80 Fascinating Glimpses into Kentucky’s Past: A Genealogy Journey

Genealogy can be an intimidating journey, especially when faced with the daunting emptiness of a blank pedigree chart. But what if you had a roadmap to guide you?

Starting your journey into family history research might seem overwhelming at first. You have a name, a surname, and perhaps a few family stories, but how do you piece it all together? And how does your family fit into the rich tapestry of Kentucky’s past? You might be surprised to know that your Kentucky ancestor might have already done some of the work for you, presenting their family history in a beautifully bound book. Such resources are more common than you might think, and they are closer than you realize!

Welcome to the fascinating world of genealogy through Google Books.

Google Books, boasting the world’s most comprehensive index of full-text books, is a treasure trove for family history researchers like you. By simply entering a surname or the name of your Kentucky ancestor, you might uncover their presence in a book, magazine, or pamphlet. Imagine finding them in an organization list, advertising their business, or perhaps even as a defendant in a court case!

In this blog post, we’ll journey together through 80 examples of family research and genealogy. We’ll explore the captivating stories of Kentucky families from yesteryear that have left their marks on the pages of history. And who knows? You might just find a connection to your own family lineage.

So, are you ready to discover your family’s place in Kentucky’s history? Let’s dive in!

Finding the Early Families of Kentucky

We did a larger search to find any genealogy books where a Kentuckian or Kentucky was cited. Google did not disappoint. Over eighty books were returned when we did the search in the summer of 2021. [The list is organized by surname below.] These books contain useful information on researching Kentucky’s past through family history records, such as census data, birth/death certificates and military service records among others.

In the Genealogy of the Eliot Family book, which was published around 1854, Benjamin Eliot’s daughter, Mary, married the Honorable John J. Crittenden of Kentucky. He later became one of Kentucky’s governors.

Extracted from the Eliot Family book.


Another book, The Seldens of Virginia and Allied Families, provides an entire chapter about the Breckenridge family. Robert Breckenridge had two sons who served in the Revolutionary War and later settled in Louisville, KY. Other family members settled in Bath and Bourbon Counties.

No genealogy listing from Kentucky would be complete without adding a book about The Boone Family. Many Kentuckians claim a blood line to Daniel Boone, who is considered a father of the Kentucky wilderness. Hazel Atterbury Spraker compiled this book in 1922. In the Preface, she notes that the family line had not been documented prior to her book. She has a long thank you list, which is always nice to see from a researcher. She covers the family through the Civil War and beyond. It is an excellent example of family history.

Reviewing the Family History Examples

Given that many of these books were penned long before resources such as Ancestry became available, they are teeming with invaluable information and captivating life stories of Kentucky ancestors.

The authors, many of whom are accomplished genealogists, often outline their methodologies, detailing how they gathered information, the sources they used, and in some cases, they even include photographs or documents. A common method used by many was conducting interviews with family members to gather firsthand accounts and information.

We all understand the immense effort and dedication that goes into such research! If you’re embarking on the journey of writing your own family history, it would be beneficial to review several of these books to gain an understanding of the suggested information to include. Beyond the invaluable insights, it’s genuinely enjoyable to witness the palpable pride emanating from these authors in their work!

Listing Genealogies with Kentucky Last Names

The following list contains the surname that is the subject of the book, the year published, and a link to the book title. As far as we know, the books are in the public domain and free to use.

Surname Publish Year Genealogy Resource
Alison, Allison 1893 The History of the Alison, Or Allison Family in Europe and America
Bishop 2009 Pike County Kentucky Bishop Family Genealogical Timeline
Boone 1922 A Genealogical History of the Descendants of George and Mary Boone, who Came to America in
Bowman 1912 Bowman Genealogy: Fragmentary Annals of a Branch of the Bowman Family
Bromwell 1910 The Bromwell Genealogy
Buford 1903 A Genealogy of the Buford Family in America
Buford 1924 History and Genealogy of the Buford Family in America
Calvin 1945 The Calvin Families: Origin and History of the American Calvins, with a Partial Genealogy
Carlock 1929 History of the Carlock Family and Adventures of Pioneers
Chenoweth 1925 History of the Chenoweth Family, Beginning 449 AD
Child 1881 Genealogy of the Child, Childs and Childe Families
Clay, Cecil 2009 Kentucky Clay: Eleven Generations of a Southern Dynasty
Cleveland 1899 The Genealogy of the Cleveland and Cleaveland Families
Cloyd 1912 Genealogy of the Cloyd, Basye and Tapp Families in America
Coombs ???? Coombs Family History: A surprising and exciting journey
Dameron-Damron 1953 The Dameron-Damron Genealogy
Denny 1886 Genealogy of the Denny Family in England and America
Dodson, Dotson, Lucas, Pyles, Rochester, Allied 1959 Genealogy of the Dodson (Dotson), Lucas, Pyles, Rochester, and Allied Family
Duke 1909 A Genealogy of the Duke-Shepherd-Van Metre Family
Dunlevy 1901 A Genealogical History of the Dunlevy Family
Eliot 1663 Genealogy of the Eliot Family
Fairbanks 1897 Genealogy of the Fairbanks Family in America, 1633-1897
Keyes, North, Cruzen 1914 Genealogy and History of the Related Keyes, North and Cruzen
Ficklin 1912 A Genealogical History of the Ficklin Family
Field 1901 Field Genealogy; Being the Record of All the Field Family in America, Whose Ancestors Were in this Country Prior to 1700
Fishback 1914 Genealogy of the Fishback Family in America
Floyd 1912 Biographical Genealogies of the Virginia-Kentucky Floyd 
Foote 1907 Foote Family
Fouts 2000 Fouts Family of Indiana
Frisian 1893 A Frisian Family: The Banta Genealogy
Gowdy 1919 A Family History Comprising the Surnames of Gade and the Variant Forms
Graffenried 1925 History of the de Graffenried Family from 1191 AD to 1925
Harris 1914 Harris Genealogy
Henry 1915 Henry Genealogy: The Descendants of Samuel Henry of Hadley, Mass
Holtzclaw 1936 The Genealogy of the Holtzclaw Family, 1540-1935
Hord 1898 Genealogy of the Hord Family
Horton 1922 Family History Compiled by Lucy Henderson Horton
Hudson-Mohawk 1911 Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs
Hume 1903 History of the Hume Family 
Jennings 1899 A Genealogical History of the Jennings Families in England
Jepson 1917 A History & Genealogy of the Descendants of John Jepson
Kauffman 1940 A Genealogy and History of the Kauffman-Coffman Families of North America, 1584-1937
Keene 1923 Keene Family History and Genealogy
Kemper 1899 Genealogy of the Kemper Family in the United States
Kuykendall 1919 History of the Kuykendall Family Since Its Settlement in Dutch New York
Lawrence 1847 A Genealogical Memoir of the Family of John Lawrence
Lewis 1893 Genealogy of the Lewis Family in America
Lincoln 1923 History of the Lincoln Family: An Account of the Descendants of Samuel Lincoln
Loughry 1924 A Brief Genealogy of the Loughry Family of Pennsylvania
Loveland 1894 Genealogy of the Loveland Family in the United States of America
Marshall 1885 The Marshall Family
Marshall, Green, Huddleston, Armistead, Taylor, Pickett 1911 The Marshall Family
Maxwell, Allen, Bachiler 1916 Maxwell History and Genealogy: Including the Allied Families
McNary 1907 McNary Family with Trees and History- Page 21
Meriwether 1892 The Meriwether and Their Connections: A Family Record
Millers, Simmons 1993 The Miller and Simmons Families: Genealogy and History
Mitchell 1885 The Genealogy of the Mitchell Family of Martinsville, Indiana
Monnett 1911 Monnett Family Genealogy: An Emphasis of a Noble Huguenot Heritage
Montgomery 1863 A Genealogical History of the Family of Montgomery
Pelton 1892 Genealogy of the Pelton Family in America
Pomeroy 1958 History and Genealogy of the Pomeroy Family and Collateral Lines, England, Ireland, America; Comprising the Ancestors and Descendants of George Pomeroy of Pennsylvania
Prentice/Prentiss 1883 The History and Genealogy of the Prentice, Or Prentiss Family, in New England, Etc., from 1631-1883
Rice 1900 Genealogical and Historical Notes on Culpeper County, Virginia
Ricks 1908 History and Genealogy of the Ricks Family of America
Riggs 1901 Genealogy of the Riggs Family
Semple 1888 Genealogical History of the Family Semple from 1214-1888
Scripps 1903 A Genealogical History of the Scripps Family and Its Various Forms
Scruggs, Briscoe, Dial, Dunklin, Leake, Price 1912 Scruggs Genealogy: With a Brief History of the Allied Families Briscoe, Dial, Dunklin, Leake and Price
Seaton 1906 The Seaton Family, with Genealogy and Biographies
Snyder, Schneider 1910 History of the Family of Snyder (Schneider) (Snider)
Tennant 1915 Genealogy of the Tennant Family
Trowbridge 1908 The Trowbridge Genealogy: History of the Trowbridge Family
Tuley 1906 The Tuley Family Memoirs
Tyrrell, Terrell 1909 Further Genealogical Notes on the Tyrrell-Terrell Family
Washington 1900 Genealogy of the Washington Family
Wheeler 1914 The Genealogical and Encyclopedic History of the Wheeler Family
Whittelsey 1898 Genealogy of the Whittelsey-Whittlesey Family
Williams 1847 The Genealogy and History of the Family of Williams
Witherspoon 1910 Genealogy of the Witherspoon Family
Woodsons 1915 Historical Genealogy of the Woodsons and Their Connections
Yale 1850 The Yale Family: Or the Descendants of David Yale

In conclusion, the journey into genealogy is a unique blend of historical exploration, detective work, and storytelling. As we have seen, there are many resources available, particularly those hiding in plain sight, like the treasure trove within Google Books. These older texts, painstakingly compiled before the era of digital genealogy tools, offer not only information but also the life stories and experiences of our Kentucky ancestors.

As you embark on or continue your own genealogical journey, remember the immense effort that goes into this kind of research, as demonstrated by the authors of these genealogical books. They took pride in their work, carefully compiling family histories, and now we have the privilege of standing on their shoulders, using their work as a stepping stone to uncover our own family histories.

So whether you’re an experienced genealogist or a beginner just starting to trace your family lineage, keep exploring, keep questioning, and keep connecting the dots. Remember, every name, every date, and every story brings you closer to understanding your family’s place in the larger tapestry of history.

And who knows? Maybe one day, your own research and family story will be a guidepost for future genealogists. Here’s to discovering our roots and adding our own branches to the vast tree of human history. Happy researching!

About the Author

<h3><a href="" target="_self">Tricia P Aanderud</a></h3>

Tricia P Aanderud

Tricia Aanderud, a retired Data Science professional, lives in Florida with her husband and two bratty Siamese cats. She is a Kentucky native whose family arrived there in the early 1800s. In her free time, she is the editor of the Kentucky Family Stories blog.

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