Tennessee Cemetery Records Research Guide

Many people know the importance of using vital records for genealogy records, but not everyone realizes how important Tennessee cemetery records can be to your work. In fact, many people who use Tennessee cemetery records as a last resort find these records are better than many other things you may try. It is no great secret, or at least it should not be. Tennessee Cemetery and gravestone inscriptions are a rich source of information for family historians. For Definitions of all Cemetery Terms See Symbols on Gravestones and Their Interpretations

The thing about Tennessee cemetery records is that you can get much of the same information on these records as many other kinds. For instance, you can still get a full legal name, a date of birth, date of death and usually even the location of the birth. In some cases, you may also be able to find out the names of other relatives, at least a spouse if there was one.

Clues to the Past

Tennessee cemetery records are a link to the past. It is a way to find out a great deal of data about people who you cannot find information for any longer by using other methods. Because some states guard certain records and documents and make them unavailable to the public, it is good to know you can get details from sources such as Tennessee cemetery records.

If you think you have come to a dead end in your data retrieval, it is time to give Tennessee cemetery records a try. Whenever possible make the trip to the burial plot to see if you can find more clues about related ancestry for a certain person too. This is yet another benefit from Tennessee cemetery records that other vital records may not help you with.

The bottom line is to try all resources possible. Tennessee cemetery records are not the only type of state vital records you can use. However, Tennessee cemetery records are sometimes the most useful. Few other records enable a person to search as far back as burial or death records. Once you have begun to use this, you will be amazed at the results. Use documents or tombstone transcriptions to find out how to begin using Tennessee cemetery records to complete your family tree.

Research In Tennessee Cemetery Records

Many cemetery records for Tennessee have been transcribed. They have been compiled by DAR chapter members. The Lawson McGhee Library's Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection also contains cemetery records. Many can also be found at the FHL and the TSLA as part of the collection called Tennessee Miscellaneous Family and Cemetery Records. Notebooks full of cemetery record listings can also be found at the state library.

County historical societies and genealogical societies have published many cemetery records. Private citizens have also compiled collections of those records throughout the years. Many of them have been published.

County genealogical and historical societies and local citizens have collected, compiled, and published numerous volumes of cemetery records. Other notable sources include:

  • Acklen, Jeannette T., et al. Tennessee Records. 2 vols. 1933. Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1974. Volume 1 contains tombstone inscriptions.
  • Hunkins, Lillian. Tombstone Inscriptions and Marriages of Middle Tennessee. Houston: the author, 1965.

Famous People Buried in Tennessee Cemeteries

County Name / Date / Cemetery Description
Benton Cline (Hensley), Patsy (Virginia Patterson)
9/8/1932 - 3/5/1963
Several Miles West of Camden
Country and Pop Musician.
Born to a blacksmith and a seamstress, Patsy Cline has been heralded, by fans, colleagues and music critics alike, as one of the most influential and unique vocalists in the history of modern music.
Davidson Acuff, Roy
9/15/1903 - 11/23/1992
Spring Hill Cemetery
Country Music Singer.
A native of Maynardsville, Tennessee, he sold more records in the 1930s and 1940s than any country music star.
Davidson Arnold, Eddy (Richard Edward)
5/15/1918 - 5/8/2008
Woodlawn Memorial Park
Country Music Singer.
A country gentleman who brought style and innumerable fans to country music, he was at heart just a "Tennessee Plowboy".
Davidson Atkins, Chet (Chester Burton)
6/20/1924 - 6/30/2001
Harpeth Hills Memory Gardens
Country Musician.
Known as "Mr.
Davidson Jackson, Andrew
3/15/1767 - 6/8/1845
The Hermitage
7th United States President.
When he threw his hat in the ring and decided to run for the presidency, Andrew Jackson the "Hero of New Orleans" was the most popular man in the country and even received a "favorite son" endorsement from Tennessee delegates.
Davidson Jones, George Glenn
9/12/1931 -
Woodlawn Memorial Park
Country Music Singer and Actor.
Born in Saratoga, Texas, he was the eighth child born to George Sr. and Clara Jones.
At age nine his parents encouraged him to start singing and playing the guitar.
Davidson Lyell, William Franklin
2/14/1929 - 8/31/1951
Nashville National Cemetery
Korean War Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient.
Davidson Rabbitt, Eddie (Edward Thomas)
11/27/1941 - 5/7/1998
Calvary Cemetery
Singer, Songwriter.
Born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in East Orange, New Jersey, he was one of the most innovative country artists of alltime.
Davidson Rambo (Luttrell), Dottie (Joyce Reba)
3/2/1934 - 5/11/2008
Woodlawn Memorial Park
Gospel Singer, Songwriter.
Born Joyce Reba Luttrell.
Davidson Reed, Jerry
3/20/1937 - 8/31/2008
Woodlawn Memorial Park
Musician, Songwriter, Actor.
Born Jerry Reed Hubbard, he caught the eye of Chet Atkins and was signed by RCA records after a failed attempt with Capitol Records, a stint in the United States Army and another failed attempt with Columbia Records.
Davidson Robbins, Marty
9/26/1925 - 12/8/1982
Woodlawn Memorial Park
Singer/Songwriter/Race Driver.
Began writing songs while in the Navy during World War II.
Davidson Scruggs, Earl Eugene
1/6/1924 - 3/28/2012
Spring Hill Cemetery
Earl Eugene Scruggs was an American country music musician noted for perfecting and popularizing a 3-finger banjo-picking style (now called Scruggs style) that is a defining characteristic of bluegrass music.
Although other musicians had played in 3-finger style before him, Scruggs shot to prominence when he was hired by Bill Monroe to fill the banjo slot in the "Blue Grass Boys".
Davidson Snow, Hank
5/9/1914 - 12/20/1999
Spring Hill Cemetery
Country Music Singer, Composer.
Hank Snow was a Canadian who achieved country music notoriety far from the American area that developed and shaped this musical form.
Davidson Thruston, Gates Phillips
6/11/1835 - 12/9/1912
Mount Olivet Cemetery
Civil War Union Brevet Brigadier General.
Served in the Civil War first as a Captain on the 1st Ohio Volunteer  Infantry.
Davidson Tubb, Ernest 'Texas Troubadour'
2/9/1914 - 9/6/1984
Hermitage Memorial Gardens
Musician, Songwriter.
He was a farm boy born near Crisp, Texas, to sharecropper parents.
Davidson Wagoner, Porter
8/12/1927 - 10/28/2007
Woodlawn Memorial Park
For over five decades, he was known as the image of country music for his showmanship and rhinestone suits.
Davidson Wynette (Pugh), Tammy (Virginia Wynette)
5/5/1942 - 4/6/1998
Woodlawn Cross Mausoleum
Country Singer.
Known as the "First Lady Of Country Music", she recorded several number one hits, such as "Stand By Your Man" and "Divorce.
Fentress York, Alvin Cullum
12/13/1887 - 9/2/1964
Wolf River Cemetery
World War I Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient.
Born in Pall Mall Tennessee, the third of 11 children, as a youth he became an expert marksman in the back woods around Pall Mall.
Greene Crockett, David 
8/17/1786 - 3/6/1836
Davy Crockett Birthplace State Historic Site
Famous frontiersman, Tennessee statesman, and defender of the Alamo.
He was born at the confluence of Limestone Creek and Nolichuckey River in the State of Franklin, which a few years later became Greene County, Tenn. , August 17, 1786.
Hamilton Doss, Desmond T.
2/7/1919 - 3/23/2006
Chattanooga National Cemetery
World War II Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient.
He was born in Lynchburg, Virginia, and grew up in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, whose tenets forbid bearing arms.
Knox Bonnyman Jr. , Alexander
5/10/1910 - 11/22/1943
Highland Memorial Cemetery
World War II Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient.
He served in the United States Marine Corps during World War II as 1st Lieutenant and Executive Officer for the Second Battalion Shore Party, Eighth Marines, Second Marine Division.
Lewis Lewis, Meriwether
8/18/774 - 10/11/1809
Pioneer Cemetery
Born on a plantation in Albemarle County, Virginia, he and his family moved to Georgia when he was ten but by thirteen he was sent back to Virginia for an education by private tutors.
Madison Jones, John Luther 'Casey'
3/14/1863 - 4/30/1900
Mount Calvary Cemetery
American Folk Figure.
He was killed in train wreck (Illinois Central Train #1, The Cannonball Express) at Vaughan, Mississippi, April 30, 1900 at 3:52 a.
Maury Polk, James Knox
11/2/1795 - 6/15/1849
Polk Memorial Gardens
11th President of the United States.
This is a cenotaph.
McNairy Pusser, Buford Hayse
12/12/1937 - 8/21/1974
Adamsville War Memorial Park
Folk Figure.
He was the Sheriff of McNairy County, Tennessee, and subject of the movie "Walking Tall" (1973), in which his unusual methods of law enforcement brought him popular renown.
Moore Daniel, Jack
9/5/1850 - 10/10/1911
Lynchburg City Cemetery
Whiskey Magnate.
Rutherford Stones River Battlefield and Monuments
Stones River National Cemetery
One of the fiercest battles of the Civil War took place at Stones River, just northwest of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, from Dec. 31, 1862 to Jan. 2, 1863.
The Confederate forces of Gen. Braxton Bragg withdrew after the battle, allowing Union forces, commanded by Gen. William Rosecrans, to occupy much of Middle Tennessee.
Shelby Forrest, Nathan Bedford
7/13/1821 - 10/29/1877
Forrest Park
Confederate General.
Millionaire civil war private-confederate general, raider.
Shelby Hayes, Isaac
8/20/1942 - 8/10/2008
Memorial Park Cemetery
Musician, Composer, Actor.
A legendary artist of soul music during the 1970s, he is best known for the Oscar and Grammy Award winning score "Theme From Shaft" (1971).
Shelby Presley, Elvis Aaron
1/8/1935 - 8/16/1977
Graceland Mansion Estates
Rock Singer, Actor.
His career reached such acclaim that he is now universally known as "The King of Rock and Roll".
Shelby Presley, Elvis Aaron
1/8/1935 - 8/16/1977
Forest Hill Cemetery Midtown
Rock Singer, Actor.
His career reached such acclaim that he is now universally known as "The King of Rock and Roll".
Shelby Robinson, James H.
- 7/26/1864
Memphis National Cemetery
Civil War Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient.
He enlisted in the Union Army at the age of 18, and was mustered in as a Private in Company B, 3rd Michigan Volunteer Cavalry.
Shelby Thomas (Jacobs), Danny (Amos)
1/6/1912 - 2/6/1991
Saint Jude Hospital Grounds
Actor, Singer, Producer.
His career began as a nightclub comedian with a brief fling in the movies.
Sumner Cash, Johnny
2/26/1932 - 9/12/2003
Hendersonville Memory Gardens
Country Singer, Musician, Actor, Entertainer.
Legendary Country Music Singer and songwriter who was known as "The Man in Black" for his trademark wearing of all black clothing.
Sumner Cash, June
6/23/1929 - 5/15/2003
Hendersonville Memory Gardens
Country Singer, producer, author, actress.
Born in Maces Springs, Virginia, on June 23, 1929, as Valerie June Carter, she was a member of the famous singing Carter Family.
Sumner Twitty, Conway
9/1/1933 - 6/5/1993
Sumner Memorial Gardens
Born Harold Lloyd Jenkins in Friars Point, Mississippi.
Warren Ray, David Robert
2/14/1945 - 3/19/1969
Mount View Cemetery
Vietnam Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient.
He was born on February 14, 1945, at McMinnville, Tennessee.
Warren West (Marsh), Dottie (Dorothy Marie)
10/11/1932 - 9/4/1991
Mount View Cemetery
Country Singer.
She has been credited as being one of the most gifted, talented and classy pioneers of modern country music.
Williamson Pearl (Cannon), Minnie (Sara Ophelia Colley)
10/25/1912 - 3/4/1996
Mount Hope Cemetery
Country Music Commedienne/Icon.
Born in Centerville, Tennessee, Sarah Colley's parents had debutante balls and college in mind for their daughter, who'd been stage-struck with a love for vaudeville and drama since an early age.

Tennessee Cemeteries

Cemetery Name Cemetery City
Delap Cemetery Campbell County
Chattanooga National Cemetery Chattanooga
Greenwood Cemetery Clarksville
Riverview Cemetery Clarksville
Fort Hill Cemetery Cleveland
Davidson Cemetery Fredonia
Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens Goodlettsville
Andrew Johnson National Cemetery Greeneville
Hendersonville Memory Gardens Hendersonville
Smith Austin Cemetery Indian Mound
Mountain Home National Cemetery Johnson City
First Presbyterian Church Cemetery Knoxville
Knoxville National Cemetery Knoxville
Old Gray Cemetery Knoxville
Cedar Grove Cemetery Lebanon
Lone Oak Cemetery Lewisburg
Nashville National Cemetery Madison
Elmwood Cemetery Memphis
Graceland Memphis
Memorial Park Cemetery Memphis
Memphis National Cemetery Memphis
Stones River National Cemetery Murfreesboro
Mount Olivet Cemetery Nashville
Spring Hill Cemetery Nashville
Woodlawn Memorial Park Cemetery Nashville
Woodlawn Baptist Church and Cemetery Nutbush
Wheat Community African Burial Ground Oak Ridge
Harrison Cemetery Oakwood
Wilee's Chapel Cemetery Woodlawn

Tennessee Cemeteries & Graveyards Links

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