Tennessee Death Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.

Contents

Record Description

This collection includes a general index (with some volumes individually indexed) and images. The collection consists of Death records, 1914-1950; and Death certificates, 1951-1955.

The state of Tennessee began recording deaths in 1914. 

This collection covers the years 1914 to 1955. 

Death records were created to track public health needs and concerns.

The information in the record is generally reliable. However, the accuracy depends upon the reliability of the informant.

Citation For This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

Tennessee Division of Vital Records. Death Records,Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content

The following information is usually found in the index:

Tennessee Death Records 1915-1955 (08-0460) DGS 004181493 00010.jpg
  • Name
  • County
  • Age (1914 only)
  • Date of Death (starting in 1915)
  • Record Number (1914 only)
  • Volume and Page Numbers (starting in 1915)

The following information is usually found In the death record:

  • Name and age of deceased and date of death
  • Gender, race and marital status of deceased
  • Date and place of birth
  • Town, county and state where death occurred
  • Name of hospital or institution where death occurred
  • Cause of death
  • Occupation and residence of deceased
  • Length of stay in current locality
  • Names of parents, including maiden name of mother
  • Burial information
  • Name of informant, usually a spouse or relative
  • Funeral Home

How To Use This Record

When searching the index it is helpful to know the following:

  • The place where the death occurred
  • The name of the person at the time of death
  • The approximate death date

Browse the Records

To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒Select the "DGS Film Number" which takes you to the images.

Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.

Search the Records

Use the information from the index to obtain a copy of the original death certificate as explained on the Web site. Remember that these indexes may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

Use the locator information found in the index (such as page, entry, or certificate number) to locate your ancestor in the death records. Some on-line indexes, such as indexes to FamilySearch Historical Records, will take you directly to an image. Compare the information in the death record to what you already know about your ancestor to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.

When you have located your ancestor’s death record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family.

For example:

  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find or verify their birth records and parents' names.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
  • Use the residence and names of the parents (if the deceased is a child) to locate church and land records.
  • Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
  • Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • The name of the officiator is a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county.
  • The name of the undertaker or mortuary could lead you to funeral and cemetery records which often include the names and residences of other family members.
  • Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the deceased who may have died or been buried in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.

When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.

  • If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, try the following:
  • Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
  • Check for a different index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.

Keep in mind:

  • The information in these records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800s.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record.

For a summary of this information see the wiki article United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records).

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Related Websites

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.


Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection

"Tennessee, Death Records, 1914-1955."  database and images. FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org https: accessed 7 April 2011).  Thomas Mastin Rizer, 10 February 1935; citing Death Records, FHL microfilm 1,876,623; Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, Tennessee. From the Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville. FHL microfilm, 577 rolls, Family History Library Salt Lake City, Utah.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections


 

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