Tennessee Death Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Tennessee Death Records, 1914-1955 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Tennessee, United States
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Flag of Tennessee
US Locator Tennessee.png
Location of Tennessee
Record Description
Record Type Death
Collection years 1914-1955
Archive


What is in the Collection?

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

Collection Content

The following information is usually found in the index:

  • 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 Do I Search the Collection?

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

Search the Collection

To search the collection by name:
Fill in the requested information on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the individuals in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor. Keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names, or variations of their name, throughout their life.
  • If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
  • Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

What Do I Do Next?

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.
  • Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
  • The name of the officiator may be 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.
  • 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.

What If I Can't Find Who I'm Looking For?

  • 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.


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 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

How You Can Contribute

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 this Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation:

"Tennessee, Death Records, 1914-1955." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing Division of Vital Records. State Library and Archives, Nashville.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for Tennessee, Death Records, 1914-1955.
Image Citation
The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Tennessee, Death Records, 1914-1955.