Introduction to the Louisville Enslaved Database

We are pleased to share with you the first phase of what we believe to be a truly game-changing resource for African Americans seeking to find the identities of their enslaved ancestors.


For the past 12 years, an historian named Charles Lemons has worked dilligently to assemble a database of information about Black people who lived in Kentucky during the early 19th Century.  Lemons retired after 25 years as curator of the Patton Museum of Cavalry and Armor at Ft. Knox. The database currently contains over 70,000 records about Black people, both enslaved and free, who lived in 108 of Kentucky’s counties. It includes data from censuses, wills and other legal documents, tax records, religious records, and military sources.


We believe his work to be unprecedented in terms of both the number of people he has researched and the depth of details he has unearthed.


On our website at this time, we are showcasing only the records of people who were enslaved in Louisville/Jefferson County. Later in 2023, we will be publishing the entirety of the Lemons database.


Click here to start exploring the Lemons database, or select any of the Database Tools found in the left column.