.

The Formation of Kentucky Counties &
Courthouse Disasters

Formation of Kentucky County, Virginia


In 1777 Fincastle County, Virginia's General Assembly divided Fincastle County into three parts and created Washington, Montgomery, and Kentucky Counties. The act creating these counties described Kentucky County as being "to the south and westward of a line beginning on the Ohio at the mouth of Great Sandy creek and running up the same and the main, or northeasterly, branch thereof to the Great Laurel Ridge of Cumberland Mountain, then south westerly along the said mountain to the line of North Carolina."

In 1780, Kentucky County was divided into three counties -- Jefferson, Fayette, and Lincoln. Within just a few years, six more counties had been carved out of those three. Between 1784 and 1792, people living in those counties held ten conventions on the question of statehood; on 18 December 1789 Virginia's General Assembly passed an act allowing Kentucky to apply for statehood and on 1 June 1792, those nine counties became a state, with the full consent of Virginia.

The Library of Virginia has the following records pertaining to counties that are part of Kentucky.

Personal Property Tax Lists

  • Bourbon County 1787-1791
  • Fayette County: 1787-1793
  • Jefferson County: 1789-1793
  • Lincoln County: 1787-1791
  • Madison County: 1787-1792
  • Mason County: 1790-1791, 1793
  • Mercer County: 1787, 1789
  • Shelby County: 1792
  • Washington County: 1792
  • Woodford County: 1790, 1792-1793
    Militia Commissions, 1776 to 1792

    Land Grants, to 1792
  • Legislative Petitions

  • Bourbon County - no date given
  • Fayette County: 1781-1791, 1824
  • Harlan County: 1831
  • Jefferson County: 1783-1791, 1826
  • Kentucky County: 1776-1780
  • Lincoln County: 1783-1790
  • Madison County: 1788-1789
  • Mercer County: 1786-1789
  • Nelson County: 1787-1789
  • Pike County: 1849
  • Shelby County: 1825
  • Woodford County: 1789-1791

    Land Tax Lists
    • Bourbon County: 1789

  • The Library of Virginia has no original court records of the counties that are now part of Kentucky.

    Daphne Gentry
    Publications and Educational Services Division
    The Library of Virginia
    dgentry@leo.vsla.edu
    804-692-3725


    Copyright by The Library of Virginia; re-publication of any part of this essay without written permission is strictly prohibited.

    My Thanks to Daphne Gentry for permission to place this on the KyGenWeb page. Daphne Gentry
    Publications and Educational Services Division
    The Library of Virginia
    dgentry@leo.vsla.edu
    804-692-3725

    Copyright by The Library of Virginia; re-publication of any part of this essay without written permission is strictly prohibited.

    My Thanks to Daphne Gentry for permission to place this on the KyGenWeb page.

     

    Helpful Kentucky Links
    Find the County for a U.S. Town or City

    State
    Kentucky Statistics
    Included is historical population data for every county.
    It's Where?
    That city that's not where you'd expect it.

     


    Individual County Formations & Courthouse Disasters
    County Date Formed Parent County County Seat Approx. Year of Disaster
    Adair
    1801
    Green
    Columbia
     
    Allen
    1815
    Barren, Warren
    Scottsville
    1902
    Anderson
    1827
    Franklin, Mercer, Washington
    Lawrenceburg
    1859, 1915
    Ballard
    1842
    Hickman, McCracken
    Wickliffe
    1880
    Barren
    1798
    Green, Warren
    Glasgow
     
    Bath
    1811
    Montgomery
    Owingsville
    1864
    Bell
    1867
    Knox, Harlan
    Pineville
    1914, 1918, 1944, 1976
    Boone
    1798
    Campbell
    Burlington
    1880s
    Bourbon
    1785
    Fayette
    Paris
    1872, 1901
    Boyd
    1860
    Carter, Lawrence, Greenup
    Catlettsburg
     
    Boyle
    1842
    Mercer, Lincoln
    Danville
    1860
    Bracken
    1796
    Campbell, Mason
    Brooksville
    1848
    Breathitt
    1839
    Clay, Estill, Perry
    Jackson
    1866, 1873
    Breckinridge
    1799
    Hardin
    Hardinsburg
    1958
    Bullitt
    1796
    Jefferson, Nelson
    Shepherdsville
     
    Butler
    1810
    Logan, Ohio
    Morgantown
    1872
    Caldwell
    1809
    Livingston
    Princeton
    1864
    Calloway
    1822
    Hickman
    Murray
    1906
    Campbell
    1795
    Harrison, Mason, Scott
    Alexandria
    & Newport
     
    Carlisle
    1886
    Graves, Ballard
    Bardwell
    1980
    Carroll
    1838
    Gallatin, Henry, Trimble
    Carrollton
     
    Carter
    1838
    Greenup, Lawrence
    Grayson
     
    Casey
    1806
    Lincoln
    Liberty
     
    Christian
    1797
    Logan
    Hopkinsville
    1864
    Clark
    1792
    Bourbon, Fayette
    Winchester
     
    Clay
    1806
    Madison, Floyd, Knox
    Manchester
    1936
    Clinton
    1835
    Wayne, Cumberland
    Albany
    1864, 1980
    Crittenden
    1842
    Livingston
    Marion
    1865, 1870
    Cumberland
    1796
    Green
    Burkesville
    1826, 1865, 1933
    Daviess
    1815
    Ohio
    Owensboro
    1865
    Edmonson
    1825
    Grayson, Hart, Warren
    Brownsville
     
    Elliott
    1869
    Carter, Lawrence, Morgan
    Sandy Hook
    1957
    Estill
    1808
    Clark, Madison
    Irvine
    1864
    Fayette
    1780
    Kentucky Co., VA
    Lexington
    1803, 1897
    Fleming
    1798
    Mason
    Flemingsburg
     
    Floyd
    1799
    Fleming, Mason, Montgomery
    Prestonsburg
    1808
    Franklin
    1794
    Woodford, Mercer, Shelby
    Frankfort
    1995
    Fulton
    1845
    Hickman
    Hickman
     
    Gallatin
    1798
    Franklin, Shelby
    Warsaw
     
    Garrard
    1796
    Madison, Lincoln, Mercer
    Lancaster
     
    Grant
    1820
    Pendleton
    Williamstown
     
    Graves
    1823
    Hickman
    Mayfield
    1864, 1887
    Grayson
    1810
    Hardin, Ohio
    Leitchfield
    1864, 1896
    Green
    1792
    Lincoln, Nelson
    Greensburg
     
    Greenup
    1803
    Mason
    Greenup
    1937
    Hancock
    1828
    Daviess, Ohio, Breckinridge
    Hawesville
     
    Hardin
    1792
    Nelson
    Elizabethtown
    1864, 1932
    Harlan
    1819
    Knox
    Harlan
    1863
    Harrison
    1793
    Bourbon, Scott
    Cynthiana
    1851, 1997
    Hart
    1819
    Hardin, Barren, poss. Green
    Munfordville
    1928
    Henderson
    1798
    Christian
    Henderson
     
    Henry
    1798
    Shelby
    New Castle
    1804
    Hickman
    1821
    Caldwell, Livingston
    Clinton
     
    Hopkins
    1806
    Henderson
    Madisonville
    1829, 1864
    Jackson
    1858
    Rockcastle, Owsley, Madison, Clay, Estill, Laurel
    McKee
    1949
    Jefferson
    1780
    Kentucky Co., VA
    Louisville
    1905
    Jessamine
    1798
    Fayette
    Nicholasville
     
    Johnson
    1843
    Floyd, Morgan, Lawrence
    Paintsville
     
    Kenton
    1840
    Campbell
    Independence
    Covington
     
    Knott
    1884
    Perry, Breathitt, Floyd, Letcher
    Hindman
    1929
    Knox
    1799
    Lincoln
    Barbourville
     
    LaRue
    1843
    Hardin
    Hodgenville
    1865
    Laurel
    1825
    Whitley, Clay, Knox, Rockcastle
    London
    1958
    Lawrence
    1821
    Floyd, Greenup
    Louisa
     
    Lee
    1870
    Owsley, Breathitt, Wolfe, Estill
    Beattyville
     
    Leslie
    1878
    Clay, Harlan, Perry
    Hyden
     
    Letcher
    1842
    Perry, Harlan
    Whitesburg
     
    Lewis
    1806
    Mason
    Vanceburg
     
    Lincoln
    1780
    Kentucky Co., VA
    Stanford
     
    Livingston
    1798
    Christian
    Smithland
     
    Logan
    1792
    Lincoln
    Russellville
     
    Lyon
    1854
    Caldwell
    Eddyville
     
    Madison
    1785
    Lincoln
    Richmond
     
    Magoffin
    1860
    Floyd, Johnson, Morgan
    Salyersville
    1957
    Marion
    1834
    Washington
    Lebanon
    1863
    Marshall
    1842
    Calloway
    Benton
    1888, 1914
    Martin
    1870
    Lawrence, Floyd, Pike, Johnson
    Inez
    1892
    Mason
    1788
    Bourbon
    Maysville
     
    McCracken
    1824
    Hickman
    Paducah
     
    McCreary
    1912
    Wayne, Pulaski, Whitley
    Whitley City
    1927, 1951
    McLean
    1854
    Muhlenberg, Daviess, Ohio
    Calhoun
     
    Meade
    1824
    Hardin, Breckinridge
    Brandenburg
    1974
    Menifee
    1869
    Powell, Wolfe, Bath, Morgan, Montgomery
    Frenchburg
     
    Mercer
    1785
    Lincoln
    Harrodsburg
    1928
    Metcalfe
    1860
    Monroe, Adair, Barren, Cumberland, Green
    Edmonton
    1865, 1867
    Monroe
    1820
    Barren, Cumberland
    Tompkinsville
    1863, 1887
    Montgomery
    1796
    Clark
    Mount Sterling
    1851, 1863
    Morgan
    1822
    Floyd, Bath
    West Liberty
    1862, 1925
    Muhlenberg
    1798
    Christian, Logan
    Greenville
     
    Nelson
    1784
    Jefferson
    Bardstown
     
    Nicholas
    1799
    Bourbon, Mason
    Carlisle
     
    Ohio
    1799
    Hardin
    Hartford
    1864
    Oldham
    1823
    Henry, Shelby, Jefferson
    LaGrange
    1873
    Owen
    1819
    Scott, Franklin, Gallatin, Pendleton
    Owenton
     
    Owsley
    1843
    Clay, Estill, Breathitt
    Booneville
    1929, 1967
    Pendleton
    1798
    Bracken, Campbell
    Falmouth
    1997
    Perry
    1820
    Clay, Floyd
    Hazard
    1885, 1911
    Pike
    1821
    Floyd
    Pikeville
    1977
    Powell
    1852
    Clark, Estill, Montgomery
    Stanton
    1863, 1864
    Pulaski
    1798
    Green, Lincoln
    Somerset
    1838, 1871
    Robertson
    1867
    Nicholas, Bracken, Mason, Fleming, Harrison
    Mt. Olivet
     
    Rockcastle
    1810
    Pulaski, Lincoln, Madison
    Mount Vernon
    1871
    Rowan
    1856
    Fleming, Morgan
    Morehead
    1864, 1880s
    Russell
    1825
    Cumberland, Adair, Wayne
    Jamestown
    1976
    Scott
    1792
    Woodford
    Georgetown
    1837, 1876
    Shelby
    1792
    Jefferson
    Shelbyville
     
    Simpson
    1819
    Allen, Logan, Warren
    Franklin
    1882
    Spencer
    1824
    Shelby, Bullitt, Nelson
    Taylorsville
    1865, 1914
    Taylor
    1848
    Green
    Campbellsville
    1864
    Todd
    1819
    Christian, Logan
    Elkton
     
    Trigg
    1820
    Christian, Caldwell
    Cadiz
    1864, 1892, 1920
    Trimble
    1836
    Henry, Oldham, Gallatin
    Bedford
    1952
    Union
    1811
    Henderson
    Morganfield
     
    Warren
    1796
    Logan
    Bowling Green
    1864
    Washington
    1792
    Nelson
    Springfield
    1795, 1814
    Wayne
    1800
    Pulaski, Cumberland
    Monticello
    1898
    Webster
    1860
    Hopkins, Union, Henderson
    Dixon
     
    Whitley
    1818
    Knox
    Williamsburg
    1930
    Wolfe
    1860
    Owsley, Breathitt, Powell, Morgan
    Campton
    1886, 1913
    Woodford
    1788
    Fayette
    Versailles
    1965