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Adjacent Counties

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Nelson County is located in the western end of the Bluegrass region of Kentucky, extending into the hilly western knobs. The fourth Kentucky county created, it was formed 29 Nov 1784 while a part of Virginia and named for a Virginia governor, Thomas Nelson, Jr.   Colonels Isaac Cox and James Rogers built stations in this area in 1780 and Samuel Pottinger built a station in 1781.

 Many of the early settlers in the county were Roman Catholic and a diocese was established in Bardstown in 1808, where the St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral was completed about 1825. Nelson County is home to the Abbey of Gethsemani and the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth.

Whiskey has been produced commercially in Nelson County since 1844 by T. W. Samuels. It is still home to several distilleries. The Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History is located in Bardstown.

The county seat is Bardstown, named for David Baird, an early settler. As of 2000, the county population was 37,477. In 2006 the population was estimated at 42,102. The county has a total area of 424 square miles, of which 423 square miles is land and 1 square mile is water. Incorporated towns in Nelson County include Bardstown, Bloomfield, Fairfield and New Haven.

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Nelson County, KY Genealogy Forum

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USGenWeb Archives for Nelson County


Nelson County Contact Information

  • Nelson County Contact Information:

    • Nelson County Genealogical Roundtable
      P.O. Box 409
      Bardstown, KY 40004
  • Nelson County Courthouse
    Bardstown, KY 40004
  • Circuit Clerk (502) 348-3648
    County Clerk (502) 348-1820
    Deed recording (502) 348-1830 (marriage, will books are in the same room)
    Judge Executive (502) 348-1800
  • Public Library
    90 Court Square
    Bardstown, KY 40004

    (502) 348-3714

  • Links to local Information

    Nelson County Public Library

    201 Cathedral Manor, Bardstown, KY 40004

    Hours of operation    Mon.,Fri., Sat.  9 to 5     Tues.,Wed., Thurs. 9 to 8


  • The KyGenWeb Project

    In March and April, 1996, a group of genealogists organized the Kentucky Comprehensive Genealogy Database. The idea was to provide a single entry point for all counties in Kentucky, where collected databases would be stored. In addition, the databases would be indexed and cross-linked, so that even if an individual were found in more than one county, they could be located in the index. If you are interested in participating in the KyGenWeb Project, please contact  Sherri Bradley. To contact the Nelson County Coordinator please email Herb Scott .


           Lest we forget    

    JEFF DONALD MURPHY, of Redmond, Deschutes County, OR, born in Bowling Green, Warren County, KY, son of Powell Davis and Marjorie (Morrison) Murphy.

    Design & Copyright 2005-2009 by Herb Scott, as coordinator and intermediary for this Nelson County, KYGenWeb site, and it's contributors. All rights are reserved. This information may be used by libraries, genealogical societies and personal researchers; however, commercial use of this information is strictly prohibited without prior permission of the owners of this material. When copied for non-commercial and personal use, this copyright notice should appear with the information.


    Herb Scott 2009