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


Bell County, Kentucky
Map of Kentucky highlighting Bell County
Location in the state of Kentucky
Map of the U.S. highlighting Kentucky
Location of Kentucky in the U.S.
Founded February 28, 1867
County Seat Pineville
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Bell County Kentucky Courthouse

Beginning Dates for Bell County, Kentucky Genealogy Government Records
Birth* Marriage Death* Census Deeds Wills
1852 1867 1852 1870 1867 1869
*Many years between 1852 and 1911 are missing
Bell County Kentucky Courthouse.jpg

Bell County Courthouse
Courthouse Square Floor FL 1
PO Box 156
Pineville, KY 40977
Phone: 606.337.6143[1]

Bell County Kentucky History

Parent County

1867--Bell County was created 28 February 1867 from Harlan and Knox counties.
County seat: Pineville [2]

Boundary changes

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

Record Loss

1918, 1976--Disasters caused the loss of some records. For a list of record loss in Kentucky counties see: Kentucky Counties with Burned Courthouses

Bell County Kentucky Places / Localities

Populated Places

Arjay Colmar Hutch Ponza
Balkan Cubage Ingram Premier
Beverly Davisburg Ivy Grove Pruden
Binghamtown Davis Station (hist.) Jenson Rella
Black Snake Dorton Branch Kettle Island Stoney Fork
Blackmont East Pineville Laurel Ford Stony Fork Junction
Blanche Edgewood Meldrum Straight Creek
Callaway Ferndale Middlesboro Timsley
Calvin Field Miracle Tuggleville
Capito Fonde Noetown Varilla
Cardinal Fourmile Oaks Wallsend
Cary Frakes Olcott Wasioto
Chenoa Garmeada Pineville Yellow Creek
Clear Creek Springs Harbell

Neighboring Counties

Bell County Kentucky Genealogy Resources


African Americans

United States African Americans Gotoarrow.png Kentucky African Americans



Kentucky cemetery records often identify birth, death, relationship, and military information, as well as religious affiliation.


1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 federal population schedules of Bell 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 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.



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.

Local Histories

Local histories are available for Bell 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.



Civil War

Regiments. Service men in Bell County, Kentucky Genealogy served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed in Bell County, Kentucky Genealogy:

- 1st Battalion, Kentucky Mounted Rifles (Confederate). Company E.
- Fields' Company, Kentucky Partisan Rangers (Confederate), Company E



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



Probate records are held by the Bell County, Kentucky Genealogy Clerk of Court and are housed at the Bell County, Kentucky Genealogy Courthouse. Microfilmed records can be found online at Kentucky, Probate Records, 1792-1977. 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


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

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 Bell County, Kentucky Genealogy Clerk, with divorce records 1849-1958 located with the Bell County, Kentucky Genealogy Circuit Court. For more information see How to Find Kentucky Marriage Records. For Kentucky divorce records see the wiki page Kentucky Vital Records.

  • 1874 - Bell County Birth Index 1874. Batch C518101 at FamilySearch - free.[4]
  • 1875 - Bell County Birth Index 1875. Batch C518102 at FamilySearch - free.[4]

Bell County Kentucky Genealogy Societies and Libraries

Family History Centers

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. See Family History Center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.

Bell County Kentucky Genealogy Websites

Bell County Kentucky Genealogy References

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Bell County, Kentucky page 268, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  3. May be used for free at Family History Center. To locate a center near you, click here.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at


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  • This page was last modified on 19 November 2015, at 02:30.
  • This page has been accessed 31,958 times.