Old Muhlenberg Map

Vital Statistics: Births

1852-1855, 1857-1859, 1861, 1874-1876, 1878, 1903-1907, 1909-1910



The Government of the Commonwealth of Kentucky kept no birth, marriage, or death records prior to 1852. The first vital statistics law, passed by the Kentucky General Assembly in January, 1852, required the Auditor's Office assessors of the tax to record births, marriages, and deaths each year as they assessed property for the tax. The Auditor's Office never did the job well, and constantly complained about this additional task assigned it. This vital statistics law was repealed in 1862.

The original lists, returns, and certificates of birth, marriages, and deaths which survive are in the State Archives. They are arranged by county and are for the years 1852-1859.

Between 1862 and 1911, when the present Office of Vital Statistics was established, several attempts were made to again require the recording of births, marriages, and deaths at the state government level. Some records for 1874-1878 survive as a result of a second vital statistics law. A few scattered records exist for the years 1860-1873 and 1879-1911. These records arranged by county and date, are also in the State Archives.

Source: “Kentucky Birth, Death and Marriage Records.” Kentucky Room. Lexington Public Library, n.d. Web. 03 Oct 2013.

Updated March 23, 2015