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

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

Woodford County was the ninth and last Kentucky county organized by the Virginia Legislature. The county was created from Fayette County in 1788 and is surrounded by six counties. It was named for William Woodford, an American Revolutionary War general who died after being captured by the British. The seat of Woodford County is Versailles, established in 1792 and named for Versailles, France.

In the First Census of Kentucky, 1790 there were 6,963 whites, 2,220 enslaved, and 27 free persons. The total county population for the year 1800 was 6,624: 4,502 whites, 2,107 enslaved, and 15 free coloreds, according to the Second Census of Kentucky. There were 13 African American slave holders in Woodford County in 1830. The 1860 county population was 5,391, according to the U.S. Federal Census, excluding the enslaved. Below are the number of slave holders, enslaved, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 808 slave owners
  • 5,767 Black slaves
  • 607 Mulatto slaves
  • 143 free Blacks
  • 22 free Mulattoes

1860 Slave Schedule

  • 704 slave owners
  • 4,681 Black slaves
  • 1,150 Mulatto slaves
  • 81 free Blacks
  • 33 free Mulattoes

1870 U.S. Federal Census

  • 3,337 Blacks
  • 450 Mulattoes
  • About 441 U.S. Colored Troops listed Woodford County, KY as their birth location.

For more see the Woodford County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; Woodford County, Ky. Colored Marriages, by D. A. Wilson; Proclamation Ordersby Governor E. P. Morrow; All I See Is What I Know, by Z. Webb (video); Funeral Home Records, Mack Brown Funeral Home; and History of Woodford County, Kentucky, by W. E. Railey. 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 Woodford County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Versailles, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Woodford County (KY) Enslaved, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 22, 2024,

Last modified: 2024-06-20 16:53:42