Welcome to the official website of Nelson County, Kentucky. Nelson County was the fourth county created in what is now Kentucky. In 1784, it was formed from Jefferson County, Virginia.
The county is named after General Thomas Nelson Jr, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was a General of the Virginia Militia and succeeded Thomas Jefferson as governor of Virginia.
He was involved in the siege of Yorktown and according to legend, he requested troops to fire on his own home, where General Cornwallis had his headquarters.
Nelson County covers about 423 square miles near the heart of Central Kentucky, close to Interstate 65, with the Bluegrass Parkway that provides easy access to Interstates 64 and 75. Over 40,000 people call Nelson County home and residential development attracts more homeowners each year.
Nelson County has been home to many historic figures and buildings with Federal Hill being the most noticable of the structures in the County and is featured on the 2002 Kentucky State Quarter. Tradition holds that Federal Hill, owned by Senator John Rowan, inspired songwriter Stephen Foster, who was a cousin of Senator Rowan, to write My Old Kentucky Home after a visit to the plantation in 1852.