How to Find Tennessee Marriage Records
Finding Tennessee Marriage Records
- For most counties, the county clerk began recording marriages at the time of the county's creation.
- 20 Tennessee counties did not officially begin recording marriages in registers until a state law passed mandating the practice in 1838. Those counties include: Anderson, Benton, Campbell, Cannon, Carroll, Claiborne, Fayette, Franklin, Henry, Johnson, Lauderdale, Lincoln, Madison, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe, Smith, Stewart, Tipton, and Weakley. Before 1838, use other records for marriage information.
|More marriage information is usually found on the marriage license application or the marriage register. Less information is found on the marriage certificate.|
Next Step: When did the marriage occur?
Marriages Before 1780
- For most counties, marriage records were recorded when the county was created
- Before that time, you may find marriage information in other records.
|1. Look first in||2. Then search|
| Church Records
Marriages 1780 to Present
To locate your ancestor's marriage record, search the following databases. Not all marriages for all counties and dates are listed here. If you cannot locate a marriage, try using the suggestions under the section Obtain the Record or search other records with marriage information.
|Marriage Indexes and Digital Images|
|Database Name - Index and Image||Link or links to access database||# of records|
|Ancestry, Marriages, 1780-2002||Free using Ancestryinstitution at FamilySearch Centers||$, Use your own Ancestry subscription||6,844,294|
|FamilySearch, Marriages, 1790-1950||On FamilySearch; free; INCOMPLETE for all counties and years||1,566,937|
|If you do not locate the marriage in the above, try:|
|Database Name-Index Only||Link or links to access database||# of records|
|FamilySearch, Marriage Index, 1780-2002||On FamilySearch; free; INCOMPLETE for all counties and years||3,331,399|
|FamilySearch, Marriage Index, 1796-1950||On FamilySearch; free; INCOMPLETE for all counties and years||1,674,368|
|Ancestry, Marriages, before 1825||Free using Ancestryinstitution at FamilySearch Centers||$, Use your own Ancestry subscription||48,666|
|Ancestry, Marriages, 1851-1900||Free using Ancestryinstitution at FamilySearch Centers||$, Use your own Ancestry subscription||292,425|
|Tennessee, Marriage Index, 1980-2009||On Shelby County Register of Deeds; free; statewide||undisclosed|
|Can't access Ancestry?||Visit your local Family History Center or your local public library.|
|No marriage record for your ancestor?|
Obtain the Record
If the image of the marriage record was not found in the above databases, use the following:
|When ordering Tennessee marriage records:|
For marriages after 1865, ask for the marriage license or the marriage register not the marriage certificate. The license or register usually contains more information.
PART A: You know the exact county and approximate/exact date of marriage
| With exact place and approximate/exact date of marriage, |
order a copy from one of the following:
|Option A:||Marriage Records on Microfilm||Some county marriage records may be available on microfilm at your local Family Search Center. If you know the county and approximate date where the marriage took place, use the FamilySearch Catalog to see what is available.|
| Option B:
||Order from the County or City||
Order the marriage record for a fee from the county clerk's offices in the county the marriage took place.
PART B: You don't know the exact date or place of marriage
- Learn more about U.S. marriage records
- How to find U.S. birth records
- How to find U.S. marriage records
- How to find U.S. death records
- United States Record Selection Table
- United States, How to Use Marriage Records
- United States Marriage Records
- United States Vital Records
- U.S. Vital Records Overview
- Locating United States Vital Records
- Michigan Marriage Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)/Known Issues