Tennessee Genealogy
Guide to Ancestry and Family Tree Records

Getting Started
Helpful Links
State Genealogy Guides

Tennessee Genealogy begins in 1540. Hernando de Soto, an explorer from Spain, first came to the area now known as Tennessee. In the 1670s and the 1680s several explorers from England and France also came to the area. They were Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet, Sieur de la Salle from France, and Gabriel Arthur and James Needham from England. Those explorations led to the area being claimed for both France and England at various points in time. In 1763, when the French and Indian Wars ended, Great Britain took over the region.

From 1784 to 1787 the “state” of Franklin was formed, but when area settlers were allowed to be North Carolina representatives Franklin was disbanded. The territory to the Ohio River’s south was officially organized by Congress in 1790. Tennessee was established as a the 16th state on June 1, 1796. Tennessee joined the Confederacy in June 8, 1861. Tennessee was readmitted to the Union on July 24, 1866. See also Tennessee State History.

Established on June 1, 1796 the State of Tennessee entered the union as the 16th state. Tennessee contains 95 Counties. Tennessee’s capital is Nashville. Tennessee is bordered by Virginia and Kentucky to the north, North Carolina to the east, Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia to the south, and Missouri and Arkansas to the west.

Select a Tennessee county to view information & records pertaining to each County

AndersonBedfordBentonBledsoeBlountBradleyCampbellCannonCarrollCarterCheathamChesterClaiborneClayCockeCoffeeCrockettCumberlandDavidsonDekalbDecaturDicksonDyerFayetteFentressFranklinGibsonGilesGraingerGreeneGrundyHamblenHamiltonHancockHardemanHardinHawkinsHaywoodHendersonHenryHickmanHoustonHumphreysJacksonJeffersonJohnsonKnoxLakeLauderdaleLawrenceLewisLincolnLoudonMaconMadisonMarionMarshallMauryMcMinnMcNairyMeigs MonroeMontgomeryMooreMorganObionOvertonPerryPickettPolkPutnamRheaRoaneRobertsonRutherfordScottSequatchieSevierShelbySmithStewartSullivanSumnerTiptonTrousdaleUnicoiUnionVan BurenWarrenWashingtonWayneWeakleyWhiteWilsonWilliamson

Tennessee Genealogy Record Guides

Getting Started with Tennessee Genealogy and Family Trees

Tips for Looking for Tennessee Genealogy Information – With its beautiful scenery and fascinating history, the State of Tennessee attracts a lot of attention from travelers and those looking to relocate, but it is also a place with a huge amount of genealogical interest too. Whether seeking information about African American ancestors, Native American heritage, or details about family land ownership, there is plenty of data available.

Successful Tactics for Tennessee Genealogy Projects – Naturally, the first step is to find the information, and this all begins with today’s most common tool for research – the computer. Doing work for Tennessee genealogy projects means using a number of resources available online. Here you can begin gathering data or requesting copies of the materials needed for Tennessee genealogy project.

Of course, this does not mean that ALL resources are available in the electronic format, and many of the archives, libraries and museums are still only offline options to those looking for Tennessee genealogy materials. It is a good idea to become familiar with these resources for Tennessee genealogy, and to learn which are the offline and which can provide you with materials right away through the Internet.

A Modern Method for Tennessee Genealogy Research – Once you are involved in the search, you will see that public records are found in many locations, and are entirely “digitized”. You still need to understand how to the records are categorized to help in your search for Tennessee genealogy materials, and these categories are shown below:

  • Vital Records – these include birth, marriage, divorce and death records from county, state, and national archives. They can also encompass military records, immigration and naturalization details, cemetery or obituary information, census records, newspaper items, and passenger lists and records as well. These tend to be available as online or offline resources for Tennessee genealogy.
  • State Records – this group includes probate information, surname lists, state census information, private manuscripts, newspapers, military or veterans information, marriage details, maps, land records, genealogical folders, estate information, deeds, death records, cemetery information, birth certificates and more. These are available as online and offline resources for Tennessee genealogy.
  • Local Records – state research begins when you visit a county clerk’s office or website. From there you can search historical societies, local genealogical societies, small local libraries, and school or college libraries for Tennessee genealogy information. These are items that are usually offline and viewable by appointment or special arrangement.

The Strongest Tools for Tennessee Genealogy – The computer is the genealogist’s strongest tool and will provide them with direct access to many sources for Tennessee genealogy data. Below are some of the best of resources for Tennessee genealogy:

  • Tennessee Vital Records, 1st Floor, Central Services Building, 421 5th Avenue, North, Nashville, TN 37243;
    Website: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w/tennessee.htm .
    This is an ideal resource for birth, death, marriage and divorce records that you can request via a written notice, or even online.

Additional state and local records can be found at the:

  • Tennessee State Library and Archives, 403 7th Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37243;
    Website: http://www.tn.gov/tsla/Collections.htm .
    Resources on this site for Tennessee genealogy are extensive and contain all of the vital records, state records, Native American census data, newspapers, name indexes, military records and a tool through which direct questions can be asked to research staff.

Also, consider using the Tennessee Genealogical Society and Online Library at: http://www.tngs.org/.

Tennessee Genealogy Databases and other Helpful Links

Finally, these websites provide state-specific details to those in search of details for Tennessee genealogy projects.