Kentucky ~ Brief History

State of Kentucky ~ Brief History

~ as it applies to Coffman research

A few American settles had moved into the region of present-day Kentucky prior to the completion of the western portion of the border survey between Virginia and North Carolina in 1748.
1772 Kentucky was under the jurisdiction of Augusta County, Virginia. Fincastle County, Virginia, was organized in 1772 to include all of present-day Kentucky with Harrodsburg designated the county seat.
May 1779 Virginia passed an act which divided its western lands including Kentucky County, which consisted of all of the present-day state.
November 1780 Kentucky County was discontinued. Fayette, Lincoln, and Jefferson counties were organized from it.
20-Feb-1793 Hardin County formed out of Nelson county. County seat is Elizabethtown. now has the book, “A History of Elizabethtown Kentucky & Its Surroundings” by Samuel Haycraft online.  Also see The History of Hardin County on the Hardin County Museum site.
1-Jan1800 Breckinridge county formed out of Hardin County after it was created by the legislature on 13 Dec 1799. County seat is Hardinsburg. The county was named for Attorney General John Breckinridge. Meade County was formed out of eastern Breckinridge County in 1824, later Hancock county was formed out of Breckinridge’s western border in 1829.
22-Mar-1824 Meade County formed out of Hardin and Breckinrdige counties. County seat is Brandeburg.
1-Mar-1843 Larue County was formed from Hardin County.


  • ‘Ancestry Red Book’, Revised 1992, edited by Alice Eichholz. Published by Ancestry Incorporated
  • Kentucky County Timeline history – Also includes whether or not records of all counties were destroyed and when.

Note: Looking for property in early Kentucky? All early property in Kentucky was historically under Virginia’s jurisdiction.