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Nelson County, Kentucky
Genealogy, History & Facts

Nelson County, Kentucky Facts

When was Nelson County, KY Created?
Nelson County was created on November 29, 1784 from Jefferson County. Currently the county was named in honor of Thomas Nelson, Jr. (1738–1789), signer of the Declaration of Independence .

What is the County Seat of Nelson County, KY?
The County Seat is located in Bardstown additionally, the county government website is

What counties are adjacent to Nelson County, KY?
Bordering Counties are Spencer County (north), Anderson County (northeast), Washington County (east), Marion County (southeast), LaRue County (south), Hardin County (west), Bullitt County (northwest).

What cities and towns are in Nelson County, KY?
Cities and towns located in the County include Bardstown, Bloomfield, Fairfield, New Haven, New Hope.

Nelson County, KY Vital Records

Where can find Nelson County Birth, marriage, Divorce and Death Records?
Nelson County vital records can be found at the Kentucky Department of Health (VDH) Office of Vital Records which has copies for of birth & deathe certificates (1911 - present), marriage licenses & divorce decrees (since June 1958). There is a fee for each copy requested. Please refer to the information to the Statewide Vital Records in Kentucky for current fees and application process.

You can search online for Nelson County Birth, Marriage, Divorce or Death Records. You can also Order Electronically Online or you can download an application for Birth CertificateMarriage / Divorce Certificate or Death Certificates to mail.

The Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives contains birth and death records for the cities of Louisville, Lexington, Covington and Newport, which introduced records laws before 1911. The Archives also offers birth and death records before to 1911 and 1911-1957 death records for the entire state.

Nelson County, KY Census Records

What Nelson County, KY census records are available?
There are many types of census records for Nelson County guide you in researching your family tree. Federal Population Schedules are available for 1790, 1800 (destroyed), 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.

Nelson Co. Slave Schedules can be obtained for 1850 & 1860. Nelson Co. Mortality Schedules can be acquired for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Nelson Co. Industry and Agriculture Schedules can be acquired for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Nelson Co. Union Veterans Schedules can be obtained for 1890. One can find free down loadable and also printable census forms to help you with your research. See Also Kentucky Census Records Research Guide

Nelson County, KY Courthouse and Government Records

Nelson County Courthouse

What genealogical records can I find in the Nelson County Courthouse?
The below facts shows exactly what death, marriage, birth, property, wills, and court records are typically in Nelson County. The years listed below are the first noted records with this county. See Also Kentucky Corthouse Records Research Guide.

  • Nelson County Clerk has three main responsibilities. One is the recording of Land records (the most common documents recorded are deeds, mortgage releases, entries, warrants, surveys, mortgages, assignments, and indexes), Probate records (may include such documents as wills, estates, letters of administration, administrators, executors, probate journals, probate packets, inventories, settlements, sales, accounts, guardianship, orphans, insolvent estates, bastardy, apprentices, insanity and adoptions) and Marriage Liscenses
    • Address: Main St., Bardstown, KY, 40004
    • Phone: (502) 348-1820
    • Marriage Records: 1785 
    • Land Records: 1784
    • Probate Records: 1785
  • Nelson County Clerk of the Circuit Court has countywide jurisdiction over major civil and criminal cases, divorces, and appeals from inferior courts.
    • Address: Nelson County Justice Center, 200 Nelson County Plaza, Bardstown, Kentucky 40004
    • Phone: (502) 348-3648
    • Court Records: 1785
  • Nelson County Tax Information and Contacts. Some early tax schedules list watercourse, value and acreage of real estate, men over age twenty-one, young men between the ages of sixteen and twenty-one, slaves, and horses.
  •  Kentucky, Wills and Probate Records, 1774-1989
  • Nelson County Elected Officials (
  • Will/Probate Record Request Form
  • BLM Land Records
  • Nelson County USGenWeb Archives Project

Nelson County, KY Societies and Family History Resources

What genealogical and historical societies, archives, museums, associations and libraries are available for Nelson County, KY?
A list of Nelson County Historical  and Genealogical Societies, Libraries, Archives. See also list of Statewide Kentucky Archives, Historical & Genealogical Societies.

Where can I connect with other Nelson County, KY Researchers through message boards and forums?

  • RAOGK Volunteers for Kentucky (
  • Kentucky Genealogy Network Community (
  • Kentucky State Genealogy Network (
  • Nelson County, Kentucky Message Boards ( read and post messages about your ancestors in Nelson County
  • Nelson County, Kentucky Genealogy Forum (
  • KYNELSON. A mailing list for anyone with a genealogical interest in Nelson County, Kentucky. To subscribe send "subscribe" to (mail mode) or (digest mode).
  • CENTRAL-KY. A mailing list for anyone with a genealogical interest in Central Kentucky including Boyle, Bullitt, Casey, Clark, Estill, Garrard, Hardin, Jackson, Jessamine, LaRue, Lincoln, Marion, Nelson, Russell, Taylor, and Powell Counties. The list also covers any central Kentucky area if the county is unknown. To subscribe send "subscribe" to (mail mode) or (digest mode).
  • KENTUCKIANA. A mailing list for genealogy research and information exchange in the Indiana counties of Clark, Crawford, Dubois, Floyd, Gibson, Harrison, Orange, Perry, Pike, Posey, Scott, Spencer, Warrick and Washington, and the Kentucky counties of Breckinridge, Bullitt, Carroll, Hardin, Jefferson, Meade, Nelson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer and Trimble. This is a highly research structured list, chatroom atmosphere is discouraged. To subscribe send "subscribe" to (mail mode) or (digest mode).

What other genealogical resources are available in Nelson County, KY?
The following are web links to Genealogy, Records and Resources pertaining to Nelson County. These genealogy links fall into 3 categories: Professional Sites, Private Sites or Organization Sites. Some have free access some have to have a payment. This is basically a collection that has been gathered or submitted. I do not endorse or promote one genealogy site over another.

Nelson Co. KY Books, Newspapers & Publications

Nelson Co. KY Church / Bible Records & Cemeteries / Graveyards

Nelson Co. KY General and History Websites

Nelson Co. KY Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Nelson Co. KY Military Records

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