Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Kentucky History "Doomsday Book " Discovered

A 'new' stash of old records being readied for viewing

- jkegley@herald-leader.com

Land, census and marriage records from the late 1700s to the early 1900s have recently resurfaced that could provide a treasure trove of information for genealogists and others.

The books, which are being indexed to make the information easier to pinpoint, were found in several places. The land and census records were at government archives in Frankfort, and several years' worth of marriage licenses were in the Fayette County clerk's storage area.

The documents are being scanned and eventually will be made available for public viewing on microfilm or a computer. But the original record books won't be available to the public in most cases.

Fayette County Deputy Clerk Emily Gentry showed a school census book about black students in the early 1900's These two books, which have been rebound, contain land records dating to 1779, before Kentucky was a state.

Charles Bertram Tim Tingle, manager of the archival services branch at the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives in Frankfort, opened a land entry book from the late 1700s that once was in the Fayette County clerk's office. Charles Bertram A land claim made by Daniel Boone is in a commissioners book at the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives. Call the Fayette County clerk's office at (859) 253-3344. For more information on early Kentucky land patents, visit

"The documents are so old and the pages are so fragile that I really would not be willing to put them out there for the public to peruse through," Deputy Fayette County Clerk Linda Potter said.Potter found out about a large volume of applications for land patents from an article in the October issue of The Kentucky Explorer magazine. The article said the Fayette County clerk's office had a "Doomsday Book" containing names of the commonwealth's earliest settlers.

According to Potter, this was news to her."We got a call from a customer saying they wanted to come down and look at it, but no one here knew anything about it," Potter said.After researching the book, she and deputy clerks Emily Gentry and Jennifer Tapia discovered that the Doomsday Book had been moved to the Kentucky Land Office in Frankfort in the early 1970s.

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1 comment:

Cathy @ palmsrv said...

Good information -- thanks.