Kentucky Genealogy Trails


Lee County, Kentucky
Genealogy and History

Volunteers working to put free historical data online.


[George W Stamper]

A family tree can wither if nobody tends it's roots.


 My name is Bev and as your Lee County, Kentucky host I will try to post as much data online as possible in order to make it freely available to all. We gratefully accept contributions of raw data such as census information, marriage/birth/death records, obituaries, county histories, biographies, old newspaper items - anything that would help someone build their family tree!! My personal research in Lee County for my family tree (Akers, Townsend, Stamper, Shoemaker, Olinger) has shown me the great necessity of getting more free records online for all families with ties to beautiful Lee County!!!!

Feel free to email me with any contributions - every little bit helps!!!!

I regret that I am unable to do personal research.


County History

"The Heart of the Kentucky River"

In early times, this area was home to Native Americans, the Shawnee to the North and the Cherokee to the South, who harvested the abundance of game. A branch of the major trail, the Athowominee, or the"Path of the Armed Ones" ran along the South Fork of the Kentucky River, through the Beattyville and Proctor area. Three miles upstream from Beattyville, the North Fork and Middle Fork Rivers combine. Then the North and South Forks Rivers combine in downtown Beattyville giving the area the name of Three Forks and also creating the beginning of The Kentucky River. The Kentucky River then journeys northwest 256 miles and spills into the Ohio River in Carrolton, Kentucky.

In the 1760's, explorers like Daniel Boone, the Skaggs brothers and James Knox traveled through the Kentucky Highlands from Boonesborough using the Kentucky River and its tributaries to travel deep into the mountains for hunting and trapping.

The earliest pioneers main source of income was farming, hunting and trapping. Then two new indusustries started: pine tar and saltpeter. Saltpeter, being a key ingrediant in gunpowder, brought a handsome price. During the Civil War, many battles were fought between the Union and Confederate Armies to gain control over the salt mines. Coal mining started as early as 1810 when Henry Beatty, a founder of Estill County, and his son Samuel, operated a coal mine.

In 1848 the town of Proctor was established and named after Reverend Joesph Procter, a companion of Daniel Boone.   Lee County was founded in 1870 as Kentucky's 115th county. Proctor was the first countyseat. Many sources say Lee County was named for General Robert E. Lee, which is certainly possible given that it was formed near the time of Lee's death. On the other hand, this area of Kentucky was strongly pro-Union during the Civil War and other sources say the County was named for Lee County, Virginia, or for Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee. Many of the early settlers were born in or decendants of Lee County, Virginia settlers. The following link has several land owner names used in establishing Lee County boundary lines.

 AN ACT to establish the County of Lee

In 1872 Beattyville was incorporated and named after landowner Samuel Beatty. Beattyville became the new county seat. The Three Forks area quickly became an important location in the operations for transporting timber, coal and oil down the Kentucky River. In the early 1900's an "oil boom" occured and many families signed leases with the oil companies for the mineral rights to thier land. These leases still exist today and the countryside is dotted with oil wells in fields, backyards and along the roadsides.

Lee county lies within the Eastern Kentucky Coal Fields Region, and about half the county lies within the Daniel Boone National Forest. The terrain is mountainous and very rugged. Limestone cliffs are abundant everywhere you look.  Lee County, along with its surrounding counties, now draws a tourism trade with its many miles of beautiful and challenging trails for hiking and mountain biking. Rock Climbers from around the country, and even worldwide, enjoy the limestone cliffs and hundreds of acres set aside in the Pendergrass Murray Recreational Preserve specifically for rock climbers.   

[sources: and about Lee County, Lee County Tourism]


Communities of Lee County

Current and Extinct

Arvel, Athol, Bailey, Bald Rock, Banford, Bear Creek, Bear Track, Beattyville, Beech Grove, Bell Point, Big Sinking, Blaine's Branch, Brush Creek, Canyon Falls, Cave Branch, Cave Fork, Certain Creek, Coal Branch, Congleton, Contrary Creek, Cow Hoof, Cressmont, Cross Roads, Delvinta, Duck Fork, Dunnigan Branch, Earnestville, Enoch, Evelyn, Evelyn Lock Road, Fillmore, Fincastle, Fixer, Fraley's Creek, Glen Eden, Greeley, Greys Bend, Heidelberg, Hell Creek, Hell for Certain Creek, Hopewell, Ida May, Ivy Patch, Leeco, Little Sinking, Lock 13 Rd, Lone, Long Shoal, Lower Buffalo, Lower Devil's Creek, Lyman's Creek, Mill Branch, Monica, Mt. Eagle, Mt. Olive, Mt. Param, Oil, Old Landing, Old Orchard, Pawpaw, Pine Grove, Pinnacle, Pleasant Flat, Primrose, Proctor, Rock Springs, Ross's Creek, Shoemaker Ridge, Sinking Creek, Spencer Ridge, St. Helens, Standing Rock, Sturgeon Creek, Stuffelbean, Tallega, The Cutoff, Twin Creek, Twin Crest, Upper Devil's Creek, Vada, Walker's Creek, Wentworth, White Ash, Whynot, Wide Creek, Williba, Willow, Yellow Creek, Yellow Rock, Zachariah, Zoe



Online Data




Masonic / Freemasonry




Native American Indians

Court Records

Newspaper Items



Family Bibles

Oil History

Family Stories/Lore


Historical Subjects

Postal History 

Land Records

Wills / Probate Records





Site Updates

January 2018 - Williams Cemetery (Shoemaker Ridge), 1875 Masons Proctor lodge members, People of Coal Mining - T Jameson, R Jameson
December 2017 - Rev. H Hall, J Brandenburg Obits
August 2017 - Hobbs Cemetery
July 2017 - 80 Cemetery names and locations, Newspaper Items John May
June 2017 - Spencer Cemetery, E Warner Death Notice,
February 2017 - Oil History /oil leases page added, Obit V Akers
January 2017- Walden Obituary, ES Moore Cemetery added, Misc news articles
2016 - new page- Masons Proctor Lodge 213, death notice Rev Zimmerman, marriage notice Hall-Cann. new pages-Historical Places, Petroglyph sites, Additions - Draft Registrations surnames E & L, newspaper items. New pages-Land Grants & Historical Population, Pryse Bio Additions to Marriage Licenses, Newspaper Items, Post Office List, Combs Cemetery, Coal Camps, Wills, Lee Congelton Bio


Adjacent counties:


 *Powell County (north)  

* Wolfe County (northeast)  

* Breathitt County (southeast)  

* Owsley County (south)  

* Jackson County (southwest)  

* Estill County (northwest)


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