Be Part of History: Help Digitize a Motherlode of Kentucky Records!

Exciting News for Kentucky Genealogical Researchers!

UPDATED: 18 July 2024

On June 26, 2024, the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (KDLA) and finalized an agreement facilitated by the Kentucky Genealogical Society to allow FamilySearch to digitize tens of thousands of microfilm reels of Kentucky’s county records of genealogical significance stored at KDLA’s Frankfort facility. This agreement allows FamilySearch to digitize records pending permission from the county clerks, who are the official custodians of these records.

The records cover a wide range, e.g., marriage, wills, deeds, tax, voter, bonds, order books, real estate, school, slaves, military discharges, apprentice bonds, and lunacy.

The records will be digitized by FamilySearch staff in Frankfort (not in the county courthouses).

How It Works

  1. County Clerks’ Permission: County clerks will complete a simple Records Release Form, including an attachment listing the microfilm reels FamilySearch aims to digitize (those not already digitized and within KDLA’s inventory).
  2. Digitization and Distribution: Clerks who sign this agreement will receive a FREE digital copy of the digitized records, KDLA will also get a FREE copy, and FamilySearch will make them available for FREE on

Call to Action for Volunteers

The Society has been working with FamilySearch on this project for almost two years. It’s hard to believe it is finally coming to fruition. The Society’s work, however, is not done just because KDLA and FamilySearch signed their agreement. In fact, for Society members and other volunteers, it really is just starting. Here is why: Neither the KDLA nor FamilySearch has enough staff to reach out to the county clerks to obtain their agreement. Rather, Society members and other volunteers are needed to reach out to the county clerks. When they do, they will be equipped with instructions, information on the project, copies of the Record Release Form, and the relevant attachment of microfilm reels to be digitized.

UPDATE: As of Thursday, July 18, 2024, local volunteer helpers have stepped up in 93 Kentucky counties.

If you’re interested in helping with this crucial outreach, please contact Society Co-President Susan Court at Even if you’ve expressed interest before, please contact Susan again to ensure we have the most current list of volunteers. The time commitment is minimal. The job of the helper is to take a list of the records targeted for digitization and a release form to the county clerk to get it signed so that FamilySearch can digitize the records for the county held at the KDLA.

Ongoing Digitization Efforts

This project is just one of the many collaborations between the Society and FamilySearch to digitize Kentucky’s records. The Society is also facilitating agreements between FamilySearch and individual county clerks for onsite digitization of records. So far, county clerks from Boone, Campbell, Jefferson, Kenton, and Rockcastle counties, representing over 26% of the state’s population, have signed permission agreements.

Join us in this vital effort to preserve Kentucky’s history for future generations. Your participation is invaluable!

Can’t Volunteer but Still Want to Help Out?

The Society continues to make annual grants available for archives, libraries, and record repositories through the Kentucky Digitization Grant Program. Now in its sixth year of operation, this program gets rare Kentucky records of genealogical significance digitized and accessible for the general public to be able to access. These grants largely fund non-government, primary source records that are one-of-a kind and largely inaccessible to most researchers. Click here to make a donation to this fund. Thank you for your support!

About the Author

<h3><a href="" target="_self">KY Genealogical Society</a></h3>

KY Genealogical Society

As the virtual statewide genealogical society for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the Society's mission is to facilitate genealogical education, promote standards, and share best practices within the Kentucky genealogy community. It also works to make important genealogy records of Kentucky accessible through collaboration and digitization. Additionally, the Society aims to forge a community by connecting researchers across all 120 counties.

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