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Kentucky Births - Why can't I find the record?

Revision as of 16:50, 31 August 2018 by Batsondl (talk | contribs) (Text replacement - "Obituaries often include the birth date" to "Obituaries often include the birthdate")


This page will give you additional guidance and resources to find birth information for your ancestor. Use this page after first completing the birth section of the Kentucky Guided Research page.


Additional records

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Additional Databases and Online Resources






Substitute records

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Additional Records with Birth Information

Substitute records can contain information about more than one event, and are used when records for an event are not available. Because the substitute records may not be created at the time of the event, it may contain incorrect information. Search for as many substitute records as possible to corroborate information found in substitute records to help improve accuracy.

Use these substitute records to locate birth information about your ancestor:
Wiki Page
FamilySearch(FS) Collections
Why to search the records
Death Records
Kentucky Death Guided Research
Go back to the Kentucky Guided Research page, and click on "Death". Death records may include the deceased individual's birthday or age at death is given, suggesting an approximate birthdate by subtracting the age from the death date.
Cemetery Records
See Wiki page
Gravestone inscriptions and cemetery records may include a birthdate.
Census Records
U.S. Census FS Collections
Census records from 1850 onward give ages of the recorded individuals, allowing researchers to calculate birth years.
Church Records
See Wiki page
Include baptism records, which occasionally give the individual's birthday. Also includes death and burial records, sometimes giving individual's age at death, allowing researchers to calculate approximate birth years. In order to access these records, researchers need to know the church their ancestor attended.
Newspapers
See Wiki page
In addition to obituaries, newspapers publish notices of marriages, divorces, deaths, and funerals. In recent years, birth notices have also been published providing the names of the parents and sex of the child.
Obituaries
Kentucky Obituary FS Collections
Obituaries often include the birthdate and place of the deceased.
Military Records
Kentucky Military FS Collections
May provide the age and/or birth date of the individuals who served in military positions.
Bible Records
See Wiki page
May include dates of birth for family members.





Improve searching

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Tips for finding births

Successfully finding birth records in online databases depends on a few key points. Try the following search suggestions:

  • Spelling variations. Your ancestor's name may be misspelled. Search with spelling variations for the first and last name of your ancestor.
  • Search parents. Search for the parents, if known, as the child's first name may not be on the birth record.
  • Search given name. Search by given name (leave out the last name) with the approximate date of birth.
  • Add information. For common names, add more information to narrow the search such as approximate birth date or parent's names if known.
  • Date range. Expand the date range of the search by 5 years.
  • Search state. Search using the state name only instead of by county.





Why the record may not exist

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Known Record Gaps

Records Start

  • Birth records begin in 1852 but registration was inconsistent.


Records Published
Collection coverage tables show the places and time periods of original records published. Check the coverage table for the collections you searched which did not include your ancestor. Gaps in the online collection may require searches in other records or original birth records at an archive.


Records Destroyed
The following counties had record loss. Click on the county for more information.