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Bradley County, Tennessee genealogy and family history research page. Guide to Bradley County (established 1836) genealogy, history, and courthouse sources including birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, wills, deeds and land records, Civil War records, Revolutionary War records, family histories, cemeteries, churches, tax records, newspapers, and obituaries.

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Bradley County, Tennessee
Map
Boundary map of Bradley County, Tennessee
Map of Tennessee highlighting Bradley County
Location in the state of Tennessee
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Location of Tennessee in the U.S.
Facts
Founded: February 10, 1836
County Seat Cleveland
Courthouse
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Contents

Bradley County Tennessee Quick Dates

Bradley County's civil records start the following years:[1]

Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1908 1864 1908 1840 1862 1859

Bradley County Tennessee Courthouse

Bradley County Courthouse
PO Box 46
Cleveland, TN 37364-0046
Phone: 423.476.0520 

County Clerk has marriage records from 1864.
Clerk and Master has probate records from 1864.
Register of Deeds has land and military dischrage records from 1864.
Circuit and Session Court has divorce and court records from 1864.
Cleveland Public Library has early court records, census, probate, marriage and death records. [2]

Bradley County Courthouse, Cleveland, Tenn.
Bradley County Courthouse
155 Ococee St.
Cleveland, TN 37311
Phone:1-423-728-7226


Bradley County Clerk
Marriage and Probate records
155 Ocoee St.
Courthouse, Room 101
Cleveland, TN 37311
Phone:1-423-728-7226

Bradley Register of Deeds
Land Records
P.O. Box 46
Cleveland, TN 37364
Phone:1-423-728-7240
Located at courthouse

Bradley County Clerk of Circuit Court
Court Records
P.O. Box 46
Cleveland, TN 37364
Phone: 1-423-728-7214

Hours:
Mon.-Thurs. 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Fri.8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Closed for Lunch 12 p.m.-1 p.m.

Bradley County Tennessee History

The county is named after Tennessee state legislator Edward Bradley.[3]

Parent County

1836--Bradley County was created 10 February 1836 from Cherokee Indian Lands.
County seat: Cleveland [4]

County Pronunciation

  1. Hear it spoken[5] (female)
  2. Hear it spoken[6] (male)

Boundary Changes

For animated maps illustrating Tennessee county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Tennessee County Boundary Maps" (1777-1985) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website.

Record Loss

For a list of record loss in Tennessee counties see: Tennessee Counties with Burned Courthouses

Fire.png
Bradley County has lost:

  • Early will books and some early deeds have been lost
  • Antebellum marriage records are lost

For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:

Bradley County Tennessee Places / Localities

Populated Places 

For a list of locations in this county and information about each location online, through some helpful websites, please click on Populated Places Table for Bradley County

Neighboring Counties

Bradley County Tennessee Genealogy Resources

Tnbradley.png

Getting Started

Use the free Search for Surnames at Mountain Press's website to quickly search a variety of published Bradley County biography, census, land, and tax records. To determine which books are being searched, or to search each publication's index individually, click here. You now have a checklist of books to pull off the shelves at a genealogy library, or a wish list for your personal book collection.

Research Guides

African American

United States African Americans Gotoarrow.png Tennessee African Americans

Cemeteries

Tennessee cemetery records often identify birth, death, relationship, and military information, as well as religious affiliation.

The Tennessee Cemeteries page provides explanations of the following online resources:

Bibliographies Online Gravestone Transcriptions Cemetery Gazetteers
FamilySearch Catalog Find A Grave | national search | county list ePodunk
WorldCat
TNGenWeb Cemetery Database  
  USGenWeb Tombstone Transcription Project  
  Bradley Co., TNGenWeb Project  

Published Bradley County cemetery records:

Individual cemeteries:

Census

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1840 7,385
1850 12,259 66.0%
1860 11,701 −4.6%
1870 11,652 −0.4%
1880 12,124 4.1%
1890 13,607 12.2%
1900 15,759 15.8%
1910 16,336 3.7%
1920 18,652 14.2%
1930 22,870 22.6%
1940 28,498 24.6%
1950 32,338 13.5%
1960 38,324 18.5%
1970 50,686 32.3%
1980 67,547 33.3%
1990 73,712 9.1%
2000 87,966 19.3%
Source: "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau.
1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, and 1940 federal population censuses of Bradley County are available online. For tips on accessing census records online, see Tennessee Census. If you're having trouble finding your ancestors in online indexes, try checking printed indexes. Created by local experts familiar with the area's families, these indexes are often transcribed more accurately than nationwide online indexes.

See Tennessee Population Schedule Indexes: Fiche, Film, or Book for more information about statewide printed indexes.

See Bradley County, TN census assignments, including links to transcribed files. [The USGenWeb Census Project®]

1840 Revolutionary War Pensioners

1850

  • Campbell, Ellen Ann Westerberg. Bradley County, Tennessee: 1850 Federal Census. Cleveland, Tenn.: E.A.W. Campbell, 1973. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8873 X2c 1850.
  • S-K Publications. "Bradley County, TN - Census - 1850 Census Index," available online through USGenWeb Archives.

1860

  • Snell, William R. and Bradley County Historical Society. 1860 Federal Census, Bradley County, Tennessee. [Cleveland, Tenn.?]: W.R. Snell, 1983. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8873 X22s 1860.

1870

  • Lee College History students and Cleveland Public Library staff and volunteers. Bradley County, Tennessee, 1870 Census Index. [Cleveland, Tenn.: Lee College], 1987. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8873 X2b index.

1880

  • Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. 1880 Census - Tennessee: Transcription for Bradley County. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 198-?. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8873 X2s.

1900

1920

  • Cross, Nancy, Brenda Davis and Edna Wiefering. 1920 Bradley County, Tennessee, Census Index. Cleveland, Tenn.: [Cleveland Public Library], 1999. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8873 X28c 1920. [Typo on FamilySearch Catalog reads Cenus Index.]

Church

Church records include baptisms, marriages and burials, as well as information about family members and clues about family migration.  For additional information about church records, religions, and religious archives in Tennessee, see Tennessee Church Records.

  • Bradley County Church Records
- FamilySearch Catalog - Bradley County Church Records
  • Church histories tell when a church started in the area, who the early members were, give data about church leaders, etc.
- FamilySearch Catalog - Bradley County Church History
  • If the records you need are not through the Family History Library, contact the church(es) in the area where your ancestor lived.  Two sites that give information about churches in Bradley County are:
- List of Bradley County churches with addresses and phone numbers (Yellowbook)
- List of Bradley County churches (TN HomeTownLocator)
Episcopal
Methodist Episcopal
  • 1881-1885 - Methodist Episcopal Church South, Cleveland, Baptism Index 1881-1885. Batch C710101 at FamilySearch - free.[7]
  • 1880-1895 - Methodist Episcopal Church South, Cleveland, Marriage Index 1880-1895. Batch M710101 at FamilySearch - free.[7]
Presbyterian

Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Cleveland

Flint Spring Presbyterian Church

  • In 1936, a helpful guide to early Bradley County church records was published by the Works Project Administration. [8]Use this guide to locate which church records exist and where they were housed in 1936. The Tennessee State Library and Archives has filmed some of these records. To locate which records are available at the TSLA, go to the appropriate "county fact sheet" on the TSLA Web site and scroll down to "selected manuscript material". All filmed church records at the TSLA for Bradley county are listed.

Court

Family Histories

It is anticipated that this bibliography will eventually identify all known family histories published about residents of this county. Use this list to:

  • Locate publications about direct ancestors
  • Find the most updated accounts of an ancestor's family
  • Identify publications, to quote Elizabeth Shown Mills, about an ancestor's "FAN Club" [Friends, Associates, and Neighbors]

General

As of August 2010, a query for persons born in Bradley, Tennessee at World Connect, results in more than 20,000 entries.

  • Bradley County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Bradley County, Tennessee, 1836-1998. [Cleveland, Tennessee?] : Bradley County Heritage Book Committee, c1998 ; Waynesville, North Carolina: Don Mills (Salem, West Virginia : Walsowrth Pub. Co.). FHL US/CAN Book 976.8873 H2t.
  • Manly, Elizabeth Cate. Chatata Valley Families and Their Neighbors. [Tennessee: n.p., 198-]. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8873 D2m.
  • Wooten, John Morgan. Brief Sketch of Pioneer Families of Bradley County, Tennessee. Chattanooga, Tenn.: n.p., 1934-1936. FHL US/CAN Film 966946 Item 5. [Includes families of Callaway, Clingen, Craigmiles, Day, Donohoo, Edwards, Gaut, Goodner, Hambright, Hughes, Jones, Julian, Lusk, Lea, McCarty, Parks, Still, Waterhouse, Weatherly, Ramsey, Shugart.]

Bibliography

Land

The original Bradley County Deed Books are held at the County Courthouse. The TSLA microfilmed Deed Books A to L (1839 to 1891) and an index and Trust Deed Books A to M (1864 to 1902). Copies of their microfilms are also available at the Family History Library: FHL US/CAN Films 966924-966933.

McClure, Lucille Abstracts of Ocoee District : early land records - entries Signal Mountain, Tennessee : Mountain Press, [1991] FHL US/CAN 976.8 R28m Free lookups available!

Law and Legislation

  • Tennessee State Library and Archives, Acts of Tennessee 1796-1850: Index to Names. January 25, 2005. [In addition to creating new laws, legislative acts were often required to obtain a divorce, grant legitimacy to a child, or for appointments to or grant payments for public service.] The TSLA has created an index to names that appear in these acts covering the years 1796 to 1850. To read more about this valuable resource Click here. The searchable index is available at the TSLA; another version is available at World Vital Records.

Local Histories

Maps

Military

Revolutionary War

The following Bradley County Revolutionary War records are available online through TNGenWeb:

  1. 1835 Pension Roll
  2. 1852 Rejected or Suspended Pensions

Additional resources include:

War of 1812

Civil War

Civil War service men from Bradley County served in various regiments. Men often joined a regiment or a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are the military units that were formed in or had many men from Bradley County.

Confederate Soldiers

Union Soldiers


Additional sources for Civil War soldiers from Bradley County:

Newspapers

Many Tennessee newspapers are filmed and available at TSLA. Most of these newspapers may be accessed by interlibrary loan to libraries within Tennessee, although there are some newspapers which are not available in or outside of Tennessee. For further information regarding interlibrary loan policies and newspapers not available for interlibrary loan click here. For a list of newspapers available at the archives for Bradley County click on the following cities:

The following Bradley County newspapers have been abstracted:

Occupations

  • Miller, Alan N. East Tennessee's Forgotten Children: Apprentices from 1778 to 1911. Baltimore, Md.: Printed for Clearfield Company, Inc., by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 2000. FHL US/CAN 976.8 U2m. Digital version at World Vital Records ($). Purchase at Genealogical.com. [Includes Bradley County.]

Periodicals

Tap into the minds of local experts. Editors of genealogical periodicals publish unique sources that researchers who are new to their area would not likely discover. This type of material may be found in local, regional, or statewide genealogical society journals. The following periodicals cover this county:

Ansearchin' News
Genealogical articles with abstracts of Bradley County, Tennessee records have been published in Ansearchin' News, the quarterly magazine of the Tennessee Genealogical Society. To view a list of these articles, visit their county index. To read digitized versions of the first 36 years of articles (Vols. 1-36), browse their archive or conduct a surname search. The Family History Library has a complete collection of the Ansearchin' News quarterly FHL Book 976.8 B2a.
Bradley Branches
Family History Library has Volume 6, no. 2 (summer 1993). FHL US/CAN 976.8873 B2b
Bradley Branches is indexed in PERiodical Source Index (PERSI).
Chronicles of Bradley

Prisons

Learn if your Bradley County, Tennessee ancestors went to prison!

Probate

Some of Bradley County's original Will Books have been destroyed. Those that survive are held at the County Courthouse. TSLA microfilmed Will Books 1 to 2 (1859 to 1905). FHL copies: FHL Films 464077 Item 3 and 966923 Items 2-3.

FamilySearch has placed scans of the following records online in the Tennessee, Probate Court Books, 1795-1927 collection. These are browse-only collections. Handwritten indexes may be found at the front or back of some volumes:

  • Wills, 1859-1905 (3 vols.)
  • Bonds, 1871-1886
  • Bonds, Letters, 1887-1931 (2 vols.)
  • Inheritance tax, 1895-1906
  • Insolvent estate records, 1889-1947 (2 vols.)
  • Settlements, 1865-1908 (Vols. 1-3)

The following Bradley County probate records have been indexed and/or abstracted:

Taxation

The TSLA microfilmed the original Bradley County Tax Books 1865-1890. Copies of their microfilms are also available at the Family History Library: FHL US/CAN Films 966935-966937Free lookups available for some early east Tennessee tax records.

The following Bradley County tax records have been abstracted:[9]

  • [1836] Douthat, James L. Bradley County, Tennessee, 1836 Tennessee Civil Districts and Tax Lists. Signal Mountain, Tenn.: Mountain Press, 1993. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8873 R4d 1836Free lookups available!  Purchase details.
  • [1837] Snell, William R. 1837 Tax List, Bradley County, Tennessee. 1978. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8873 R4t.
  • [1837-1839] Nichols, Elizabeth Riggins. "Bradley County, Tennessee Tax Lists 1837 - 1838 - 1839," Vol. 33, No. 1 (Spring 1986):9-14; Vol. 33, No. 2 (Summer 1986):69-72; Vol. 33, No. 3 (Fall 1986):119-122, 126. For FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Periodicals. Free lookups available!
  • [1837] Map from Tax List, 1837, Bradley Branches. Cleveland TN: Summer 1996. Vol. 9 Iss. 2.
  • [1837-1839] Tax Lists, Dist. 4 & 5, 1837-39, Polk County Historical and Genealogical Society Quarterly and Newsletter. Benton TN: May 2000. Vol. 6 Iss. 1.
  • [1837] Tax List, 1837, Bradley Branches. Cleveland TN: 2001. Vol. 14 Iss. 3-4.
  • [1838] Snell, William R. 1838 Tax List, Bradley County, Tennessee. 1978. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8873 R4L.
  • [1839] Jones, Rena and Kent Hawkins. 1839 Tax List, Bradley County, Tennessee. 197-. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8873 R4b.
  • [1849] Petition for Amendment of Revenue Law, 1849, Bradley Branches. Cleveland TN: Spring 1997. Vol. 10 Iss. 1.
  • [1862] Cleveland Public Library. "1862 Assessment List: Bradley County, Tennessee," available online through TNGenWeb.
  • [1890] Johnson, David S. and Patsy A. Johnson. Tax List 1890, Bradley County, Tennessee. n.p.: D.S. Johnson, 1985. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8873 R4j.
  • [1890] Tax List, 1890, Districts 1-13, Chronicles of Bradley. Cleveland TN: 1985-1987, Vols. 5-8. Free lookups available!
  • [1909] Langheld, Susan. "Delinquent Tax Notices: Bradley County, Tennessee June 1909," available online through TNGenWeb. (Source: Journal & Banner, Cleveland, Tenn., May 21, 1909.)

Vital Records

See also How to order Tennessee Vital Records or order electronically online.

Birth
Marriage

Early Bradley County marriage records were lost in courthouse fires. The following publication, based on early newspapers that survived such disasters, may serve as a substitute:

  • Lucas, Silas Emmett. Marriages from Early Tennessee Newspapers 1794-1851. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1978. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 V2L.

The following Bradley County marriage records have been abstracted:

Divorce

In 1940 and 1941, W.P.A. workers pinpointed the location of Bradley County divorce papers in diverse manuscript collections, see:

  • W.P.A. Guide to Public Vital Statistics in Tennessee. Nashville, Tenn.: The Tennessee Historical Records Survey, 1941. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 A3gp.
Death

For deaths of Methodists in Bradley County between the 1830s and the 1920s, try:

Bradley County Tennessee Genealogy Societies and Libraries

Bradley County Historical Society
P. O. Box 4845
Cleveland, TN 37320-4845

Bradley County Genealogical Society
P. O. Box 1384
Cleveland, TN 37364-1384

East Tennessee Historical Society
601 S. Gay St.
P.O. Box 1629
Knoxville, TN 37901-1629
Phone: 1-865-215-8824
E-mail: eths@east-tennessee-history.org

Bradley County Public Library
795 Church Street NE
Cleveland, TN 37311
Phone: 1-423-472-2163
Email: info@clevelandlibrary.org
Hours: Mon.-Thurs. 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Fri. and Sat. 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sun. 1-5 p.m.

The History Branch and Archives of the Cleveland Bradley County Library
833 Ocoee Street NE
Cleveland, TN 37311
Phone: 1-423-479-8367
Hours: Mon. 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1 p.m.-8 p.m.
Tues. and Wed. 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1 p.m.-5 p.m.
Thurs. 1 p.m.-8 p.m.
Fri. and Sat. 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Sun. 1 p.m.-5 p.m.
Genealogy resources: Vital records, family, city and county histories, court records, local newspapers from 1854 - 1970, Civil War sources, special collections including the Mayfield Papers, James F. Corn Papers (Cherokee Indians) and the William R. Snell Papers. (per website) To see what is included in the manuscript collection see: http://www.clevelandlibrary.org/services/manuscript_collection.php

Family History Centers

Bradley County Tennessee Genealogy Websites

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject: Bradley County, Tennessee

Bradley County Tennessee Genealogy References

  1. Guide to Public Vital Statistics in Tennessee. Nashville, Tenn.: The Tennessee Historical Records Survey (W.P.A.), 1941; "Earliest County Records," Tennessee State Library and Archives.
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Bradley County, Tennessee page 638, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. "List of counties in Tennessee," Wikipedia.
  4. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002), 638. (FHL Collection Ref Book 973 D27e 2002). WorldCat entry.
  5. Voice of Lynnae Weller, Kingsport, Tenn. (2010).
  6. Voice of Gene Black, FamilySearch employee, former resident of Bristol, Tenn. (2010).
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8 Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/6/60/Igitennesseea.pdf.
  8. WPA. Guide to Church Vital Statistics in Tennessee. Nashville: Tennessee State Planning Commission, 1942. FHL 976.8 K23w
  9. The Heritage Quest Online version of PERSI aided in the compilation of this list.


 

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  • This page was last modified on 19 July 2014, at 00:18.
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