Madison County was formed in 1785 from Lincoln County while still a part of Virginia. It was the 6th county in Kentucky and named for Virginia statesman, James Madison, 4th President of the United States. It is located on the southeastern edge of the Bluegrass region of Kentucky where the knobs mark the boundary between the rolling Bluegrass and the hilly Cumberland Plateau. The elevation in the county ranges from 530 to 1660 feet above sea level. George Adam's house was the site of the first county business on 22 Aug 1786 near the present town of Milford. Milford was the county seat until 1798, then it was moved to land owned by Colonel John Miller and re-named Richmond after his birthplace of Richmond, VA. Daniel Boone was here in 1769 and 1775; General Green Clay was an early settler, whose son, Cassius Marcellus Clay, was ambassador to Russia during the Civil War. The western pioneer Christopher "Kit" Carson was from this county. Colonel Richard Callaway, early ferry operator, was here in 1779. Berea School formed here in 1855.
The County Clerk has marriage and land records from 1787; probate records from 1850. The Circuit Clerk has divorce and civil court records.
Madison County is a bed of history. It was the site of Daniel Boone's outpost, Fort Boonesborough, the birthplace of Kit Carson, and residence of abolitionist Cassius Marcellus Clay whose home is now the White Hall State Historic Site. Civil War buffs will want to take the Battle of Richmond driving tour.
Bybee Pottery is also located in Madison County. It is the oldest existing pottery west of the Alleghenies. The log building has been a home to Bybee Pottery for over a century. Legend states that this pottery was originally established in 1809, and actual sales records prove its existence as a thriving industry as early as 1845.
(Info on Madison Co. above provided by University of Kentucky and Sandi Gorin)
As stated above, Madison County was formed from Lincoln County, Virginia in 1785. The original County included some or all of the following Counties as they exist at the present time: Madison, Garrard, Rockcastle, Jackson, Clay, Leslie, Perry, Owsley, Lee and Estill. In 1797 part of the County was taken to create Garrard County, in 1800 part of the County was lost to Garrard and additional land was obtained from Montgomery, in 1805 land was lost to Knox, in 1807 land was lost to the creation of Clay County and land was also lost to Floyd and Knox Counties, in 1808 land was lost to Estill County, in 1810 land was lost to the creation of Rockcastle County, in 1812 land was gained from Clay County, in 1821 land was lost to Rockcastle County, in 1858 land was lost to the creation of Jackson County. Maps can be found in Kentucky Atlas of Historical County Boundaries, John H. Long, editor, 1995.
Helpful LinksMadison County Research by Jennifer Fish
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Madison County Clerk
Madison County Public Library (Richmond Branch)
507 West Main
Richmond, KY 40475-1349
859-623-6704 FAX: 859-623-2032
Contact: Sue Hays; Pamela Mullins
Madison County Public Library (Berea Branch)
319 East Chestnut
Berea, KY 40403-1508
859-986-7112 FAX: 859-986-7208
Contact: Abigail Harris
Eastern Kentucky University
Special Collections Archives Section
Richmond, KY 40475
859-622-1906 - Recorded message regarding library hours
859-622-1792 - Special Collections and Archives
Kentucky Public Records Division
Archives Research Room
P.O. Box 537
Frankfort, KY 40602-0537
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If you find your ancestors disappearing from Madison Co., try one of these counties which either surround or used Madison Co. in their formation. Neighboring counties are always a good source for possible information on your ancestors.Clark Co., KY
|Kentucky Court Order Book B (1791-1801)||Jackie Couture
P.O. Box 439,
Waco, KY 40385, price of book is $28.00
|Kentucky Court and Other Records, Vol. 1: Early Wills & Marriages, Old Bible Records, and Tombstone Inscriptions by Mrs. William Breckenridge Ardery||Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., price of book is $20.00||Lookup
|Madison County, Kentucky 1850 Census; Marriage records thru 1824; individual names only, no surname searches||1850 federal census||Lookup
|History of Masonry in Madison County, Kentucky by Robert R. Burnam, 1914; contains brief sketches of Masters of various lodges between 1812 and 1913. Please put "Madison Co. Masonic lookup" in subject line when requesting a search||There is a partial index here.||Lookup
|Madison County Marriage Records, Volumes 1 and 2, 1786-1851 by Bill and Kathy Vockery, one surname at a time please!||Lookup
|Abstracts of Madison County, Kentucky Will Book "A" (1787-1805) by Anna Joy (Munday) Hubble, 1983||Lookup
|Madison County, Kentucky Wills and Estates, 1785-1813 compiled by by Charles M. Franklin||Lookup
|Cemetery Records of Madison County; Vol. 1 - Northern Section, Vol. 2 - Southern Section compiled by by Kathy Vockery. Please put "Madison County lookup" in the subject line when requesting a search.||Lookup
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