Designed to cover the basic elements of Kentucky genealogical research in just four pages, this addition to our Genealogy at a Glance series gives you as much useful information in the space allotted as you’ll ever need. Specially laminated for heavy use, it provides an overview of the facts required to begin and proceed successfully with your Kentucky family history research.
Southern genealogy expert Michael A. Ports–the author of our previously published “at a glance” guides for Alabama, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, and Tennessee–begins with a description of Kentucky’s settlement background, starting with its first white settlement, Harrod’s Town, in 1774. In 1776 Virginia established Kentucky County, an area comprising all of the present state of Kentucky, and in 1788 Virginia ceded Kentucky to the federal government, which admitted it as the fifteenth state in 1792. Early settlers, primarily from Virginia and North Carolina, migrated into Kentucky through the Cumberland Gap; others, mainly from Pennsylvania and Maryland, traveled to Kentucky down the Ohio River. Although it was a slave state, Kentucky did not secede and join the Confederacy; in fact, it contributed manpower to both the Confederate and Union armies.
Ports then proceeds to describe the most important group of Kentucky records–vital, probate, military, and tax records–as well as supplementary sources such as land and county court records. Along the way he offers research tips and references to key publications. Ports concludes with a list of the major repositories containing records of interest to Kentucky researchers and a description of the most useful online resources. These may be the best four pages you’ll ever read on Kentucky genealogy.