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|Letcher County Genealogy - Site Index|
|Family Links||Feedback||General Information|
|Geography||Helpful On-Line Information||History|
|Lookups||Mail Lists||Neighboring Counties|
|Queries||Research Data||Researchers List|
|More about the KYGenWeb and USGenWeb Projects|
|Letcher County History|
(Revisiting Our Past)
Letcher County was formed in 1842 from portions of Harlan and Perry counties and is located in the Eastern Coal Field region of the state. The elevation in the county ranges from 940 to 3720 feet above sea level. The county has a land area of 339 square miles, with an average of 79.6 people per square mile (1990). The county seat is Whitesburg. Whitesburg is located on the North Fork of the Kentucky River and was founded in 1842, with the forming of the county, on land donated for the purpose. Whitesburg was named in honor of Daugherty White, legislator from Clay county. The post office opened in 1843 as Whitesburgh Court House. The population in 1990 was 1,636.
|Population History of Letcher County|
Past Letcher County Reunions (1997-2009). For more current Letcher County Reunions (listed mostly throughout the summer months) check in The Mountain Eagle newspaper or browse through their Archive (NOTE: Reunions are usually found in the Families & Friends section).
Find out more about the upcoming 50th Anniversary of the outdoor drama, Trail of the Lonesome Pine in Big Stone Gap, Virginia. (On Facebook)
Read an article about the Biggest Log Ever Cut in Letcher County and one about the man who cut it, Andrew Frazier (from the 5/2/1974 and 11/10/1955 issues of The Mountain Eagle newspaper, respectively).
Read the nostalgic article Romance and Chinquapins on Dixon Mountain in 1920's by Clifton Caudill (from the 7/3/1996 issue of The Mountain Eagle newspaper).
The Giant of the Hills: Martin Van Buren Bates .
The Electronic Edition of the 152 page book entitled History of Corporal Fess Whitaker. NOTE: This page takes a long time to load but it is well worth the wait. It contains a lot of Letcher County history and old photographs.
Browse through a list of Whitesburg High School graduates from before 1927 to 1940. (Transcribed from an article in The Mountain Eagle dated 5/16/40). Choose from a Class Listing, or an Alphabetical Listing of the graduates.
History of the Indian Bottom Church (From the 1974 Thornton Union Association Minutes).
Visit Nancy (Wright) Bays' and Patty (May) Brashear's Wright Roots Bates Branches Web Page where you will find fascinating stories about notable people who made history in and around Letcher County such as:
Also, read about the tragic story of Ira Mullins and the Pound Gap Massacre which took place on May 14, 1892 at Killing Rock in Pound Gap; and about the The Search For The Fleming Brothers ( Calvin and Henan ) who were thought to be two of the three men responsible for the massacre ("Doc" Taylor being the third); and the 1914 Letcher County Election Day Shooting (Talt Hall, Dunk Quillen, Marion Hall and Albert Hall were killed); and the August 1921 Election Shooting In Neon (Sam J. Wright and Alvin Bentley were fatally injured in a pistol duel on the street); and other interesting events and tales.
Visit the C. B. Caudill Store & History Center located in Blackey, Letcher County, KY.
|Letcher County Geographic Information|
(Learn more about the land in which your ancestors lived)
View Kentucky County Formation Maps covering the years 1776 to present.
Find out how Maps Can Help You Trace Your Family Tree (archived site - some links may no longer work at this site).
View a Letcher County Map (a 3020x2650 GIF)
If you would like an Atlas of all 120 Kentucky counties for $14.85 (includes postage and handling), write to: COUNTY MAPS, Puetz Place, Lyndon Station, WI 53944 or call (608) 666-3331 (phone orders are accepted). Atlases are also available for 11 other states.
View U.S. County Outline Maps (by state) from The Perry-Castaņeda Library Map Collection at the University of Texas at Austin.
View a list of 475 selected Letcher County Features (cemeteries, churches, populated places, streams, etc.) from the GNIS (Geographic Names Information System) or you can make your own query of the GNIS for other locations.
If you would like to order 7.5' quadrangle maps for your computer visit the USGS (US Geological Survey) and check out their DRG Maps (Digital Raster Graphics) on CDROM. All of Kentucky is now available. Check DRG Availability.
Visit the Kentucky Atlas & Gazetteer .
Would you like to know what the United States looked like during a particular time in it's history? View some of the Historical Maps of the United States from The Perry-Castaņeda Library Map Collection at the University of Texas at Austin.
|Letcher County General Information|
(Learn more about the present-day Letcher County)
Letcher County related YouTube Links (History, Music, Stories, etc.).
U.S. Census Bureau's Census 2010 "Quickfacts" for Letcher County, KY.
Letcher County Fiscal Court (contains various Letcher County links).
Check it out! Whitesburg has its own Web Page.
|Letcher County Research Data|
(On-Line Databases and Information)
1820 Floyd County, KY, Census. Since some Floyd County lands were used to help create Perry County in 1820 and 22 years later some Perry County lands were used to help create Letcher County in 1842, you may be able to find some of your early Letcher County ancestors in this census (archived site - some links may no longer work at this site).
Since parts of Harlan County and Perry County were used to create Letcher County in 1842, you may be able to find some of your early Letcher County ancestors in the following censuses:
1820 Harlan County, KY, Census
1840 Harlan County, KY, Census
1840 Perry County, KY, Census (opens in a separate browser window)
1840 Perry County, KY, Census (Alternate Site)
1840 Perry County, KY, Census (archived site - some links may no longer work at this site)
1850 Letcher County, KY, Census - complete transcription, fully indexed with links to actual page images!
1860 Letcher County, KY, Census - complete transcription, fully indexed!
1870 Letcher County, KY, Census Index - index of all heads-of-households.
1870 Letcher County, KY, Mortality Census - A list of persons who died during the year preceding June 1, 1870.
1880 Census Index of Letcher County, KY, families (over 5,500 individuals - includes part of what is now Knott County).
Search the 1880 U.S. Census for Letcher County, KY, families (refine your search by entering Last Name, etc.).
1890 Special Letcher County, KY, Census - Transcription with names in alphabetical order.
1900 Letcher County, KY, Census (transcription by Debbie Tamborski).
Search the 1900 U.S. Census for Letcher County, KY, families (refine your search by entering Last Name, etc.). Contains links to census page images!
Search the 1910 U.S. Census for Letcher County, KY, families (refine your search by entering Last Name, etc.).
Search the 1920 U.S. Census for Letcher County, KY, families (refine your search by entering Last Name, etc.).
Search the 1930 U.S. Census for Letcher County, KY, families (refine your search by entering Last Name, etc.).
NEW! Search the 1940 U.S. Census for Letcher County, KY, families (refine your search by entering Last Name, etc.). Contains links to census page images!
Detailed survey of selected Cemetery Sites in Letcher County.
Letcher County Cemetery Records: A listing of more than 315 cemeteries located in Letcher County containing more than 7,800 individuals, all indexed and crossreferenced.
Mark-a-Grave Project: A Project of the Letcher County Historical and Genealogical Society.
Letcher County Obituaries.
Obituaries from the Minutes of The Union Association of Old Regular Baptist Churches (includes some Letcher County families).
View or download Minute Books of the Indian Bottom Association of Old Regular Baptist Churches for most years from 1900 to 2011 (contains many obituaries).
Vital Records Data
Letcher County Deaths for the years 1911 to 1955 (refine your search by entering Last Name, etc.).
Letcher County Births for the years 1853 to 1855.
Letcher County Births for the years 1852-1857, 1859, 1874-1876, 1878, 1901, 1906-1910 (refine your search by entering Last Name, etc.).
Perry County Marriage Index for the years 1821 to about 1846. Since part of Perry County was used to create Letcher County in 1842, you may be able to find some of your early Letcher County ancestors in this index.
Letcher County Marriages for the years 1842 to 1851.
Letcher County Marriages for the years 1884 to 1891.
Letcher County Marriages for the years 1892 to 1895.
Letcher County Marriages for the years 1896 to 1897.
Letcher County Marriages for the years 1852-1856, 1859, 1874-1878, 1881-1907 (refine your search by entering Last Name, etc.).
Letcher County Marriage Indexes for the following surnames: Amburgey (1846-1940), Banks (1846-1941), Caudill (1844-1925), Combs (1900-1942), Cornett (1843-1941), Johnson (1848-1941), Kinser (1846-1941), Maggard (1846-1940), Morgan (1866-1940), Mullins (1846-1941), Sexton (1844-1931).
Knott County Marriages for the years 1884 to 1905 (Marriage Books 1, 1A, 2A, and 3). Since Knott County was formed from a portion of Letcher County in 1884, you may be able to find some of your Letcher County ancestors in these marriage records.
Letcher County 1843 Tax List.
Letcher County 1844 Tax List.
Letcher County 1848 Tax List.
Index to Letcher County Will Book 1 (includes links to images of the actual pages from the Will Book)!
Index to Letcher County Will Book 2.
List of Letcher County Courthouse Records on LDS microfilm.
Visit Knott County's 13th Kentucky Cavalry, 14th Kentucky Cavalry, and Confederate Pension Records Web Pages. They contain many soldiers from various Southeastern Kentucky Counties, including Letcher County.
Visit Robert M. Baker's 39th Kentucky Mounted Infantry Web Page. It also contains many soldiers from various Southeastern Kentucky Counties, including Letcher County.
Visit the Colonel Ben E. Caudill Camp #1629, Sons of Confederate Veterans website. Below is a sampling of some of the Civil War articles you can find there:
The Biography of Colonel Ben E. Caudill.
The First & Second Battles of Whitesburg.
The Battle of Mill Cliff.
The Battle of Colley Branch.
The Confederate Giant Captain Martin Van Buren Bates.
Colonel Logen Henry Neil Salyer.
Search Civil War Documents for your ancestor's Civil War service records.
Information about the Letcher County Historical and Genealogical Society.
View or post Letcher County related Bible Records, Biographies, Deeds, Obituaries, Pensions, Queries, Wills, etc. on RootsWeb's Letcher County, KY, Message Board. Be sure to select the proper "View Message Type:" for the desired category (the default is ALL).
The next time you are in the Whitesburg area visit the Harry M. Caudill Memorial Library. They have an excellent genealogical room maintained by the Letcher County Historical and Genealogical Society.
Letcher County Coal Miners' Memorial website.
Kentucky newspaper indexes are available from Historical Indexing (including Letcher County's Mountain Eagle newspaper). You can also order copies of original articles from many Kentucky newspapers. NOTE: This link points to an "archived" copy of the Historical Indexing website as of May 16, 2001, because the original website (www.hindexing.com) is no longer valid. The current 'status' of Historical Indexing is unknown at this time.
Census Images on CD-ROM are available from Allcensus. Currently, they have the 1860 and 1900 Letcher County censuses available for $1.95 each, but other census years can be ordered as well.
(Links to Letcher County Family Information)
The following are links to sites with Letcher County family information. If you know of other sites, please contact me so that I can add them here.
ADAMS Family (Brian K. Caudill's Family Treemaker Web Page - includes the descendants of William Adams, Sr.).
ADAMS and Sizemore Family History Website (includes the ancestors of John Washington Adams - a descendant of John Hobbs Adams, Sr., and Ann Caudill).
AMBURGEY Family Association (not limited to Letcher County).
BACK-BACH Family History (the Back-Bach Genealogical Society).
BACK-BACH Family History (fully-documented, based on Dr. Wilgus' research and the Bach Family Bible).
BACK-BACH Family (Brian K. Caudill's Family Treemaker Web Page - includes the descendants of Erich Bach).
BATES Family (the genealogy of John Wallis Bates - including Martin Van Buren Bates "The Kentucky Giant"). - (Archived Copies)
BENTLEY Family (An article about the descendants of Thomas Bentley of Frederick County, Maryland - some of his descendants ended up in Letcher County, KY).
BLAIR Family of Eastern Kentucky (includes the book "My Family the Blairs" by Maude Blair Stanifer) - (Archived Copies).
BOATRIGHT Family (The Family and Ancestors of Dennis G. Boatright).
BREEDING Family (The John Breeding, Sr. Family Home Page).
BROWN Family Home Page.
CAUDILL Families of Eastern Kentucky will be honored at the 2005 Gingerbread Festival, Hindman, Knott County, KY.
CAUDILL Family (Brian K. Caudill's Family Treemaker Web Page - includes the descendants of James Caudill, Sr.).
CAUDILL Family (LeRoy Caudill's Family Treemaker Web Page).
CAUDILL Family information compiled by Brian Caudill.
COLLINS Family (The Descendants of Griffin Collins, Sr.).
COMBS Family Research (The Combs &c. Research Group Master Index).
COMBS Families of Letcher County (part of the Combs &c. Research Group).
COMBS Family (The Jimmie and Mary Catherine Kenney Combs Home Page).
CORNETT Corner (includes the book "Genealogy of William Cornett" by J.D. Cornett). - (Archived Copies)
CORNETT Family (Betty Gale Schimpf's Family Treemaker Web Page which includes the descendants of Nathaniel Woleary Cornett). - (Archived Copies)
CREECH Family (Descendants of Steven Creech).
EVERAGE / EVERIDGE Family.
FLANNERY Family (The Flannery Families of Eastern Kentucky). - (Archived Copies)
FLEMING Family (Web Page of J. Chris Fleming - a descendant of Robert Fleming, Dublin, Ireland).
FLEMING & Associated Names Home Page. - (Archived Copies)
FLEMING Family (The Robert Fleming and Elizabeth Stambaugh and Associated Families Reunion website). - (Archived Copies)
FRAZIER Family (Brian K. Caudill's Family Treemaker Web Page.- includes the descendants of Solomon Frazier).
HALCOMB Family (Ancestors of Billy Robert Halcomb).
HALL Family Genealogy (by Marv Hall - contains some eastern KY info as well). - (Archived Copies)
HOLBROOK Family Genealogy (includes information on the LUCAS, SEXTON, and WOODY surnames).
ISON Family (Harold E. Sparks's Family Treemaker Web Page which includes the descendants of Gideon Ison). - (Archived Copies)
ISON Family (Pattie Jo Calton's Family Treemaker Web Page which includes the descendants of Gideon Ison, Sir).
ISON Family (Descendants of George Gideon Ison). - (Archived Copies)
ISON and Boggs Family Genealogy. - (Archived Copies)
KISER Family (Kiser/Kayser/Keyser Genealogy Web Page). - (Archived Copies)
KISER Family Genealogy Web Page (Descendants of Charles "Carl" Keyser). - (Archived Copies)
MAGGARD Family Research Page (Contains links to various Maggard/Maggart/Maggert/Magert Public Records).
MEAD & STANLEY Family Web Page (Descendants of John Mead and Alfred Stanley). - (Archived Copies)
POTTER Family (The Creed and Ida Fuller Potter Family - contains links lots of photos).
REYNOLDS Family Genealogy (includes the Descendants of Noah Milburn Reynolds).
SAYLOR Families of Harlan County, KY. - (Archived Copies)
SERGENT Family (Descendants of Abraham Sarjant of Harlan County, KY - includes many Letcher countians).
SEXTON Genealogy Research Page. - (Archived Copies)
SEXTON Family (Darlene Pettibone's Climb Our Sexton Tree Home Page).
SIZEMORE and Adams Family History Website (includes the ancestors of Mildred Sizemore - a descendant of several different Sizemore families).
STAMPER Family Web Page. - (Archived Copies)
STAMPER Family Project.
STRAMBAUGH Family (The Robert Fleming and Elizabeth Stambaugh and Associated Families Reunion website). - (Archived Copies)
TOLLIVER Family Web Page.
TURNER Family Web Page (Descendants of Isaiah Turner). Includes Eldridge and Creech families.
WEBB Family (Brian K. Caudill's Family Treemaker Web Page - includes the descendants of John Webb, Sr.).
WRIGHT family (the genealogy of Joel Martin Wright). - (Archived Copies)
YONTS Family Center (dedicated to researching ALL spellings and variations of the name Yonts). - (Archived Copies)
The following are Family Databases which contain many Letcher County surnames:
View the Surname Index for Dan Mohn's Highland Homepage which contains many Letcher County families.
View the Surname List for Loyd T. Fleming 's gedcom to html file which contains many Letcher County families.
Visit Don Chesnut's Ancestor GEDCOM database which contains individuals mostly in the central Appalachian region (contains >13,000 names).
Visit Deborah Thornsbury Keser's Thornsberry Genealogy Web Page (contains many Letcher County families: Thornsberry, Hall, Johnson, Bates, Isaacs).
Visit Victor Lee's Genealogy Web Page which contains many Letcher County families.
Visit Allen Shepherd's Genealogy Web Page which contains the descendants of James F. Maggard and Elizabeth Bohanon.
Visit Joy Honeycutt's Schmidt/Honeycutt Family Homepage. It contains information on the Honeycutt and Calhoun families of Letcher and Knott Counties.
Visit Ron (Willis) Black, Sr.'s "My Mountain Heritage Descendant Of The Cumberland" Web Page which contains many Letcher County families (ie. Adams, Boggs, Caudill, Fleming, Holbrook, Standifer, Sturgill, Wright and more). NOTE: This link points to an "archived" copy of the Ron's website as of February 20, 2001, because his original website is not available at this time.
Visit Mark Richard Smith's Family Home Page which contains Descendant Reports for Stephen Caudill, Thomas Collins and Samuel Maggard.
Visit Michael D. Shortt's Shortt Family Web Page (contains information on the surnames Bentley, Bolling, Hall, Mullins, Sturgill, etc.).
Visit Martha Short's Mountain Ties Web Page (features the people of the Central Appalachians).
Visit Carla Hatfield Barrett's Hatfield Family and Real Mountain Folk Web Page (surnames include Hatfield, Ratliff, Day, Creech, Asher, Jones, Halcomb, Blair, and others).
Visit Minnie J. McFall's FamilySearcher Web Page (contains information on the surnames Collier, Cook, Huneycutt, Profitt, etc.).
Visit Teresa Coffee's Family Tree which includes many Letcher County surnames (Caudill, Maggard, etc.).
Visit Larry Adams' Roberge Family Tree which includes many Letcher County surnames (database includes more than 1300 Adams's).
Visit Alma Dailey-Harings' website: Along My Sanders and Dixon Family Lines .
(Mail Lists for Some Common Letcher County Surnames)
The following are Mail Lists for some common Letcher County surnames hosted by RootsWeb. For more information about Mail Lists, click HERE. To subscribe to a Mail List, click on the surname of interest and type the word SUBSCRIBE in the message area. The Subject Line is ignored and may be left blank. To unsubscribe from a Mail List, type the word UNSUBSCRIBE in the message area. If you know of other Mail Lists pertaining to Letcher County surnames, please contact me so that I can add them here.
|NOTE: Although these surnames may be common in the Letcher County area, the Mail Lists are generally set up for surnames pertaining to any place and any time; therefore, the Mail Lists below may not necessarily "focus" on Letcher County families.|
Join the Letcher County Mail List which provides discussion relating to Letcher County, KY.
Also, you may want to check out the SouthEastern Kentucky Mail List which provides discussion relating to several southeastern Kentucky counties including Letcher County.
|Letcher County Queries and Lookups|
(Helping Each Other Discover Our Roots)
View older Queries pertaining to Letcher County genealogy. These queries were posted on this site from May 1996 until October 2000. E-mail links may no longer be valid on some queries. Please post new queries on RootsWeb's Letcher County, KY, Message Board and/or on GenForum's Letcher County, KY, Genealogy Forum.
Post or view queries related to Kentucky Coal Miners (not limited to Letcher County).
Contact volunteers who are willing to Lookup information from their reference resources (Books, Publications, etc.). Also, volunteer to be a "looker-upper" for reference material that you may own.
Check out the Letcher County Researchers List for a list of researchers willing to exchange their research data. Also, add your name to the Researchers List for Letcher County surnames that you are researching.
(Links to Neighboring Counties)
For information on neighboring counties visit the following KYGenWeb/VAGenWeb websites:
Letha Berry's Pike County, KYGenWeb page.
Suzanne Shephard's Floyd County, KYGenWeb page.
Damon Wicker, Debbie Tamborski and Gloria Marcum's Knott County, KYGenWeb page.
Wanda Langdon's Perry County, KYGenWeb page.
Lorraine Newsome's Harlan County, KYGenWeb page.
Golden Combs Ferguson's Breathitt County, KYGenWeb page.
Vickie Stevens' Wise County, VAGenWeb page.
Dennis V. Stanley's Dickenson County, VAGenWeb page.
Or, visit the following non-KYGenWeb neighboring county websites:
Gloria Marcum's Knott County Kentucky Kinfolk Web Page.
Brenda Daniels and Kristy Creech's Knott County, KY, Web Page.
The Perry County, KY, Stuff Page Web Page.
The Hazard & Perry County Kentucky: A Photographic History Web Page.
Holly Timm's Southeastern Kentucky Corner Web Page.
The Wise County Historical & Genealogical Society's Web Page.
|Other Helpful On-Line Information|
Kentucky Vital Records On-Line at the University of Kentucky (Death records 1911-1992, Marriage and Divorce records 1973-1993) .
Search the complete database of Kentucky Death Records from 1911 to 2000. Unlike the UK link above, there is no maximum limit to the number of results returned and the database is searchable by many more fields .
Search the complete database of Kentucky Marriage Records from 1973 to 2000. Unlike the UK link above, there is no maximum limit to the number of results returned and the database is searchable by many more fields .
Search the Interactive Social Security Death Index (SSDI) which contains over 64 million records and is updated monthly! (NOTE: This website is no longer free; it requires an Ancestry.com subscription. If you are not an Ancestry.com subscriber, use the link below to access the SSDI database for free.)
Visit Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet, your one stop genealogy site on the internet .
Want to put your GEDCOM file on the Web? Try GedHTree by Gary Welker. GedHTree is a GEDCOM to HTML converter that generates elegant trees (compact, vertical or classic with choice of backgrounds), group and index pages with optional output of notes, sources and photo links. The unregistered version is Free!
The Kentucky Biographies Project . If you know of any good sources for biographies for Letcher County, please contact me at the address below. The Kentucky Biographies Project was founded by Jeff Murphy. For Letcher County related biographies click HERE.
History of Kentucky County Formations .
List of Kentucky Historical Societies .
List of Kentucky Public Libraries .
List of Kentucky Newspapers .
List of Kentucky Magazines, Periodicals, Journels, etc.
List of County Clerks in Kentucky .
Melungeon research links:
Genealogical History of the Melungeon Families (includes Southwestern VA and Southeastern KY Families).
Cyndi's Melungeon List .
The American Local History Network: Melungeon Research .
Under One Sky (The Melungeon Information Exchange Newsletter) .
How to Obtain Kentucky Vital Records (ie. Birth, Death, and Marriage Certificates).
Find out how you can obtain non-certified 'copies' of Kentucky Death Certificates (1911-1951) for about half the price of a certified copy. Visit the KYGenWeb's Kentucky Vital Statistics Records Web Page (scroll about half-way down the page).
U.S. Surname Distribution - This database contains the 50,000 most common surnames in the United States and will display a U.S. map showing the distribution of a user entered surname.
Look up that long lost relative via the Switchboard . Look up over 90 million names and get fast response to addresses, phone numbers, and personalized updates. Even send email to registered users.
Find the LDS Family History Center nearest you.
What is an LDS Family History Center and how can it help me with my research?
Use the Kentucky Research Outline from the Family History Library to help you with your Kentucky research.
Learn more about the Kentucky GenWeb and US GenWeb Projects . If you are interested in adopting a county, please contact the appropriate State Coordinator. Sherri Hall Bradley is the Kentucky State Coordinator.
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