Tennessee Public Records Tennessee Public Records. Birth records, marriage records, death records, divorce records, court records, land records, and more can be used for genealogy searches.
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Tennessee Public Records

   
      First Name Last Name  
How To Search Public and Vital Records - Vital records are records of life events important enough that some level of government acquires, organizes, and preserves them. While the term "vital records" is often applied to a wide variety of life events... Read more
 
Tennessee Vital Records
Statewide registration of births and deaths began in 1914, with general compliance achieved by the early 1920s. Some earlier attempts were also made at recording these events, though they are fragmented. Marriages have been recorded on a county basis since as early as 1778, though many counties are incomplete or missing until as late as the 1850s.
For births and deaths between 1 July 1908 and 30 June 1912, and after 1 January 1914; and for marriages after 1945, write:
TennesseeVital Records
Central Services Bldg. 1st Floor
421 Fifth Ave. North
Nashville, TN 37247-0450

For earlier records, write to the clerk of the county in question.

Tennessee Land Records
Earliest land records, including early grants issued by both North Carolina and Tennessee, are microfilmed with a card index available in the Public Services Section of the Tennessee State Library and Archives. All known grants are indexed in the master index, which is included on these microfilm reels. A pamphlet entitled "Land Grants in the Tennessee State Library and Archives," explains the holdings and is available from the repository. Other holdings include land warrants, survey certificates, and records from county register of deeds offices.
Land grants for the area south of Walker's Line (in Tennessee) are microfilmed and available through the FHL. Originals are indexed and housed in the Kentucky Land Office, Frankfort. Williard Rouse Jillson's The Kentucky Land Grants: A Systematic Index to All of the Land Grants Recorded in the State Land Office at Frankfort, Kentucky, 1782–1924. 2 vols. (1925. Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1971.). A printed source to North Carolina land grants is Betty G. C. Cartwright and L. J. Gardiner, North Carolina Land Grants in Tennessee, 1778–1791 (1958; rev. ed., Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1981).
Beginning with county organization, land records are available from the register of deeds at the respective county courthouse. Most have been microfilmed and are available at the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the FHL.

Tennessee Court Records
Court records entail probate records, guardianship, naturalization, and a wide variety of other sources. It should be remembered that there are different levels of jurisdiction for courts in the United States, all of which should be considered for research under various circumstances. Court of Common Pleas, Orphan's Court, Probate Court, District Court, Superior Court, and Supreme Court. See: "Research in Court Records" by Arlene H. Eakle, found in Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking, eds., The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy, rev. ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1997).

Tennessee Military Records
Indexes for Revolutionary War pensioners; muster rolls for soldiers of the War of 1812, Indian wars of 1818 and 1836, Mexican War, Civil War, and Spanish-American War; and service records for Tennesseans who served during the Mexican War and Civil War (both Confederate and Union) are among the collections of the Tennessee State Archives. Their strength, however, is in their Civil War collection. A valuable source is the Confederate and Union veterans questionnaires sent by the Tennessee Historical Committee. Containing details about military and personal data, these have been published without index in five volumes in Gustavus W. Dyer and John Trotwood Moore, Tennessee Civil War Questionnaires (Easley, SC: Southern Historical Press, 1985). An unpublished index is also available at the state archives.
National Archives indexes for service in the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Mexican War, and hundreds of monographs concerning the War Between the States can be found at the Tennessee State Library and Archives, which also has the applications for Confederate pensions, and many additional records relating to military and naval service during the War Between the States on microfilm. For further reference, see:
Allen, Penelope Johnson. Tennessee Soldiers in the Revolution: A Roster of Soldiers During the Revolutionary War in the Counties of Washington and Sullivan, Taken from the Revolutionary Army Accounts of North Carolina. 1935. Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1967.
Armstrong, Zella. Twenty-four Hundred Tennessee Pensioners‹ Revolution, War of 1812. Chattanooga: n.p., 1937.
Tennessee Civil War Centennial Commission. Tennesseans in the Civil War, A Military History of Confederate and Union Units with Available Rosters of Personnel. 2 vols. 1964–65. Reprint. Nashville: Civil War Centennial Commission, 1981–84.

Additional Sources
Schweitzer, George K. Tennessee Genealogical Research. Knoxville: the author, 1983. (This valuable volume provides historical information as well as listing the most helpful source material. It details library collections and county inventories with dates.)
Williams, Samuel Cole. History of the Lost State of Franklin. Johnson City, TN: Watauga Press, 1924.
Folmsbee, Stanley John, Robert E. Corlew, and Enoch L. Mitchell. History of Tennessee. 4 vols. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1960.


Tennessee Vital Records:

Event: Birth

Cost of copy: Long form: $10.00
Short form: $5.00

Address:
Tennessee Vital Records
Department of Health
Central Services Building
421 5th Avenue, North
Nashville, TN 37247-0450

Remarks: State office has had birth records for entire State since January 1914, for Nashville since June 1881, for Knoxville since July 1881, and for Chattanooga since January 1882. State office has had death records for entire State since January 1914, for Nashville since July 1874, for Knoxville since July 1887, and for Chattanooga since March 6, 1872. Birth and death enumeration records by school district are available for July 1908 through June 1912. Vital Records Office keeps death records for 50 years; older records are maintained by Tennessee Library and Archives, Archives Division, Nashville, TN 37243-0312. For Memphis birth records from April 1874 through December 1887 and November 1898 to January 1, 1914, and for Memphis death records from May 1848 to January 1, 1914, write to Memphis--Shelby County Health Department, Division of Vital Records, Memphis, TN 38105. Additional copies of the same birth, marriage, or divorce record, requested at the same time, are $2.00 each.

Check or money order should be made payable to Tennessee Vital Records. Personal checks are accepted. To verify current fees, the telephone number is (615) 741-1763. Information on how to obtain certified copies is also available via the internet at Tennessee Vital Records.

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Event: Death

Cost of copy: $5.00

Address:
Tennessee Vital Records
Department of Health
Central Services Building
421 5th Avenue, North
Nashville, TN 37247-0450

Remarks: State office has had birth records for entire State since January 1914, for Nashville since June 1881, for Knoxville since July 1881, and for Chattanooga since January 1882. State office has had death records for entire State since January 1914, for Nashville since July 1874, for Knoxville since July 1887, and for Chattanooga since March 6, 1872. Birth and death enumeration records by school district are available for July 1908 through June 1912. Vital Records Office keeps death records for 50 years; older records are maintained by Tennessee Library and Archives, Archives Division, Nashville, TN 37243-0312. For Memphis birth records from April 1874 through December 1887 and November 1898 to January 1, 1914, and for Memphis death records from May 1848 to January 1, 1914, write to Memphis--Shelby County Health Department, Division of Vital Records, Memphis, TN 38105. Additional copies of the same birth, marriage, or divorce record, requested at the same time, are $2.00 each.

Check or money order should be made payable to Tennessee Vital Records. Personal checks are accepted. To verify current fees, the telephone number is (615) 741-1763. Information on how to obtain certified copies is also available via the internet at Tennessee Vital Records.


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Event: Marriage (State)

Cost of copy: $10.00

Address:
Tennessee Vital Records
Department of Health
Central Services Building
421 5th Avenue, North
Nashville, TN 37247-0450

Remarks: Vital Records Office keeps marriage records for 50 years. Older records are maintained by Tennessee Library and Archives, Archives Division, Nashville, TN 37243-0312.


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Event: Marriage (county)

Cost of copy: Varies

Address: See remarks

Remarks: County Clerk in county where license was issued.


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Event: Divorce (State)

Cost of copy: $10.00

Address:
Tennessee Vital Records
Department of Health
Central Services Building
421 5th Avenue, North
Nashville, TN 37247-0450

Remarks: Vital Records Office keeps divorce records for 50 years. Older records are maintained by Tennessee Library and Archives, Archives Division, Nashville, TN 37243-0312.


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Event: Divorce (county)

Cost of copy: Varies

Address: See remarks

Remarks: Clerk of Court in county where divorce was granted.

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