Kentucky Guardianship

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Guardianship proceedings occurred when minor children were orphaned or when only the father or "bread winner" died. The mother was allowed to retain guardianship if officials considered her circumstances sufficient to provide for the children. Another person appointed as guardian may have been a relative, a friend of the family, or one who could teach the minor(s) a trade. In some cases guardians or administrators were appointed to handle the affairs of adults who were deemed incompetent.

County officials appointed guardians to provide minor children with education or training, making it more likely that the minors would become contributing members of the community rather than wards of the county or state.

Guardianship records usually give the name of the deceased parent(s) and the names and ages of the minor children. The records have been kept by the clerks of either the county courts or the circuit courts in Kentucky. They are most often intermingled with probate or court records.

The Family History Library has guardianship records for most counties in Kentucky. They can be found in the Place Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under: