Upper South Repositories for Family History Sources

Kentuckygen supplies lists of the Upper South repositories of family history sources. Why? If you are applying for ICAPGen accreditation, you will need to be familiar with the regional resources list for your chosen region. Additionally, the project submitted for this accreditation has some rules around the chosen region. Kentuckygen focuses on the Upper South region, which includes Kentucky (imagine that!), North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

You also need to know where records are kept in order to have a successful search. For our purposes, the definition of a “repository” is a place where things are stored and can be found. Of course, your research journey will not be as simple as going to one place and finding everything you need. This is why it is important to know what is available to you. Additionally, it is important to know how you go about getting the records you need.

Boundary Issues

One caveat before you begin plundering through the supplied lists. Jurisdictions and boundaries change over time. For example, in 1792 the US Congress made Kentucky the second new state to enter the Federal union. Prior to this, it more or less was Kentucky County, Virginia. In this instance, the exterior boundaries remained unchanged. However, it was not so simple for boundaries of Virginia and North Carolina. There was much dissent and disagreement. Multiple surveys kept changing boundaries with each side arguing the other was incorrect. These types of boundary changes and disputes could change where records are located.

Common Repositories

It makes sense, then, to organize repository information by state, county, and township or city. Additionally, for each geographical boundary, we have listed the following repositories where applicable for record search: county courthouses, archives, libraries, historical societies, publishers and the Internet.

We have included links for each state below. As always, if you have any questions or comments about the Upper South region please feel free to comment below.


North Carolina



West Virginia