Owsley County Kentucky Genealogy

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Owsley County, Kentucky's 96th county, was organized on 23 January 1843 from portions of Breathitt, Clay, and Estill Counties. It was named for William Owsley, a Kentucky governor who also served in the Kentucky House and Senate, and was Kentucky Secretary of State.

Named for Daniel Boone, Booneville, the county seat of Owsley County, is located on the South Fork of Kentucky River at KY 11 and KY 30. It was once known as Moores Station, for a family of early settlers to the area.  Elias Moore donated land for a seat for the new county in 1843 and the town was incorporated Booneville in 1846.  The Owsley Court House Post Office opened in 1844 and was renamed Booneville in 1846. 

Parts of Owsley were used to help form Jackson County in 1858, Wolfe County in 1860 and Lee County in 1870.

The first permanent settlers of Owsley County were the Moore, Bowman, Baker, Gabbard, and Reynolds families. Most land patents came from Virginia, which Kentucky was once a part of. These were issued for military service, settlement or preemption, and for warrants from the treasury. Some families even today live on their original land grants 

 Unfortunately, the court house burned to the ground January 1929, destroying all of Owsley County's early records. Fire struck again on January 5, 1967, seriously damaging the replacement court house.

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Owsley County Clerk
Main Street
P.O. Box 500
Booneville, KY 41314
Telephone: (606) 593-5735

 Owsley County Public Library
185 Hwy 11 
Booneville, KY 41314-0280
Telephone: (606) 593-5700
Owsley County Historical Society


Site established 22 November 1999

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Your county coordinator is Debi Kendrick

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