The Kentucky Genealogical Society and FamilySearch.org are pleased to announce that they have joined forces to locate genealogically significant Kentucky records to digitize and post online for free. This effort will focus on primary records such as birth, death, marriage, probate, tax, and land records dating back to the late 18th Century but will also be on the lookout for other kinds of records important to Kentucky heritage. Volunteers will first locate such records which are currently not part of FamilySearch’s massive, digitized database. They will then reach out to the respective repositories to liaise for FamilySearch which will go onsite with its digitization equipment.
Some Kentucky records are only one fire, flood, or tornado from being lost forever. These natural disasters can strike at any time. This unique collaboration with a global leader in digitizing records can help ensure these one-of-a-kind genealogical records are accessible to researchers now and in the future.
Genealogists interested in their Kentucky heritage, many of whom do not live in the state, will reap the benefits of this effort. They will be able to access vital information on their ancestors online without charge. Accordingly, they can start compiling or plugging holes in a family tree or breaking down a frustrating brick wall in their research. Along the way, they will learn more about their families and the communities in which they lived and worked. Conversely, Kentucky communities can stand to benefit from the heritage travel trend and bring tourists to town as more and more people want to learn about and visit the places where their ancestors once lived.
“As a key gateway state for westward expansion, Kentucky is critically important in American history and genealogy,” said Christopher Padgett, president of the Kentucky Genealogical Society. “A significant percentage of Americans have an ancestor who lived in or migrated through the Commonwealth. Kentucky family historians are beyond thrilled that FamilySearch is willing to come in – for free – and help get important Kentucky genealogical records digitized and accessible!”
FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization. It has been preserving and facilitating broader access to historic records since 1894. FamilySearch creates and preserves digital images of select records at no cost to record custodians. It then provides free online access to the records so people can learn about their family history. FamilySearch’s efforts are fueled the by donations of others, and hundreds of thousands of volunteers. It has helped preserve the records of over 10,000 repositories in over 100 countries.