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United States  >  Kentucky  >  Census

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Tips
  • If at first you don't find a name, try again under another spelling.
  • Photocopy each ancestor's census. Identify where you found it.
  • Look for an ancestor in every census during her or his lifetime.
  • On the family group record show each person's census listings.
  • Study others in the same household, neighbors, and anyone with the similar names nearby on the census in community context.


  • Click here for a list of the exact date of each federal census.

Federal population schedules and indexes

Online

Online Federal Population Schedule Indexes and Images for Kentucky
  Free Free at Some Libraries (usually with a library card) Pay
Record Search Family Search MD State Archives Census Bureau Heritage Quest Footnote Ancestry FHL ed. Ancestry Library ed. Ancestry Home ed.
1940 indexes - - - - - - - - -
images - - - - - - - - -
1930 indexes - - - - Link Link Link Link Link
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1920 indexes - - - - Link - Link Link Link
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1910 indexes - - - - Link - Link Link Link
images - - - - Link - Link Link Link
1900 indexes Link - - - Link - Link Link Link
images Link - - - Link - Link Link Link
1880 indexes Link Link Link[1] - Link - Link Link Link
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1870 indexes Link - Link[2] - Link - Link Link Link
images Link - - - Link - Link Link Link
1860 indexes Link - - - Link Link Link Link Link
images - - - - Link Link Link Link Link
1850 indexes Link - - - - - Link Link Link
images Link - - - Link - Link Link [http://search.ancestry.com/Browse/list.aspx?dbid=8054&path=Kentucky
Link]
1840 indexes - - - - - - Link Link Link
images - - - - Link - Link Link Link
partial 1830 indexes - - - - - - Link Link Link
images - - - - Link - Link Link Link
1820 indexes - - - - Link - Link Link Link
images - - - - Link - Link Link Link
1810 indexes - - - - Link  - Link Link Link
images - - - - Link - Link Link Link
partial 1800 indexes - - - - Link  - Link Link Link
images - - - - Link - Link Link Link
partial 1790 indexes - - - transcript link Link  - Link Link Link
images - - - - Link  - Link Link Link
  Record Search Family Search MD State Archives Census Bureau Heritage Quest Footnote Ancestry FHL ed.  Ancestry Library ed. Ancestry Home ed.
Free Free at Some Libraries (usually with a library card) Pay


Federal Census Microfilms Available from the National Archives
1940 N/A 1910 T624 1870 M593 1840 M704 1810 M252
1930 T626 1900 T623 and Soundex T1050 1860 M654 1830 M19 1800 M32
1920 T625 and Soundex M1566 1880 T9  and Soundex T753 1850 M432 1820 M33 1790 M637


Microform and book indexes

Click here for a list of microform and book indexes for federal population schedules of Kentucky.


Federal non-population schedules and indexes

Online

Online Federal Non-Population Schedules for Kentucky

Free Free at Some Libraries(usually with library card) Pay
Year Schedule Type USGenNet Access Genealogy Evendon Census.gov Google Book Heritage Quest Ancestry FHL Ancestry Library Ancestry Home
1890 Veterans - - - - - - Link Link Link
1880 Mortality - - - - - -  ?[3]   ?[3]  ?[3]
1870 Mortality - - - - - -  ?[3]  ?[3]  ?[3]
1860 Slave owner - - - - - Link[4] Link Link Link
1860 Mortality - - - - - -  ?[3]  ?[3]  ?[3]
1850 Slave owner - - - - - Link[4] Link Link Link
1850 Mortality - - - - - -  ?[3]  ?[3]  ?[3]
1840 Pensioner Link Link BookLink BookLink BookLink - - - -


Microfilm

Family History Library Federal Census Non-Population Schedule Microfilms for Kentucky
1890 Veteran 1870 Mortality 1860 Slave owner 1850 Slave owner  1840 Pensioners
1880 Mortality 1870 Agricultural 1860 Mortality 1850 Mortality
1820 Manufacturers
1880 Agricultural 1870 Industrial 1860 Agricultural 1850 Agricultural
1880 Industrial 1870 Social Statistics 1860 Industrial 1850 Industrial
1880 Defective 1860 Social Statistics 1850 Social Statistics


National Archives Federal Census Non-Population Schedule Microfilms for Kentucky
1890 Veteran 1860 Slave owner 1860 Industrial 1850 Agricultural 1820 Manufactuer
1880 Mortality 1860 Mortality 1850 Slave owner 1850 Industrial
1870 Mortality 1860 Agricultural 1850 Mortality 1840 Pensioner


Microform and book indexes

Click here for a list of microform and book indexes for federal non-population schedules of Kentucky.


Missing federal censuses

Click here for a list of missing and available Kentucky federal censuses.


State or other censuses

[Colonial territorial, state or other censuses]

Kentucky made in 1778 a list of citizens who had taken an oath of fidelity which list is sometimes called a census.

Kentucky took a census in 1776:

An online index to both is found in  KENTUCKY INDEXES (Census Index) 1776-1778 [MSA S1419].

Why use a census?

A well-indexed census is one of the easiest ways to locate where an ancestor's family lived and when they lived there. You can also use censuses to follow the changes in a family over time, and identify neighbors. These and other clues provided by censuses are important because they help find additional kinds of records about the family.

More about censuses

Click here for additional details about how to use censuses, such as:

  • index searching tips
  • analyzing and using what you find
  • census accuracy
  • historical background
  • contents of various census years and types

External sites

Many censuses and indexes are on free sites, others are at paid sites. Some may have access through library membership, and other are personal paid sites. Some sites have partial censuses and others major fee sites have the whole series, with indexes and links to images. Online indexes are searchable in different ways, see tips if you are having difficulties locating your family.

  • FamilySearch Record Search is free site. There are a few census years available now with more being added. Search the index and view the images. The index is to every name listed on the census. As of June 2009. the years that are indexed and available for Kentucky are 1850, 1860, 18701880, and 1900.
  • Kentucky State Archives has indexes to the 1776 and 1778 colonial "censuses", also the federal 1870 and 1880. 
  • Ancestry is a large Internet company that has all the Kentucky censuses indexed from 1790--1930 by every name. The index is linked to the image as well to an extracted household group with source information. Ancestry is available at many libraries, the Family History Library, and certain Family History centers.You can also purchase your own subscription.
  • Heritage Quest Online is a paid site that has indexes for the 1790–1820, 1860–1880, and 1900–1930. Images for all national censuses are available for browsing, printing, and downloading. Many libraries have subscriptions which allow access for their patrons outside of their library with a library card and password.
  • Census Finder has statewide links to online indexes, then countywide links, including indexes, transcriptions, scanned copies. The links on this site are often difficult to use.
  • Two other websites that have links to other sites are Census Online and Access Genealogy. Some of the addresses are not current.

Footnotes

  1. Only Anne Arundel County is indexed for 1880.
  2. Residents of what is now Garrett County were part of Allegany County in 1870 and indexed under Allegany County.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 Ancestry implies they have all mortality schedules indexed and images available online. No such indexes or images appear for Kentucky.
  4. 4.0 4.1 HeritageQuest has slave owner schedule images only.



OLD United States  >  U.S. Census  >  Kentucky  >  Kentucky Census

Availability

Kentucky:  Existing and Lost Federal Census Schedules[1][2][3]
  Population Schedules Vets Slave Mortal Agricu Indust Defect
1940 Public release coming in 2012            
1930 Apr 1 Exist for all counties.            
1920 Jan 1 Exist for all counties.            
1910 Apr 15 Exist for all counties.            
1900 Jun 1 Exist for all counties.            
1890 Jun 2 Lost Exist          
1880 Jun 1 Part of Crittendon County missing.     Exist Exist Exist Exist
1870 Jun 1 Exist for all counties.     Exist Exist Exist  
1860 Jun 1 Exist for all counties; free schedules.   Exist Exist Exist Exist  
1850 Jun 1 Exist for all counties; free schedules.   Exist Exist Exist Exist  
1840 Jun 1 Exist for all counties. Exist          
1830 Jun 1 Exist for all counties.            
1820 Aug 7 Exist for all counties.         Exist  
1810 Aug 6 Exist for all counties.            
1800 Aug 4 Lost.            
1790 Aug 2 Lost              


United States Censuses 1850-1920—Free Internet census indexes and images to the 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 (index only), 1900, and 1920 (partial index only) can be viewed on the FamilySearch Record Search. These indexes show every name listed on the census, and except for 1880 and 1920, are also linked to census images including information about each person’s residence, age, birthplace, occupation, other family members, and neighbors.

1810-1930--Kentucky censuses are available on microfilm.

1790--Kentucky census was destroyed.

1800--Kentucky census was destroyed.

1890--Census was destroyed. The 1890 Union veterans schedule and index for most of the state is available.

1790 and 1800--Tax lists have been indexed and published as substitutes for the censuses. 

Missing Data:
1880--Kentucky = Crittenden County is missing about 1,500 people.

Historical Background

1772--Fincastle County was formed from Botetourt County, Virginia. It included all of the present state of Kentucky and small portions of Virginia and West Virginia.

1774--Harrodsburg was established as the first permanent settlement in Kentucky.  Settlements at Boonesboro, St. Asaph, and Danville soon followed.  Early settlers received land warrants for their participation in the French and Indian war.

1776--Kentucky County was created from Fincastle County, Virginia.  It included the eastern part of present-day Kentucky.

1792--The Commonwealth of Kentucky was admitted to the Union as the 15th state.

1803--Migration through Kentucky, as well as settlement there, increased after the Louisiana Purchase.

Indexes

United States Census Indexes 1850-1920—Free Internet census indexes to the 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, and 1920 (partial index only) can be viewed on the FamilySearch Record Search.

1810-1870--Statewide surname indexes for the censuses have been published.

1880-1930--There is a SOUNDEX (phonetic) index on microfilm.

Separate indexes of many Kentucky counties are available for the 1850, 1860, and 1870 censuses.

  • Jackson, Ronald Vern. AIS Microfiche Indexes of U.S. Census and Other Records. Bountiful, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1984. (No Family History Library fiche number, but it is available on microfiche at many Family History Centers.) Census indexes for 1790, 1800, and 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, and 1860 are on searches 1 through 5. There is a composite index for the mortality schedules of 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 on search 8. For further instructions, see A I S Indexes to U. S. Censuses 1607-1906 (30970).

Reference tools that help determine which census schedule and enumeration district to search for a specific address include:

  • Census Descriptions and Geographical Subdivisions and Enumeration Districts. National Archives Microfilm Publications, T1224 and T1210. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Service, 1977–1978. These describe the boundaries of the area covered by each census taker. The films for Kentucky are:

1880 --Family History Library film 1402860
1900-- Family History Library film 1303022
1910-- Family History Library film 1374004
1920 --Family History Library film 1842707
1930-- Family History Library film 2261283


Maps are good tools to use with censuses because of the many boundary changes over the years. A publication that shows county boundary changes during census years in Kentucky is:

  • Thorndale,William and William Dollarhide Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790–1920. Baltimore, [Kentucky]: Genealogical Publishing, 1987. 

Special Censuses

Mortality Schedules

1850-1880--The Kentucky State Archives has mortality schedules, which list persons who died during the 12 months before the federal censuses were taken. In addition to providing the same information about the deceased person that the regular census schedules provided for the living, mortality schedules also state the month of death, cause of death, and the number of days ill.

1850 United States Census Mortality Schedules—A free Internet index and images to the 1850 United States Census Mortality Schedules can be viewed on the FamilySearch Record Search - Pilot Site. Mortality schedules provided nationwide death statistics for the twelve months prior to the 1850 census.  Key genealogical facts found on the 1850 mortality schedule are: Name, age, sex, color, married or widowed, birthplace, month of death, occupation, cause of death.

The Family History Library has copies of the schedules:

  • United States. Bureau of the Census. Federal Mortality Census Schedules and Related Indexes: Kentucky, 1850; 1860; 1870; 1880. National Archives Microfilm Publications, T0655. Washington, DC: National Archives and Record Service, 1962. (Family History Library films 422419–27.) 

Slave Schedules

1850-1860--Slave schedules list the names of slave owners but do not normally list the names of the slaves. The numbers of slaves, their sex, and their age ranges are given.

1850 United States Census Slave Schedules—A free Internet index and images to the 1850 United States Census Slave Schedules can be viewed on the FamilySearch Record Search – Pilot Site listing each slave owner's name and residence. It also shows the age, gender, and color of the slaves. Slave names are not normally listed.

Veterans Schedules

1840--In the federal census a listing was made of the Revolutionary War veterans, giving their ages, their residences, and the names of the heads of the household. The following indexes are available, listing these veterans for all states:

  • A General Index to a Census of Pensioners for Revolutionary or Military Service, 1840. Baltimore, Maryland.: Genealogical Publishing, 1965. (Family History Library fiche 6046771, film 899835.)
  • A Census of Pensioners for Revolutionary or Military Service: With Their Names, Ages, and Places of Residence, as Returned by the Marshals of the Several Judicial Districts, Under the Act for Taking the Sixth Census. Washington DC: Printed by Blair and Rives, 1841. (Family History Library film 1064759 item 3.)

For a list of Kentucky pensioners, see:

  • Minix, Sharroll K. 1840 Special Federal Census of Kentucky Pensioners of Revolutionary or Military Service. Salyersville, KY: Magoffin County Historical Society, 1983. The names of the pensioners and heads of the household are listed by county.

1890--In the census of Kentucky Union Army veterans of the Civil War, the census enumeration was destroyed for about half of the counties. For the remainder of the census, see:

  • United States. Census Office. 11th Census, 1890. Schedules Enumerating Union Veterans and Widows of Union Veterans of the Civil War. National Archives Microfilm Publications, M0123. Washington, DC: National Archives, 1948. (On 118 Family History Library films, beginning with 338160). Family History Library films for Kentucky are 338160–2. Each schedule may contain the following information: the veteran’s name (or if he did not survive, the names of both the widow and her deceased husband); rank; company; regiment or vessel; date of enlistment and discharge; length of service in years, months, and days; post office and address; and disabilities incurred. The schedule also contains remarks necessary for a complete statement of his term of service. Many Confederate veterans were accidentally enumerated.

For an index to the 1890 veterans schedules, see:

  • Dilts, Bryan Lee. 1890 Kentucky Census Index of Civil War Veterans or Their Widows. Salt Lake City, Utah: Index Pub., 1984 (Family History Library fiche 6331355). This does not circulate to Family History Centers. This index contains the name of the veteran or his widow, his county of residence, a supervisor’s district, and an enumeration district number.

School Censuses

Many counties took school censuses at various times between 1888 and 1932 (mostly 1895 to 1910). These list every person in the household. As of June 1999 the Family History Library had copies of school censuses from 18 counties, such as:

  • Monroe County Kentucky. Clerk of the County Court. School Census, 1893–1903. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1969. (Family History Library film 589661.) This school census lists the children’s name, age, sex, and parents’ names.

Territorial and State Censuses

1787--Kentucky was enumerated with parts of Virginia and West Virginia.

1795--Kentucky took a state census.

1819--Kentucky took a state census for Boone, Campbell, and Kenton Counties.

Web Sites

FamilySearch Record Search has free census indexes and images for 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1900; but indexes only for 1880, and 1920.

Ancestry

Heritage Quest Online

Census Online

Genealogy Today

Access Genealogy

Census Finder: Kentucky

References

  • Kentucky Research Outline. Salt Lake City, Utah: Intellectual Reserve, Inc., Family History Department, 1998, 2000.
  • 1880 Cenus Index CD Manuel.

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