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Owsley County, Kentucky Genealogy

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Guide to Owsley County, Kentucky ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

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County Facts
County seat: Booneville
Organized: January 23, 1843
Parent County(s): Clay, Estill, Breathitt [1]
Neighboring Counties
Breathitt  • Clay  • Jackson  • Lee  • Perry
See County Maps
Courthouse
Owsley County Courthouse, Booneville, KY
Location Map
Ky-owsley.png
Adoption
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for William Owsley. The County is located in the southeast central area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Owsley County Courthouse
154 Main Street
Booneville, KY 41314
Phone: 606-593-5735[3]
Owsley County Website

Owsley County, Kentucky Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1843 1929 1852 1923 1929 1929 1810
Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1911. General compliance by 1917.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

1929, 1967--Disasters destroyed most of the records.

For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

  • 1843--Owsley County was created 23 January 1843 from Clay, Estill and Breathitt Counties.  
  • County seat: Booneville[5]

For animated maps illustrating Kentucky county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Kentucky County Boundary Maps" (1776-1939) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website.

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit Hometown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[6]

Cities
Unincorporated communities


History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Owsley, Kentucky online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
TombstoneTranscriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Kentucky Cemeteries for more information

The following web sites have additional information on Owsley county cemeteries.

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1850 3,774
1860 5,335 41.4%
1870 3,889 −27.1%
1880 4,942 27.1%
1890 5,975 20.9%
1900 6,874 15.0%
1910 7,979 16.1%
1920 7,820 −2.0%
1930 7,223 −7.6%
1940 8,957 24.0%
1950 7,324 −18.2%
1960 5,369 −26.7%
1970 5,023 −6.4%
1980 5,709 13.7%
1990 5,036 −11.8%
2000 4,858 −3.5%
2010 4,755 −2.1%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 federal population schedules of Owsley County are available online. For tips on accessing census records online, see Kentucky Census. If you're having trouble finding your ancestors in online indexes, try checking printed indexes. Created by local experts familiar with the area's families, these indexes are often transcribed more accurately than online nationwide indexes.

See Kentucky Population Schedule Indexes: Fiche, Film, or Book for more information about statewide printed indexes.

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Church records and the information they provide vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. For general information about Kentucky denominations, view the Kentucky Church Records wiki page.

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

African Americans[edit | edit source]

More information about African American resources in Kentucky can be found on the Kentucky African Americans and the United States African Americans Wiki pages.

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.

See Kentucky Land and Property for additional information about early Kentucky land grants. After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions were usually recorded at the county courthouse and where records are currently housed.

  • The KY Land Office
  • Many Land records for Owsley County have been microfilmed or abstracted. Some of those copies are available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. For a listing of their holdings, see the topic details from their catalog.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for Owsley County, Kentucky Genealogy. County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories see the wiki page section Kentucky Local Histories.

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Jackson CountyLee CountyBreathitt CountyPerry CountyClay CountyKY OWSLEY.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Online Records

World War I[edit | edit source]

World War II[edit | edit source]

Korean War[edit | edit source]

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Owsley County, Kentucky Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Probate records are held by the Owsley County, Kentucky Genealogy Clerk of Court and are housed at the Owsley County, Kentucky Genealogy Courthouse. Microfilmed records can be found online at Kentucky, Probate Records, 1792-1977 for Caldwell, Henry, Hickman, Russell and Trimble counties. See the wiki page Kentucky Probate Records for information about how to use probate records.

Content: Probate Records may give the decedent's date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, associates, relatives, and their place of residence.

Record types: Wills, estates, guardianships, naturalizations, and adoptions.

Online Probate Records

School Records[edit | edit source]

  • Schools. Anglin, Bee Branch, Bethelehem, Bradshaw, Cortland, Fish Creek, Highland, Indian Creek, Lerose, Leroy, Moores, Riverside, Rockhouse, Royal Oak, Walnut Grove.

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

Taxes were levied on free white males over 21 and slaves aged 21 to 60. These persons are referred to as "polls." Tax listings, or digests, of a county generally list the taxable landowners and other polls and the amount of tax. The records for each county are divided by militia district. For more background information and state-wide resources see the wiki page Kentucky Taxation.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Vital records consist of birth, death, marriage and divorce records. Although Kentucky enacted a statute in 1852-1862 requiring registration of births and deaths,many counties did not comply. A second law was written in 1874-1879, and 1892-1910 but, again, was not always followed. By 1911, the law was more clearly defined and kept by 1920. Any existing births 1852-1960 and death records 1852-1953 can be accessed online. See How to Find Kentucky Birth Records and How to Find Kentucky Death Records for links to indexes and images.

Original marriage records are held at the office of the Owsley County Clerk, with divorce records 1849-1958 located with the Owsley County Circuit Court. For more information see How to Find Kentucky Marriage Records. For Kentucky divorce records see the wiki page Kentucky Vital Records.

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Death[edit | edit source]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes.

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Owsley County, Kentucky" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Owsley_County,_Kentucky."
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Owsley County, Kentucky page 274, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Owsley County, Kentucky. Page 268-276 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 251-254.
  5. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Kentucky. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "Owsley County, Kentucky," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Owsley_County,_Kentucky, accessed 7 September 2018.
  7. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/7/75/Igikentuckymz.pdf.