- KY birth records are not released to public access however an index in book form from 1911 through 1959 is available. They are listed in Department of Vital Statistics black books in Archives reading room. There is also a computer index of births.
- Information given in books includes name of person, maiden name of mother, date of birth, county, number of the certificate.
- Using volume and certificate number, order certified birth certificate from Vital Statistics, 275 East Main, Frankfort, KY 40621. Forms may be obtained on line at www.chfs.ky.gov/dph/vital/birthcert/ Using this link allows you to buy the certificate for $10.00.
- Death certificates are released 50 years after the fact and those are available on microfilm in Archives.
- Death records index -- available on computer (through 2000) and in bound books in Archives (through 1969)
Using the year of death and certificate numbers, copies of death certificates from 1911 through the 50 year release date may also be view on microfilm reader in Archives. The printer burned out and excessive cost of new machine is prohibitive so you can read but not print death certificates.
- For those deaths less than 50 years ago or for certified copies, use the volume and certificate number, order certified death certificate from Vital Statistics, 275 East Main, Frankfort, KY 40621. Forms may be obtained on line at www.chfs.ky.gov/dph/vital/deathcert/ Using this link allows you to buy the certificate for $6.00.
Early Vital Statistics
KY kept no vital statistics prior to 1852 when Sutton's Law was passed, requiring the county tax assessors to record and report births, marriages, and deaths. The law was repealed in 1862 and was never done very well. A few scattered records are also available in the 1874-1878 period.
- Some births were reported from 1852, 1853, 1855, 1856, 1857, 1858, 1859, 1861, 1874, 1875, 1876, and 1878.
- Some deaths were reported in 1853, 1854, 1856, 1857, 1858, 1859, 1861, 1873, 1874, 1875, and 1878.
- Some marriages were reported in 1854, 1855, 1856, 1857, 1858, 1859, 1861, 1874, 1875, 1876, and 1878.
For Logan County, we have a printed list in the Archives completed by Montgomery Vanderpool. Check the state wide list by contacting the KY Historical Society, 100 West Broadway, Frankfort, KY 40601-1931. Write to them (include a self-addressed stamped envelope for reply) for they do not accept e-mail or fax requests.
White Marriage Records
Indexes in county court clerk's office
General - 1790-1818, 1938-1950
Bride's - 1818-1938
Groom's - 1818-1938
After 1938, each book has a separate index.
Marriage records from 1790 through 1818 were destroyed; the only record remaining is a hand-copied record in the pages of the general index listing only the bride, the groom, and the date. Mrs. J. Wells Vick, DAR member, copied the records from a typed copy in the possession of Eugene Nourse whose father was county court clerk at the time records were destroyed due to deterioration.
Registers 1 (1818-1840) through 5 (1910-1916) are available. After 1916, registration and bond are in same book. Register book information may give date, parties' names, by whom married, place of marriage, and names of witnesses present.
Bonds begin with the marriages in 1865. Information given is varied as is the clerk's attention to detail. Some bonds have only the names of the couple and of the person signing as surety for the bond. Others may list ages, occupations, number of marriages, birthplaces of the groom and bride, names and birthplaces of parents of the couple, and remarks (usually referring to who gave consent for the marriage, the bride or her parents).
To speed research, use abstracted books of marriages to locate book and page number before visiting county court clerk's office to view original.
To obtain copies by mail, contact the Society volunteers for research to see if records on your ancestor are available. Copies of the original records are $1.00 per page and may be obtained from the Logan Co., KY, Genealogical Society, P. O. Box 853, Russellville, KY 42276-0853.
See Books for Sale for abstracted records.
African American Marriage Records
The Freedman's Register is the first available record for Black marriages in Logan County and is a register giving statements as to length of marriages. These may have been slaves or freedmen as no record has been found of marriages of freedmen.
Bond Books cover time from May, 1866, through July, 1936 in chronological order. Book #25 lists bonds from July 1936 through December 1960. There is no Bond book #5 but dates of #4 and #6 are consecutive. Bond Book #8 lists Negro marriages December 1871 through June 1878 under the heading, Auburn, Logan County, KY.
After 1960, black marriages are in the same books as white marriages.
Visit the Archives or the county court clerk's office to locate the appropriate book or contact the Society members, listed above, if copies are needed by mail.
Circuit Court Records
The circuit courts in Kentucky have been responsible for various records through the years. There are two major divisions, equity and ordinary cases, used for research in Logan County.
These law suits range from a few pages into the hundreds and are divided into two categories. 1. Equity cases are civil actions, often involving property rights, where the plaintiff is seeking the courts judgment to make things as fair as possible in a dispute. Estate settlements, divorces, breaches of contracts, and land disputes are some examples of what you find here. The complainants seek "reasonable justice" in these cases. There are 12,189 equity cases in 587 acid-free storage boxes with over 53,000 index cards. Time span covered is March 1802 through 24 May 1940. Database summary of two boxes of cases is included monthly in LOGAN LINKS, newsletter of the Society.
2. Ordinary cases are also civil actions in which one person sued another over injuries done to the property, either real or personal, of another. Debts not paid, slander, libel, trespass, assault, and negligence would be some of the cases covered in these files. Ordinary cases number 15,989 in 244 boxes, have over 29,900 cards in the index, and cover 10 November 1800 through 24 January 1942.
3. A third division of files, labeled MISCELLANEOUS, is also found in the Archives. Forty boxes of files were preserved by Western KY University until 1983 when they returned the court cases to the Fiscal Court for preservation in the local Archives. These are preserved in 43 Hollinger boxes. These were removed from the county at some point now unknown. Most are court records or involved in court disputes, some dated before Kentucky was a state. An index is available in book form in the Archives and is provided as a part of the 2012 LOGAN LINKS.
Criminal cases are another function of the circuit court. Records of these cases are public record but have not been indexed by the Society. To find the records in these cases, you need to know the year of the infraction and contact the circuit court clerk to find records. Court depositions or proceedings are not generally available but judgments may be given.
Adoption and juvenile records are maintained by the circuit courts in Kentucky but are locked records. To view these, the judge of the county must rule they are to be opened and then only to the specified individual for the specified purpose.
Equity, Ordinary, and Miscellaneous cases are available for research in the Archives or copies may be purchased at 25 cents a page.
If interested in these cases:
1. Send a request for a free review of available records, list the individual and the approximate dates he was here to see if he is listed circuit court files.
2. If cases or other records are found and you wish to purchase a copy of the file, a count of pages will have been included in the review.
3. Send check or money order to cover cost of copying the case and postage.
While Logan County does have all of its land records intact, finding the exact place one's ancestors lived in the county is difficult. Kentucky is a "state-land state" meaning the state, not the federal government, made up the land grants. Kentucky's survey system used the metes and bounds to describe the corners of the property, not the surveyed grid of meridians, baselines, townships, and ranges used in marking land in states settled later than 1792.
To obtain land in early Kentucky, one entered a claim or petition for the land, got official approval for the petition (warrant), got the land surveyed and plat described, and then the state granted title to the land (patent or deed).
Survey books are located in the county court clerk's office. These give the description of the surveyed plots. Some list names of owners of adjoining land. There is no location on a master plat of Logan County. While many warrants were never used, if the person arranged for a survey, they usually followed through with and got a patent or "first deed" for the land surveyed.
Deed books for research are in the county court clerk's office, West 3rd Street, Russellville, KY.
Index books for all deeds, both grantor and grantee, are located in same area. Index for 1792 - 1937 gives all of the surname in chronological order. $1.00 per page from society. Deeds after 1992 are indexed on computer but hard copies of indexes are also available.
Copies of deed can be obtained through the Society, $1.00 per page. Spouse is most often mentioned when the land is sold. The county and state from which a person is immigrating may be given in deed when land is first bought in Logan County.
Other books in this office involving deeds are also available for research, including survey books, commissioner's deeds, mortgage books, highway books, etc.
Wills and Estate Settlement Records
- Will books are available from 1792 through present.
- Original wills, when available, are in Archives vault, 278 West 4th St., Russellville, KY.
- Will books are located in the county court clerk's office on the same block as the courthouse, opening on West 3rd Street., Russellville, KY.
- Abstracts of wills through 1923 can be found in Archives to speed research. These books give a short summary of the will, the heirs, and bequests as well as giving location by book and page number. Abstracts are available for sale, see BOOKS FOR SALE page.
- No general index of will books is available.
If the person died without a will, a record of the estate settlement may be in circuit court equity cases which are indexed by cards in the Logan Co., KY, Archives and stored there also. Most of these cases are also found in the abstracted books.