Kentucky Wills

Probate records within a county are typically stored in the county courthouse, often under the management of the county clerk. These records can encompass a variety of documents such as wills, estate details, executor and administrator information, inventories, settlements, accounts, guardianships, and records regarding orphans, insolvent estates, apprentices, illegitimate children, and mental health cases. The probate-related documents are usually cataloged in large volumes that consist of court minutes, proceedings, estate and executor data, guardianship information, inventories, probate details, sales, settlements, and wills.

There might be variation in how these records are titled and they are often loosely held together in folders or packets. Early estate records are commonly found mixed with regular county court proceedings. Circuit court records may also contain disputes related to inherited estates. Some counties have transcribed ancient wills. Collections of these are available at the Kentucky Historical Society and the Filson Library.

Copies of the original probate records, whether transcribed or in microfilm format, can be found at the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, the Kentucky Historical Society, the University of Kentucky Library, the Filson Library, and the FHL. The Kentucky Court of Appeals maintains book J, which contains records of wills and inventories from 1780 to 1788. These have been summarised by Michael and Bettie Cook, as outlined in Kentucky Land Records.

It’s important to note that some of the 120 county courthouses in Kentucky have unfortunately lost records due to fire or other mishaps. Although some records may have been lost in the county you are researching, re-recorded documents and other resources like newspapers and church records can help fill in the gaps. It’s advisable to extend research several years past the time of record destruction to ensure comprehensive findings.

Kentucky Wills Index

Kentucky Wills by County

Adair County

Anderson County

Barren County

Bath County

Bell County

Boone County

Bourbon County

Boyle County

Bracken County

Breckinridge County

Bullitt County

Caldwell County

Campbell County

Carroll County

Carter County

Casey County

Christian County

Clark County

Clinton County

Crittenden County

Edmonson County

Fleming County

Floyd County

Franklin County

Gallatin County

Garrard County

Grant County

Graves County

Grayson County

Green County

Greenup County

Hancock County

Hardin County

Harlan County

Harrison County

Hart County

Henderson County

Henry County

Hickman County

Hopkins County

Jackson County

Jefferson County

Jessamine County

Johnson County

Kenton County

Knott County

Knox County

Larue County

Laurel County

Lawrence County

Lee County

Leslie County

Letcher County

Lewis County

Lincoln County

Livingston County

Logan County

Lyon County

Madison County

Magoffin County

Marion County

Marshall County

Martin County

Mason County

McCracken County

McCreary County

McLean County

Meade County

Menifee County

Mercer County

Metcalfe County

Monroe County

Montgomery County

Morgan County

Muhlenberg County

Nelson County

Nicholas County

Ohio County

Oldham County

Owen County

Owsley County

Pendleton County

Perry County

Pike County

Powell County

Pulaski County

Robertson County

Rockcastle County

Rowan County

Russell County

Scott County

Shelby County

Simpson County

Spencer County

Taylor County

Todd County

Trigg County

Trimble County

Union County

Warren County

Washington County

Wayne County

Webster County

Whitley County

Wolfe County

Woodford County

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