Davidson County, Tennessee

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'''Davidson County, Tennessee''' genealogy and family history research page. Guide to '''Davidson County''' (established 1783) 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. <br><br>  
 
'''Davidson County, Tennessee''' genealogy and family history research page. Guide to '''Davidson County''' (established 1783) 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. <br><br>  
  
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Revision as of 22:41, 4 December 2013

United States Gotoarrow.png Tennessee Gotoarrow.png Davidson County
Lake Watauga, Centennial Park, Davidson County, Nashville, TN.


Davidson County, Tennessee genealogy and family history research page. Guide to Davidson County (established 1783) 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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Online Records
Davidson County, Tennessee
Map
Boundary map of Davidson County, Tennessee
Map of Tennessee highlighting Davidson County
Location in the state of Tennessee
Map of the U.S. highlighting Tennessee
Location of Tennessee in the U.S.
Facts
Founded: October 6, 1783
County Seat Nashville
Courthouse
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Contents

Davidson County Tennessee Quick Dates

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

Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1881 1789 1881 1820 1784 1784

Davidson County Tennessee Courthouse

Davidson County Courthouse
700 2nd Ave South
Nashville, TN 37210
Phone: 615.862.5710

County Clerk has marriage records from 1789 and probate records from 1783.
Clerk Circuit has divorce and court records.
Register of Deeds has land records[2]

Davidson County Courthouse, Nashville, TN
.
Davidson County Courthouse
700 2nd Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37210
Phone: 1-615-862-5710


Davidson County Clerk
Marriage and Probate records
P.O. Box 196333
Nashville, TN 37228
Street Address:
523 Mainstream Drive
Nashville, TN 37228
Phone: 1-615-862-5710

Davidson County Register of Deeds
Land records
501 Broadway
Nashville, TN 37203
Phone: 1-615-862-6790

Davidson County Circuit Court Clerk
Court records
P.O. Box 196303
Nashville, TN 37219-6303
Street Address:
1 Public Square, Suite 302
Nashville, TN 37201
Phone: 1-615-862-5181
Hours:
Mon.-Fri.8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Metropolitan Government Archives
3801 Green Hills Village Drive
Nashville, TN 37215
Phone: 1-615-862-5880
Hours:
Mon.-Fri. 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Houses original Davidson County and Nashville City records up to about 1996

Davidson County Tennessee History

Tndavidson.png
Davidson County was officially established in April of 1783 by an act of the North Carolina legislature. It was named for Gen. William Davidson, an officer of North Carolina in the Revolutionary war.

"Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina, and it is hereby Enacted by the authority of the same, that all that part of this State lying west of the Cumberland Mountain where the Virginia line crosses, extending westward along the said line to Tennessee River, thence up said river to the mouth of Duck River, thence up Duck River to where the line of marked trees run by the commissioners for laying off land granted the Continental Line of this State intersects said river (which said line is supposed to be in thirty-five degrees fifty minutes north latitude) thence east along said line to the top of Cumberland Mountain, thence northwardly along said mountain to the beginning, shall after the passing of this Act be and is hereby declared to be a distinct county by the name of Davidson."

In 1780, the Cumberland Compact referred to the settlement on the bluff above the Cumberland River as Nashborough. Nashborough was also the name used in the minutes of the Davidson County court which commenced in the fall of 1783. Although Nashborough was the formal name given to the fort, the pioneering settlers, by and large, referred to it as French Lick Station. Eastin Morris' TENNESSEE GAZETTEER, 1834

In April of 1784, the legislature of North Carolina passed an act that made the town official, changing the name to Nashville. The bill set aside "two hundred acres of land, situate on the south side of Cumberland River, at a place called the Bluff, adjacent to the French Lick, in which said Lick shall not be included, to be laid off in lots of one acre each, with convenient streets, lanes, and alleys, reserving four acres for the purpose of erecting public buildings, on which land, so laid off according to the directions of this act, is hereby constituted and erected, and established a town, and shall be known and called Nashville, in memory of the patriotic and brave Gen. Nash." Five Trustees were appointed to handle the business of the town and a treasurer was named. A plan of town lots of one acre each and a public square of four acres was surveyed. Proceeds from the sale of the lots were to be used to build a courthouse and a jail on the public square.

Middle Tennessee County. Davidson County was at the heart of the pioneer Cumberland Settlements.[3]

Parent County

1783--Davidson County was created 6 October 1783 from Washington County.
County seat: Nashville [4]

County Pronunciation

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

Boundary Changes

"Rotating Formation Tennessee County Boundary Maps" (1777-1985) may be viewed for free at the My Tennessee Genealogy website. They rely on AniMap 3.0 software.

Record Loss

1856 -- Courthouse burned and many records were damaged.

  • Lost censuses: 1790, 1800, 1810, 1890

For further information on researching in burned counties, see the following:

Davidson County Tennessee Places / Localities

Populated Places

Cities and Towns:

Amqui
Antioch
Avondale
Bakers
Bakertown
Belle Meade
Bellevue
Berry Hill
Bordeaux
Brandywine
Brooklin
Charlotte Park
Cloverhill
Couchville
Crieve Hall
Cumberland Heights
Dalewood
Donelson
East Nashville
Edgehill
Edenwold

Forest Grove
Forest Hills
Germantown
Glencliff
Glenview
Goodlettsville
Green Hills
Haysboro
Hermitage
Hermitage Hills
Hopewell
Inglewood
Ivy Point
Joelton
Jordonia
Kimbro
Lakewood

Lickton
Lincoya Hills
Linton
Little Creek
Madison
Maplewood
Merry Oaks
Montague
Morny
Mount View
Mudtavern
Nashville
Newsom
Oak Hill
Oglesby
Old Hickory
Paragon Mills

Pasquo
Priest Lake
Providence
Radnor
Rayon City
Richland
Rural Hill
Scottsboro
Smith Springs
Tusculum
Una
Union Hill
West
West Meade
West Nashville
Whites Creek
Woodbine
Wrencoe

Neighboring Counties

Davidson County Tennessee Genealogy Resources

Research Guides

  • Genealogical "Fact Sheets" About Tennessee Counties: Davidson County, courtesy: TSLA. (Identifies published county histories, published local records, census records, newspapers and local records on microfilm, and select manuscripts.)
  • "Genealogical Research in Davidson County," The Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy and History, Vol. 6, No. 4 (Spring 1993). For possible FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Periodicals.

African Americans

United States African Americans go to Tennessee African Americans

In 1862 Nashville built a series of forts around the city. The project was built by Union soldiers and impressed slaves and free black workers in just five months. This site lists the laborers employed August 1, 1862 to April 1, 1863. The site gives the name of the slave, the slave owner and the file number.


For a case study of how to trace a slave family in early Nashville, study:

  • Franklin, John Hope and Loren Schweninger. In Search of the Promised Land: A Slave Family in the Old South. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. FHL Book 929.273 T361f

Biographies

Cemeteries

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

  • BillionGraves is also gathering gravestone pictures, and each cemetery once photographed, even if only a few gravestones at first, will have its own page there with a Google map showing the location, and a searchable database for that cemetery. A global search is also available on the BillionGraves website for all records there.


Census

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1790 3,459
1800 9,965 188.1%
1810 15,608 56.6%
1820 20,154 29.1%
1830 28,122 39.5%
1840 30,509 8.5%
1850 38,882 27.4%
1860 47,055 21.0%
1870 62,897 33.7%
1880 79,026 25.6%
1890 108,174 36.9%
1900 122,815 13.5%
1910 149,478 21.7%
1920 167,815 12.3%
1930 222,854 32.8%
1940 257,267 15.4%
1950 321,758 25.1%
1960 399,743 24.2%
1970 448,003 12.1%
1980 477,811 6.7%
1990 510,784 6.9%
2000 569,891 11.6%
Source: "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau.
1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 federal population censuses of Davidson 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 Davidson County, TN census assignments including links to transcribed files. [The USGenWeb Census Project®]

1790- Lost, only statistics survive [7], but substitutes are available:

  • Eakle, Arlene. Tennessee Research. 2010. Purchase information at Arlene Eakle's Tennessee Genealogy Blog. [Includes a reconstructed 1790 census, sources: "Contemporary lists–tax lists, militia rolls, land grants and deeds, claims for pre-emption lands, names recorded in diaries and journals. And numerous histories compiled by local historians from records that we have not seen or read ourselves."]
  • Fulcher, Richard Carlton, comp. 1770-1790 Census of the Cumberland Settlements: Davidson, Sumner and Tennessee Counties (In what is now Tennessee). Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1987. Available at FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 X2f; digital version at World Vital Records ($).
  • McGhee, Lucy Kate. Partial Census of 1787 to 1791 of Tennessee as Taken from the North Carolina Land Grants. 3 Parts. Microfilmed in 1990. FHL US/CAN Films 1728882 Item 4 and 1683130 Item 3.

1800 - Lost, but a substitute is available, see Taxation.

1810 - Lost, but a substitute is available:

  • Sherrill, Charles A. The Reconstructed 1810 Census of Tennessee: 33,000 Long-lost Records from Tax Lists, Court Minutes, Church Records, Wills, Deeds and Other Sources. Mt. Juliet, Tenn.: C.A. Sherrill, 2001. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 X2s 1810.

1820

  • Waldrep, G.C. "'Free Colored' Heads of Household in the 1820 Tennessee Census," available online, courtesy: Free African Americans website. [Includes free African Americans in this county.]

1820 Manufactures

The original manufactures schedules for the Eastern and Western Districts of Tennessee are kept at the NARA, Washington, D.C. FHL copies: FHL US/CAN Films 1024517-1024518.

The following book is a useful aid for finding the original records. A free online index, provided by Lineages, will help researchers determine if this resource can be of assistance:

  • National Archives. Indexes to Manufactures Census of 1820. 1920; reprint, Knightstown, Ind.: Bookmark, 1977. FHL US/CAN Book 973 X2m 1820; digital version at Lineages. [Covers this county.]

1840 Revolutionary War Pensioners

1850

1860

Index and transcription of the 1860 Federel Census for Davidson, Tennessee. Located at the USGenWegb Census Project.

1890 --Lost, but a substitute is available:

  • Sistler, Byron H. and Barbara Sistler. 1890 Civil War Veterans Census, Tennessee. Evanston, Illinois: Byron Sistler and Associates, 1978. FHL 976.8 X2s 1890

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.

  • Davidson County Church Records
- Family History Library Catalog - Davdison County Church Records
  • Church histories tell when a church started in the area, who the early members were, give data about church leaders, etc.
- Family History Library Catalog - Davidson 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 Davidson County are:
- List of Davidson County churches with addresses and phone numbers (Yellowbook)
- List of Davidson County churches (TN HomeTownLocator)


  • In 1936, a helpful guide to early Davidson 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 Davidson County are listed. Many of these filmed records are also available at the Family History Library.

Baptist

Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives
The Southern Baptist Convention Building
901 Commerce Street #400
Nashville, TN 37203
Telephone: 615-244-0344
Internet: www.sbhla.org

Disciples of Christ

Disciples of Christ Historical Society
1101 Nineteenth Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37212-2196
Telephone: 866-834-7563 (toll free)
Internet: http://www.discipleshistory.org/

Episcopal

Jewish

Jewish Federation of Nashville Middle Tennessee Library and Archives
801 Percy Warner Boulevard, Suite 102
Nashville, TN 37205
Telephone: 615-356-3242 x255
Fax: 615-352-0056
Internet: http://www.jewishnashville.org/

Methodist Episcopal

Tennessee Conference
520 Commerce Street, Suite 205
Nashville, TN 37203
Telephone: 615-263-0518 (call to make an appointment)
Internet: http://www.tnumc.org/

  • Mathews, Reverend John D.D. Peeps into Life Autobiography. Methodist Episcopal Church Tennessee Conference, 1904. Free digital copy.
  • The Doctrines and Discipline of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South Nashville, Tenn. M.E. Church, South, Tenn., 1892. Digital version at Google Books.

Presbyterian

  • The First Presbyterian Church, Nashville, Tennessee: The Addresses Delivered in Connection with the Observance of the One Hundredth Anniversary, November 8-15, l9l4. Nashville, Tenn.: Foster & Parkes Company, 1915. Digital version at Google Books.
  • 1861-1885 - Moore Memorial Presbyterian Church, Nashville, Baptism Index 1861-1885 in International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch - free. Batches C530311 and C530312.[9]
  • 1875 - Moore Memorial Presbyterian Church, Nashville, Marriage Index 1875 in International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch - free. Batch M530311.[9]

Roman Catholic

Diocese of Nashville
The Catholic Center
2400 Twenty-first Avenue, South
Nashville, TN 37212-5387
Telephone: 615-383-6393
Fax: 615-292-8411
Internet: http://www.dioceseofnashville.com/

Court

Directories

Nashville City Directories are available for most years between 1853 and 1997 at the Tennessee State Archives. Digitized copies are available online for the following years:

  • 1855-1856 - Nashville Business Directory for The City of Nashville and Suburbs, Vol. 2, 1855-6. Digital version at Don's List - free.


Family Histories

General

As of August 2010, a query for persons born in Davidson, Tennessee at World Connect, results in more than 65,000 entries. A query for persons born in Nashville, Tennessee results in more than 45,000 entries.

  • East Tennessee Historical Society. First Families of Tennessee: A Register of Early Settlers and Their Present-day Descendants. Knoxville, Tenn.: East Tennessee Historical Society, 2000. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 H2ff. [Identifies families that had settled in Tennessee before it achieved statehood in 1796.]

Bibliography

  • [Barkley] Fischer, Kathryn Barkley The Barkley brigade: the story of John Barkley of Smith County, Tennessee and his descendants, 1753-1994 Covington, Louisiana: Barkley-Symons Enterprises, 1994 FHL book 929.273 B246. Digital version available at FamilySearch Books Online.
  • [Bell] Lewis, Leroy Carlisle. Leander Bell of Henderson County, Tennessee: A Genealogical Survey and Historical Record of His Life and the Lives of His Descendants and His Ancestors. Searcy, Ark.: L.C. Lewis, 1987. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 B413L.
  • [Bell] Bell, Eldon Raymond. Bells History: of Shenandoah Valley, VA and Knox County, TN. Springdale, Arkansas: E.R. Bell, 1994. Available at FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 B413ber.
  • [Bishop] Gray, John W. The Life of Joseph Bishop, the Celebrated Old Pioneer in the First Settlements of Middle Tennessee. Nashville, Tennessee: s.p., 1858. Free digital copy.
  • [Branch] Ford, Ethel Taylor. Thomas Taylor and Benjamin Branch of Nashville, Tennessee, and Related Families. Amarillo, Tex.: E.T. Ford, 1972. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 T218f; digital versions at Ancestry ($) and FamilySearch Books Online.
  • [Buchanan] Whitworth, M.C. and Whitworth Family Association. Malchiga Coffee Whitworth, III: Member No. 76, Whitworth Family Association. Nashville: M.C. Whitworth, [1998?]. FHL US/CAN Film 1425148 Item 9.
  • [Burnett] Burnett, Paul H. Recollections and Opinions of an Old Pioneer. New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1880. Free digital copy, courtesy: Internet Archive.
  • [Byrn] Turner, Mary Lalla Byrn The Byrn family: the ancestors and descendants of James Riley Byrn of middle Tennessee and western Kentucky and his wife, Emily Blackwell Oliver, from Virginia Paducah, Kentucky: M.L.B. Turner, [1985?] Utica, Kentucky: McDowell Publications. FHL book 929.273 B846. Digital version available at {{FSbook|
  • [Clupper] Clupper, Milford Lyon and Mona Atwill Clupper. Nine Generations from David Keith Clupper: Born in Nashville, Tenn. [Murfreesboro, Tenn.]: M. Clupper, 1992. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 C628cm.
  • [Flournoy] Rivers, Flournoy. "The Flournoy Family," The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 2, No. 1 (Jul. 1894):81-90; Vol. 2, No. 2 (Oct. 1894):190-213; Vol. 2, No. 3 (Jan. 1895):318-327; Vol. 2, No. 4 (Apr. 1895):437-447; Vol. 3, No. 1 (Jul. 1895):67-79; Vol. 3, No. 4 (Apr. 1896):414-416; Vol. 4, No. 1 (Jul. 1896):97-101. Digitized by JSTOR - free.
  • [Gambill] Brown, Louise G. and Jane C. Luna. The Descendants of Bradley Gambill. Columbia, Tenn.: P-Vine Press, 1979. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 G143b.
  • [Hardeman] Burnett, Paul H. Recollections and Opinions of an Old Pioneer. New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1880. Free digital copy, courtesy: Internet Archive.
  • [Harris] Whitley, Edythe Johns Rucker. Lineage of Judith Gene Harris Doss, Nashville Tennessee: Includes Hodges, Randle, Hearn, Parker, Turner, Truitt, and Smith. Typescript, 1968. FHL US/CAN Film 875145 Item 2.
  • [Key] Key, Betty and Marcus M. Key. "John and Susannah Key of Old Amherst County, Virginia," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 29, No. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 1985):117-122; Vol. 29, No. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 1985):196-204. Digital version at American Ancestors ($). FHL Book 975.5 B2vg v. 29 (1985).
  • [McKinley] McKinley, Gay Martin and Ruth Carter McKinley. McKinley Memories: Descendants of Daniel Bell McKinley, Sr. and Mary Bonville. Wyandotte, Okla.: Gregath, 1997. FHL 929.273 M215mg
  • [Smith] Dyson, Dawn. A History of the Family of Herman Hampton and Julious Bonnie Holloway Smith of Nashville, Tennessee. Athens, Ga.: D. Dyson, 1996. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 Sm58d.
  • [Stephens] Stephens, Robert W. Stephens Family History: Ancestry and Descendants of Revolutionary Soldier Robert Stephens and His Wife, Sarah Farmer, of Virginia, Through Their Son Josiah Stephens. Dallas, Texas: R.W. Stephens, c1982. FHL Book 929.273 St45sr.
  • [Stumb] Saeger, Paul H. The Stumb Family of Nashville, Tennessee. Birmingham, Ala.: P.H. Saeger, 1993. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 St95sp.
  • [Swanson] McRaven, William Henry. Life and Times of Edward Swanson: One of the Original Pioneers Who with General James Robertson Founded Nashville, Tennessee, 1779; First Recorded Settler of Williamson County, Tennessee, March, 1780. Nashville, Tenn.: W.H. McRaven, 1937. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 Sw24m.
  • [Tate] Carpenter, Evelyn Yates. Tate and Allied Families of Robertson County, Tennessee: Includes the Nearby Tennessee Counties of Davidson, Sumner, and Wilson. Includes Virginia and North Carolina, the States of Tate Family Origin. Includes Counties in Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri and Throughout the United States Where Many Tate Families Migrated. Clarksville, Tenn.: Jostens, 1987. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 T187c.
  • [Taylor] Ford, Ethel Taylor. Thomas Taylor and Benjamin Branch of Nashville, Tennessee, and Related Families. Amarillo, Tex.: E.T. Ford, 1972. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 T218f; digital versions at Ancestry ($) and FamilySearch Books Online.
  • [Thomas] Franklin, John Hope and Loren Schweninger. In Search of the Promised Land: A Slave Family in the Old South. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. FHL Book 929.273 T361f
  • [Thurman] Whitley, Edythe Johns Rucker. Thurman Lineage: Descent of Mrs. Helen Goodpasture of Nashville, Tennessee. Typescript, 1950. FHL US/CAN Film 1035575 Item 8; digital version at FamilySearch Books Online.
  • [Whiteley] Whiteley, Amos. This Brief History of the Whiteleys in America is Issued for the Purpose of Presenting Changes and Additions Since My Former Book was Issued ...: Also to Include Information Recently Procured in Regard to the Maryland Branch of the Whiteley Family. n.p.: A. Whiteley, 1922. FHL 929.273 W587wa; digital versions at FamilySearch Books Online and Internet Archive.
  • [Whitworth] Whitworth, M.C. and Whitworth Family Association. Malchiga Coffee Whitworth, III: Member No. 76, Whitworth Family Association. Nashville: M.C. Whitworth, [1998?]. FHL US/CAN Film 1425148 Item 9.
  • [Wright] Wright, Samuel S. Wright Family. S. Wright, 1994. FHL 929.273 W93ws

Immigration

During the War of 1812, American officials reported finding 35 British aliens, many of whom had families, living in Nashville and Davidson County.[10]

Jewish Records

Land

Deeds

Davidson County Register of Deeds has Land Records from 1784 and is located at 700 2nd Ave. S, Nashville, Tennessee 37210; Telephone: (615) 862-6050. Land and property records include transfer of real estate or personal property, mortgages, leases, surveys, and entries

  • The Family History Library has microfilm copies of land records of deeds 1784-1940 with indexes 1784-1924; register books 1784-1789; and Davidson county land ownership maps from the Library of Congress Map division 1871-about 1900.
  • The organization Strictly By Name provides free online indexes to early Davidson County land records. They offer a research service to photocopy and transcribe microfilm copies of the original documents for a small fee. Available indexes:
  1. Deed Book A: 1784-1787
  2. Deed Book B: 1787-1791
  3. Deed Book C: 1791-1796
  4. Deed Book D: 1796-1798
  5. Deed Book E: 1798-1802
  6. Deed Book F: 1803-1806

Local Land Entries Issued by North Carolina

The original Davidson County land entries issued by North Carolina are kept at the North Carolina State Archives in Raleigh. On their website, users can bring up a list of land entries issued in Davidson County, both before and after it became a part of the state of Tennessee. Years covered: 1783-1824.

Instructions:

  1. Follow this link to conduct a "Call Number Search" using the MARS Catalog on their site.
  2. Using the pull down window, change "Call Numbers starting" to "A MarsID matching."
  3. Type 12.14.2 (Windows Vista users may need to include a period after the last digit, for example 12.14.2.) and click Search. This is the specific MarsID for Davidson County.
  4. Click on the entry that is returned: "Tennessee, Davidson County."
  5. In the window that pops up, click Show List of Child Records and a list of Davidson County land entries will be produced. Browse to find abstracts of the original records.[11]

N.B. You can also search by name through the Basic Search, but it lacks soundex capabilities.

Land Grants

  • Free index to 1500+ Pioneer Cumberland Settlements Land Grants, available online, courtesy: Cumberland Pioneer Settlers. The Cumberland Settlements region covered what is now this county. To view the land grants platted on maps, purchase the books described on this site, or access those available at the Family History Library FHL US/CAN Large Q Book 976.8 E7d.

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

The TSLA (TSLA) is in the beginning stages of posting digital copies of historical maps on their website through the Tennessee Virtual Archives (TEVA). Among the collection is a 1907 historical map showing Davidson County civil districts and the plotted residences of families living within those districts.

Additional Nashville and Davidson County historical maps include:

  • [1783] Reeves, Charles A. Davidson & Greene Counties [Tennessee] - Created in 1783. Published 2000. Purchase at ReevesMaps.com; website includes a scaled-down version of the map.
  • [1855] General View of Nashville. Published 1855. Purchase at ReevesMaps.com; website includes a scaled-down version of the map.
  • [1860s] Map of Nashville, Tennessee. Published 1860s. Purchase at ReevesMaps.com; website includes a scaled-down version of the map.
  • [1871] Map of Davidson County, TN. Published 1871. Purchase at ReevesMaps.com; website includes a scaled-down version of the map.
  • [1872] Ruger. Bird's Eye View of Nashville. Originally published 1872. Purchase at ReevesMaps.com; website includes a scaled-down version of the map.
  • [1880s] Wellege. Nashville, Tennessee in the 1880s. Originally published 1872. Purchase at ReevesMaps.com; website includes a scaled-down version of the map.
  • [1894] A City Map of Nashville, Tennessee. Published 1894. Purchase at ReevesMaps.com; website includes a scaled-down version of the map.
  • [1897] Tennessee Centennial Exposition, Nashville, Tennessee. Originally published 1897. Purchase at ReevesMaps.com; website includes a scaled-down version of the map.
  • [1939] A Map of Nashville. Published 1939. Purchase at ReevesMaps.com; website includes a scaled-down version of the map.

Military

Revolutionary War

The following Davidson 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
  • Embry, Hermione D. "War of 1812 - Tennessee Pensioners on List - January 2, 1883," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 7, No. 2 (Apr. 1960):40-45. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 B2a v. 7 (1960); digital version at journal website. [Includes Cocke County pensioners (pp. 41-42)]
  • Whitley, Edythe Johns Rucker. Tennessee Genealogical Records, Davidson County Pioneers: Revolutionary and War of 1812 Soldiers. 1965. FHL US/CAN Book 976.855 M23w.
Civil War

Civil War service men from Davidson 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 Davidson County.

Confederate Soldiers


Union Soldiers


Additional sources for Civil War soldiers from Davidson County:


Civil War Battle

The following Civil War battle was fought in Davidson County



Map showing Civil War battles fought in Tennessee
Spanish American War
World War I

Gilmore, Rose Long. Davidson County Women in the World War 1914-1919. Nashville, Tennessee: Foster and Parkes, 1923.

Minorities

Newspapers

Nashville Retrospect - The Nashville Retrospect is a free monthly newspaper devoted to Nashville nostalgia and history. It features reprints of long-forgotten news, articles by local historians, and remembrances by older Nashvillians. Also available by subscription if you are not local.

  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 Davidson County click on the following cities:

Occupations

  • Miller, Alan N. Middle Tennessee's Forgotten Children: Apprentices from 1784 to 1902. Baltimore, Md.: Printed for Clearfield Company, Inc., by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 2004. FHL US/CAN 976.8 U2ma. Purchase at Genealogical.com. [Includes Davidson 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 records of Davidson County, Tennessee 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 US/CAN Book 976.8 B2a.
Harpeth Gleanings
Covers Bellevue and the Harpeth River Valley in southwest Davidson county. Family History Library US/CAN Book 976.855 H25h
The Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy and History
Genealogical articles with abstracts of records of Davidson County, Tennessee have been published in The Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy and History, the quarterly of the Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society (23+ Vols.). To view a list of these articles, visit their online Index to Articles (1988-2005). Surname indexes are also available online for Vols. 2-22. The website also offers back issues for sale in paper and on CD. The Family History Library has a complete collection of this quarterly FHL US/CAN Book 976.85 D25m.

Photographs

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

Private Papers

Probate

The Davidson County Court and the County Clerk have responsibility for the probate records, most available at the Metropolitan Government Archives.

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:

  • Tennessee Probate Court Files 1784-1920
  • Inventories, Wills 1784-1836
  • Wills, Volume 1 to Volume 57 1784-1941


The organization Strictly By Name provides free online indexes to early Davidson County probate records. They offer a research service to photocopy and transcribe microfilm copies of the original documents for a small fee. Available indexes:

  1. Will Book 1: 1784-1794
  2. Will Book 2: 1794-1804
  3. Will Book 3: 1805-1809
  4. Will Book 4: 1809-1816

The following Davidson County probate records have been abstracted or indexed:

  • [1783-1830] Marsh, Helen C. and Timothy R. Marsh. Davidson County, Tennessee, Wills and Inventories. Greenville, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1990. Indexed. Contains Vol. 1, 1783-1816, and Vol. 2, 1816-1830. (FHL book 976.855 P2m.)
  • [1784-1861] Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Index to Tennessee Wills & Administrations 1779-1861. Nashville, Tenn. Byron Sistler & Associates, Inc., 1990. FHL US/CAN 976.8 P22s. [Includes an index to this county's probate records.]
  • [1784-1816] Strictly By Name (see above).

Schools

  • Roger Williams 1884-1885 School Catalog
  • Fisk University: History, Building and Site, and Services of Dedication, at Nashville, Tennessee, January 1st, 1876. New York: Published for the Trustees of Fisk University, 1876. Digital version at Google Books.
  • Stearns, Eben S. Historical Sketch of the Normal College, at Nashville, Tenn: An Address Before Its Officers and Students on Its Ninth Anniversary, Dec. 1, 1884. Cincinnati: Elm Street Printing Company, 1885. Digital version at Google Books.

Taxation

The following Davidson County tax records have been abstracted:[13]

  • [1787] "Davidson County Tax List for 1787," available online, courtesy: Friends of Metropolitan Archives of Nashville and Davidson County, TN.
  • [1787, 1812] Whitley, Edythe Johns Rucker. Pioneers of Davidson County, Tennessee. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Pub. Co., c1996. Available at FHL US/CAN Book 976.855 H2wh; digital versions are available at Ancestry ($) and World Vital Records ($).
  • [1787] First Tax List, 1787, Brief, Krefeld Immigrants and Their Descendants. Sacramento CA: Fall 2003. Vol. 20 Iss. 2.
  • [1788, 1805, 1811] Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Index to Early Tennessee Tax Lists. Evanston, Ill.: B. & B. Sistler, 1977. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 R4s. [Includes 1788, 1805, 1811 tax lists.]
  • [1789] Cumberland Settlements, Tax List, 1789, The Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy and History, Vol. 4, No. 2 (Fall 1990). For possible FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Periodicals.
  • [1798] Duncan, Ruth Henley. "List of Taxable Property, Davidson County, Tennessee, October 1, 1798" and "List of Slaves Owned in Davidson County, Tennessee, October 1, 1798," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 8, No. 3 (July 1961):78-86. For FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Periodicals.
  • [1805] West, Betsy F. "Davidson County, Tennessee, Tax List - 1805," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 26, No. 2 (Spring 1979):80-85; Vol. 26, No. 3 (Fall 1979):128-132; Vol. 26, No. 4 (Winter 1979). For FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Periodicals.
  • [1805] Davidson County 1805 Tax List Annotated, The Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy and History, Vol. 21, No. 1 (Summer 2007); Vol. 21, No. 2 (Fall 2007); Vol. 21, No. 3 (Winter 2008); Vol. 22, No. 2 (Fall 2008); Vol. 22, No. 3 (Winter 2009); Vol. 22, No. 4 (Spring 2009). For possible FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Periodicals.
  • [1811] Sherrill, Charles A. The Reconstructed 1810 Census of Tennessee: 33,000 Long-lost Records from Tax Lists, Court Minutes, Church Records, Wills, Deeds and Other Sources. Mt. Juliet, Tenn.: C.A. Sherrill, 2001. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 X2s 1810. [Cites Davidson County Tax List, 1811, Early Tax Lists microfilm reel #3, TSLA, Nashville as source.]
  • [1812] West, Betsy F. "Davidson County, Tennessee, Tax List - 1812," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 26, No. 4 (Winter 1979):164-173. For FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Periodicals.
  • [1812] Douthat, James L. 1812 Davidson County, Tennessee, Tax List: Taken from the Microfilm Copy Found in the Tennessee State Archives. Signal Mountain, Tenn.: Mountain Press, [2000?]. FHL US/CAN Book 976.855 R4d; online: free surname index and purchase details.
  • [1812] "Enumeration of the Free Male Inhabitants of Davidson County Taken in the Year 1812," [Alphabetical Arrangement] available online, courtesy: Friends of Metropolitan Archives of Nashville and Davidson County, TN.
  • [1812] "Enumeration of the Free Male Inhabitants of Davidson County Taken in the Year 1812," [Arranged by company] available online, courtesy: Friends of Metropolitan Archives of Nashville and Davidson County, TN.
  • [1812] Davidson County Tax List 1812, The Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy and History, Vol. 16, No. 3 (Winter 2003); Vol. 16, No. 4 (Spring 2003); Vol. 17, No. 1 (Summer 2003). For possible FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Periodicals.
  • [1814] "Direct Federal Tax-Delinquent Property Owners Listed for 1814," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 43, No. 3(Fall 1996):115-120. For possible FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Periodicals. [Includes Davidson County.]
  • [1817] "U.S. Holds 1817 Public Sale of Federal Tax-Delinquent Properties in Tennessee," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 43, No. 2 (Summer 1996):63-68. For possible FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Periodicals. [Includes Davidson County.]
  • [1826] Release of Taxes, 1826, Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy and History. Nashville TN: Summer 1996. Vol. 10 Iss. 1.
  • [1829] "Davidson County, Tennessee 1829 Tax List," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 32, No. 2 (Summer 1985):63-68; Vol. 32, No. 3 (Fall 1985):123-130; Vol. 32, No. 4 (Winter 1985):179-182. For FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Periodicals.
  • [c1865] Tennessee Tax Lists Holdings, ca.1865, Southern Genealogists Exchange Quarterly. Jacksonville FL: Summer 1965. Vol. 6 Iss. 34.

Vital Records

Birth
Marriage

[1789-1996] The original Davidson County marriage records 1789-1981 are housed at the Metropolitan Government Archives in Nashville.This includes marriage books and licenses.

The following Davidson County marriage records are microfilmed:

  • [1780-1959] Available at the TSLA. Staff will search a 5-year range for a marriage record. A gap exists from 30 April 1941 to 19 July 1945. For records during this period, consult the Metropolitan Government Archives.
  • [1789-1951] Available at the Family History Library FHL 1994117
  • [1911-1914] Available at the Nashville Room, Nashville Public Library.

The most complete index to Davidson marriages after 1905 is found at FamilysSearch RecordSearch:

  • [1796-1950] Many Davidson county marriage records are indexed at Tennessee, Marriages 1796-1950 Not all years are currently available. Marriages as late as 1950 are indexed in this collection. At this time this is the only compiled index to Davidson marriages after 1905.

The following Davidson County marriage records have been indexed:

  • 1789-1932 - Davidson County Marriage Index 1789-1932 in International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch - free.[9]
  • [1789-1870] Lucas, Silas Emmett and Ella Lee Sheffield. 35,000 Tennessee Marriage Records and Bonds 1783-1870. 3 vols. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1981. FHL 976.8 V2t v. 1[Abstracts include names of brides, grooms, bondsmen, marriage bond dates, and officiators for weddings in this county for the roughly specified years. Marriage data taken from an index card file at the TSLA. Authors do not specify whether or not the card index completely indexes this county's marriages.]
  • [1789-1863] Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Early Middle Tennessee Marriages. 2 vols. Nashville, Tenn.: B. Sistler & Associates, 1988.FHL 976.8 V2sb [Indexes brides and grooms]
  • [1789-1837] Blair, Sarah T. Marriage record book I, January 2, 1789 - December 13, 1837, Davidson County, Tennessee. Nashville, Tennessee: French Lick Chapter, NSDAR, 1952. FHL 976.855 V25b
  • [1789-1847] Whitley, Edythe Johns Rucker. Marriages of Davidson County, Tennessee, 1789 - 1847. Baltimore, MC: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1981. Two volumes. FHL 976.855 V2w digital version atWorld Vital Records($).
  • [1788-1799] Davidson County Marriages 1788-1799 The organization Strictly By Name provides free online indexes to some early Davidson County marriage records. They offer a record retrieval service to photocopy and transcribe microfilm copies of the original documents for a small fee.
  • [1794-1851] Lucas, Silas Emmett. Marriages from Early Tennessee Newspapers 1794-1851. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1978. FHL 976.8 V2L.
  • [1796-1950] Many Davidson county marriage records are indexed at Record Collection 1681022 Not all years are currently available. Marriages as late as 1950 are indexed in this collection. At this time this is the only compiled index to Davidson marriages after 1905.
  • [1838-1847] Marriage Records, 1838-1847, Davidson County, Tennessee. Nashville: TSLA, Historical Records Project. Typescript. FHL 24631 Item 2
  • [1845-1877] Jackson, Andrew. Account book, 1845-1877. Typescript. FHL 960618 Item 6 [Contains data on the purchase, sale, birth, marriage, and death of slaves at the Hermitage, 1845-1877.]
  • [1864-1905] Marriages Recorded in Nashville, 1864-1905. Online index courtesy of the Metro Archives Collection, Nashville.
  • [1876] Smith, Jonathan K.T. Nashville Daily American, 1876, a Genealogical Scrapbook. Jackson, Tennessee: J.K.T. Smith, 2003. FHL 976.855 V4s
  • Some Davidson county marriage records are indexed with images at Ancestry's Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002. ($) Be aware that this index is not complete and missing many years of Davidson marriage records.
  • [1731-1872] Marriage Records. [14]
  • [1787-1850] Marriage Records: Early–1850. [15]
Divorce

In 1940 and 1941, W.P.A. workers pinpointed the location of Davidson County divorce papers in diverse manuscript collections, including some separate divorce dockets, 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
  • Meier, Oveda. Tennessee Ancestors: The Brave and the Dead, Probate and Death Records of Early Middle Tennessee, 1780–1805. Salt Lake City, Utah: O. Meier, 1990. (Family History Library book 976.8 P2m; film 1697372.) This source contains abstracts of probate, Bible, and court records, county histories, and military death records for Davidson and Sumner counties. It includes a surname index.
  • Tennessee Statewide Death Index, 1949-2009 - searchable database from the Shelby County Register of Deeds. Includes data from all over the state.

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

Davidson County Tennessee Genealogy Societies and Libraries

  • Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society
    PO Box 330948
    Nashville, TN, USA 37203-7507
    The society serves the 40 counties of middle Tennessee of which Davidson County is one. It publishes The Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy and History, a quarterly containing articles of genealogical and historical interest. Little-known Tennessee records are published and indexed, along with family genealogies, Bible records and material submitted by members. There is an alphabetical Index to articles in the Journal 1988-summer 2005
  • Historical Commission of Metropolitan Nashville - Davidson County
    701 Broadway, B-20
    Nashville, TN 37203
    Phone: 1-615-259-5027
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  • Nashville Public Library
    615 Church St.
    Nashville, TN 37219
    Phone: 1-615-862-5800
    Internet: http://www.library.nashville.org
    The Nashville Public Library has a significant collection of Davidson County records. They have posted an online index to Nashville marriages 1864-1905 and Nashville obituaries 1964 to the present. Obituaries from 2006 are available in full text with a Nashville Library card. Copies of obituaries can be accessed at the library or at the TSLA. For a $15 fee, up to 5 obituaries will be researched, copied and mailed to those unable to research in person.
  • The Metropolitan Government Archives, a division of the Nashville Public Library, contains historical records of Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County. The hours are 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM, Monday through Friday.
    Metro Archives
    3801 Green Hills Village Drive
    Nashville, TN 37215
    Phone: 1-615-862-5880

Family History Centers

100 Brown Rd
Burns, TN
Phone: 1-615-441-1006
Hours: Tues.-Thurs. 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Wed 6 p.m.-8 p.m.;
Thurs. 3:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.; 3rd Sat 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Closed: closed all holidays. The need for any other closing will be posted on the door at the building.

107 Twin Hills Dr
Madison, TN
Phone: 1-615-859-6926
Hours: Tues.-Thurs. 10 a.m.-2 p.m., 7 p.m.-9 p.m.; Sat. 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
These are not mailing addresses. Due to limited staff, Family History Centers are unable to respond to mail inquiries.

Davidson County Tennessee Genealogy Websites

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

Davidson 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), Davidson County, Tennessee page 639, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. Founding of the Cumberland Settlements: The First Atlas 1779-1804.
  4. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002), 639. (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. Arlene Eakle, "Reconstructing the 1790 Census of Tennessee," Arlene Eakle's Tennessee Genealogy Blog, 20 May 2010.
  8. WPA. Guide to Church Vital Statistics in Tennessee. Nashville: Tennessee State Planning Commission, 1942. FHL 976.8 K23w
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 9.8 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.
  10. Kenneth Scott. British Aliens in the United States During the War of 1812. Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1979, 372-378 (see West Tennessee). FHL US/CAN 973 W4s; digital version at Ancestry ($).
  11. J. Mark Lowe, "The Land Grant Processes of North Carolina and Tennessee," Lecture, Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference, Knoxville, Tenn., August 21, 2010.
  12. Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State, (accessed 29 August 2012).
  13. The Heritage Quest Online version of PERSI aided in the compilation of this list.
  14. Orem, Utah: Automated Archives, 1994. (Family History Library compact disc number 9 part 2.) Does not circulate to Family History Centers.
  15. Orem, Utah: Automated Archives, 1992. (Family History Library compact disc number 9 part 229.) Does not circulate to Family History Centers.