Kentucky County (then alternately spelled Kentucke County) was formed by the Commonwealth of Virginia from the western portion (beyond the Cumberland Mountains) of Fincastle County effective December 31, 1776.The name of the county was taken from a Native American place name that came be associated with a river in east central Kentucky, and gave the Kentucky River its name. During the three and one-half years of Kentucky County's existence, its seat of government was Harrodstown (then also known as Oldtown, later renamed Harrodsburg).
Kentucky County was abolished on June 30, 1780, when it was divided into Fayette, Jefferson, and Lincoln counties. Afterward, these counties and those set off from them later in that decade were designated collectively as the District of Kentucky by the Virginia House of Delegates. The counties of the district frequently petitioned both the Virginia legislature and the Continental Congress seeking statehood. Finally successful, the Commonwealth of Kentucky was admitted to the United States as the 15th state in 1792.
After Kentucky County was legislatively created on December 6, 1776 (effective 1777), the county militia was organized as follows:
- George Rogers Clark – Brig General Northwestern Frontier 01/1781
- John Bowman – Colonel – County Lieutenant of Kentucky County, Virginia 12/1776 & 11/1779
- Anthony Bledsoe – Lieutenant Colonel
- John Todd – Captain – Virginia
- Benjamin Logan – Captain – Kentucky County, Virginia
- Daniel Boone – Captain – Boonesborough, Kentucky
- James Harrod – Captain – Harrodsburg, Kentucky
- Illinois County, Virginia
- History of Kentucky
- List of former counties, cities, and towns of Virginia
- Wilderness Road
- "Colonial and Pre-Federal Statistics" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. p. 1168.
- "Kentucky: Secretary of State - Land Office - Kentucky County Formations".
- Kleber, John E. (1992). The Kentucky Encyclopedia. Lexington KY: The University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-1772-0.
- "Official Name and Status History of the several States and U.S. Territories". TheGreenPapers.com. Retrieved March 31, 2018.
- Otis Rice, Frontier Kentucky (University Press of Kentucky, 1975), 85.
- 1776 Act to create Kentucky County, Virginia State of Kentucky Secretary of State website