Difference between revisions of "Lewis County, Tennessee Genealogy"

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==== Boundary Changes  ====
==== Boundary Changes  ====
[http://www.mytennesseegenealogy.com/tn-maps.html "Rotating Formation Tennessee County Boundary Maps"] (1777-1985) may be viewed for free at the My Tennessee Genealogy website. They rely on [http://www.goldbug.com/store/animap3.html AniMap 3.0] software.
==== Record Loss  ====
==== Record Loss  ====

Revision as of 14:41, 8 September 2010

United States  Gotoarrow.png  Tennessee  Gotoarrow.png  Lewis County

Middle Tennessee county. Established 1843.

Location of Lewis County, Tennessee
Lewis County Boundary Map

Quick Dates

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

Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1908 1847 1908 1850 1844 1846

County Courthouse

Lewis County Courthouse, Hohenwald, Tenn. Courtesy: Collection: County Court Houses, Flickr by Jimmy Emerson. Used by permission.

Lewis County Courthouse
110 North Park Street
Hohenwald, TN 38462
Phone: 1-931-796-3734

Lewis County Clerk
Marriage, probate and court records
110 N. Park, Room 105
Hohenwald, TN 38462
Phone: 1-931-796-2200

Lewis County Register of Deeds
Land records
110 N. Park, Room 104
Phone: 1-931-796-2255

Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.


Explorer Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809)

The county is named after Explorer Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809).[2]

Parent County

1843--Lewis County was created 21 December 1843 from Hickman, Maury, Lawrence, and Wayne Counties.
County seat: Hohenwald [3]

County Pronunciation

Hear it spoken[4]

Did we get the accent right? If not, contact Nathan W. Murphy, murphynw@familysearch.org.

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

  • Lost census: 1890
  • Lost marriage records: 1844 to November 1847
  • Lost probate records: 1844 to 1845

Although these are not burned records, applying strategies used for burned counties may aid in compensating for their loss. For further information on researching in burned counties, see the following:


Populated Places

Aethra Hohenwald Metal Ford Riverside
Allens Creek (hist.) Howard (hist.) Nancy (hist.) Ruppertown
Bachelder Kimmins Napier Salem
Blondy Kitchens Newberg (hist.) Shubert
Buffalo Valley Lomax Crossroads Oak Grove Springer Ridge (hist.)
Flat Rock (hist.) Lucerne (hist.) Palestine (hist.) Theodore
Gordonsburg McLean (hist.) Providence Voorhies

Neighboring Counties


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.


1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 federal population censuses of Lewis 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 Lewis County, TN census assignments, including links to transcribed files. [The USGenWeb Census Project®]


  • Lightfoot, Marise P. and Evelyn B. Shackelford. Maury County Neighbors : Records of Giles, Lewis and Marshall Counties, Tennessee.Mt. Pleasant, Tennessee : s.n., 1967. FHL 976.8 V22Ls


  • Sistler, Byron. 1880 Census Lewis County, Tennessee.Nashville, Tennessee : Byron Sistler & Associates, 1998. FHL 976.8432 X2s 1880

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. 8 1891. [Lewis County is included in Vol. 8.]
  • 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.




DNA Double Helix.png
DNA has been collected from men claiming descent from the following Lewis County residents. Attempts have not been made to verify the lineages of those tested.

Family Histories

It is anticipated that this bibliography will eventually identify all known family histories published about residents of this county. Use this list to:

  • Locate publications about direct ancestors
  • Find the most updated accounts of an ancestor's family
  • Identify publications, to quote Elizabeth Shown Mills, about an ancestor's "FAN Club" [Friends, Associates, and Neighbors]


As of August 2010, a query for persons born in Lewis, Tennessee at World Connect, results in more than 7,000 entries.



  • Lewis County Register of Deeds has Land Records from 1844 and is located at the county Courthouse, 110 N Park St., Hohenwald, TN 38462; Telephone: (931) 796-2200. 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 deeds 1844-1905 with indexes 1844-1926; land entries and surveys 1827-1883.

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



War of 1812


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 Lewis County click on the following city:


  • Miller, Alan N. Middle Tennessee's Forgotten Children: Apprentices from 1784 to 1902. Baltimore, Md.: Printed for Clearfield Company, Inc., by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 2004. FHL US/CAN 976.8 U2ma. Purchase at Genealogical.com. [Includes Lewis 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 records of Lewis County, Tennessee 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 US/CAN Book 976.8 B2a.
The Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy and History
Genealogical articles with abstracts of records of Lewis County, Tennessee have been published in The Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy and History, the quarterly of the Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society (23+ Vols.). To view a list of these articles, visit their online Index to Articles (1988-2005). Surname indexes are also available online for Vols. 2-22. The website also offers back issues for sale in paper and on CD. The Family History Library has a complete collection of this quarterly FHL US/CAN Book 976.85 D25m.
The River Counties
Genealogical articles with abstracts of Lewis County, Tennessee records were published in The River Counties Quarterly, (14 vols.) edited by Jill K. Garrett. The Family History Library has a complete collection FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 B2rc.


Probate records are court records created after an individual’s death that relate to a court’s decisions regarding the distribution of the estate to the heirs or creditors and the care of any dependents. You may find the names of married daughters or other relatives and their residences; or information about the adoption or guardianship of minor children and dependents. Probate records do not always give an exact date of death, but the death usually occurred within four months of probate. These documents are important to family history researchers because they usually exist for time periods before civil birth and death records were kept.

The Lewis County Court has responsibility for the probate records.

The following Lewis County probate records have been abstracted, indexed, or both:

  • [1844-1900] Lightfoot, Marise P. and Evelyn B. Shackelford. Maury County Neighbors: Records of Giles, Lewis and Marshall Counties, Tennessee. Mt. Pleasant, Tennessee: [N.p.], 1967. Indexed. Includes these Lewis County records: cemeteries, marriages, historical sketch, abstracts of wills and settlements 1844-1900, and 1850 census. (FHL book 976.8 V22Ls.)
  • [1842-1861] 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 probate records.]
  • [1846-1936] Coleman, Brenda Willis. Tennessee, Lewis County Court Clerk Wills, Nov 1846-1936. Atoka, Tenn.: B.W. Coleman, 199-?. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8432 P2c.


The following Lewis County tax lists have been abstracted:[5]

  • [1854] Tax List, 1854, River Counties, Vol. 12, Nos. 1-4 (1983).
  • [1887] Tax List, 1887, River Counties, Vol. 9, Nos. 1-4 (1980).
  • [1917] Tax List, 1917, River Counties, Vol. 10, Nos. 1-4 (1981); Vol. 12, Nos. 1-4 (1983).

Vital Records


The original Lewis County marriage records are kept at the County Courthouse. Marriages from 1844-Nov 1847 are lost. 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 976.8 V2L.

The following Dickson County marriage records are microfilmed:

  • [1847-1992] Available at the TSLA. Marriages 1847-1920 are available for interlibrary loan.
  • [1847-1956] Available at the Family History Library. Indexes at the front of each volume.FHL 979937

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

  • [1844-1880] Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Early Middle Tennessee Marriages. 2 vols. Nashville, Tenn.: B. Sistler & Associates, 1988. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 V2sb v. 2 ff. [Indexes names of brides and grooms, and marriage dates for weddings in this county for the specified years.]
  • Lightfoot, Marise P. and Evelyn B. Shackelford. Maury County Neighbors: Records of Giles, Lewis and Marshall Counties, Tennessee. Mt. Pleasant, Tennessee: [s.n.], 1967. FHL 976.8 V22Ls
  • RecordSearch at FamilySearch now includes indexed Tennessee marriages.  This is a free pilot site and still under construction.  At this time, it is best to search from the home page, Discover Your Ancestors: indicate a surname, marriage "event", no date, and a county name (i.e. Dickson, Tennessee).  Browse through the results for that surname. You may need to supply any variant spellings of the surname in separate searches.
  • 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 many counties.
  • Tennessee Deaths and Burials 1874-1955 at Record Search Pilot at FamilySearch. Name index with extracted death certificate information.  Search by surname then browse through the results. You may need to supply variant spellings of the names.

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

Societies and Libraries 

  • Lewis County Historical Society
    PO Box 703
    Hohenwald, TN 38462
    Phone: 1-931-796-3505
  • Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society
    PO Box 330948
    Nashville, TN, USA 37203-7507
    The society serves the 40 counties of middle Tennessee of which Lewis County is one. It publishes The Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy and History, a quarterly containing articles of genealogical and historical interest. Little-known Tennessee records are published and indexed, along with family genealogies, Bible records and material submitted by members. There is an alphabetical Index to articles in the Journal 1988-summer 2005
  • Lewis County Public Library
    15 Kyle Ave.
    Hohenwald, TN 38462
    Phone: 1-931-796-5365

Web Sites

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Lewis County, Tennessee


  1. "Earliest County Records," Tennessee State Library and Archives.
  2. "List of counties in Tennessee," Wikipedia.
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002), 641.
  4. Voice of Gene Black, FamilySearch employee, former resident of Bristol, Tenn. (2010).
  5. The Heritage Quest Online version of PERSI aided in the compilation of this list.