find kentucky birth records

+4 votes
Hi all I have hit a wall only a couple generations back on my mom's side of the family......

My grandfather was William Riley Meade Sr. born 11 Feb 1896 in Kentucky and died 23 Jan 1979 in Danville, VA. He was married to Zora Wyatt Meade born 19 Nov 1906 in Kentucky and died 29 Jan 1963 in Danville, VA.

They were married October 5, 1922 in Mingo County, West Virginia.

This is all I have been able to find. I have not been able to get and parental information on either. I know that there were periods of time that KY did not issue birth certificates and I fear that their births fell into that category.

So my question is: If there is no birth cert for either then where do you go to find information about parents, exact info for birth for confirmation of what I have now, etc.

No birth cert makes it difficult to do any research......
WikiTree profile: William Meade
in Genealogy Help by Jim Farthing G2G1 (1.8k points)
Family Bibles have always been a good place to look for parents, children, weddings, and other data not entered into the public record.


I find this saying he was born in West Virginia

William R Mead

 in the 1900 United States Federal Census

Record Image View

  • View blank form
Name: William R Mead
Age: 3
Birth Date: Feb 1897
Birthplace: West Virginia
Home in 1900: Lincoln, Wayne, West Virginia
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Son
Marital Status: Single
Father's name: Robert N Mead
Father's Birthplace: Kentucky
Mother's name: Martha J Mead
Mother's Birthplace: Kentucky
Occupation: View on Image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Robert N Mead 48
Martha J Mead 46
Alex B Mead 20
Malinda Mead 18
Alta Mead 14
Lilly B Mead 10
William R Mead 3
Unfortunately, all of the family bibles that I am aware of have been lost. All of my mother's siblings are dead and I have asked my living relatives and none of them know of any bible or any other sources of records.

None of them seem to know anything about family history. Many of them are a generation or two past me so all of this is ancient history to them and they do not seem to have any interest in their history......

This also says West Virginia for birth place

William R Meade

 in the U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942

Record Image View

    Name: William R Meade
    Age: 46
    Height: 5 9
    Eye Color: Brown
    Hair Color: Black
    Weight: 147
    Complexion: Black
    Birth Date: 11 Feb 1896
    Birth Place: Wayne, West Virginia, USA
    Residence Year: 1942
    Residence: Ransom, Kentucky

    Name of person who will always know where you are is
    Zora Meade. Presumably his wife?
    Betty thank you so much for the information! I saw something, will have to dig it up in what I have that said he was born in KY. I don't remember what it was but I will find it and look at it again.

    Once again, thank you so much for the help, being new to this it is a daunting task with so much info to sift through. I am very happy to know that if I hit a bump in the road that there are people that are willing to help out.


    PS -- I knew it was a census record that listed my grandfathers birthplace as KY.
    I'm glad I could help you.

    Good luck!!!

    6 Answers

    +4 votes
    Dear Jim,

       William Riley Meade's gravestone in Danville, Virginia says he was in the US Army in World War I.  Since this was before his marriage to Zora, there may be information on his parents in his service record.  Try to get a copy!

    Good luck.  -NGP
    by Nanette Pezzutti G2G6 Mach 9 (92.4k points)
    I will definitely give it a shot. Thanks for the info!

    +4 votes
    Virginia Death Records1912-2014. William Riley Meade Sr.

    age 82, born Feb 11 1896. ied Jan 23 1979, Danville Virginia.Father

    Robert  C. Meade, Mother Pansey,Spouse Zora Wyatt Meade.
    by Wayne Morgan G2G6 Pilot (922k points)
    Thank you for the information!

    The parents info really helps.

    +4 votes
    Virginia Death Certificate, State file # 218, registration # 207, Certificate #  49


    Zora Wyatt Meade,died Jan 29 1963,Born Nov 19 1906,Cherry Lane

    North Carolina.Father Robert C, Wyatt, Mother Ollie May Atwood

    Died Ventricular Fibrillation.
    by Wayne Morgan G2G6 Pilot (922k points)
    Thank you for the information, it is greatly appreciated!

    And the Ventricular Fibrillation makes a lot of sense. That side of the family has a heavy history of heart disease.


    +3 votes

    Most sources seem to show that he was born in West Virginia.  When he registered for the World War 1 Draft on 7 June 1917 at Pike county, Kentucky, he said he lived at Hellier, Kentucky, but he was born on 11 Feb 1896 in Webb, Wayne Co., West Virginia. He was a miner working for Allegheny Coke Co.  He was single, with his mother to support.("United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 12 December 2014), William Riley Meade, 1917-1918; citing Pike County, Kentucky, United States, NARA microfilm publication M1509 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,653,781.)

    And be careful when you start tracing William's parents.  Father Robert was probably married twice, as he says in 1910 that it is his 2nd marriage. It appears that William is the son of 2nd wife, "Marth," as the couple says that they have been married for 32 years in 1910, when William was 12.("United States Census, 1910," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 29 October 2015), Robert W Meade, Magnolia, Mingo, West Virginia, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 150, sheet 4A, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,375,701.)

    by Vic Watt G2G6 Pilot (336k points)
    edited by Vic Watt
    Thank you for the info. I was not aware of the possibility of a second marriage. I will definitely check into that to see what I can find.

    Thanks again!

    +1 vote
    Jim and anyone else researching for missing birth records in Kentucky, a Public School Census was taken every year for school age children for a around 40 years. I can't give you the exact years but they would have started around 1888 and lasted to about 1930. The Kentucky Department of Libraries & Archives have many of them on microfilm. The records give the head of the Household and lists all the school age children along with their dates of birth. The location of the family is only generally noted but they can be extremely valuable to substantiate dates of birth and to help partially to reconstruct missing 1890 Census records in the area.

    The KDLA will do research for a fee. They may also be available at the local County Clerks office.
    by Sharon Ray G2G6 Mach 1 (12.2k points)
    +1 vote
    For anyone looking for information on children who were born in KY.  

    There are KY school censuses that were taken from 1870 to 1936. Not all survive. Most are from 1895 to 1910 according to Some are located in county clerk offices, state archives or at the board of education  if they survive at all.

    Most list the head of household and the school age children with their birthdays. They are very helpful when trying to fill the gap between the 1880 and 1900 census.

    Hope the link works. Copied from my tablet.
    by Sharon Ray G2G6 Mach 1 (12.2k points)

    Related questions

    +3 votes
    1 answer
    62 views asked Oct 14, 2020 in Genealogy Help by David Doyle G2G Crew (460 points)
    +2 votes
    2 answers
    +1 vote
    1 answer
    +8 votes
    3 answers
    +5 votes
    0 answers
    65 views asked Jul 3, 2017 in The Tree House by Gareth Mark G2G Rookie (290 points)
    +6 votes
    5 answers
    +2 votes
    2 answers

    WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

    disclaimer - terms - copyright