Kentucky started keeping birth and death records in 1852, stopped in 1862, started again in 1874, but didn't get serious about it until 1 January 1911. Before that date, births and deaths were recorded at the county level and copies were forwarded to the state once a year. Surviving birth records are mostly for the years 1852-1861, 1874-1879 and 1900-1910. Because of official indifference and neglect, no records are extant for many of the years before 1911. (The records for 1874-1879 have been indexed for the entire state. The index is available at KDLA.)
People lacking official certificates could file delayed birth certificates with the state. This became common starting around 1940 due to the requirements of Social Security and military service. According to Roseann Hogan, "Kentuckians have filed over a half-million of these delayed certificates... Social Security, for a time, accepted completed certificates that were not filed with the Department of Vital Statistics in Frankfort. Therefore, it is possible, that even if no official certificate can be found in Frankfort, a certificate may have been filed with Social Security or other government agencies." (Kentucky Ancestry, page 79)
Delayed birth certificates contain name, date of birth, place of birth, sex, race, parents' names, ages, etc. similar to regular birth certificates. Plus two older witnesses, one related one unrelated.
In Kentucky, the Department of Vital Statistics has most of the delayed birth certificates.
Thanks to Mary Hatton, Suzanne Shepherd, and all who worked on this and made the information available for our genealogical research.
This database created on Feb. 12, 2009