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Formation of Montgomery County

Montgomery County was formed by an act of the Kentucky General Assembly December 14, 1796 with an effective date of March 1, 1797. It was named for Gen. Richard Montgomery who was killed at the Battle of Quebec during the Revolutionary War.

"SECTION 1. BE it enacted by the General Assembly, that from and after the first day of March next, all that part of the county of Clark lying northwardly and eastwardly of the following bounds, to wit: Beginning on the Bourbon line at a red oak tree marked CL on the side of the road leading from Mount Sterling to Paris, thence a straight line to strike the dividing ridge between Hingstons and Stoners waters where the road leading from Winchester to Mount Sterling crosses said ridge, thence the same course continued crossing Red River until it strikes the Kentucky River, shall be one distinct county and called and known by the name of Montgomery."
Reference: Microfilm Roll #2 - Governor Isaac Shelby: Enrolled Bills for 1793, 1794 & 1796.

When it was formed, Montgomery County was much larger than today being bounded on the east by the Licking River and the Kentucky River to the west and south. The new county extended southeast nearly to the tip of Virginia encompassing approximately 2,500 sq. miles. In contrast, today's Montgomery County is 199 sq. miles.

Researchers will need to check Montgomery's parent counties for events prior to 1797; Clark Co. 1793-1796, Bourbon Co. (VA) 1786-1792, Fayette Co. (VA) 1780-1785 and Kentucky Co. (VA) 1777-1779 and Fincastle Co. (VA) 1772-1776.

Effective 1800, Floyd Co. acquired the large southern portion of Montgomery Co., and in 1811 Bath Co. was formed from the eastern portion of Montgomery Co. In 1816 Estill Co. acquired a southwest section of Montgomery Co. with Floyd Co. acquiring a small southern section in 1818. In 1852 a large part of Powell Co. was formed from the remaining southern section. Finally in 1869, part of Meniffe Co. was formed from the southeastern section of Montgomery Co.

It is always a good idea to check county formation approval dates versus effective dates to determine what records may be available.

The records for any events that took place within the bounds of older Montgomery County boundaries are retained at the Mt. Sterling courthouse. For example, any deeds prior to 1811 for land now in Bath County will be found in Montgomery County.


Early Settlement

The first settlers to consider making the area that was to become Montgomery County their home were from the Ft. Boonesborough area to the west.

Among them were William Calk, Enoch Smith, Robert Whitledge and Isaac Davis. That was in 1775.

As early as 1779, others including Edward Williams, Nicholas Anderson, Peter Dewitt, John Summars, John Harper and Peter Harper claimed land near the headwaters of the Hinkston by building make shift cabins and planting a crop of corn.

It was still much too dangerous to start bringing their families and setting up permanent homes, so they remained near the safety of Ft. Boonesborough.

But beginning in 1790 it was deemed safe enough to move and numerous families moved in along such creeks as the Hinkston (green), Slate (red) and Lulbegrud (blue).

Nearly all other creeks; Aaron's Run, Brush, Harper, Spencer, Somerset, Sycamore, Grassy Lick, Greenbriar, Salt Lick and Flat Creek were tributaries of these three main creeks. Ref. Munsell's 1818 Map of Kentucky.


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Questions? Corrections?


Contact Montgomery County Coordinator Marvin Allen

Several of my direct ancestors lived in the part of Clark County that became Montgomery County in 1797. My 5th great-grandparents John and Ann (Griffin) Allen had a 510 acre farm on Slate Creek near Jeffersonville where they lived and died in 1804 and 1826 respectively. John was a founding member and elder in the Lulbegrud Baptist Church.

My 6th great-grandparents Richard and Mary (Brown) Griffin lived on Somerset Creek, and 6th great-grandfather Edward Williams lived near Hinkston Creek. The Griffins and Williams were also founding members of the Lulbegrud church.


State Coordinator Sherri Bradley / Assistant State Coordinators Jeff Kemp & Suzanne Shephard


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Last updated Jan. 12, 2016.
Copyright 1997-2016

Montgomery County is located in the Outer Bluegrass Region at the intersection of I-64 and US 460. The largest city is Mount Sterling, with a population of 7,113.