Kentucky County History

 

Kentucky County Timeline

Formation of Kentucky Counties

 

YEAR
MONTH
DAY
EVENT
1802 4 1 Adair County, Kentucky was formed from Green County. It was created in 1801.
1815 4 1 Allen County, Kentucky was formed from Barren and Warren Counties. It was created on 11 Jan 1815. A courthouse fire on 2 Oct 1902 destroyed some records.
1827 2 1 Anderson County, Kentucky was formed from Franklin, Mercer, and Washington Counties. It was created on 16 Jan 1827. Two courthouse disasters, on 26 Oct 1859 and on n13 Jan 1915, resulted in some record loss. However, only Order Book D and Mortgage Book B were lost.
1842 5 25 Ballard County, Kentucky was formed from Hickman and McCracken Counties. It was created on 15 Feb 1842. Most records were destroyed in a courthouse fire on 17 Feb 1880.
1799 5 10 Barren County, Kentucky was formed from Green and Warren Counties. It was created on 20 Dec 1798.
1811 2 4 Bath County, Kentucky was formed from Montgomery County. It was created on 15 Jan 1811. No records seem to have been lost in a courthouse fire on 21 May 1864.
1904 2 9 Beckham County, Kentucky was formed from Carter Co. and from Lewis and Elliott Counties. It was dissolved by the state Court of Appeals on 29 Apr 1904 as not being formed in accordance with the state constitution. Only marriage and postal records remain.
1867 8 1 Bell County, Kentucky was formed from Harlan and Knox Counties. It was originally known as Josh Bell County. Records were lost in fires in 1914 and 1918. Also records were damaged with some loss in a flood in 1976.
1799 6 1 Boone County, Kentucky was formed from Campbell County after creation on 13 Dec 1798. Some records may have been destroyed in the late 1880s due to a fire.
1785 5 1 Bourbon County, Virginia (later Kentucky) was formed from Fayette County, Virginia. The 5th to be formed was created on 1 May 1785. Some records were lost in a fire on 8 May 1872.
1860 5 1 Boyd County, Kentucky was formed from Carter, Greenup, and Lawrence Counties. It was created on 25 Apr 1860.
1842 3 1 Boyle County, Kentucky was formed from Lincoln and Mercer Counties. It was created on 15 Feb 1842. Some records were lost in a courthouse fire in 1860.
1796 6 1 Bracken County, Kentucky was formed from Campbell and Mason Counties. Some records were lost in a fire on 20 Apr 1848.
1839 4 1 Breathitt County, Kentucky was formed from Clay, Estill, and Perry Counties. The courthouse or the jail was burned during the Civil War by Confederate troops. A fire in 1873 destroyed most of the county's records.
1800 1 1 Breckinridge County, Kentucky was formed from Hardin County after it was created by the legislature on 13 Dec 1799. Records were saved from a fire on 28 Dec 1864, though some records were lost to a fire in Feb 1958.
1797 1 1 Bullitt County, Kentucky was formed from Jefferson and Nelson Counties. It was created in December 1796.
1810 11 1 Butler County, Kentucky was formed from Logan and Ohio Counties. It was created on 1 May 1810. The courthouse was burned in 1872.
1809 5 1 Caldwell County, Kentucky was formed from Livingston County. The courthouse fire on 15 Dec 1864 destroyed some records.
1823 1 15 Calloway County, Kentucky was formed from Hickman County. It was created on 3 Nov 1822. A courthouse fire destroyed some records in 1906.
1795 5 10 Campbell County, Kentucky was formed from Harrison, Mason, and Scott Counties. It was created on 17 Dec 1794. Courthouse records may be in two different locations depending on the location of the county seat at the time. Both Newport (present county seat) and Alexandria should be searched, and there may be some overlap.
1886 5 3 Carlisle County, Kentucky was formed from Ballard County. A courthouse fire destroyed some tax records on 22 Oct 1980.
1838 3 1 Carroll County, Kentucky was formed from Gallatin and Henry Counties.
1838 5 1 Carter County, Kentucky was formed from Greenup and Lawrence Counties. It was created on 10 Apr 1838.
1807 5 4 Casey County, Kentucky was formed from Lincoln County. It was created om 14 Nov 1806.
1797 3 1 Christian County, Kentucky was formed from Logan County. It was created in 1796. The courthouse burned in December 1864 and destroyed some records.
1793 2 1 Clark County, Kentucky was formed from Bourbon and Fayette Counties. It was the 14th county and was created in 1792.
1807 4 1 Clay County, Kentucky was formed from Madison and Floyd Counties. It was created in 1806. On 20 Jan 1936, there was a courthouse fire.
1836 4 1 Clinton County, Kentucky was formed from Cumberland and Wayne Counties. Most records were lost in a courthouse fire in 1864. Another fire in 1980 destroyed some records.
1842 4 1 Crittenden County, Kentucky was formed from Livingston County. The courthouse was burned by guerillas on 25 Jan 1865 destroying some records. More records were destroyed in a fire which occurred in May 1870.
1799 7 1 Cumberland County, Kentucky was formed from Green County It was created on 14 Dec 1798. Records were lost in courthouse fires on 3 Jan 1865 and on 3 Dec 1933.
1815 6 1 Daviess County, Kentucky was formed from Ohio County. It was created on 14 Jan 1815. No records were lost in a courthouse fire on 4 Jan 1865.
1783 3 0 District of Kentucky, Virginia was formed for judicial reasons. It included Fayette, Lincoln, and Jefferson Counties, Virginia.
1825 2 1 Edmonson County, Kentucky was formed from Grayson, Hart, and Warren Counties. It was created on 12 Jan 1825.
1869 5 29 Elliott County, Kentucky was formed from Carter, Lawrence, and Morgan Counties. It was created on 1 Apr 1869. Some records were destroyed in a courthouse fire on 19 Dec 1957.
1808 4 1 Estill County, Kentucky was formed from Clark and Madison Counties. It was established on 19 Feb 1808. Soldiers either set fire to the courthouse or the jail (depending on the source) in Oct 1864. In any case, the courthouse collapsed in 1865.
1780 11 1 Fayette County, Virginia (later Kentucky) was formed from Kentucky County, Virginia. One of the first three counties of Kentucky (with Lincoln and Jefferson Counties), it was created on 30 Jun 1780. Most records for before 31 Jan 1803 were destroyed by fire. A second fire on 14 May 1897 also destroyed some early records.
1772 0 0 Fincastle County, Virginia was formed from Botetourt County Virginia.
1800 3 1 Fleming County, Kentucky was formed from Mason County. It was created in 1798.
1800 6 1 Floyd County, Kentucky was formed from Fleming, Mason and Montgomery Counties. It was created on 13 Dec 1799. Some records were destroyed by fire in Apr 1808.
1795 5 10 Franklin County, Kentucky was formed from Mercer, Shelby, and Shelby Counties. It was created on 7 Dec 1794.
1845 4 1 Fulton County, Kentucky was formed from Hickman County.
1799 5 1 Gallatin County, Kentucky was formed from Franklin and Shelby Counties. It was created on 14 Dec 1798.
1797 6 1 Garrard County, Kentucky was formed from Lincoln, Madison, and Mercer Counties. It was created on 17 Dec 1796.
1820 4 1 Grant County, Kentucky was formed from Pendleton County.
1824 1 15 Graves County, Kentucky was formed from Hickman County. Fire destroyed courthouse records in 1864 and on 18 Dec 1887.
1810 4 1 Grayson County, Kentucky was formed from Hardin and Ohio Counties. It was established on 25 Jan 1810. Three courthouse fires destroyed some or all redords of the time. The first was on 24 Dec 1864. The second was on 16 Jun 1896 from which three record books were saved. No records were lost in the fire of 3 Apr 1936.
1793 1 1 Green County, Kentucky was formed from Lincoln and Nelson Counties. It was the 16th to be formed and was created on 20 Dec 1792.
1804 2 1 Greenup County, Kentucky was formed from Mason County. It was created in 1803.
1829 3 23 Hancock County, Kentucky was formed from Breckinridge, Daviess, and Ohio Counties. It was created on 1 Mar 1829.
1793 2 20 Hardin County, Kentucky was formed from Nelson County. The 15th county, it was created in Nov 1792. A fire destroyed records on 23 Dec 1864, and on 6 Dec 1932.
1819 4 1 Harlan County, Kentucky was formed from Knox County. The courthouse burned in Oct 1863, but the county clerk's records were saved.
1794 2 1 Harrison County, Kentucky was formed from Bourbon and Scott Counties. It was the 17th county and was created 21 Dec 1793. A fire on 24 Jan 1851 destroyed some records.
1819 4 1 Hart County, Kentucky was formed from Barren, Green, and Hardin Counties. It was created on 28 Jan 1819. Some records were lost in a courthouse fire on 3 Jan 1928.
1799 5 15 Henderson County, Kentucky was formed from Christian County after creation in 1798.
1799 6 1 Henry County, Kentucky was formed from Shelby County. It was created in 1798. A loss of some records occurred due to a fire in 1804.
1822 1 15 Hickman County, Kentucky was formed from Caldwell and Livingston Counties. It was created in 1821.
1807 5 1 Hopkins County, Kentucky was formed from Henderson County. It was created in 1806. Courthouse fire destroyed records in 1829 and in Dec 1864.
1858 4 25 Jackson County, Kentucky was formed from Clay, Estill, Laurel, Madison, Owsley, and Rockcastle Counties. There was a courthouse fire in 1949.
1780 11 1 Jefferson County, Virginia (later Kentucky) was formed from Kentucky County, Virginia. One of the first three counties of Kentucky (with Lincoln and Fayette Counties), it was created on 30 Jun 1780.
1799 2 1 Jessamine County, Kentucky was formed out of Fayette County. It was created on 19 Dec 1798.
1843 4 1 Johnson County, Kentucky was formed from Floyd, Lawrence, and Morgan Counties.
1840 4 30 Kenton County, Kentucky was formed from Campbell County. It was created on 29 Jan 1840. It has two county seats: Covington (on the Ohio River) and Independence (near the middle of the county).
1776 12 31 Kentucky County, Virginia (and others) were formed from Fincastle County, Virginia which was abolished.
1780 11 1 Kentucky County, Virginia was abolished.
1792 6 1 Kentucky was admitted from Virginia as the 15th state of the United States. Although legislative action was taken on 18 Feb 1792 to create Vermont, it was created on that date making it the 14th state.
1791 2 4 Kentucky was admitted as a state (to be formally admitted as the 15th state on 1 Jun 1792) followed on 18 Feb 1792 by Vermont which was as the 14th state.
1884 5 15 Knott County, Kentucky was formed from Breathitt, Letcher, Floyd, and Perry Counties.
1800 6 1 Knox County, Kentucky was formed from Lincoln County. It was created on 19 Dec 1799.
1843 3 1 Larue County, Kentucky was formed from Hardin County. No records were lost in a fire set by guerrillas on 21 Feb 1865.
1826 2 13 Laurel County, Kentucky was formed from Clay, Knox, Rockcastle, and Whitley Counties. It was created on 21 Dec 1825. A courthouse fire occurred on 9 Dec 1958.
1822 2 11 Lawrence County, Kentucky was formed from Floyd and Greenup Counties. It was created on 14 Dec 1821.
1870 3 1 Lee County, Kentucky was formed from Breathitt, Estill, Owsley, and Wolfe Counties.
1878 4 1 Leslie County, Kentucky was formed from Clay, Harlan, and Perry Counties. It was created on 29 Mar 1878.
1842 4 1 Letcher County, Kentucky was formed from Harlan and Perry Counties.
1807 4 1 Lewis County, Kentucky was formed from Mason County. It was created on 2 Dec 1806.
1780 11 1 Lincoln County, Virginia (later Kentucky) was formed from Kentucky County, Virginia. One of the first three counties of Kentucky (with Fayette and Jefferson Counties), it was created on 30 Jun 1780.
1799 5 1 Livingston County, Kentucky was formed from Christian County after creation on 13 Dec 1798. .
1792 9 1 Logan County, Kentucky was formed from Lincoln County.
1854 4 1 Lyon County, Kentucky was formed from Caldwell County. It was 14 Jan 1854.
1785 12 15 Madison County, Virginia (later Kentucky) was formed from Lincoln County, Virginia. It was the 6th county formed and was created on 1 Aug 1785.
1860 4 25 Magoffin County, Kentucky was formed from Floyd, Johnson, and Morgan Counties. It was created on 22 Feb 1860. No records were lost in a courthouse disaster in 1957.
1834 3 1 Marion County, Kentucky was formed from Washington County. It was created on 25 Jan 1834. Morgan's Raiders burned the clerk's office destroying all records on 5 Jul 1863.
1842 6 1 Marshall County, Kentucky was formed from Calloway County. Records were lost in two courthouse disasters in 1888 and Dec 1914.
1870 9 1 Martin County, Kentucky was formed from Floyd, Johnson, Lawrence, and Pike Counties. A courthouse fire in 1892 destroyed records.
1788 5 1 Mason County, Virginia (later Kentucky) was formed from Bourbon County, Virginia. It was the 8th county to be formed. .
1824 1 15 McCracken County, Kentucky was formed from Hickman County.
1912 3 12 McCreary County, Kentucky was formed from Pulaski, Wayne, and Whitley Counties. Courthouse fires destroyed some records in 1927 and in 1951.
1854 5 8 McLean County, Kentucky was formed from Daviess, Muhlenberg, and Ohio Counties. It was created on 28 Jan 1854. There was a courthouse fire in 1903.
1824 3 22 Meade County, Kentucky was formed from Breckinridge and Hardin Counties. It was created on 17 Dec 1823. A tornado on 3 Apr 1794 destroyed the courthouse and some records.
1869 5 29 Menifee County, Kentucky was formed from Bath, Montgomery, Morgan, Powell, and Wolfe Counties. Named for Richard Hickman Menefee, but a legislative aide mis-spelled the name while writing the enacting law that created the county. It was created on 1 May 1869.
1785 12 15 Mercer County, Virginia (later Kentucky) was formed from Lincoln County, Virginia. It was the 7th county to be formed and was created on 1 Aug 1785. A courthouse fire occurred on 15 May 1928.
1860 5 7 Metcalfe County, Kentucky was formed from Adair, Barren, Cumberland, Green, and Monroe Counties. It was created on 1 May 1860. There were reportedly courthouse fies in Mar 1865, and in 1867 or 1868.
1820 4 1 Monroe County, Kentucky was formed from Barren and Cumberland Counties. It was created on 19 Jan 1820. Records were lost in courthouse fires on 22 Apr 1863 and in 1888.
1797 3 1 Montgomery County, Kentucky was formed from Clark County after creation on 14 December 1796. Fires on 4 Mar 1851 and 2 Dec 1863 destroyed many records.
1823 3 10 Morgan County, Kentucky was formed from Floyd and Bath Counties. It was created in 1822. Courthouse records were lost twice: in Oct 1862 and in 1925.
1798 5 15 Muhlenberg County, Kentucky was formed from Christian and Logan Counties.
1785 1 1 Nelson County, Virginia (later Kentucky) was formed from Jefferson County, Virginia. The 4th county to be formed was created on 29 Nov 1784.
1800 6 1 Nicholas County, Kentucky was formed from Bourbon and Mason Counties. It was created in 1799.
1799 7 1 Ohio County, Kentucky was formed from Hardin County. It was created on 17 Dec 1798. The courthouse burned on 20 Dec 1864.
1824 2 1 Oldham County, Kentucky was formed from Henry, Jefferson, and Shelby Counties. It was created in 1823. A courthouse fire occurred in 1873.
1819 4 1 Owen County, Kentucky was formed from Franklin, Gallatin, Pendleton, and Scott Counties. It was created on 6 Feb 1819.
1843 6 1 Owsley County, Kentucky was formed from Breathitt, Clay, and Estill Counties. It was created on 23 Jan 1843. In Jan 1929 and again on 5 Jan 1967, there were courthouse fires. In the 1929 fire, all records were destroyed.
1799 5 10 Pendleton County, Kentucky was formed from Bracken and Campbell Counties. It was created on 13 Dec 1798.
1821 2 26 Perry County, Kentucky was formed from Clay and Floyd Counties. It was created on 2 Nov 1820. Some records were lost in courthouse disaster in 1885 and in 1911.
1822 3 1 Pike County, Kentucky was formed from Floyd County. It was created on 19 Dec 1821. No records were lost in a courthouse disaster in 1977.
1852 5 10 Powell County, Kentucky was formed from Clark, Estill, and Montgomery Counties. It was created on 7 Jan 1852. The courthouse was burned by guerrillas in the Spring of 1863, and the jail was burned in 1864. Records were lost in both fires.
1799 6 1 Pulaski County, Kentucky was formed from Green and Lincoln Counties. It was created 10 Dec 1798. Fires in 1838 and on 7 Dec 1871 destroyed some records.
1867 8 1 Robertson County, Kentucky was formed from Bracken, Fleming, Harrison, Mason, and Nicholas Counties. It was created on 1 May 1867.
1810 4 1 Rockcastle County, Kentucky was formed from Lincoln, Madison, and Pulaski Counties. A fire destroyed most early records in 1871.
1856 5 1 Rowan County, Kentucky was formed from Fleming and Morgan Counties. Courthouse fires on 21 Mar 1864 and in the 1890s destroyed many records.
1826 4 1 Russell County, Kentucky was formed from Adair, Cumberland, Pulaski, and Wayne Counties. It was created on 14 Dec 1825. No records were lost in a courthouse disaster in 1976.
1792 6 1 Scott County, Kentucky was formed from Woodford County. The 11th county to be formed was created on 1 Jun 1792. Many records were destroyed on 9 Aug 1837 and again in 1876.
1792 6 23 Shelby County, Kentucky was formed from Jefferson County. It was the 12th county formed.
1819 4 1 Simpson County, Kentucky was formed from Allen, Logan, and Warren Counties. It was created on 28 Jan 1819. Most records were destroyed in a fire 16 May 1882.
1824 1 15 Spencer County, Kentucky was formed from Bullitt, Nelson, and Shelby Counties. It was created on 7 Jan 1824. Courthouse fires occurred on 25 Jan 1865 and again in 1914. No records were lost in the 1914 fire.
1848 3 1 Taylor County, Kentucky was formed from Green County. Some records were lost in a courthouse fire on 25 Dec 1864.
1820 4 1 Todd County, Kentucky was formed from Christian and Logan Counties. It was 30 Dec 1819.
1820 4 1 Trigg County, Kentucky was formed from Caldwell and Christian Counties. It was created on 27 Jan 1820. Courthouse fires on 13 Dec 1864, 13 Jan 1892, and 29 Nov 1920 destroyed many records
1837 4 1 Trimble County, Kentucky was formed from Gallatin, Henry, and Oldham Counties. It was created on 9 Feb 1837. Some records were lost in a courthouse fire in 1952.
1811 5 1 Union County, Kentucky was formed from Henderson County. It was created on 15 Jan 1811.
1797 3 1 Warren County, Kentucky was formed from Logan County after creation on 19 Dec 1796. A courthouse fire destroyed some records in 1864.
1792 6 2 Washington County, Kentucky was formed from Nelson County, Kentucky. It was the 10th county formed. Two fires, one in 1795, and the second in 1814 destroyed courthouses, though some records were saved.
1801 3 1 Wayne County, Kentucky was formed from Pulaski and Cumberland Counties. It was created in 1800. A fire in 1898 destroyed its fourth courthouse.
1860 7 1 Webster County, Kentucky was formed from Hopkins and Union Counties.
1818 4 1 Whitley County, Kentucky was formed from Knox County. It was created on 17 Jan 1818. Some records were lost in a courthouse disaster in 1930.
1860 7 1 Wolfe County, Kentucky was formed from Breathitt, Morgan, Owsley, and Powell Counties. Records were lost in courthouse fires in 1886 and 1913.
1788 11 12 Woodford County, Virginia (later Kentucky) was formed from Fayette County, Virginia. The 9th county to be formed was created on 1 May 1788. A fire destroyed many records on 11 Oct 1965.


Timeline created by Lee H. Hoffman, 1993 and revised 1996.
E-mail: 71147.1736@compuserve.com

KYCO is a timeline of Kentucky counties noting when each was formed either as part of Virginia or after the Commonweath of Kentucky was formed as well as showing the origin of each county (i.e., from what older county or counties the newer county was formed.


The date given will be the date the county was formally established as far as it is known. When the actual legislative action creating the county is different and known, its date will also be given.

Additional information is also given where such data is known by the author.

This information includes courthouse fires and loss of records for whatever reason.

This timeline can be very useful to those researching in Kentucky. Often an ancestor may live all his/her life in a single physical location, but live in multiple counties due to the formation of new counties. Note that records may be available in the newer county for events occuring prior to formation although most such records will be in the parent county. Also, some records that would normally be in the new county may be located in the older county for events occuring very close to the formation date. Researchers would do well to check both counties for records of events near the formation date.

Unless otherwise noted, the page references are to John E. Kleber, Ed., The Kentucky Encyclopedia (The University Press of Kentucky, 1992). Information shown here was also taken from Collins' History of Kentucky (Covington, Ky, 1878, Re-print by Clearfield Co, Baltimore, 1995). Collins' History only contains data up through 1874 and is essentially the same information as shown in The Kentucky Encyclopedia with some minor exceptions.

It may be noted that county formation sequencing numbers do not always follow date order. For example, Hardin County is the 15th to be formed and was formed in 1793 while Green County is the 16th and it was formed in 1792.

The compiler has not resolved these conflicts, but believes that the difference is due to the differences in legislative action and action formation dates. The law creating one county may be passed before another but specify a later date. The formation sequencing given is that normally followed by both Collin's and The Kentucky Encyclopedia.

Copyright 1993, 1996 by Lee H. Hoffman. All rights reserved.

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