The University of Kentucky, Lexington

Kentucky Vital Records Index
Death Index 1911-1992

NOTICE

THIS DATA WAS ACQUIRED FROM KENTUCKY'S STATE OFFICE OF VITAL STATISTICS FOR NONCOMMERCIAL USE ONLY. IT MAY NOT BE USED FOR ANY COMMERCIAL PURPOSE. ANY RESELLING, PROFIT MAKING OR SURCHARGES ADDED BY AN INTERNET PROVIDER FOR ACCESS TO THE DATA WILL RESULT IN LOSS OF ACCESS TO THE DATA. ACCESSING THE DATA WILL BE INTERPRETED BY THE UNIVERSITY AS AGREEMENT TO THE ABOVE TERMS.

Source of the Data

The vital records index data was obtained from the Kentucky Office of Vital Statistics in 1994 for a research project. We do not have the resources or funding to update the records.

What's in the Death Index Files

These files contain an index to deaths which have been registered in Kentucky from 1 January 1911 to 31 December 1992. Information in the file includes the name of the deceased, date of death, age at death, and county of death and of residence. The original file was produced by the Kentucky Department of Health Statistics and is the official data used to generate, among other things, the annual Kentucky Vital Statistics Report.

Problems with the Data

While Kentucky enacted one of the pioneering vital statistics laws in the country, compliance with it has never been perfect. For example, by 1917 the registrations were estimated to be only ninety percent complete. The former Registrar of Vital Statistics, Mr. Omar Greeman, estimated that due to failure of county clerks to submit all certificates as required, 3 in 10,000 births and 1 in 10,000 deaths were not recorded in 1981. There are the usual problems with the spelling of names. Some women are listed under their husband's names (Mrs. John Smith, for example).

Note! There are also misspelled names, missing records, and duplicated records. We cannot make changes to the data.

Accessing the Data

The index data is available using a Web browser search. No other access to this data is possible - no FTP, nothing. Please don't ask.

The records are indexed for searching by given name and surname. Append an asterisk to a name to get extended searching using spelling variations. The details of making queries will depend on the computer, software, and network you are using. Contact your local support people if you need assistance.

It is possible to restrict a search of the records by place of death or residence. See the search page for details. To reduce the impact of this service on our system the number of responses returned after a search is limited. It is not possible to bypass the limit and get more results.

Description of the Source Documents

Information in the original death certificate includes the name of the deceased, the date and place of birth of the deceased, marital status, occupation, the date, time and place of the death, the address of the deceased, and parents' names and their places of birth. Medical information concerning nature and onset of the fatal illness and contributory illnesses is provided by the physician if known. The date and place of burial and the funeral home are also shown. More recent certificates may also include the person's social security number and whether they served in the military. The name and address of the informant who provided the information is given along with the signatures of the attending physician and sometimes the coroner.

The Office of Vital Statistics in Frankfort, Kentucky is the official repository of vital statistics from the period 1911 to the present.

Obtaining Copies of Documents

Contact the Office of Vital Statistics in Frankfort, Kentucky for information about obtaining copies of documents.