Tennessee Counties and Historical Facts

Tennessee County records vary widely from county to county in both quality and quantity. Some have been carefully preserved while others have been much abused and neglected. Some Tennessee records have simply disappeared.

For genealogists doing research in Tennessee there is no effective replace for an on-site search of county courthouse records.

Tennessee Map of Counties
  • Save

Tennessee Counties Map

Tennessee County Records

The register of deeds office holds Tennessee deed records. Court and probate records can be found in the county court.

However, Davidson County and Shelby County have separate courts for circuit court and probate issues. Most records can be found at the county seat, but not all records have survived for each county.

See also a list of links to county and county seat government run websites.

List of Tennessee Extinct Counties

Tennessee has counties that no longer exist because they were discontinued, renamed or merged with another county.

A lot of these counties were established and disbanded within the 19th century; county borders have changed very little since 1900.

These are important for genealogy research purposes. Pay attention where the courthouse records went to if the county was eliminated or joined with some other county.

See the History of Tennessee Counties for more details.

List of Tennessee Counties with Burned Courthouses

Tennessee burned county courthouse
  • Save
The damage to courthouses greatly has a bearing on genealogists in every way.

Not only are these historic structures torn from our lifetimes, so are the records they housed: marriage, wills, probate, land records, and others.

Once destroyed they’re lost forever. Although they have been placed on mircofilm, computers and film burn too.

However, not all records were damaged or lost in some counties.

  • Bedford County Courthouse – 1830 (tornado), 1863 & 1934 (fires)
  • Bledsoe County Courthouse – 1908 – (fire)
  • Blount County Courthouse – 1879 & 1906 (fires)
  • Cannon County Courthouse – 1934 (fire)
  • Carroll County Courthouse – 1931 (fire)
  • Carter County Courthouse – 1933 (fire)
  • Chester County Courthouse – 1910 (fire)
  • Claiborne County Courthouse – 1863 & 1931 (fires)
  • Cocke County Courthouse – 1876 (fire)
  • Coffee County Courthouse – 1870 (fire)
  • Cumberland County Courthouse – 1905 (fire)
  • Davidson County Courthouse – 1856 (fire)
  • Decatur County Courthouse – 1869 & 1927 (fires)
  • Dickson County Courthouse – 1830 (tornado)
  • Dyer County Courthouse – 1864 (fire)
  • Fayette County Courthouse – 1925 (fire)
  • Fentress County Courthouse – 1905 (fire)
  • Gibson??? County Courthouse – 1941 (fire)
  • Gile County Courthouses – 1813, 1857 & 1907 (fires)
  • Grainger County Courthouse – 1946 (fire)
  • Grundy County Courthouse – 1853 & 1990 (fires)
  • Hamilton County Courthouse – 1910 (fire)
  • Hancock County Courthouse – 1885 & 1930 (fires)
  • Hardeman County Courthouse – 1864 (fire)
  • Hardin County Courthouse – 1859, 1864 & 1949 (fire)
  • Hawkins County Courthouse – 1863 (fire)
  • Henderson County Courthouse – 1896 (fire)
  • Hickman County Courthouse – 1864 (fire)
  • Humphreys County Courthouse – 1876 & 1898 (fires)
  • James County Courthouse – fires in 1890 and 1913 caused extensive record loss.
  • Jackson County Courthouse – 1872 & 1926 (fires)
  • Lauderdale County Courthouse – 1869 (fire)
  • McMinn County Courthouse – 1964 (fire)
  • McNairy County Courthouse – 1881 (fire)
  • Macon County Courthouse – 1860 & 1901 & 1932 (fires)
  • Marion County Courthouse – 1922 (fire)
  • Marshall County Courthouse – 1872 & 1927 (fires)
  • Meigs County Courthouse – 1904 & 1964 (fire)
  • Monroe County Courthouse – 1820s (fire) 1860 (razed/Civil War)
  • Montgomery County Courthouse – 1878 & 1900 (fires) 1999 (tornado)
  • Morgan County Courthouse – 1826 & 1870 & 1904 (fires)
  • Obion County Courthouse – 1842 (earthquake)
  • Overton County Courthouse – 1865 (fire)
  • Perry County Courthouse – 1863 & 1928 (fires)
  • Pickett County Courthouse – 1934 – (fire)
  • Polk County Courthouse – 1895 & 1935??? (fires)
  • Putnam County Courthouse – 1860s (burned/Civil War) 1898 (fires)
  • Rhea County Courthouse – 1869 & 1927 (fires)
  • Rutherford County Courthouse – 1832 (tornado)
  • Scott County Courthouse – 1946 (fire)
  • Sevier County Courthouse – 1856 (fire)
  • Stewart County Courthouse – 1862 (fire/Federal troops)
  • Sullivan County Courthouse – 1863 (fire)
  • Trousdale County Courthouse – 1900 & 1904 (fires)
  • Union County Courthouse – 1870s & 1969 (fires)
  • Warren County Courthouse – 1852? (fire)?
  • Washington County Courthouse – 1839 (fire)
  • Wayne County Courthouse – 1973 (fire)
  • Weakley County Courthouse – 1948 (fire)
  • Wilson County Courthouse – 1881 (fire)

List of Tennessee Counties

County Date Formed Parent County County Seat
Anderson 1801 Knox and Grainger Counties Clinton
Bedford 1807 Rutherford County Shelbyville
Benton 1835 Humphreys County Camden
Bledsoe 1807 Roane County and Indian lands Pikeville
Blount 1795 Knox County Maryville
Bradley 1836 Indian lands Cleveland
Campbell 1806 Anderson and Claiborne counties Jacksboro
Cannon 1836 Rutherford, Smith and Warren counties Woodbury
Carroll 1821 Indian lands Huntingdon
Carter 1796 Washington County Elizabethton
Cheatham 1856 Davidson, Dickson, Montgomery and Robertson counties Ashland City
Chester 1879 Hardeman, Henderson, McNairy and Madison counties Henderson
Claiborne 1801 Grainger and Hawkins counties Tazewell
Clay 1870 Jackson and Overton counties Celina
Cocke 1797 Jefferson County Newport
Coffee 1836 Bedford, Warren and Franklin counties Manchester
Crockett 1871 Haywood, Madison, Dyer and Gibson counties Alamo
Cumberland 1855 White, Bledsoe, Rhea, Morgan, Fentress and Putnam counties Crossville
Davidson 1783 Part of North Carolina Nashville
Dekalb 1845 Perry County Decaturville
Decatur 1837 Franklin, Cannon, Jackson and White counties Smithville
Dickson 1803 Montgomery and Robertson counties Charlotte
Dyer 1823 Indian lands Dyersburg
Fayette 1824 Indian lands Somerville
Fentress 1823 Morgan, Overton and White counties Jamestown
Franklin 1807 Rutherford County and Indian lands Winchester
Gibson 1823 Indian lands Trenton
Giles 1809 Indian lands Pulaski
Grainger 1796 Hawkins and Knox counties Rutledge
Greene 1783 Washington County Greeneville
Grundy 1844 Coffee, Warren and Franklin counties Altamont
Hamblen 1870 Jefferson, Grainger and Greene counties Morristown
Hamilton 1819 Rhea County and Indian lands Chattanooga
Hancock 1844 Hawkins and Claiborne counties Sneedville
Hardeman 1823 Hardin County and Indian lands Bolivar
Hardin 1819 Indian lands Savannah
Hawkins 1787 Sullivan County Rogersville
Haywood 1823 Indian lands Brownsville
Henderson 1821 Indian lands Lexington
Henry 1821 Indian lands Paris
Hickman 1807 Dickson County Centerville
Houston 1871 Dickson, Humphreys, Montgomery and Stewart counties Erin
Humphreys 1809 Stewart County Waverly
Jackson 1801 Smith County and Indian lands Gainesboro
Jefferson 1792 Greene and Hawkins counties Dandridge
Johnson 1836 Carter County Mountain City
Knox 1792 Greene and Hawkins counties Knoxville
Lake 1870 Obion County Tiptonville
Lauderdale 1835 Haywood, Dyer and Tipton counties Ripley
Lawrence 1817 Hickman County and Indian lands Lawrenceburg
Lewis 1843 Hickman, Lawrence, Maury and Wayne counties Hohenwald
Lincoln 1809 Bedford County Fayetteville
Loudon 1870 Roane, Monroe, Blount and McMinn counties Loudon
Macon 1842 Smith and Sumner counties Lafayette
Madison 1821 Indian lands Jackson
Marion 1817 Indian lands Jasper
Marshall 1836 Giles, Bedford, Lincoln and Maury counties Lewisburg
Maury 1807 Williamson County and Indian lands Columbia
McMinn 1819 Indian lands Athens
McNairy 1823 Hardin County Selmer
Meigs 1836 Rhea County Decatur
 Monroe 1819 Indian lands Madisonville
Montgomery 1796 Tennessee County Clarksville
Moore 1871 Bedford, Lincoln and Franklin counties Lynchburg
Morgan 1817 Anderson and Roane counties Wartburg
Obion 1823 Indian lands Union City
Overton 1806 Jackson County and Indian lands Livingston
Perry 1819 Humphreys and Hickman counties Linden
Pickett 1879 Fentress and Overton counties Byrdstown
Polk 1839 McMinn and Bradley counties Benton
Putnam 1842 Fentress, Jackson, Smith, White and Overton counties Cookeville
Rhea 1807 Roane County Dayton
Roane 1801 Knox County and Indian lands Kingston
Robertson 1796 Tennessee and Sumner counties Springfield
Rutherford 1803 Davidson, Williamson and Wilson counties Murfreesboro
Scott 1849 Anderson, Campbell, Fentress and Morgan counties Huntsville
Sequatchie 1857 Hamilton, Marion and Warren counties Dunlap
Sevier 1794 Jefferson County Sevierville
Shelby 1819 Chickasaw Nation lands acquired through the Jackson Purchase Memphis
Smith 1799 Sumner County and Indian lands Carthage
Stewart 1803 Montgomery County Dover
Sullivan 1779 Washington County Blountville
Sumner 1786 Davidson County Gallatin
Tipton 1823 Shelby County (previously Chickasaw lands Covington
Trousdale 1870 Wilson, Macon, Smith and Sumner counties Hartsville
Unicoi 1875 Washington and Carter County Erwin
Union 1850 Grainger, Claiborne, Campbell, Anderson and Knox counties Maynardville
Van Buren 1840 Warren and White counties Spencer
Warren 1807 White, Jackson, Smith counties and Indian lands McMinnville
Washington 1777 Part of North Carolina Jonesborough
Wayne 1817 Hickman County Waynesboro
Weakley 1823 Indian lands Dresden
White 1806 Jackson and Smith counties Sparta
Wilson 1799 Sumner County Lebanon
Williamson 1799 Davidson County Franklin
genealogybank
  • Save
fold3
  • Save
newspaper
  • Save
Amazon Books
  • Save