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Commonwealth Of Kentucky

East Kentucky Genealogy

Official Home Of The







Kentucky is located in the central United States. In 1990 it had a population of 3,685,296 in an
area of 40,395 square miles, an average of 91 people per square mile. The capital of Kentucky is Frankfort.

  Kentucky is bounded by the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers on the west, the Ohio River on the north, the Big Sandy River, Pine Mountain, and Cumberland Mountain on the east, and the state of Tennessee on the south.

Originally part of  Virginia, the land that is now Kentucky was formed into Kentucky county, Virginia in 1776. Four years later it was divided into the Fayette, Jefferson, and Lincoln counties of Virginia. It became the fifteenth of the United States in 1792. The name Kentucky is of American Indian origin and as been attributed to several languages with several possible meanings from "land of tomorrow" to "cane and turkey lands" to "meadow lands." This last may come from the Iroquois name for the Shawnee town Eskippathiki. The name Kentucky referred originally to the Kentucky River and from that came the name of the region.

The capital of Kentucky is Frankfort in Franklin county. Kentucky is divided into 120 counties which contain numerous incorporated cities. Lexington and Fayette county are unique with a merged city-county government.

In 1990 the population of Kentucky was 3,685,296 in an area of 40,395 square miles. The largest cities are Louisville and Lexington. Seven US Census metropolitan areas are within or extend into Kentucky: Cincinnati (OH), including part of northern Kentucky; Clarksville (TN)-Hopkinsville; Evansville (IN)-Henderson; Huntington (WV)-Ashland; Lexington; Louisville; and Owensboro.

Kentucky has an extensive system of State Parks and Nature Preserves and has several National Parks and reserves.


Kentucky can be divided into three parts - the eastern mountains, the interior, and the Mississippi plains in the west. These large areas can be divided into several physiographic regions. The eastern end of the state is known as the Eastern Coal Field. The Appalachian Mountains extend into the state here and the highest point in Kentucky, Big Black Mountain, 4,145 feet above sea level, is here in Harlan county. The western end of this region is known as the Cumberland Plateau which extends west to the Pottsville Escarpment and the eastern Knobs, which divide eastern Kentucky from the rolling hills of the Bluegrass.

State Bird: native redbird, commonly known as the Kentucky cardinal (Richmondena cardinalis).

State Butterfly: viceroy.

State Fish: Kentucky bass.

    State Flower: The goldenrod (genus Solidago) is the official state flower of Kentucky. More than 30 varieties are native to Kentucky and two, Short's and the white-haired (S. shortii and S. albopilosa), occur only in Kentucky.

State Fossil: brachiopod.

State Gemstone: fresh-water pearl.

State Horse: thoroughbred.

State Mineral: coal.

State Soil: Crider soil series.

State Song: "My Old Kentucky Home, Good-Night!," by Stephen Foster.

State Tree: tulip poplar (formerly the Kentucky coffee tree).

State Wild Animal Game Species: gray squirrel.

 Kentucky has thirteen covered bridges still standing, some still in use.