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Nelson County, Kentucky

Nelson County was established 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 .

Currently the Nelson County Seat is situated in Bardstown additionally, the county government website is

Locations adjacent to Nelson County happen to be Spencer County (north), Anderson County (northeast), Washington County (east), Marion County (southeast), LaRue County (south), Hardin County (west), Bullitt County (northwest).

Cities and towns to be found in Nelson County comprise of Bardstown, Bloomfield, Fairfield, New Haven, New Hope.

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.

Nelson County consists of Federal Census Schedules to guide in researching your family tree. Government Population Schedules are present 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 that can help with your research.

Nelson County Societies and Family History Resources

A list of Nelson County Historical  and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.

  • RAOGK Volunteers for Kentucky (
  • Kentucky Genealogy Network Community (
  • Nelson County Genealogical Roundtable, P.O. Box 409, Bardstown, KY 40004
  • Nelson County Public Library
  • Ancestral Trails Historical Society, PO Box 1796, Elizabethtown, KY 42702-1796; (270) 982-0881. We are a Regional Society representing Breckinridge, Bullitt, Edmonson, Grayson, Hardin, Hart, Jefferson, LaRue, Meade, Nelson counties in Kentucky. We have a free research library with over 1200 books and many research books for sale. We have a index of the articles from our Quarterly News Magazine listed on our website. These articles can be requested at a minimal charge.
  • Kentucky State Genealogy Network (
  • Nelson County USGenWeb Archives Project (
  • Nelson County, Kentucky Message Boards ( read and post messages about your ancestors in Nelson County
  • Nelson County, Kentucky Genealogy Forum ( read and post messages with other genealogy researchers for Nelson County
  • 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).

Nelson County Courthouse and Government Records

Genealogist frequently fail to notice the advantages of Nelson County court, probate, and land files as a useful resource of genealogical information and facts. Buried away in Kentucky courthouses and archives just about everywhere tend to be the dreams and frustrations of the many Kentucky citizens.

The odds are great that your chosen ancestors have left a detailed record of at least a number of facets of their lives in the Nelson County court records. Even if your forefathers is not brought up in a Court case, take into consideration all of the other methods which may have lead to her or him to appear in court records.

Please make sure to speak to the clerk's dept to affirm hours, mailing address, fees and other particulars in advance of visiting or inquiring about information because of sometimes changing contact information. The Department Offices DO NOT DO RESEARCH. The files are available to interested parties, barring confidential issues. A lot of staff will help people in locating the materials, however it is up to the individual to do the researching.

The following facts indicates what death, marriage, birth, land, probate, and legal records are located in Nelson County. The dates stated below tend to be the first widely known records in this county.

  • 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.
  • Nelson County Elected Officials (

Nelson County Links

The following are 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. Feel free to submit your own preferred Nelson County genealogy or family history associated sites.

Nelson Co. KY Books, Newspapers & Publications

Nelson Co. KY Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Nelson Co. KY Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Nelson Co. KY Census Records

Nelson Co. KY Cemeteries & Graveyards

Nelson Co. KY Church & Bible Records

Nelson Co. KY Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Nelson Co. KY General and History Websites

Nelson Co. KY Immigration & Naturalization

Nelson Co. KY Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Nelson Co. KY Military Records

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