Tennessee Court Records

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== Acts of Tennessee  ==
 
== Acts of Tennessee  ==
  
Since its territorial days, the Tennessee state legislature has passed acts affecting the lives of individual citizens. The acts may include such things as divorces, legitimizing children, compensation for government service,and road and ferry authorization. The Tennessee State Library and Archives has a [http://www.tn.gov/tsla/history/misc/actsintro.htm online index to names found in the acts for the years 1796-1850.] [http://www.tennessee.gov/tsla/history/mailacts.htm Copies of acts can be ordered] from the Tennessee State Library and Archives.<br>
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Since its territorial days, the Tennessee state legislature has passed acts affecting the lives of individual citizens. The acts may include such things as divorces, legitimizing children, compensation for government service,and road and ferry authorization.&nbsp;[[Tennessee_State_Library_and_Archives|TSLA]] has a [http://www.tn.gov/tsla/history/misc/actsintro.htm online index to names found in the acts for the years 1796-1850.] [http://www.tennessee.gov/tsla/history/mailacts.htm Copies of acts can be ordered] from [[Tennessee_State_Library_and_Archives|TSLA]].<br>The following Tennessee Act books have been digitized and made available for free online, courtesy Google Books and Internet Archive:
  
 
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*''[http://books.google.com/books?id=tcQ4AAAAIAAJ Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1836]''. Nashville: S. Nye and Co., 1836.
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes15unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1838].''&nbsp;&nbsp;Nashville:&nbsp; S. Nye and Co, 1838.  
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*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes15unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1838].''&nbsp;&nbsp;Nashville:&nbsp; S. Nye and Co., 1838.  
 
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes25unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1839-1840].'' Nashville: J. Geo. Harris, 1840.  
 
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes25unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1839-1840].'' Nashville: J. Geo. Harris, 1840.  
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes06unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1841-1842]''. Murfreesboro: D. Cameron &amp; Co., 1842.
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*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes06unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1841-1842]''. Murfreesboro: D. Cameron &amp; Co., 1842.  
 
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes18unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1846].''&nbsp;Knoxville: &nbsp;James C. Moses, Register Office, 1846.  
 
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes18unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1846].''&nbsp;Knoxville: &nbsp;James C. Moses, Register Office, 1846.  
 
*[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes00unkngoog ''Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1847-1848'']. Jackson: Printed by Gates and Parker,&nbsp;1848.&nbsp;  
 
*[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes00unkngoog ''Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1847-1848'']. Jackson: Printed by Gates and Parker,&nbsp;1848.&nbsp;  
 
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes09unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1850].'' Nashville:&nbsp; McKennie and Watterson, 1850.  
 
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes09unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1850].'' Nashville:&nbsp; McKennie and Watterson, 1850.  
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes08unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1851-1852]''. Nashville: Bang &amp; McKennie, 1852.
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*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes08unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1851-1852]''. Nashville: Bang &amp; McKennie, 1852.  
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes19unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1853-1854]''. Nashville: McKennie &amp; Brown, 1854.
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*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes19unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1853-1854]''. Nashville: McKennie &amp; Brown, 1854.  
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes17unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1855-1856]''. Nashville: G.C. Torbett and Company, 1856.
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*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes17unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1855-1856]''. Nashville: G.C. Torbett and Company, 1856.  
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/publicactsstate01unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1857-1858]''. Nashville: G.C. Torbett and Company, 1858.
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*''[http://www.archive.org/details/publicactsstate01unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1857-1858]''. Nashville: G.C. Torbett and Company, 1858.  
 
*[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes02unkngoog ''Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1858'']. Nashville:&nbsp;G.C. Torbett and Company, 1858.&nbsp;  
 
*[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes02unkngoog ''Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1858'']. Nashville:&nbsp;G.C. Torbett and Company, 1858.&nbsp;  
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes14unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1859-1860]''. Nashville: Eastman &amp; Co., 1860.
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*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes14unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1859-1860]''. Nashville: Eastman &amp; Co., 1860.  
 
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes05unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1861].'' Nashville: J.G. Griffith and Co, 1861.  
 
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes05unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1861].'' Nashville: J.G. Griffith and Co, 1861.  
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/publicactsstate00unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1861]''. Nashville: Eastman &amp; Co., 1861.
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*''[http://www.archive.org/details/publicactsstate00unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1861]''. Nashville: Eastman &amp; Co., 1861.  
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/publicactsstate00tenngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1861-1862]''. Nashville: Griffith, Camp &amp; Co., 1862.
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*''[http://www.archive.org/details/publicactsstate00tenngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1861-1862]''. Nashville: Griffith, Camp &amp; Co., 1862.  
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes03unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1865]''. Nashville: S.C. Mercer, 1865.
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*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes03unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1865]''. Nashville: S.C. Mercer, 1865.  
 
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes26unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1865-1866.]''&nbsp;Nashville: S.C.&nbsp;Mercer, 1866.  
 
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes26unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1865-1866.]''&nbsp;Nashville: S.C.&nbsp;Mercer, 1866.  
 
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes33unkngoog Acts and Resolutions of the State of Tennessee, July 1866]''. Nashville: S.C. Mercer, 1866.  
 
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes33unkngoog Acts and Resolutions of the State of Tennessee, July 1866]''. Nashville: S.C. Mercer, 1866.  
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes07unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1866-1867].'' Nashville: S.C. Mercer, 1866.
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*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes07unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1866-1867].'' Nashville: S.C. Mercer, 1866.  
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes32tenngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1867-1868]''. Nashville: S.C.&nbsp;Mercer, 1868.
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*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes32tenngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1867-1868]''. Nashville: S.C.&nbsp;Mercer, 1868.  
 
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes35unkngoog Acts and Resolutions of the State of Tennessee, Extra Session, 1868]''. Nashville: S.C. Mercer, 1868.  
 
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes35unkngoog Acts and Resolutions of the State of Tennessee, Extra Session, 1868]''. Nashville: S.C. Mercer, 1868.  
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes11unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1868-1869]''. Nashville:&nbsp;S.C.&nbsp;Mercer, 1869.
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*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes11unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1868-1869]''. Nashville:&nbsp;S.C.&nbsp;Mercer, 1869.  
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes21unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1869-1870]''. Nashville: Jones, Purvis &amp; Co., 1870.
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*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes21unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1869-1870]''. Nashville: Jones, Purvis &amp; Co., 1870.  
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes23unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1870-1871]''. Nashville: Jones, Purvis &amp; Co., 1871.
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*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes23unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1870-1871]''. Nashville: Jones, Purvis &amp; Co., 1871.  
 
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes16unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1871]''. Nashville: Jones, Purvis &amp; Co., 1871.  
 
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes16unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1871]''. Nashville: Jones, Purvis &amp; Co., 1871.  
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes12unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1873]''. Nashville: Jones, Purvis &amp; Co., 1873.
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*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes12unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1873]''. Nashville: Jones, Purvis &amp; Co., 1873.  
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes20unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1875]''. Nashville: Tavel, Eastman &amp; Howell, 1875.
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*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes20unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1875]''. Nashville: Tavel, Eastman &amp; Howell, 1875.  
 
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes32unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1877]''. Nashville: Tavel, Eastman &amp; Howell, 1877.  
 
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes32unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1877]''. Nashville: Tavel, Eastman &amp; Howell, 1877.  
 
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes27unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1879]''. Nashville: Tavel, Eastman &amp; Howell, 1880.  
 
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes27unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1879]''. Nashville: Tavel, Eastman &amp; Howell, 1880.  
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes22unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1881]''. Nashville: Tavel &amp; Howell, 1881.
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*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes22unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1881]''. Nashville: Tavel &amp; Howell, 1881.  
 
*[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes01unkngoog ''Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1882'']. Nashville: Albert B. Tavel, 1882.  
 
*[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes01unkngoog ''Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1882'']. Nashville: Albert B. Tavel, 1882.  
 
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes28unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1885].'' Nashville: Albert B. Tavel, 1885.  
 
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes28unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1885].'' Nashville: Albert B. Tavel, 1885.  
 
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes34unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, Extraordinary Session, 1885]''. Nashville:&nbsp;Marshall &amp; Bruce, 1885.  
 
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes34unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, Extraordinary Session, 1885]''. Nashville:&nbsp;Marshall &amp; Bruce, 1885.  
 
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes31unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1887]''. Nashville: Marshall &amp; Bruce, 1887.  
 
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes31unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1887]''. Nashville: Marshall &amp; Bruce, 1887.  
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes04unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1889]''. Nashville: Marshall &amp; Bruce, 1889.
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*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes04unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1889]''. Nashville: Marshall &amp; Bruce, 1889.  
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes13unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1891]''. Nashville: Albert B. Tavel, 1891.
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*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes13unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1891]''. Nashville: Albert B. Tavel, 1891.  
 
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes29unkngoog Acts and Resolutions of the State of Tennessee, 1897]''. Nashville: Franc. M. Paul, 1897.  
 
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes29unkngoog Acts and Resolutions of the State of Tennessee, 1897]''. Nashville: Franc. M. Paul, 1897.  
*''[http://books.google.com/books?id=3bo4AAAAIAAJ Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1898]''. Nashville:&nbsp;Marshall &amp; Bruce Co., 1898.
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*''[http://books.google.com/books?id=3bo4AAAAIAAJ Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1898]''. Nashville:&nbsp;Marshall &amp; Bruce Co., 1898.  
*''[http://books.google.com/books?id=FfQxAAAAIAAJ Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1901]''. Nashville: Brandon Printing Company, 1901.
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*''[http://books.google.com/books?id=FfQxAAAAIAAJ Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1901]''. Nashville: Brandon Printing Company, 1901.  
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes24unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1905]''. Nashville: Brandon Printing Company, 1905.
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*''[http://www.archive.org/details/actsstatetennes24unkngoog Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1905]''. Nashville: Brandon Printing Company, 1905.  
*''[http://books.google.com/books?id=sqw4AAAAIAAJ Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1909]''. Nashville: McQuiddy Printing Company, 1909.
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*''[http://books.google.com/books?id=sqw4AAAAIAAJ Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1909]''. Nashville: McQuiddy Printing Company, 1909.  
 
*[http://www.archive.org/details/publicactsstate02unkngoog ''Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1911''].&nbsp;Nashville: McQuiddy&nbsp;Printing Company, 1911.  
 
*[http://www.archive.org/details/publicactsstate02unkngoog ''Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1911''].&nbsp;Nashville: McQuiddy&nbsp;Printing Company, 1911.  
 
*[http://www.archive.org/stream/publicactsstate01tenngoog#page/n6/mode/1up ''Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1913'']. Nashville:&nbsp;McQuiddy Printing Company, 1913. [Mislabeled 1911 at Internet Archive.]
 
*[http://www.archive.org/stream/publicactsstate01tenngoog#page/n6/mode/1up ''Acts of the State of Tennessee, 1913'']. Nashville:&nbsp;McQuiddy Printing Company, 1913. [Mislabeled 1911 at Internet Archive.]
  
 
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<br>
  
 
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/reportscasesarg00flipgoog Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit and District Courts of the United States, for the Sixth Judicial Circuit ]. ''Chicago: Callaghan and Co., 1882.&nbsp; Free digital copy.
 
*''[http://www.archive.org/details/reportscasesarg00flipgoog Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit and District Courts of the United States, for the Sixth Judicial Circuit ]. ''Chicago: Callaghan and Co., 1882.&nbsp; Free digital copy.

Revision as of 19:22, 3 August 2010

United States  Gotoarrow.png  Tennessee  Gotoarrow.png  Court Records
Hamblen County, Tennessee Courthouse.

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
When accessing these records online, view the book as a PDF file in Google Books.  This will allow you to use the search feature to look for indivdual names or localities found within each court case.

Acts of Tennessee

Since its territorial days, the Tennessee state legislature has passed acts affecting the lives of individual citizens. The acts may include such things as divorces, legitimizing children, compensation for government service,and road and ferry authorization. TSLA has a online index to names found in the acts for the years 1796-1850. Copies of acts can be ordered from TSLA.
The following Tennessee Act books have been digitized and made available for free online, courtesy Google Books and Internet Archive:


Other Resources

  • 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.
  • 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.

The following research guide, prepared by a Certified Genealogist, includes a useful guide for Tennessee court records:

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. See the Tennessee Archives and Libraries article for facilities with regional collections which might include 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