From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Trimble County (KY) Enslaved, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870

Trimble County is located in northern Kentucky, bordered by 3 counties and the Ohio River. Trimble County was formed in 1837 from portions of Gallatin, Henry, and Oldham Counties. It was named for Robert Trimble, a U.S. Supreme Court Justice born in Virginia and who lived in Bourbon County, KY. There is only one Trimble County in the United States.

The county seat is Bedford, established in 1816 and named for Bedford, VA, the home of Bedford, KY's first settler, Richard Ball.

The Trimble County population in 1840 was 654 [heads of households], according to the the U.S. Federal Census, and the population increased to 5,049 by 1860, excluding the enslaved. Below are the number of slave owners, enslaved, and free Blacks and Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule
  • 216 slave owners
  • 715 Black slaves
  • 226 Mulatto slaves
  • 27 free Blacks [most with the last name Scott]
  • 4 free Mulattoes [last names Moreland, 2 Penn, Penna]
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 196 slave owners
  • 661 Black slaves
  • 175 Mulatto slaves
  • 4 free Blacks [last names Lynch, Mason, 2 Scott]
  • 0 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 308 Blacks
  • 141 Mulattoes
  • About 24 U.S. Colored Troops listed Trimble County, KY as their birth location.
For more see Trimble County in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; Marriage Books (Indexed), Trimble County Clerk; and Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb, an American Slave, by Henry Bibb. See the "U.S., Colored Troops Military Service Records, 1863-1865" and other military service records in Ancestry for names and additonal information.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Trimble County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Bedford, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: The Kentucky encyclopedia
NKAA Source: Marriage books (indexed), 1837-1987 [Trimble County]
NKAA Source: Narrative of the life and adventures of Henry Bibb, an American slave
NKAA Source: Ancestry (online)

Related Entries Citing this Entry


Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Trimble County (KY) Enslaved, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 25, 2024,

Last modified: 2024-06-20 19:23:50