Livingston county is located in western Kentucky between the Ohio River and the Tennessee River and roughly bisected by the Cumberland River. It was established in 1799 from Christian county and named to honor Robert R. Livingston. The county seat is Smithland.
When Livingston county was formed it was much larger than its present size and the county seat was Eddyville, now in Lyon county, and a courthouse was built there in 1801. The county seat was moved to Crayne, now in Crittenden county, in 1804 and then to Salem in 1809. Smithland became the seat in 1841 when Crittenden county was formed.