Pulaski County, Kentucky Genealogy

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Pulaski County, Kentucky
Map of Kentucky highlighting Pulaski County
Location in the state of Kentucky
Map of the U.S. highlighting Kentucky
Location of Kentucky in the U.S.
Founded December 10, 1798
County Seat Somerset
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United States  Gotoarrow.png  Kentucky  Gotoarrow.png  Pulaski County

Quick Dates[edit | edit source]

Pulaski County's civil records start the following years:

Birth* Marriage Death* Census Land Probate
1852   1852      

 *Many years between 1852 and 1911 are missing

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1798--Pulaski County was created 10 December 1798 from Lincoln and Green Counties.
County seat: Somerset [1]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

John H Long, editor, Kentucky Atlas of Historical County Boundaries

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

1871--A disaster destroyed some records.

Places/Localities[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

Acorn Dahl Kingbee Sandy Gap
Albia Delmer Mangum Sardis
Alcalde Dorena Mark Science Hill
Alpine Drum Meece Shafter
Ano Dykes Mount Victory Shepola
Ansel Elihu Mount Zion Shopville
Bandy Elrod Nancy Sinking Valley
Barnesburg Estesburg Naomi Sloans Valley
Bee Lick Etna Norfleet Somerset
Bent Eubank Northfield Squib
Blue John Faubush Norwood Stab
Bobtown Ferguson Oak Hill Sugar Hill
Bourbon Floyd Oil Center Tateville
Bronston Goochtown Omega Trimble
Burnetta Goodwater Piney Grove Ula
Burnside Grundy Plato Valley Oak
Cedar Grove Hail Pointer Vanhook
Clarence Hargis Poplarville Walnut Grove
Coin Hislope Pulaski Welborn
Colo Hogue Quinton Whetstone
Conrard Ingle Ringgold Woodstock
Dabney Keno Ruth

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

African American[edit | edit source]

The following have information concerning African American research.  Both should be used:

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

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

  • Kentucky Historical Society Cemetery Search can be searched by name, place and/or date.  This database has hundreds of thousands of names transcribed from gravestones across Kentucky. 
  • Find A Grave can be searched by the name of a person or family to find where a person is buried.  Usually gives birth and death dates often with a picture of the tombstone.  May give obituaries, names of family members and links to their information in Find A Grave.
  • Kentucky Cemeteries lists the national cemeteries in Kentucky with links to their web sites. The first link under Online Kentucky Cemeteries goes to the Kentucky section of Interment.net
  • Pulaski Co. KY USGenWeb Tombstone Project usually gives the names of the deceased in alphabetical order by last name with birth and death dates plus any remarks. 
  • ePodunk list of Pulaski County cemeteries gives the names of the cemeteries in the county with a link to more information such as address, phone number, and web site.
  • The website http://www.pulaskispast.com/ has an impressive cemetery section maintained by Scott Burton and has an ongoing project to photograph every tombstone in every cemetery in Pulaski County, Kentucky.
Somerset Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Sinking Creek Baptist Church Cemetery (First church in Somerset). Another transcription of the Sinking Creek Cemetery, showing different data, and including a grave location map is found in FHL US/CAN Book 976.963 H25P Pulaski County, KY Historical Society Newsletter. Nov 1992.

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1800 3,161
1810 6,897 118.2%
1820 7,597 10.1%
1830 9,500 25.0%
1840 9,620 1.3%
1850 14,195 47.6%
1860 17,201 21.2%
1870 17,670 2.7%
1880 21,318 20.6%
1890 25,731 20.7%
1900 31,293 21.6%
1910 35,986 15.0%
1920 34,010 −5.5%
1930 35,640 4.8%
1940 39,863 11.8%
1950 38,452 −3.5%
1960 34,403 −10.5%
1970 35,234 2.4%
1980 45,803 30.0%
1990 49,489 8.0%
2000 59,200 19.6%
Source: "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau.

1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 federal population schedules of Pulaski 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[edit | edit source]

BAPTISTS[edit | edit source]

Flat Lick Baptist Church

  • A Short History of Flat Lick Baptist Church, Pulaski County, Kentucky
  • Murrell P. Stewart, Flat Lick Baptist Church: Its Place in History, 1799-1999

Sinking Creek Baptist Churc

Court[edit | edit source]


Circuit Court Orders

The Court Orders found in the Circuit Court Clerks Office in the courthouse at Somerset, Pulaski County, Kentucky in 1969 contain orders about debt, slander, stealing, assault, and battery. Occasionally there are references to a probate record. There are a few land certificate orders. Orders often say "In case" or  "In Chancery", but no case numbers are given. Vol 4, p 5 mentions the publishing of one particular case's information in the August [Argus?] Western America newspaper. If you see an order that says "upon Indictment", also check the COUNTY court order books to see if there isn't an order regarding your case there that pre-dates the circuit court order you found. If an order says "in case" be sure and order the entire case file (not just the final judgement) from the Kentucky State Archives in Frankfort.

Orders of the Circuit Court 1804-1809

This volume contains an index at the front however it has limited scope. For example, given two randomly picked pages, p. 40 and p. 180, along with an entry containing a plaintiff and defendant from each page for a total of 4 different people and surnames; none of the 4 individuals were found in the index! (FHL US/CAN Film 800,722. This is presently (2011) cataloged as Orders of the Circuit Court, Vol 1 1804-1805; but an examination of the microfilm reveals that the spine cover of this volume reads "1804-1809" and the last few pages of this volume are carrying 1809 dates. It should also be noted that the spine cover at the time of this 1969 filming did not refer to this volume as "Vol 1" nor "Book 1")

Orders of the Circuit Court 1810-1815

This volume has 565 pages in it, with no index at the beginning or end of the volume. (FHL US/CAN Film 800,722. This is presently (2011) cataloged as "Vol 3" but there is no "Vol 3" on the spine cover in this 1969 filming.) 

This volume also contains Tellico land certificate orders. Although scattered, the Telico land certificate orders are easy to spot because the have numbers by them (ie: no. 1, no. 2, etc) in the left margin. The Telico land certificate orders often have a half page to a full page description of the land. And the descriptions often referenced the south side of the Cumberland River and “near the county line”.[2]

Orders of the Circuit Court Vol 4, 1816-1820

This volume has 504 pages in it, with no index at the beginning nor end of the volume. (FHL US/CAN Film 800,723 item 1. The spine of the book cover reads "Order Circuit Court No. 4 1816-1820"). The entries make no mention of case numbers.

Orders of the Circuit Court Vol 5, 1820-1823

This volume has 437 pages in it, with no index at the beginning nor end of the volume. (FHL US/CAN Film 800, 723 item 2)

County Court Orders

There is a General Index to the County Court Orders, 1799-1940 (FHL US/CAN Film 804,645). This is a rather unique index typed index that has several sections to it. The first section is an alphabetically arranged subject index. Then their are several alphabetically arranged sections of plaintiffs vs defendants, but even then subject indexing is intermingled. The subject indexing is quite interesting to read through as it contains subjects such as Bastardy, Purchase of Record Books, Pulaski county in an Act of the General Assembly, Stray Pen and Stocks, Jail, Small pox, etc.

There are several types or categories of Kentucky grants but when some grants were issued for land in Pulaski county, the grants contained a grant number and a certificate number. The certificate number is a reference to the numerically ordered "No."s in the County Court Order books. 

County Court Order Books 1-2, 1799-1855 (FHL US/CAN Film 804,646 items 1 and 2. In this filming the spine of vol 1 reads: "Orders No. 1 1779-1803"; however the volume starts with 1799. The spine of vol 2 reads: "County Court Orders No 2 1804-1815 Pulaski County".) Vol 1 contain no volume index at the front nor back. Volume 1 contains land certificate number No. 1 to No. 613. 

County Court Order Books 3-5, 1815-1835 (FHL US/CAN Film 804,647. In this filming the spine of vol 3 reads "Orders No. 3 1815-1822 Pulaski County". Page 1 reads "March Court 1815 At a County Court held for Pulaski County")


Minutes From Inferior Court, No. 1, June 1853-Dec 1885 This volume has no index at the front or back of the book. These minutes are mostly about debt and are often found ending with the plaintiff being unable to recover because the defendant has no property found by the constable to make the residue of the debt. See FHL US/CAN Film 969,926 for a 1975 filming by the Genealogical Society of Utah.

Probate Files [aka Estate Packets]

  • [1993-present]

The Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives has some Pulaski county court records, including:

Executions 1803-1928, Circuit Court

Commissioners Reports of Sales, 1838-1919

Commonwealth Cases, 1839-1912

Cases, 1800-1920, Pulaski County (Ky) Circuit Court

Commissioners' Deeds 1816-1956, Pulaski County (Ky) County Clerk

Account Ledger Books of Mercantile Establishments, 1849-1897, Pulaski County (Ky) County Clerk

Genealogy[edit | edit source]

It is anticipated that this bibliography will eventually identify all known family histories published about residents of this county. Use this list to:

  • Locate publications about direct ancestors
  • Find the most updated accounts of an ancestor's family
  • Identify publications, to quote Elizabeth Shown Mills, about an ancestor's "FAN Club" [Friends, Associates, and Neighbors]
Bibliography[edit | edit source]
  • [Adams] Wood, Eugene L. Some Descendants of the Adams, Floyd and Wood Families of Pulaski and Casey counties of Kentucky. 1967. FHL Book 929.273 Ad17we
  • [French]Taylor, Mabel French. French Family Record: Genealogy of Mabel French Taylor (Mrs. Norman Ingraham Taylor) of Burnside, Pulaski County, Kentucky. 1956? FHL Book 929.273 F887t
  • [Harper] Harper, Joseph Doyle. The Harper's of Pulaski and Rockcastle Counties, Kentucky:A Genealogical and Historical Narrative. Livingston, Montana: The Shields' Valley Publishing Co., 1990. FHL Book 929.273 H231hh
  • [Hasty] Hasty, Warren H. Archibald Hasty and Descendants: of Pulaski & Rockcastle County, Kentucky. Minneapolis, Minn.: W.H. Hasty, 2004. FHL Book 929.273 H279hwa
  • [Holtsclaw] Holtsclaw, Otis M. John Holtsclaw of Holtzclaw Knob, Pulaski County, Kentucky: His Ancestors and Descendants. 1968. FHL Film 1036190 Item 2
  • [Mercer] Reynolds, Lyman Foster. Ancestors and Descendants of William Mercer and Lucinda Hays: Pulaski County Kentucky. Louisville, Ky.: L.F. Reynolds, 2008. FHL Book 929.273 M534rL
  • [Quinton] Schermerhorn, Sharon Minor. The Tubbs and Quinton Families of Pulaski County, Kentucky: Including the Lines of Anderson, Archdale, Blackstone, Bolling, Bull, Cloud, Combs, Dane (Doyne), de Barrette, Farmer, Griffin, Harding, Mason, Nance, Penley, Stevens, Swearingen, Ware, Weaver, Young, and Zek. 3d ed. -- Olympia: S. Schermerhorn, 1988. FHL Film 944 Item 2
  • [Tubbs] Schermerhorn, Sharon Minor. The Tubbs and Quinton Families of Pulaski County, Kentucky: Including the Lines of Anderson, Archdale, Blackstone, Bolling, Bull, Cloud, Combs, Dane (Doyne), de Barrette, Farmer, Griffin, Harding, Mason, Nance, Penley, Stevens, Swearingen, Ware, Weaver, Young, and Zek. 3d ed. -- Olympia: S. Schermerhorn, 1988. FHL Film 944 Item 2
  • [Vaught] Callahan, Bill Everett. The Joseph Floyd Vaught Family of Pulaski County, Kentucky. Salt Lake City, Utah: B.E. Callahan, 1989-. FHL Book 929.273 V465cb
  • [Wood] Wood, Eugene L. Some Descendants of the Adams, Floyd and Wood Families of Pulaski and Casey counties of Kentucky. 1967. FHL Book 929.273 Ad17we

Land[edit | edit source]

FHL has acquired copies of Pulaski County's Real Estate Conveyances Indexes, 1799-1936 (4 microfilms), which was produced by E & K Microfilming (Morgantown, Ky., 1993). The FHL Catalog states: "This is an index to deeds, commissioner's deeds, mortgages, chattel mortgages and divisions of land": FHL US/CAN Films 1912843-1912846.


The original Pulaski County Deed Books are held at the County Couthouse. In 1969, the Genealogical Society of Utah microfilmed Deed Books 1 to 50 (1799-1901) and Indexes (1799-1934): FHL US/CAN Films 804628 ff. Deeds, mortgages, bills of sale, and apprenticeships are included in the index.

The organization Strictly By Name provides free online indexes to early Pulaski County land records. They offer a record retrieval service to photocopy and transcribe microfilm copies of the original documents for a small fee. Available indexes:

  1. Deed Book 1: 1799-1805
  2. Deed Book 2: 1806-1814
  3. Deed Book 3: 1815-1819
  4. Deed Book 4: 1819-1822
  5. Deed Book 5: 1822-1825

Abstracts of some early Pulaski County deeds were published in the periodical Kentucky Genealogist (Louisville, Ky.):

For an index to the above consult Glenda K. Trapp and Michael L. Cook's Kentucky Genealogical Index: An Every Name Index to Kentucky Ancestors, Kentucky Genealogist, Kentucky Pioneer Genealogy & Records, The East Kentuckian, All Issues through 1980 [FHL US/CAN Book 976.9 D22kg].

Land Grants

There is an article on the early Kentucky/Virginia land grants as it pertains to Pulaski County in the Oct 1990 edition of the Pulaski County, Kentucky Historical Society's Newsletter.

For Tellico Land Grants in Pulaski county, see content under Circuit Court Orders, 1810-1815.

For Kentucky Grants South of the Green River see content under County Court Orders.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps[edit | edit source]

Military[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

There is a list of newspapers known to be published in Pulaski County in the Nov 1998 edition of the Newsletter of the Pulaski County Kentucky Historical Society. (FHL US/CAN Book 976.963 H25P)

Probate[edit | edit source]

There are several sources available to make your search of Pulaski County probate records easier. No single source is all inclusive. Each offers it own help that the others don't. As there is variation among counties in how probate records are organized, the reader will find it helpful to know that in Pulaski county the will books include wills, administrations, inventories, bills of sale, and settlements.

The organization Strictly By Name provides free online indexes to early Pulaski County probate records. They offer a record retrieval service to photocopy and transcribe microfilm copies of the original documents for a small fee. Available indexes:

  1. Will Book 1: 1801-1816
  2. Will Book 2: 1817-1829
  3. Will Book 3: 1829-1838

Pulaski County Kentucky Index to Wills 1800 to 1950 (FHL US/CAN Book 976.963 P22p) was published by the Pulaski County Historical Society in 1991 and replaces it 1977 edition (FHL US/CAN Book 976.963 P22pu). In creating the index, the compilers searched the original will books at the Somerset Courthouse, the courthouse's 1935 typed index and microfilms. The powerful index found in the 1991 edition contains two sections. The first is an index to the wills, inventories and appraisements, settlements, sale of land, dower allotment, etc. The second is an index to "original copies of all the early Pulaski County wills" (see title page). Page 79 states, "the Pulaski County Historical Society has zerox [sic] copied all early original documents from the will files at the Pulaski County Courthouse. These documents are in the actual hand writing of the person who prepared the document. This list also includes some wills that were rejected by the court and were not recorded in the will books."

Abstracts of wills in Pulaski County, Kentucky, vol. 1 (FHL US/CAN Book 976.963 P2b) compiled by Annie Walker Burns doesn't give the will book volume and page number of the wills abstacted, but it's index does include executors and witnesses, which is something Pulaski County Kentucky Index to Wills 1800 to 1950 does not. Abstracts of wills in Pulaski County, Kentucky, vol. 1 only covers 1803-1850.

Pulaski County, Kentucky Will Book Number Two (1817-1829) compiled by Margaret Dunn Frye includes an index to "deceased persons and their heirs". So she has created a devisee index for us, which again is something "Pulaski County Kentucky Index to Wills" didn't do. Additionally, in her typescript abstracts she includes the names of buyers, executors, commr, etc. Although these buyers are not indexed, her book (FHL US/CAN Film 855,033 item 4) is only 37 pages of typescript and so it is a relatively easy read if you want to know if your ancestor was a buyer in an estate sale during this time period.

There is also a book, Abstract of will book one of Pulaski County, Kentucky prepared by Margaret Dunn Frye in the Kentucky Historical Society's collection (Call Number: 976.902 P981f) in Frankfort, Ky.

Taxation[edit | edit source]

1799, 1800 Tax List

Vital Records[edit | edit source]


  • Gayle Triller, coordinator, KYGenWeb Team, "Birth Index in Pulaski County", Pulaski County, Kentucky: A part of KYGenWeb.
  • [1852-1859] Birth, marriages, deaths, 1852-1859 (FHL US/CAN Film 216838 item 5)


  • Gayle Triller, coordinator, KYGenWeb Team, "Pulaski County Marriages," Pulaski County, Kentucky: A part of KYGenWeb. Information from a variety of sources.
  • [1852-1859] Birth, marriages, deaths, 1852-1859 (FHL US/CAN Film 216838 item 5)


  • [1852-1953]
  • [1852-1859] Birth, marriages, deaths, 1852-1859 (FHL US/CAN Film 216838 item 5)
  • [1854+] Gayle Triller, coordinator, KYGenWeb Team, "Death Certificates and Notices" Pulaski County, Kentucky: A part of KYGenWeb. Includes some Pulaski county related deaths published in the Nashville Christian Advocate.
  • [1875] Deaths, 1875 (FHL US/CAN Film 974666 item 8)

Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]

Pulaski County Historical Society
PO Box 36
Somerset, KY 42502-0036
606 679-8401
Hours: M-Sat 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Offices are in basement of Pulaski County Public Library
304 South Main St
Somerset, KY 42502-0036

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. Pulaski county, Ky, Circuit Court Orders, v. 4, 1810-1815, pp 137-8 (no. 1-2), 285, 318 (no. 7-8). Page citations examples, not inclusive of all Tellico Grants found in volume.