- Bell Co Historical Society & Museum, PO Box 1344, Middlesboro, KY 40965-3144; (606) -242-0005,
- Boone County Historical Society, PO Box 23, Florence, KY 41022-0023
- Bourbon County Genealogical Society (Dissolved)
- Boyle County Genealogical Association , P.O. Box 125, Parksville, KY 40464-0125
- Bracken County Historical Society, PO Box 307, Brooksville, KY 41004; (606) 735-3337
- Breathitt County Historical Society, 329 Broadway St., Jackson 41339-1040
- Breckinridge County Historical Society, P.O. Box 498, Hardinsburg 40143-0498
- Bullitt County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 960, Shepherdsville, KY 40165
- Butler County Historical & Genealogical Society, P O Box 435, Morgantown, KY 42261
- Caldwell County Historical Society, P.O. Box 1, Princeton 42445
- Calloway County Genealogical Society, 1405 Main Street, Murray KY 42071
- Carter County Historical And Gen. Soc.,
- Campbell County Historical and Genealogical Society 19 East Main St, Alexandria, Ky 41001; Phone:(859)635-6407 Membership: $10.00 calendar year. Research Office Hours: Tues. 12pm to 8pm and Sat. 10am to 3pm
- Campbell/Pendleton Historical Group, 37 Homestead Place, Ft. Thomas KY 41075
- Heritage League & Historical Society, 212 Linden Avenue, Southgate KY 41071
- Christian County Genealogical Society, 1101 Bethel Street, Hopkinsville, KY 42240 The Christian County Genealogical Society meet every second Tuesday at 6:30 PM in the Community Room of the Hopkinsville- County Library.
- Christian County Historical Society, 3700 Bradshaw Pike, Hopkinsville KY 42240
- Clay County Genealogical and Historical Society,Courthouse Hill, Manchester, KY 40962; 606-598-5507
- Clinton County Historical Society, 104 Cumberland, Albany KY 42602
- Crittenden County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 61, Marion 42064
- Daviess County Historical Society, 2020 Frederica St, Owensboro, KY 42301
- Estill County Historical & Genealogical Society, 133/135 Broadway, Irvine KY 40336
- East Ky Museum And History Center, P.O. Box 1323, Hindman 41822
- Eastern Kentucky Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 1544, Ashland 41105-1544
- Elkhorn City Area Heritage Council, P.O. Box 1332, Elkhorn City KY 41522
- Fayette County Genealogical Society, Post Office Box 8113, Lexington, KY 40533
- Fleming County Historical Society, 207 E. Main Street, Flemingsburg KY 41041
- The Filson Historical Society , 1310 South Third Street, Louisville, KY 40208; Phone: (502) 635-5083, FAX: (502) 635-5086
- Floyd County Historical & Genealogical Society, P. O. Box 982, Prestonsburg, KY 41653
- Fredonia Valley Heritage Society, P.O. Box 256, Fredonia, KY 42411
- Fulton County Genealogical Society, PO Box 1031, Fulton, Kentucky 42041-1031
- Gallatin County Historical Society, P.O. Box 405, Warsaw KY 41095
- Garrard County Historical Society, 208 Danville St, Lancaster, Kentucky 40444
- Grant County Historical Society, P.O. Box 33, Mason, Kentucky 41054 ( message board)
- Graves County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 245, Mayfield, Ky. 42066
- Grayson County Historical Society, Box 84, Leitchfield KY 42754
- Green County Genealogical Society, Post Office Box 273, Greensburg, KY 42743
- Green County Historical Society, P. O. Box 276, Greensburg, Ky. 42743
- Greenup County Historical Society, 614 Main Street, Greenup, KY 41144-1036; (606) 473-6514; The Greenup County Genealogy & Historical Society meetings are open to the public and are held the fourth Thursday of every month in the community room of the Greenup County Public Library. Meeting times are November – March at 6:00 pm and April – October at 7:00pm.
- Genealogical Society of Hancock County, P.O. Box 667, Hawesville, Kentucky 42348; (270) 927-8095
- Hancock County Historical Society, Box 605, Hawesville KY 42348
- Hancock County Museum
- The Harrison County Historical Society, P.O. Box 411, Cynthiana KY 41031
- Cynthiana-Harrison County Museum, P.O. Box 411, 112 South Walnut Street, Cynthiana, KY 41031; Hours: Fri.-Sat.: 9-5, by appointment, or by chance!
- Hardin County Historical Society, 128 N. Main, Elizabethtown KY 42701
- Revolutionary War Roundtable, 23 Public Square, Elizabethtown KY 42701
- Harlan County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 1498, Harlan KY 40831
- Harlan Heritage Seekers, P.O. Box 853, Harlan KY 40831
- Harrodsburg Historical Society, 220 S. Chiles Street, Harrodsburg KY 40330
- Hart County Historical Society, P.O. Box 606, Munfordville KY 42765
- Henderson Co Historical & Genealogical Society,132-B South Green Street, P.O. Box 303, Henderson KY 42419-0303; (270) 830-7514
- Henry County Historical Society, 219 S. Main St., P.O. Box 570, New Castle, KY 40050; 1-502 845-0999
- Hickman County Historical & Genealogical Society, 334 Piper Drive, Clinton KY 42301
- Historical Confederation Of Kentucky, 100 W. Broadway, Frankfort 40601
- Historical Society Of Hopkins County, 107 Union Street, Madisonville 42431
- Hopkins County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 51, Madisonville, KY 42431
- Hopkins County Historical Society, 107 Union Street, Madisonville KY 42431
- Jeffersontown & Southeast Jefferson County Historical Society, 2432 Merriwood Drive, Jeffersontown KY 40299
- Jessamine County Historical & Genealogical Society, 216 North Main St., Farmers Square, Nicholasville KY 40356
- Johnson County Historical And Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 788, Paintsville 41240
- Kenton County Historical Society, P.O. Box 641, Covington 41012
- Kentucky Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 153, Frankfort 40602
- Kentucky Historical Society, 100 W. Broadway, Frankfort 40601
- Knott County Historical & Genealogical Society, Library & Musuem, Inc., 147 Carew Drive
Hindman, KY 41822-8657; (606) 785-5751; Open 24 hours, 7 days a week by appointment only.
- Knott County Historical Society
- Knox County Genealogical Society, 2603 Aintree Way, Louisville KY 40220
- Knox County Historical Museum, P.O. Box 1446, Barbourville Municipal Building, 196 Daniel Boone Drive, Barbourville KY 40906; 606-546-4300
- LaRue County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 312, Hodgenville, KY 42748
- Laurel County History Museum and Genealogy Center
- Laurel County Historical Society, P.O. Box 816 – City Building, London, KY 40741
- Lawrence County Historical Society, 100 Rodburn Road, Apt. 121, Morehead KY 40351
- Leslie County Historical Society, Leslie County Library, P.O. Box 498, Hyden KY 41749
- Lewis County Historical Society, 39 Market Street, P.O. Box 212, Vanceburg, Ky. 41179-1115;
(Our building is still located at the same place but due to the 911 enhancement most of the addresses in Lewis County have been changed.)
- Letcher County Historical & Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 312, Whitesburg KY 41858
- Lincoln County Historical Society, 313 Redwood Drive, Stanford KY 40484
- Livingston County Historical & Genealogical Society, PO Box 138, Smithland, KY 42081
- Logan County Genealogical Society, Box 853, Russellville KY 42276
- Auburn Historical Society, Auburn KY
- Lyon County Historical Society, P.O. Box 811, Eddyville KY 42038
- Louisville Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 5164, Louisville KY 40205
- Louisville Civil War Roundtable, P.O. Box 1861, Louisville KY 40201
- McCracken County Genealogical Society, P.O.Box 7651, 4640 Buckner Lane, Paducah, KY 42001
- McCreary County History & Genealogical Society, P. O. Box 400, Whitley City, KY. 42653-044
- McLean County Historical Society, Box 193, Route 3, Calhoun KY 42327
- Madison County Historical Society, P. O. Box 5066, Richmond, Kentucky 40476-5066
- Magoffin County Genealogy Society, P.O. Box 222, Salyersville 41465
- Magoffin County Historical Society, P.O. Box 222, Salyersville 41465
- Marion County Historical Society, 464 North Spalding Avenue, Lebanon 40033
- Marshall County Genealogical and Historical Society, P.O. Box 373, 1100 Main Street, Benton, KY 42025-1450; (270) 527-4749
- Marion County Historical Society, 326 N. Harrison, Lebanon, KY 40033
- Mason County Historical Society, 319 West Third Street , Maysville, KY 41056-1016
- Mason County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 266, Maysville KY 41056
- Menifee County Roots, P.O. Box 114, Frenchburg KY 40322
- Mercer – Harrodsburg County Research Library, Genealogy Committee, PO Box 316, Harrodsburg, KY 40330-0316
- Metcalfe County Historical Society, Box 910, Edmonton KY 42129
- Montgomery County Historical Society, P.O. Box 861, Mt. Sterling KY 40353
- Morgan County Historical Society, P.O. Box 900; Route 1, West Liberty KY 41472
- Muhlenberg County Genealogical Society, 111 South Main Street, Greenville KY 42345
- Nelson County
Genealogical Roundtable, P.O. Box 409, Bardstown, KY 40004
- Nicholas County Historical Society, 101 Market St, Carlisle KY 40311
- New Zion, Newtown Road,
- Ohio County Genealogical Society, 317 N. Main, Beaver Dam KY 42320
- Ohio County Historical Society, 415 Mulberry St, Hartford 42347-1734
- Oldham County Historical Society, West Highway 146, Pewee Valley KY 40056
- Owsley County History and Genealogy Society, P.O. Box 976, Booneville, Ky, 41314
- Owsley County Historical Society, P.O. Box 1166, Booneville, Ky. 41314; phone 606-593-6755; Office Hours: 11-4 Thursday and Friday
- Pendleton County Historical & Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 130, Falmouth KY 41040
- Port William Historical Society, 311 Park Avenue, Carrollton KY 41008
- Perryville Heritage Ctr, 216 S Buell St, Perryville 40468-1024
- Perry County Genealogical and Historical Society, Inc. ( Disbanded about 2000. All their records will now be found at the Perry County Public Library.)
- Pulaski County Historical Society, P.O. Box 36 , Somerset KY 42502-0036
- Red River Historical Society, Box 195, Clay City KY 40312
- Rowan County Historical Society, P.O. Box 60, Morehead 40351
- Robertson County Historical Society, Mt. Olivet KY 41064
- Rockcastle County Historical Society, Box 930, Mt. Vernon KY 40456
- Rowan County Historical Society, P.O. Box 60, Morehead KY 40351
- Russell County Historical Society, P.O. Box 544, Jamestown KY 42629
- Simpson County Historical Society,
- Society of Boonesborough, P.O. Box 226 , Richmond Kentucky 40476-0226
- Scott County Genealogical Society, 104 South Bradford Lane, Georgetown KY 40324
- Scott County Historical Society, P.O. Box 1064, Georgetown KY 40324
- Shelby County Historical Society, P.O. Box 444, Shelbyville KY 40066
- Simpson County Historical Society,206 North College Street, Franklin KY 42134; Phone 270-586-4228, Fax= 270-586-4429
- Spencer County Historical & Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 266, Taylorsville KY 40071
- The Paducah And Mccracken County, Kentucky Family History Forum, 1028 S 5th ST,
- Taylor County Historical Society, P.O. Box 14, Campbellsville KY 42718
- Todd County Historical Society, Box 155, Elkton KY 42220
- Trigg County Historical Society, Route 2; 274 Dyers Hill Road, Cadiz KY 42211
- Trigg County Historical & Preservation Society, Box 1008, Cadiz KY 42211
- Trimble County Historical Society, 5700 Montfort Lane, Crestwood KY 40014
- Union County Historical Society, 5 Congress Drive, Morganfield KY 42437
- Washington County Genealogical Society, 210 E. Main Street, Springfield KY 40069
- Wayne County Historical Society, P.O. Box 320, Monticello KY 42633
- Webster County Historical & Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 215, Dixon KY 42409-0215
- Whitley County Historical & Genealogical Society, Old Williamsburg Depot, 529 Main Street, Williamsburg, KY; Call 606-549-7089
- Whitley County Historical Genealogy Society/Museum, P.O. Box 536, Williamsburg, Ky. 40769; phone no. 606-549-7089
- Wolfe County Museum & Historical Society, P.O. Box 696, Campton, KY 41301-0696
- Woodford County Historical Society, 121 Rose Hill, Versailles KY 40383
- Presbyterian Historical Society, 425 Lombard Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19147
Research in Kentucky Newspapers & Publications
The biggest repository of Kentucky Newspapers is at the University of Kentucky Library. As part of the United States newspaper project, many if its newspaper records can be found in a database on the Internet. A recent project is called the Kentucky Union List, and it includes over 14,000 titles. It is currently being placed on microfilm. An inter-library loan program will make those records available once the microfilming process is complete. The Worcester, Massachusetts American Antiquarian Society has archives containing several older Kentucky newspaper publications.
Most early Kentucky county news was published in Lexington, as part of the Kentucky Gazette. The University of Kentucky Library has copies of that newspaper on microfilm, as do several other libraries in the state and in the country as a whole. There is an available index to the Louisville Courier for 1917 to 1977.
The Louisville Free Public Library, Filson Library, Lexington Public Library, and Kentucky Historical Society each have copies of Kentucky newspapers on microfilm, as do the FHL and several other libraries.
There are several collections of manuscripts that include information on Kentucky residents. Many of them can be found at the Filson Library, University of Louisville, Kentucky Historical Society, Western Kentucky University, and the University of Kentucky Library. The manuscript collections below are full of useful genealogical information.
The Ardery Collection: This collection features Virginia and Kentucky land, Bible, and court records. It also includes certain correspondences and family history information. It can be found on microfilm at both the FHL and the University of Kentucky Library.
The Barton Collection: This collection contains a lot of information from Pendleton County. It also includes some information from other Kentucky counties and other states. It can be found on microfilm through the Kentucky Historical Society, FHL, and Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives. It is also available at the University of Kentucky Library.
The Draper Manuscripts: The State Historical Society of Wisconsin holds this collections, which includes a lot of information about Kentucky and its residents. It has been placed on microfilm and copies are available for purchase, as well as via inter-library loan programs.
The Draper Collection: This collection contains lots of valuable genealogical information. It can be found on microfilm at the FHL. Copies are also available at the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, Kentucky Historical Society, and University of Kentucky.
The DAR Collection: This collection contains church, cemetery, and bible records, along with obituaries, probate records, and vital records. It can be found at the DAR Library, and the FHL also has copies of the originals on file.
The Shane Manuscript Collection: This collection, which is full of useful information, is located at both the Kentucky Historical Society and Filson Library.
- Kentucky Books at Amazon.com (amazon.com)
- Kentucky Historical Books (1749 – 1900) (genealogybank.com) rare and fully searchable old books, historical maps and documents give fresh insights into the daily lives of your early Kentucky ancestors.
- Genealogy Publishing Company (genealogical.com)
- Kentucky Genealogy Books (books.google.com)
- Southern Historical Press Kentucky Books (southernhistoricalpress.com)
Newspapers – Kentucky newspapers can supply all sorts of clues about historical events, local history, court and legal notices, obituaries, and much more.
- Kentucky Newspapers Directory Listings (onlinenewspapers.com)
- Historical Newspapers from Kentucky (1794-1922) (genealogybank.com) Immediately locate names and phrases in over 450 million content articles, obituaries, marriage notices, birth notices and also other items written in over 2,800 historical U.S. newspapers. Unique content added every month!
- Middlesboro Daily News (Middlesboro, Kentucky) (search.ancestry.com)
- Corbin Times Tribune (Corbin, Kentucky) (search.ancestry.com)
- Corbin Daily Tribune (Corbin, Kentucky) (search.ancestry.com)
- OSIA News (Order Sons of Italy in America), 1953-1995 (search.ancestry.com)
- Italian America Magazine (Order Sons of Italy in America), 1996-2009 (search.ancestry.com)
- Kentucky New Era (Hopkinsville, Kentucky) (search.ancestry.com)
- Corbin Times (Corbin, Kentucky) (search.ancestry.com)
- Abstracts from the PA Gazette, 1748-1755 (search.ancestry.com)
- The Barger journal : June, 1924. (search.ancestry.com)
- Kentucky Newspaper List (usnpl.com)
- Kentucky Obituaries, 1787-1854 (search.ancestry.com)