Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     The popular “Genealogy at a Glance” series has another addition compiled by Michael E. Ports: Kentucky Genealogy Research. Following in the footsteps of the previous titles in the set, this new guide provides an overview of fundamental information researchers should know in order to begin and conduct successful research in the various genealogical resources available in the Bluegrass State.

     As usual, Ports begins with basic background facts about the state’s early history. He points out that Harrod’s Town, founded in 1774 in what is now Mercer County, was the first white settlement in the area. The next year saw the establishment of Fort Boonesborough in what became Madison County and Logan’s Station in what would become Lincoln County. Due to the influx of pioneers migrating through the Cumberland Gap or traveling down the Ohio River, Virginia created Kentucky County (which encompassed all of the modern state of Kentucky) in 1776.

     Because of warfare with the native tribes, settlement was sporadic during the Revolutionary War. Unwilling or unable to protest its western region, Virginia ceded Kentucky to the federal government in 1788. Kentucky was admitted as a state in 1792.

     After statehood, however, disputes arose concerning the location of the boundary between Kentucky and Tennessee. As a result, inhabitants in the counties of Allen, Bell, Christian, Clinton, Cumberland, Knox, Logan, McCreary, Monroe, Simpson, Todd, Trigg, Wayne, and Whitley often filed official documents in both states. Genealogists need to be aware of this controversy (which was not settled until 1859), since that knowledge may help them locate records they need.

     More than half of the guide concerns several traditional county and state genealogical materials. In this section, Ports discusses vital, probate, military, and tax records. He suggests the best place to start one’s research is at the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, which houses original and microfilm copies of most county records.

     Next, Ports devotes space to supplemental resources, particularly land and county court records. He states that although some county documents have been abstracted and published in book form, most loose court documents have not been copied at all.

     The rest of the guide pertains to information about additional resources. Ports furnishes the names, mailing addresses, phone numbers, and websites of some of Kentucky’s major repositories. In addition, he furnishes the websites of useful online sources, along with a brief synopsis of the data that can be found on them.

     Following the standard format of the series, Ports condenses into four laminated pages an enormous amount of information into its basic components. A handy and compact guide, Kentucky Genealogy Research will be helpful to family researchers whose roots extend back to this region of the United States.

     To the guide's price of $9.95, buyers should add the cost for postage and handling charges. For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $5.50 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional copy; for FedEx or UPS Ground Service, the cost is $8.50 for one copy and $3.50 for each additional copy. The guide (item order 4673) may be purchased by check, money order, MasterCard, or Visa from Genealogical Publishing Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, MD 21211-1953. For phone orders, call toll free 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website

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