Difference between revisions of "Dyer County, Tennessee Genealogy"

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== County Courthouse  ==
== County Courthouse  ==
[http://www.dicksoncountytn.gov/ Dyer County Courthouse]<br>PO Box 1360<br>Dyersburg, TN 38025-1360<br>Phone: 731.286.7814&nbsp;<br><br>County&nbsp;Clerk has marriage and probate records from 1850, <br>divorce and court records from 1927 and funeral records<br>1914-1956; Register of Deeds has land records <ref name="HBG">''Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America'', 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Dyer County, Tennessee page 639, {WorldCat|50140092|disp=At various libraries (WorldCat)}}; {{FHL|1049485|item|disp=FHL Book 973 D27e 2002}}.</ref>  
[http://www.dicksoncountytn.gov/ Dyer County Courthouse]<br>PO Box 1360<br>Dyersburg, TN 38025-1360<br>Phone: 731.286.7814<br><br>County Clerk has marriage and probate records from 1850,divorce and court records from 1927 and funeral records 1914-1956. <br>Register of Deeds has land records. <ref name="HBG">''Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America'', 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Dyer County, Tennessee page 639, {{WorldCat|50140092|disp=At various libraries (WorldCat)}}; {{FHL|1049485|item|disp=FHL Book 973 D27e 2002}}.</ref>  
[[Image:{{TNDyercourthouse}}]]'''Dyer County Courthouse'''<br>P.O. Box 1360<br>115 Market Street<br>Dyersburg, Tennessee 38025-1360<br>Phone: 1-731-286-7814  
[[Image:{{TNDyercourthouse}}]]'''Dyer County Courthouse'''<br>P.O. Box 1360<br>115 Market Street<br>Dyersburg, Tennessee 38025-1360<br>Phone: 1-731-286-7814  
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*Register of Deeds has Land records<br>Phone: 1-731-286-7814
*Register of Deeds has Land records<br>Phone: 1-731-286-7814
'''Hours''':<br>Mon.-Fri. 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.<br>Last Saturday of the month, 8:30 a.m.-noon  
'''Hours''':<br>Mon.-Fri. 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.<br>Last Saturday of the month, 8:30 a.m.-noon
== History  ==
== History  ==

Revision as of 20:53, 17 November 2012

United States  Gotoarrow.png  Tennessee  Gotoarrow.png  Dyer County

Dyer County, Tennessee genealogy and family history research page. Guide to Dyer County (established 1823) genealogy, history, and courthouse sources including birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, wills, deeds and land records, Civil War records, Revolutionary War records, family histories, cemeteries, churches, tax records, newspapers, and obituaries.

Dyer County, Tennessee
Boundary map of Dyer County, Tennessee
Map of Tennessee highlighting Dyer County
Location in the state of Tennessee
Map of the U.S. highlighting Tennessee
Location of Tennessee in the U.S.
Founded: October 16, 1823
County Seat Dyersburg
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Quick Dates

Dyer County's civil records start the following years:[1]

Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1909 1860  1881  1830 1822  1853 

County Courthouse

Dyer County Courthouse
PO Box 1360
Dyersburg, TN 38025-1360
Phone: 731.286.7814

County Clerk has marriage and probate records from 1850,divorce and court records from 1927 and funeral records 1914-1956.
Register of Deeds has land records. [2]

Dyer County Courthouse, Dyersburg, Tenn.
Dyer County Courthouse
P.O. Box 1360
115 Market Street
Dyersburg, Tennessee 38025-1360
Phone: 1-731-286-7814
  • County Clerk has marriage, probate, court and funeral records
    Phone: 1-731-286-7818
  • Register of Deeds has Land records
    Phone: 1-731-286-7814

Mon.-Fri. 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Last Saturday of the month, 8:30 a.m.-noon


West Tennessee county.

The county is named after "Tennessee state legislator Robert Henry Dyer."[3]

Parent County

1823--Dyer County was created 16 October 1823 from Chickasaw Indian Lands.
County seat: Dyersburg[4]

County Pronunciation

  1. Hear it spoken[5] (female)
  2. Hear it spoken[6] (male)

Boundary Changes

"Rotating Formation Tennessee County Boundary Maps" (1777-1985) may be viewed for free at the My Tennessee Genealogy website. They rely on AniMap 3.0 software.

Record Loss

1864 -- Courthouse burned and many records were damaged.

  • Lost marriages: 1823 to 1859
  • Lost probate: 1823 to 1853

For further information on researching in burned counties, see the following:

Places / Localities

Populated Places

Cities and Towns:

Big Boy Junction
Cross Roads
Good Hope
Locust Grove
Middle City
Poplar Ridge
Rock Springs
South Dyersburg
South Fork
Tiger Tail

Neighboring Counties


Getting Started

Use the free Search for Surnames at Mountain Press's website to quickly search a variety of published Dyer County biography and tax records. To determine which books are being searched, or to search each publication's index individually, click here. You are now equipped with a checklist of books to pull off the shelves at a genealogy library, or a wish list for your personal book collection.

Research Guides

African American

United States African Americans Gotoarrow.png Tennessee African Americans


  • Find A Grave can be searched by the name of a person or family to find where a person is buried. Usually gives birth and death dates often with a picture of the tombstone. May give obituaries, names of family members and links to their information in Find A Grave.


1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 federal population censuses of Dyer County are available online. For tips on accessing census records online, see Tennessee Census. If you're having trouble finding your ancestors in online indexes, try checking printed indexes. Created by local experts familiar with the area's families, these indexes are often transcribed more accurately than nationwide online indexes.

See Tennessee Population Schedule Indexes: Fiche, Film, or Book for more information about statewide printed indexes.

See Dyer County, TN census assignments, including links to transcribed files. [The USGenWeb Census Project®]

1840 Revolutionary War Pensioners


  • Carpenter, Mrs. V.K. Seventh census of the United States, 1850; Dyer County, Tennessee, free population schedules Huntsville, Arkansas : Century Enterprises, Genealogical SErvices, 1969 FHL US/CAN book 976.815 X2


  • Felldin, Jeanne Robey and Tucker, Charlotte Magee 1860 United States census, Dyer County, Tennessee, surname index Tomball, Texas : Genealogical Publications, c1976 FHL US/CAN book 976.8 A1


  • Sistler, Samuel 1880 census, Dyer County, Tennessee Nashville, Tennessee : Byron Sistler and Associates, 2002 FHL US/CAN book 976.815 X2

1890 - Lost, but substitutes are available:

  • Reed, Sue S. Enumeration of Male Inhabitants of Twenty-one Years of Age and Upward, Citizens of Tennessee, January 1, 1891, as Provided for by an Act of General Assembly of Tennessee, Passed January 15, 1891, and Approved January 22, 1891. 8 vols. Houston, Texas: S.S. Reed, 1989. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 X2r v. 3 1891. [Dyer County is included in Vol. 3.]
  • Sistler, Byron H. and Barbara Sistler. 1890 Civil War Veterans Census, Tennessee. Evanston, Ill.: Byron Sister and Associates, 1978. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 X2s 1890.


  • If the records you need are not found in the Family History Library collection, contact the church(es) in the area where your ancestor lived.  Two sites that give information about churches in Dyer County are:
- List of Dyer County churches with addresses and phone numbers (Yellowbook)
- List of Dyer County churches (TN HomeTownLocator)

  • In 1936, a helpful guide to early Dyer County church records was published by the Works Project Administration. [7]Use this guide to locate which church records exist and where they were housed in 1936. The Tennessee State Library and Archives has filmed some of these records. To locate which records are available at the TSLA, go to the appropriate "county fact sheet" on the TSLA Web site and scroll down to "selected manuscript material". All filmed church records at the TSLA for Dyer County are listed. Many of these filmed records are also available at the Family History Library.

  • Tennessee Diaries, Memoirs and Church Records in the Manuscript Division, Tennessee State Library and Archives: Listed by County. Nashville, Tenn.: Manuscript Division, 1965. Digital versions of this guide are available at Ancestry ($); and Heritage Quest Online ($).



More than half a dozen genealogies have been published about Dyer County, Tennessee Genealogy families. To view a list, visit Dyer County, Tennessee Genealogy.


Dyer County Register of Deeds has Land Records from 1823 and is located at Courthouse Square, P.O. Box 1360, Dyersburg, Tennessee 38025-1360; Telephone: (731) 286-7814. Land and property records include transfer of real estate or personal property, mortgages, leases, surveys, and entries

The Family History Library has microfilm copies of deed books 1824-1882 with indexes 1822-1915, land survey books 1827-1860, and survey entries 1820-1911.

Law and Legislation

  • Tennessee State Library and Archives, Acts of Tennessee 1796-1850: Index to Names. January 25, 2005. [In addition to creating new laws, legislative acts were often required to obtain a divorce, grant legitimacy to a child, or for appointments to or grant payments for public service.] The TSLA has created an index to names that appear in these acts covering the years 1796 to 1850. To read more about this valuable resource Click here. The searchable index is available at the TSLA; another version is available at World Vital Records.

Local Histories



Revolutionary War

The following Dyer County Revolutionary War records are available online through TNGenWeb:

Additional resources include:

War of 1812

There were no War of 1812 pensioners or widows of pensioners living in Dyer County on 2 January 1883.[8]

Civil War

Civil War service men from Dyer County served in various regiments. Men often joined a regiment or a company (within a regiment)that originated in their county. Listed below are the military units that were formed in or had many men from Dyer County.

Confederate Soldiers

Additional sources for Civil War soldiers from Dyer County:


Many Tennessee newspapers are filmed and available at the TSLA. Most of these newspapers may be accessed by interlibrary loan to libraries within Tennessee, although there are some newspapers which are not available in or outside of Tennessee. For further information regarding interlibrary loan policies and newspapers not available for interlibrary loan click here. For a list of newspapers available at the archives for Dyer County click on the following cities or towns:


  • Miller, Alan N. West Tennessee's Forgotten Children: Apprentices from 1821 to 1889. Baltimore, Md.: Printed for Clearfield Company, Inc., by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 2006. FHL US/CAN 976.8 U2man. Purchase at Genealogical.com. [Includes Dyer County.]


Tap into the minds of local experts. Editors of genealogical periodicals publish unique sources that researchers who are new to their area would not likely discover. This type of material may be found in local, regional, or statewide genealogical society journals. The following periodicals cover this county:

Ansearchin' News
Genealogical articles with abstracts of Dyer County, Tennessee Genealogy records have been published in Ansearchin' News, the quarterly magazine of the Tennessee Genealogical Society. To view a list of these articles, visit their county index. To read digitized versions of the first 36 years of articles (Vols. 1-36), browse their archive or conduct a surname search. The Family History Library has a complete collection of the Ansearchin' News quarterly FHL Book 976.8 B2a.

Family Findings
Genealogical articles with abstracts of Dyer County, Tennessee records have been published in Family Findings, the quarterly of the Mid-West Tennessee Genealogical Society (42+ vols.). The Family History Library has most issues of this quarterly FHL US/CAN 976.8 B2f.
Tables of contents for some volumes are available online, courtesy: TNGenWeb Project:
Many articles from this publication have been reproduced on the TNGenWeb Project website, try this specialized Google search.
West Tennessee Historical Society Papers
Family History Library has Volumes 1 - 16 and 30 FHL US/CAN Book 976.81 B5w. The West Tennessee Historical Society Papers are indexed in PERiodical Source Index (PERSI).
To view Table of Contents and complete articles from 1947 - 2005 see Shelby County Register of Deeds


Learn if your Dyer County, Tennessee Genealogy ancestors went to prison!


The County Court has responsibility for Dyer County probate records.

FamilySearch has placed scans of the following records online in the Tennessee, Probate Court Books, 1795-1927 collection. These are browse-only collections. Handwritten indexes may be found at the front or back of some volumes:

  • Wills, 1853-1893 (Vol. A)

The following Dyer County probate records have been indexed:

  • [1853-1893] Lambert, Agnes and Mary N. Gilmore, transcribers for Works Progress Administration. Dyer County, Tennessee Wills. Nashville, Tennessee: Byron Sistler & Assoc., 1998. (FHL book 976.815 P2L v. 1.)
  • [1853-1861] Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Index to Tennessee Wills & Administrations 1779-1861. Nashville, Tenn. Byron Sistler & Associates, Inc., 1990. FHL US/CAN 976.8 P22s. [Includes an index to this county's wills.]
  • USGenWeb's Dyer County page has links to several transcribed wills.


The original Dyer County Tax Books 1862, 1873-1884 were microfilmed by the TSLA in 1970. FHL copy: FHL US/CAN Film 833249.

The following Dyer County tax records have been abstracted:[9]

  • [1836] Tatum, Ausborn C. "Dyer County, Tennessee 1836 Tax List," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 29, No. 4 (Winter 1982):177-180. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 B2a v. 29-30 (1982-1983); free digital version at society's website. For further access, see Periodicals.
  • [1836] Tax List, 1836, Tennessee Genealogy and History. Signal Mountain TN: Aug 1997. Vol. 1 Iss. 2-3.
  • [1836] Douthat, James L. 1836 Dyer County, Tennessee Civil Districts and Tax Listing. Signal Mountain, Tenn.: Mountain Press, 2003. FHL US/CAN Book 976.815 R4d; online: free surname index and purchase details.
  • [1836] Alsup, Samuel. "1836 Tax Rolls, Dyer Co., TN," available online, courtesy: TNGenWeb.
  • [1859] Appling, Lynn Pierce. "Dyer County Tax Sales 1859," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 45, No. 1 (Spring 1998):36-38. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 B2a v. 45-46 (1998-1999). For access, see Periodicals.

Vital Records


Marriages were not officially recorded in Dyer County until 1838, when a law was passed mandating the practice.[10] The following publication, based on early newspapers, helps to alleviate this genealogical obstacle:

  • Lucas, Silas Emmett. Marriages from Early Tennessee Newspapers 1794-1851. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1978. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 V2L.

The following Dyer County marriage records have been abstracted and/or indexed:

  • [1860-1879] Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Early West Tennessee Marriages. 2 vols. Nashville, Tenn.: B. Sistler & Associates, 1989. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 V2sb v. 1 ff. [Indexes names of brides and grooms, and marriage dates for weddings in this county for the specified years.]
  • [1860-1880] Historical Records Project Marriage records, 1860-1880, Dyer County, Tennessee Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1939. FHL US/CAN 24642 item 3
  • [1860-1969] Dyer County (Tennessee) County Court Clerk Marriages, 1860-1969 Dyersburg, Tennessee : State Library and Archives, 1970. FHL US/CAN Film 833217-229 and 1011421-424
  • Tennessee County Marriages, 1790-1950 - covers all counties in Tennessee.
  • Many county marriage records are indexed with images at Ancestry's Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002 ($).  Be aware that this index is not complete for all counties.

In 1940 and 1941, W.P.A. workers pinpointed the location of Dyer County divorce papers in diverse manuscript collections, see:

  • W.P.A. Guide to Public Vital Statistics in Tennessee. Nashville, Tenn.: The Tennessee Historical Records Survey, 1941. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 A3gp.

For deaths of Methodists in Dyer County between the 1830s and the 1920s, try:

Societies and Libraries

Dyer County Historical Society
120B McGaughey Street E.
Dyersburg, TN 38024
Phone: 1-731-286-7829
Hamilton Parks Public Library
74 Parks Plaza
Trimble, TN 38259
Phone: 1-731-297-3601
E-mail: trimblelibrary@hotmail.com
Tues., Thurs. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sat. 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Mciver's Grant Public Library
204 N Mill Ave
Dyerburg, TN 38024
Phone: 731-285-5032
E-mail: library38024@yahoo.com
Hours: Mon. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Tues.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Newbern City Library
220 E Main St
Newbern, TN 38059
Phone: 1-731-627-3153
E-mail: newber_c@bellsouth.net
Mon. 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Tues.-Sat. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

West Tennessee Heritage Study Center
Paul Meek Library
University of Tennessee at Martin
Phone: 1-731-881-7060
Hours vary by semester
The Heritage Study Center holds a variety of genealogical resources including materials relating to the following counties in Tennessee: Benton, Carroll, Chester, Crockett, Decatur, Dyer, Fayette, Gibson, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson, Henry, Houston, Humphreys, Lake, Lauderdale, Madison, McNairy, Obion, Perry, Shelby, Stewart, Tipton, Wayne, Weakley and Carlisle, Fulton, and Hickman counties in Kentucky.
West Tennessee Historical Society
P.O. Box 111046
Memphis, TN 38111
Phone: 901-475-6608
E-mail: efrank@memphis.edu

Family History Centers

Web Sites

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Dyer County, Tennessee


  1. Guide to Public Vital Statistics in Tennessee. Nashville, Tenn.: The Tennessee Historical Records Survey (W.P.A.), 1941; "Earliest County Records," Tennessee State Library and Archives.
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Dyer County, Tennessee page 639, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. "List of counties in Tennessee," Wikipedia.
  4. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002), 639. (FHL Collection Ref Book 973 D27e 2002). WorldCat entry.
  5. Voice of Lynnae Weller, Kingsport, Tenn. (2010).
  6. Voice of Gene Black, FamilySearch employee, former resident of Bristol, Tenn. (2010).
  7. WPA. Guide to Church Vital Statistics in Tennessee. Nashville: Tennessee State Planning Commission, 1942. FHL 976.8 K23w
  8. Hermioned D. Embry, "War of 1812 - Tennessee Pensioners on List - January 2, 1883," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 7, No. 2 (Apr. 1960):40-45. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 B2a v. 7 (1960); digital version at journal website. [Discussion about Dyer County appears on page 43.]
  9. The Heritage Quest Online version of PERSI aided in the compilation of this list.
  10. Gale Williams Bamman, C.G., "Research in Tennessee," National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 81, No. 2 (June 1993):105. FHL US/CAN Book 973 B2ng v. 81 (1993)