Tennessee Court Records

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*[1813-1818] Cooper, William F. ''[http://www.archive.org/details/tennesseereport02courgoog Tennessee Reports: Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Highest Courts of Law and Equity in the State of Tennessee]. ''St Louis: Soule, Thomas and Windsor, 1870. Free digital copy.  Appendix with early cases.  
 
*[1813-1818] Cooper, William F. ''[http://www.archive.org/details/tennesseereport02courgoog Tennessee Reports: Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Highest Courts of Law and Equity in the State of Tennessee]. ''St Louis: Soule, Thomas and Windsor, 1870. Free digital copy.  Appendix with early cases.  
 
*[1816-1819] Bigelow, Melville M.[http://www.archive.org/details/tennesseereport02courgoog ''Reports of Cases Argued and Adjudged in the Supreme Court of Errors and Appeals of Tennessee: 3, 4, and 5 Haywood in One Volume, with Notes and References''].  New York: Hurd and Houghton, 1870. Digital version at [http://books.google.com/books?id=MMoEAAAAYAAJ Google Books].  
 
*[1816-1819] Bigelow, Melville M.[http://www.archive.org/details/tennesseereport02courgoog ''Reports of Cases Argued and Adjudged in the Supreme Court of Errors and Appeals of Tennessee: 3, 4, and 5 Haywood in One Volume, with Notes and References''].  New York: Hurd and Houghton, 1870. Digital version at [http://books.google.com/books?id=MMoEAAAAYAAJ Google Books].  
*[1833] Yerger, George S.  ''[http://www.archive.org/details/reportscasesarg01yerggoog Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Tennessee]. ''Nashville: Hall and Heiskell, 1834. Free digital copy.  
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*[1833] Yerger, George S.  ''[http://www.archive.org/details/reportscasesarg01yerggoog Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Tennessee]. ''Nashville: Hall and Heiskell, 183. Free digital copy.  
 
*[1836-1837] Yerger, George S. ''[http://www.archive.org/details/reportscasesarg00yerggoog Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Tennessee]. ''Nashville: Hall and Heiskell, 1891. Free digital copy.  
 
*[1836-1837] Yerger, George S. ''[http://www.archive.org/details/reportscasesarg00yerggoog Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Tennessee]. ''Nashville: Hall and Heiskell, 1891. Free digital copy.  
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*[1838-1839] Meigs, J. ''[http://www.archive.org/details/reportscasesarg00meiggoog Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Tennessee]''. Nashville: S. Nye and Co., 1839. Free digital copy.
 
*[1838-1839] Cooper, William F. ''[http://www.archive.org/details/tennesseereport01courgoog Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Highest Courts of Law and Equity in the State of Tennessee]. '' St Louis: Soule, Thomas and Windsor, 1870. Free digital copy.  
 
*[1838-1839] Cooper, William F. ''[http://www.archive.org/details/tennesseereport01courgoog Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Highest Courts of Law and Equity in the State of Tennessee]. '' St Louis: Soule, Thomas and Windsor, 1870. Free digital copy.  
 
*[1839-1840] Humphreys, West H. [http://www.archive.org/details/reportscasesarg03tenngoog ''Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Tennessee'']. Nashville: J. George Harris, 1841. Free digital copy.  
 
*[1839-1840] Humphreys, West H. [http://www.archive.org/details/reportscasesarg03tenngoog ''Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Tennessee'']. Nashville: J. George Harris, 1841. Free digital copy.  
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*[1872 Middle and 1874 Western Division] Baxter, Jere ''[http://www.archive.org/details/reportscasesarg197courgoog Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Tennessee]''. Nashville, Tennessee: Tavel, Eastman,& Howell, 1880. Free digital copy.  
 
*[1872 Middle and 1874 Western Division] Baxter, Jere ''[http://www.archive.org/details/reportscasesarg197courgoog Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Tennessee]''. Nashville, Tennessee: Tavel, Eastman,& Howell, 1880. Free digital copy.  
 
*[1873-1874, Middle Division] Baxter, Jere. ''[http://www.archive.org/details/reportscasesarg87courgoog Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Tennessee]''. Nashville, Tennessee: James Browne, 1878. Free digital copy.  
 
*[1873-1874, Middle Division] Baxter, Jere. ''[http://www.archive.org/details/reportscasesarg87courgoog Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Tennessee]''. Nashville, Tennessee: James Browne, 1878. Free digital copy.  
*[1875] Barclay, Wilbur F. ''[http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924024707048 A Manual of Tennessee Corporations : containing the Corporation act of 1875...with Notes from the decisions of the Supreme Court.]'' Nashville, Tennessee: University Press, 1892. Free digital copy.
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*[1875] Barclay, Wilbur F. ''[http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924024707048 A Manual of Tennessee Corporations : containing the Corporation act of 1875...with Notes from the decisions of the Supreme Court.]'' Nashville, Tennessee: University Press, 1892. Free digital copy.  
 
*[1874-1875, Eastern Division, 1874-1876 MIddle Division, 1876 Western Division] Baxter, Jere. ''[http://www.archive.org/details/reportscasesarg243courgoog Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Tennessee]''. Nashville, Tennessee: James Browne, 1880. Free digital copy.  
 
*[1874-1875, Eastern Division, 1874-1876 MIddle Division, 1876 Western Division] Baxter, Jere. ''[http://www.archive.org/details/reportscasesarg243courgoog Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Tennessee]''. Nashville, Tennessee: James Browne, 1880. Free digital copy.  
 
*[1874-1875, Middle Division] Baxter, Jere. ''[http://www.archive.org/details/reportscasesarg171courgoog Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Tennessee]''. Nashville, Tennessee: Tavel, Eastman & Howell, 1879. Free digital copy.  
 
*[1874-1875, Middle Division] Baxter, Jere. ''[http://www.archive.org/details/reportscasesarg171courgoog Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Tennessee]''. Nashville, Tennessee: Tavel, Eastman & Howell, 1879. Free digital copy.  
 
*[1875-1876, Middle Division] Baxter, Jere. ''[http://www.archive.org/details/reportscasesarg144courgoog Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Tennessee.]'' Nashville, Tennessee: James Browne, 1879. Free digital copy.  
 
*[1875-1876, Middle Division] Baxter, Jere. ''[http://www.archive.org/details/reportscasesarg144courgoog Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Tennessee.]'' Nashville, Tennessee: James Browne, 1879. Free digital copy.  
 
*[1875-1877] Baxter, Jere. ''[http://www.archive.org/details/legalreporteram00tenngoog The Legal Reporter: A Monthly Publication of the Recent and Important Opinions Delivered by the Supreme Court of Tennessee.]'' Nashville, Tennessee: Legal Reporter Printing House, 1878. Free digital copy.  
 
*[1875-1877] Baxter, Jere. ''[http://www.archive.org/details/legalreporteram00tenngoog The Legal Reporter: A Monthly Publication of the Recent and Important Opinions Delivered by the Supreme Court of Tennessee.]'' Nashville, Tennessee: Legal Reporter Printing House, 1878. Free digital copy.  
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*[1876-1877] Baxter, Jere. ''[http://www.archive.org/details/reportscasesarg246courgoog Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Tennessee]''. Nashville, Tennessee: Tavel, Eastman,& Howell, 1881. Free digital copy.
 
*[1879 Eastern and Middle Division] Lea, Benjamin J. ''[http://www.archive.org/details/reportscasesarg158courgoog Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Tennessee]''. Nashville, Tennessee: Tavel, Eastman,& Howell, 1880. Free digital copy.  
 
*[1879 Eastern and Middle Division] Lea, Benjamin J. ''[http://www.archive.org/details/reportscasesarg158courgoog Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Tennessee]''. Nashville, Tennessee: Tavel, Eastman,& Howell, 1880. Free digital copy.  
 
*[1879 Middle Division, 1880 Western Division] Lea, Benjamin J. ''[http://www.archive.org/details/reportscasesarg173courgoog Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Tennessee]''. Nashville, Tennessee: Marshall & Bruce, 1881. Free digital copy.  
 
*[1879 Middle Division, 1880 Western Division] Lea, Benjamin J. ''[http://www.archive.org/details/reportscasesarg173courgoog Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Tennessee]''. Nashville, Tennessee: Marshall & Bruce, 1881. Free digital copy.  
*[1881 Eastern and Middle Divisions, 1882 Western Division] Lea, Benjamin J. ''[http://www.archive.org/details/reportscasesarg215courgoog Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Tennessee]''. Nashville, Tennessee: Albert B. Tavel , 1882. Free digital copy.
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*[1881 Eastern and Middle Divisions, 1882 Western Division] Lea, Benjamin J. ''[http://www.archive.org/details/reportscasesarg215courgoog Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Tennessee]''. Nashville, Tennessee: Albert B. Tavel , 1882. Free digital copy.  
 
*[1882 Western and Eastern Division] Lea, Benjamin J. ''[http://www.archive.org/details/reportscasesarg251courgoog Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Tennessee]''. Nashville, Tennessee: Albert B. Tavel , 1882. Free digital copy.  
 
*[1882 Western and Eastern Division] Lea, Benjamin J. ''[http://www.archive.org/details/reportscasesarg251courgoog Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Tennessee]''. Nashville, Tennessee: Albert B. Tavel , 1882. Free digital copy.  
 
*[1883 Western and Eastern Division] Lea, Benjamin J. ''[http://www.archive.org/details/reportscasesarg116courgoog Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Tennessee.]'' Nashville, Tennessee: Albert B. Tavel , 1883. Free digital copy.  
 
*[1883 Western and Eastern Division] Lea, Benjamin J. ''[http://www.archive.org/details/reportscasesarg116courgoog Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Tennessee.]'' Nashville, Tennessee: Albert B. Tavel , 1883. Free digital copy.  
 
*[1883 Western and Eastern Division] Lea, Benjamin J. Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Tennessee. Nashville, Tennessee: Albert B. Tavel , 1883. Free digital copy.  
 
*[1883 Western and Eastern Division] Lea, Benjamin J. Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Tennessee. Nashville, Tennessee: Albert B. Tavel , 1883. Free digital copy.  
*[188] Lea, Benjamin J. ''[http://www.archive.org/details/reportscasesarg237courgoog Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Tennessee]''. Nashville, Tennessee: Albert B. Tavel , 1886. Free digital copy.  
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*[1884] Lea, Benjamin J. ''[http://www.archive.org/details/reportscasesarg91courgoog Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Tennessee]''. Nashville, Tennessee: Albert B. Tavel , 1885. Free digital copy.
*[1885 Middle Division, 1886 Western Division] Lea, Benjamin J. ''[http://www.archive.org/details/reportscasesarg77courgoog Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Tennessee]''. Nashville, Tennessee: Albert B. Tavel , 1886. Free digital copy.
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*[1885] Lea, Benjamin J. ''[http://www.archive.org/details/reportscasesarg237courgoog Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Tennessee]''. Nashville, Tennessee: Albert B. Tavel , 1886. Free digital copy.  
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*[1885 Middle Division, 1886 Western Division] Lea, Benjamin J. ''[http://www.archive.org/details/reportscasesarg77courgoog Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Tennessee]''. Nashville, Tennessee: Albert B. Tavel , 1886. Free digital copy.
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*[1887 Eastern and Middle Divisions, 1888 Western Division] Pickle, George W. ''[http://www.archive.org/details/reportscasesarg03packgoog Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Tennessee.]'' Nashville, Tennessee: Marshall and Bruce, Stationers, 1888. Free digital copy.
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*[1888 Eastern and Middle Divisions, 1889 Western Division] Pickle, George W. ''[http://www.archive.org/details/reportscasesarg19packgoog Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Tennessee]''. Nashville, Tennessee: Marshall and Bruce, Stationers, 1889. Free digital copy.
  
 
== Acts of Tennessee  ==
 
== Acts of Tennessee  ==

Revision as of 23:42, 25 June 2010

United States  Gotoarrow.png  Tennessee  Gotoarrow.png  Court Records

If your ancestors were ever in court as defendants, plaintiffs, witnesses, or jurors, they may be in court records. They may have participated in cases of probate, naturalization, divorce, debt, adoption, guardianship, licenses, appointment to public office, taxes, civil and criminal lawsuits, property disputes, crimes, or any other matters brought before a court.

Court records can establish family relationships and places of residence. They often provide occupations, descriptions, and other family history information.

Tennessee courts having records of genealogical value are as follows:

1796–1809:  Courts of Common Pleas and Quarter Sessions were county courts with jurisdiction in minor matters: taxes, budget, probate, and minor civil and criminal cases.

1796–1809:  Superior Courts of Law and Equity covered specific regions of the state and handled larger civil and equity cases. They were the predecessors of the Circuit and Supreme Courts.

1809–1834:  Court of Pleas had jurisdiction over minor matters.

1809–present:  Circuit Courts are courts of law. They decide whether the parties involved in a case are guilty or innocent. They handle cases such as divorce, theft, murder, assault, gambling, and bastardy. After 1847 some Circuit Courts divided into: Criminal Courts for State cases, and Civil Courts for cases between individuals.

1809–present:  Supreme Court hears appeals from lower courts. Until 1834 they limited their scope to law cases. After that date they receive appeals of all cases.

1822–1834:  Chancery Division of Supreme Court handled larger equity cases.

1834–present:  County Courts handle business matters only, no disputes. They deal with probate, proving wills, apprentice bonds, tax adjustments, providing for paupers and “idiots,” and road crew appointments.

1834–present:  Chancery Courts handle any equity case, including estate, land, and claims against public officials. These courts handled slave ownership disputes.

Original court records are kept either in the county courthouse or in the State Archives. Some court records have been transcribed and published.

Contents

Tennessee Supreme Court Records

Many surviving Superior Court case files are at the Tennessee State Library and Archives and are accessible through a card file in the Manuscript Reading Room. Extracts of cases between 1791 and 1820 are in:

  • Sherrill, Charles A. Tennesseans in Court: 2,500 Early Settlers found in Supreme Court Reports, 1791–1820. Mt. Juliet, Tennessee: Charles A. Sherrill, 1999. (Family History Library book 976.8 P2s;)  Extracts contain names, places, the nature of the case being tried, and personal information included in the case. The volumes described by this book are at the Tennessee State Library and Archives.

Digitized Supreme Court Records

Acts of Tennessee

Since its territorial days, the Tennessee state legislature has passed acts affecting the lives of individual citizens. The acts may such things as divorces, legitimizing children, compensation for government service,and road and ferry authorization. The Tennessee State Library and Archives has a online index to names found in the acts for the years 1796-1850. Copies of acts can be ordered from the Tennessee State Library and Archives.

Other Resources

  • The Sourcebook of County Court Records: A Concise, Straightforward, and Informative Reference Manual to the Main and Secondary Repositories of American County Court House Records. Denver, Colorado: BRB Publications, 1992. (Family History Library book 973 P2sou.) Pages 436–48 describe Tennessee. Each chapter begins with a summary of the state court system, state vital records, and the state criminal record repository.
  • Rose, Christine. Courthouse Research for Family Historians: Your Guide to Genealogical Treasures. San Jose, California: CR Publications, 2004. This book guides researchers through the records and processes of courthouses in the United States.  

See the United States Court Records article for more detailed information on court records. Refer to Tennessee GuardianshipTennessee Probate Records, and Tennessee Naturalization and Citizenship  for information about specific court records.

Court records are listed in the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:

TENNESSEE - COURT RECORDS

TENNESSEE, [COUNTY] - COURT RECORDS


External Links