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 The Home of Harrison County History and Genealogy



Welcome to HarrisonCountyKy.US, a website with an easy-to-remember web address (or URL) that is designed to aid the visitor in his or her research of the history and genealogy of Harrison County, Kentucky and its people.


Genealogy and local history research have been two interests of mine for the past three decades now.  When I began to look into my own family's past in Harrison County in 1992, I didn't know a whole lot about genealogy, how to research one, or where to find the places where the records that would answer my questions were stored.


I have since discovered that about half of my ancestors liked the Northern Kentucky area well enough to spend about two hundred years around that verdant little spot on the globe.  Even even though the area has its many charms, it took most of them thousands of years to get there . . . but it need not take you that long to follow in their footpaths and find your own ancestors!


My name is Philip Naff and, for better or worse, I live in Indianapolis, Indiana.  The better part is that I live closer to Kentucky than I have ever lived before.  It is still a little far away, and to make the most of each research trip to  Kentucky, I found it necessary to copy a lot of material just to have the information at hand for future reference, the end result being a collection of information for my own personal research library which I can share through this website.


The clocks are ticking, but no one seems to have the time--Isn't that so true of so many who put off the research of their family until it is too late?  Questions about family history don't get asked while those who lived it are still living.  What may be piece of junk to some, isn't realized as a family heirloom until after it gets thrown away.


Yet it is never too late if you begin now, especially with the virtual explosion in the interest in all things genealogical.  Websites like Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org, Fold3.com, Google Books, and Archive.org offer millions of records to search and examine.  Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Flickr, and YouTube offer ways to connect with others who have a passion for learning about their family's heritage.  Television shows like Who Do You Think You Are? help to grow the interest and spread the word even further.


Even though Mark Twain is reported to have said that "when the end of the world comes I want to be in Kentucky, because there it will come 20 years later," it doesn't mean you can wait that much longer to start.  When he said that he may very well have well thinking of this site, for here the past is always present, and the future, well, that's another day!


Dig up a little history . . . without getting dirty--Turn back the clock by using the links below to reveal some of Harrison County's forgotten past and bring it to light again.


History   |   People   |   Places   |   Pictures   |   Records   |   Military

What's New . . . or Old at HarrisonCountyKy.US?  Quite a few items have already been added to these pages, but the site still has room to grow.  I hope to continue adding to it in the next months and years.  You can now follow me at Twitter, or just read the feed which follows, to learn about new additions to this site, some news, as I hear it, about the happenings at the Harrison County Historical Society, and everything else I can think of which may be relative (pun intended) to your research in and of Harrison County, Kentucky.




Please visit the following sites which all feature Harrison County history and genealogy as their main attractions.  Come join, attend, or spend a little time . . . and maybe a little money; you will be the one all the richer for it!


Pinterest-ing Pics

HarrisonCountyKy.US now posts pictures and postcards to Pinterest.com.  Many of the images you can already find at this site can now be found at Pinterest, and maybe even a few not seen before.


Visit HarrisonCountyKy.US on Pinterest.



The Genealogy Box

Since 2007 a special supplement, published several times a year, has been added to issues of the Harrison Heritage News, the newsletter of the Harrison County Historical Society.  Entitled The Genealogy Box, its goal is to focus a light on genealogy and local history resources that are available for research, both online and in person in Cynthiana and elsewhere.


Each issue basically serves as a research guide to one particular topic, in as much as a few printed pages can.  Also included are transcriptions, abstracts, and indexes of people and important records.  News of recent genealogical events, features at this site, and other items of interest have also been featured.


Just click on the either link to begin your learning experience with The Genealogy Box.


The Genealogy Guy

Visit TheGenealogyGuy.com whenever you feel you need to add an index of Harrison County records to your library, especially for marriage records.


Despite several courthouse disasters, Harrison County's marriage record archive has survived intact.  There are marriages records for every month going back to 1794.

All told, there are over 50,000 marriages, dare I say love stories, documented by Harrison County records.  But there were a few last-minute cancellations.

The records keeping system was established in the early 1890s.  Prior to 1866, African American records, although rare, were not segregated.

The transcription and publication of General Index to Marriages No. 3 (1948-1984) and Marriage Records Index, 1985-2008 were completed in 2009.



The Harrison County Historical Society

To learn of the program for the next monthly meeting of the Harrison County Historical Society click on a link above and go to the "Calendar of Events"  for details.  Meetings are almost always held on the 3rd Thursday of each month (3rd Saturday of winter months) at the Charles W. Feix Community Room in the annex of the Cynthiana-Harrison County Public Library.  Come one and all!!!

This site is also host to the online presence of the Harrison County Historical Society.  Click on the links to learn about the society and its activities, such as its efforts to preserve and restore the Handy House in Cynthiana or to discover the topic of the next monthly meeting.


Meetings are almost always held on the third Thursday of each month (third Saturdays in winter months) in the Charles W. Feix Community Room in the annex of the Cynthiana-Harrison County Public Library.  Go to the "Calendar of Events" on the society's page for details.  While there, click on @TheSociety to read about all the "goings-on" of past meetings and events.


Make it a special part of your life by making this the year you decide to join!


Harrison Heritage News

If you haven't seen them before, just want to read the fine articles by local historians George Slade, Bill Penn, Harold Slade, and other authors and experts again, or if you would like to learn all about the other historical happenings of Harrison County, then you must read the award-winning Harrison Heritage News!


Archived issues of the Harrison County Historical Society's monthly newsletter from early 2001 through 2005 are now available online.  Just click on Harrison Heritage News, to begin your trek back in time.


The Cynthiana-Harrison County Museum

This past year (2012) was the 18th anniversary of the Cynthiana-Harrison County Museum's establishment.  If you can't get there in person, take a look at the museum's pages at www.CynthianaKy.com to see what events and attractions the museum has planned for the year and learn more about the county's past.


The Kin Hound

The Kind Hound would rather bark, woof, or bow-wow, but the powers that be have him "tweeting" like a bird.  Watch for tweets from the Kin Hound about interesting and fun stuff about genealogy in the news, maybe a few how-to tips, and links to other items that may be of interest to you.




Contributions Welcome

Despite rumors to the contrary and being a cousin unto myself, I only have one pair of hands and while still working on my "family forest" in Harrison County, but I can always add a little more to this site.


If you have any materials or suggestions to improve the site, please let me know.


David Smith has offered this wonderful photograph of his great-grandmother, Marietta (Renaker) Smith (1872-1959) for use in the Family Photo Album of the County pages.


Other generous offers of family photos, school photos and records, and Bible records have also been accepted and posted to this site.


Do you have anything you would like to share?


Questions or


If you have any questions or suggestions about the site or genealogy or local history research in Harrison County, please contact Philip Naff, the website's creator, and he will see what can be done to answer your queries or to improve the site.


What Visitors Have Had to Say about the Site

Well, actually no one has had to say anything at all, none of these comments has been solicited, but I do say "Thank You" to all who have been thoughtful enough to share their appreciation with me.  P.


This is truly the most unbelievable, awesome, comprehensive, interesting genealogy site on the internet.--Jim D.


You ought to get a medal. You have done a great job and I have yet to see a history/genealogy site with as much information and so well displayed.--Barry M.


Thank you for all the work on the Harrison County, Ky. site.  I know this required a lot of work on your part.  Just wanted to let you know that some of us appreciate the work.--Rita B.


Each time I visit the Harrison site I'm always left with a feeling of having visited the most professional, friendly and comprehensive amount of information available for a web site . . . I always find your web site so informative and a joy for reading everything. You have produced what others need to understand.  Genealogy can be informative and fun while being professional.  As I read many years ago, genealogy should be regarded as a science, not a hobby.  You have given credence to that statement.--Tom C.


[T]he Harrison County, Kentucky website is wonderful.  I have visited Cynthiana many times and will continue to return to the home of my ancestors to find more info.  But your site allows me to work on genealogy when I donít have time to travel to find something new.  Keep doing a great job!--Cindy A.


Bless your heart!!!--Jean E.



History   |   People   |   Places   |   Pictures   |   Records   |   Military

The content of www.HarrisonCountyKy.US has been written, compiled, transcribed, abstracted, extracted and/or edited by Philip Naff, except for content which has been submitted for use at the site by unpaid volunteer contributors or where otherwise noted, and he maintains all rights in these web pages as defined by the copyright laws of the United States of America.  No content of this website may be used at or viewed through any other website without the express written consent of Philip Naff.


Last Edited Update: 03.21.2014

© 2006-14 - Philip A. Naff