History of Grant County:

The state of Kentucky has a long history that first started as Kentucky County of the state of Virginia. Slowly, Kentucky and Grant County became independent. Kentucky was formed as a state in 1792 and counties eventually broke off and became smaller. Grant County was carved out of Pendleton County in 1820. Today, Grant County is a thriving suburb of Cincinnati and Lexington with just under 25,000 citizens. The library houses a Kentucky Room with collections of family histories, local newspapers on microfilm and several volumes of Grant County and Kentucky history.

The library will conduct one hour of research for out-of-county residents for a $15 fee. While there is no guarantee of finding the information you seek, the fee does include up to 10 copies of any documentation found. If you are seeking a copy of an obit, please consult our Index of Birth, Death & Marriage Index first to see if your relative is listed before contacting the library. This index of events listed in the Grant County News is not complete & is an ongoing project. Please consult the library’s online Cemetery Map of Grant County for location and direction information to known gravesites..

Starting Research:

  1. Start your search by writing down what you know. Print a free Ancestral Chart from and write down vital statistics such as birth dates, places of birth, marriage dates and place of marriage, death dates and places of death. Ask your relatives for information before they are gone!
  2. Look around your home for documentation to verify the information you wrote on the Ancestral Chart. After all, Great Aunt Milly might have been mistaken when she said your grandparents were born in 1914. Examples include family Bibles, birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates, diaries, and family letters. Have your relatives search their homes as well.
  3. Check the library for family histories or family group sheets that relate to your family. Keep in mind that if your surname (last name) is common such as Jones, the Jones Family information at the library may or may not be related to your family.
  4. Check library records to fill in those missing pieces on your Ancestral Chart. Start by looking up U.S. Census records using the HeritageQuest database. Census records can help you fill in names of children, occupation, and education levels of the family. Some Census records also record what states family members were born in and are useful in following the movements of family members.
  5. Check the library for local marriage records, death records, and cemetery records. In Kentucky, copies of these original documents can be ordered from the Office of Vital Statistics in Frankfort, for a fee. Many other states have similar offices. Some records may be available through Ancestry is available within Grant County Public Library, but is not available remotely.
  6. Check the Grant County Courthouse for property records, tax records, and wills. A fee may apply.
  7. If you can’t find information in primary records, you may have to branch out. Search for obituaries or articles in old newspapers. The Grant County Public Library has several years of old newspapers on microfilm. Check funeral homes for death information, and churches for birth, marriage, and death information.


  • Ancestry
  • Family history books & files
  • Cemetery books
  • Court abstract records
  • Local order books & Dry Ridge minutes on microfilm
  • Local newspapers on microfilm
  • Local history biographies
  • Yearbooks
  • Maps

Other Tools

The Grant County Historical Society office is open each Friday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 101 N. Main St. Room #8 in Williamstown, KY 41097.