How to Find Tennessee Marriage RecordsEdit This Page

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How To Find U.S. Marriage Records go to Tennessee Gotoarrow.png Tennessee Marriage Records

Finding Tennessee Marriage Records

  • For most counties, the county clerk began recording marriages at the time of the county's creation.
  • 20 Tennessee counties did not officially begin recording marriages in registers until a state law passed mandating the practice in 1838. Those counties include: Anderson, Benton, Campbell, Cannon, Carroll, Claiborne, Fayette, Franklin, Henry, Johnson, Lauderdale, Lincoln, Madison, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe, Smith, Stewart, Tipton, and Weakley. Before 1838, use other records for marriage information.


Next Step: When did the marriage occur?

Marriage Records
Choose a time period:


Learn more about U.S. Marriage Records

Marriages Before 1780

  • For most counties, marriage records were recorded when the county was created
  • Before that time, you may find marriage information in other records.
1. Look first in 2. Then search
Church Records

Newspapers
Military Records
Obituaries

Census Records

Cemetery Records
Death Records
Bible Records

Return to the Top: Choose another marriage year

Marriages 1780 to Present

To locate your ancestor's marriage record, search the following databases. Not all marriages for all counties and dates are listed here. If you cannot locate a marriage, try using the suggestions under the section Obtain the Record or search other records with marriage information.

Marriage Indexes and Digital Images
Database Name - Index and Image Link or links to access database # of records
Ancestry, Marriages, 1780-2002 Free using Ancestryinstitution at FamilySearch Centers $, Use your own Ancestry subscription 6,844,294
FamilySearch, Marriages, 1790-1950 On FamilySearch; free; INCOMPLETE for all counties and years 1,566,937
If you do not locate the marriage in the above, try:
Database Name-Index Only Link or links to access database # of records
FamilySearch, Marriage Index, 1780-2002 On FamilySearch; free; INCOMPLETE for all counties and years 3,331,399
FamilySearch, Marriage Index, 1796-1950 On FamilySearch; free; INCOMPLETE for all counties and years 1,674,368
Ancestry, Marriages, before 1825 Free using Ancestryinstitution at FamilySearch Centers $, Use your own Ancestry subscription 48,666
Ancestry, Marriages, 1851-1900 Free using Ancestryinstitution at FamilySearch Centers $, Use your own Ancestry subscription 292,425
Tennessee, Marriage Index, 1980-2009 On Shelby County Register of Deeds; free; statewide undisclosed
Can't access Ancestry? Visit your local Family History Center or your local public library.
No marriage record for your ancestor?

Search for Gretna Greens-- locations away from the home county where marriage laws were less restrictive.
Search other records with marriage information.

Obtain the Record

If the image of the marriage record was not found in the above databases, use the following:

For marriages after 1865, ask for the marriage license or the marriage register not the marriage certificate. The license or register usually contains more information.

PART A: You know the exact county and approximate/exact date of marriage

With exact place and approximate/exact date of marriage,
order a copy from one of the following:
Option A: Marriage Records on Microfilm Some county marriage records may be available on microfilm at your local Family Search Center. If you know the county and approximate date where the marriage took place, use the FamilySearch Catalog to see what is available.
  • Search the FamilySearch Catalog by county.
  • Select the topic Vital Records. Look for records authored by the county clerk.
  • For a small fee, order the microfilm to view at a local Family Search Center.
Option B:
Order from the County or City

Order the marriage record for a fee from the county clerk's offices in the county the marriage took place.


PART B: You don't know the exact date or place of marriage

Return to the Top: Choose another marriage year

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  • This page was last modified on 19 July 2014, at 05:01.
  • This page has been accessed 3,021 times.