LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky land, census and marriage records from the late 1700s to the 1900s have recently resurfaced and are being prepared for public inspection.
The Lexington Herald-Leader reported the books are being indexed
to make information easier to find and documents are being scanned
so they can be made available for public viewing.
The original record books will not be available for the public.
"The documents are so old and the pages are so fragile that I
really would not be willing to put them out there for the public to
peruse through," Deputy Fayette County Clerk Linda Potter said.
Potter found out about a volume of land patents containing the
names of the commonwealth's earliest settlers, called the
The book, originally in the clerk's office, had been moved to
Frankfort in the early 1970s.
Microfilming at the Department of Libraries and Archives should
be complete within two weeks, said Barbara Teague, state archivist
and records administrator.
The Doomsday Book contains the names of settlers who applied for
land patents from 1779 through 1780, when Kentucky was still part
of Virginia. Kentucky became a state in 1792.
Kandie Adkinson, an administrative supervisor in the Kentucky
Land Office, said the books are important for genealogists who want
to document history and traditions of family members.
"Additionally, by determining if an ancestor received a
commissioners' certificate for settlement prior to 1792,
individuals may qualify for membership in First Families of
Kentucky," a hereditary society established in 2005, Adkinson
Another record book recovered by Fayette County clerks, the
"Land Entry Book," contains similar information from 1783 to
1784. Several years' worth of marriage licenses were also found in
the county clerk's storage area.
The clerk's office also recovered several books containing
Fayette County school census records from 1896 to 1909 for both
white and black students. The census books contain students' names,
addresses, names of parents and siblings, and dates of birth.
Potter said the school records are a "significant discovery"
for black genealogists.
"Unfortunately, the Fayette County clerk's office doesn't have
a lot of records for black people to go on," she said.
Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader,
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)