Kentucky Genealogical Society

Oldenburgische Gesellschaft für Familienkunde e.V.


In 1973, an enthusiastic group of genealogists and family researchers formed the Kentucky Genealogical Society. This is where our history begins.

The society idea came from the first president, Charles Edwin Shelby, who had moved to Frankfort, Kentucky from Iowa. While in Iowa, he was a member of an active genealogical society. He considered Kentucky one of the more important research centers in the country, so it surprised him there was not such a group here. 

In his first letter to the members in 1974, Shelby described how bothered he was at the poor communication among the Bluegrass area genealogists. The energetic leader noted the organization should allow family researchers to gather “to brag about their ancestors, exchange information, and share techniques.” 

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 54704. Lexington, KY 40555-4704

Contact language:  English


Heritage Society


As the virtual statewide genealogical society for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the Society’s mission is to:
1. Facilitate Genealogy Education: The Society facilitates genealogical education, promotes standards, and
shares best practices within the Kentucky genealogy community.
2. Make Kentucky Genealogy Records Accessible: The Society works to make accessible the important
genealogy records of Kentucky through collaboration and digitization.
3. Forge Community: The Society works to connect researchers of all 120 counties. 


    Individual Member: $20 per year

    Institutional Member: $15 per year

    Membership Benefits:

    The Kentucky Genealogical Society has been supporting genealogy since 1973. We are committed to helping people find their roots no matter where they are located.

    Along with joining this active community, you’ll get the following:

    • Genealogy Education Programs
      • Free admission to regularly scheduled genealogy programs ($150+ value)
      • Access to our extensive Learning Library that is full of webinars from genealogy industry experts and Kentucky experts
    • Members Only Content
      • Our special collection of Kentucky records including early statehood tax list images and more
      • Our collections from the Grant Digitization Program
      • Dozens of on-demand genealogy programs we have curated to further your genealogical education
    • Connection to other Kentucky Family Researchers
      • Join our Front Porch Talks discussion groups.
      • Participate in volunteer opportunities to assist other family researchers
    • Discounts to Bi-Annual Seminars
      • Members pay $20 for seminars (an $80 savings)

    Kentucky Genealogical Society is the only organization in the state exclusively dedicated to genealogy research for all of Kentucky’s 120 counties. We invite everyone who has a passion for genealogy research, no matter what their level of expertise may be, to join us as members and enjoy our many benefits!