City of Cynthiana

Code Red


Early History of Kentucky County Virginia:

On Dec. 31, 1776, two years after the first settlement at Harrodsburg, the Virginia Legislature divided all the territory west of the mountains, known as Fincastle County into Washington, Montgomery, and Kentucky Counties. The act creating these counties described Kentucky County as being "to the south and westward of a line beginning on the Ohio at the mouth of Great Sandy creek and running up the same and the main, or northeasterly, branch thereof to the Great Laurel Ridge of Cumberland Mountain, then south westerly along the said mountain to the line of North Carolina." Kentucky County included the territory which essentially had the same boundary as the state does today. At the time, the new county was home to five communities: Boonesborough, Harrodsburg, St. Asaph (later called Logan's Station), McClelland's Station and Leestown. Harrodsburg was first the county seat of Kentucky County, Virginia.

Illinois county (the Northwest Territory) was ceded to the nation and became a territory. This voluntary gift to the nation included all of the Ohio Valley and parts of Wisconsin and Michigan.

November 1, 1780, as the settlements in Kentucky grew and population increased Kentucky County Virginia was divided into three counties of Virginia. Fayette was formed from the territory lying north of the Kentucky River and extending to the Ohio and Big Sandy rivers. Jefferson County embraced the land between the lower Kentucky River, the Ohio and Green Rivers. A line from the head of Benson creek, which empties into the Kentucky at Frankfort, run due south to Green River, separated Jefferson from Lincoln County. Lincoln then included the remainder of Kentucky north and east of the Cumberland River. These three counties were called the District of Kentucky in 1780.

These counties were organized for their welfare and protection against Indians. Jefferson County militia was under the command of Colonel John Floyd; Fayette County militia was commanded by Colonel John Todd; Lincoln County militia was commanded by Colonel Benjamin Logan. General George Rogers Clark commanded all militias in the entire area. In order that lands might be surveyed, divided and good titles made to the settlers, a special surveyor was appointed for each county.

When Kentucky County was divided into the counties of Fayette, Jefferson and Lincoln, Harrodsburg was the county seat of Lincoln County, which at that time covered over a third of the soon to be state.

1785 Nelson County, Virginia was formed from Jefferson County.

1786 Bourbon County, Virginia was formed from Fayette County.

1786 Madison County, Virginia was formed from Lincoln County.

1786 Mercer County, Virginia was formed from Lincoln County.

1789 Woodford County, Virginia was formed from Fayette County.

1789 Madison County, Virginia was formed from Lincoln County.

Return to Cynthiana Online Facts and Findings.

The Library of Virginia
Signs of History - Georgetown College
Kentucky Historical Society
Kentucky Atlas & Gazetteer
Mercer On Line
Franklin-Simpson County Chamber of Commerce
How It All Began For Trimble County by Dr. Richard A. Edwards
Lexington Herald-Leader 01/01/2000
The Rockbridge County, VAGenWeb Project
Whitley County Kentucky Genealogy
Ralph Eddie Coppage - Harrison County County Clerk
Cynthiana-Harrison County Museum
Thelma Taylor

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