Lewis County, Tennessee Genealogy
Middle Tennessee county. Established 1843.
- 1 Quick Dates
- 2 County Courthouse
- 3 History
- 4 Places/Localities
- 5 Resources
- 5.1 Research Guides
- 5.2 African American
- 5.3 Cemeteries
- 5.4 Census
- 5.5 Church
- 5.6 Court
- 5.7 DNA
- 5.8 Family Histories
- 5.9 Land
- 5.10 Law and Legislation
- 5.11 Local Histories
- 5.12 Maps
- 5.13 Military
- 5.14 Newspapers
- 5.15 Occupations
- 5.16 Periodicals
- 5.17 Probate
- 5.18 Taxation
- 5.19 Vital Records
- 6 Societies and Libraries
- 7 Web Sites
- 8 References
Lewis County's civil records start the following years:
Lewis County Courthouse
110 North Park Street
Hohenwald, TN 38462
Lewis County Clerk
Marriage, probate and court records
110 N. Park, Room 105
Hohenwald, TN 38462
Lewis County Register of Deeds
110 N. Park, Room 104
Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Did we get the accent right? If not, contact Nathan W. Murphy, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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:
- Arlene Eakle, When the Records are Gone in Tennessee Genealogy Blog
- Burned Counties Research in FamilySearch Wiki
- Michael John Neill, Burned Counties in Family History Circle
|Allens Creek (hist.)||Howard (hist.)||Nancy (hist.)||Ruppertown|
|Buffalo Valley||Lomax Crossroads||Oak Grove||Springer Ridge (hist.)|
|Flat Rock (hist.)||Lucerne (hist.)||Palestine (hist.)||Theodore|
- Genealogical "Fact Sheets" About Tennessee Counties: Lewis County, courtesy: TSLA. (Identifies published county histories, published local records, census records, newspapers and local records on microfilm, and select manuscripts.)
The following have information concerning African American research. Both should be used:
- African American Research (US) has more information about the kinds of records
- African American Research for Tennessee is specific for Tennessee
- 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.
- Find A Grave also gives a list of cemeteries in Lewis County linking to the information about the people buried there,
- Lewis County, TN Cemetery Records, part of the TNGenWeb Cemetery Database, lists many cemeteries in the county, often with indexes and transcripts of the burials.
- Lewis County, Tennessee, part of USGenWeb Tombstone Transcription Project lists many cemeteries in the county and has transcripts of the tombstones arranged by cemetery.
- The Family History Library Catalog lists some records of cemeteries for Lewis County. Some of the books or other books may be on Google Books or available at public libraries.
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.
- 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.
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]
- Lewis County Historical Society. History and Families, Lewis County, Tennessee. Paducah, Ky.: Turner Pub. Co., 1995. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8432 H2L.
- 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.
War of 1812
- Embry, Hermione D. "War of 1812 - Tennessee Pensioners on List - January 2, 1883," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 7, No. 4 (Oct. 1960):90-93. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 B2a v. 7 (1960); digital version at journal website. [Includes Lewis County pensioners (p. 93).]
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:
-  Tax List, 1854, River Counties, Vol. 12, Nos. 1-4 (1983).
-  Tax List, 1887, River Counties, Vol. 9, Nos. 1-4 (1980).
-  Tax List, 1917, River Counties, Vol. 10, Nos. 1-4 (1981); Vol. 12, Nos. 1-4 (1983).
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:
- Smith, Jonathan K.T. Genealogical Abstracts from Reported Deaths, the Nashville Christian Advocate. [1847-1914] 10 vols. [Jackson, Tenn.]: J.K.T. Smith, 1997-2003. FHL US/CAN Books 976.855/N1 V48s 1847-1851 ff; digital versions at David Donahue Memorial: Tennessee Records Repository. [Website expands upon the publications and includes deaths from the 1830s, 1840s, 1910s and 1920s.]
Societies and Libraries
- Lewis County Historical Society
PO Box 703
Hohenwald, TN 38462
- Meriwether Lewis Chapter Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation
P.O. Box 145
Hohenwald, TN 38462
Phone: 931-796-5365 or 931-796-5654
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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 Avenue
Hohenwald, TN 38462
- Family History Library Catalog (FamilySearch)
- Lewis County, TN Family History and Genealogy Message Board (Ancestry)
- Lewis County, TN Genealogy Forum (GenForum)
- Lewis County, TNGenWeb (USGenWeb)
- RootsWeb Mailing List: TN-SOUTHCENTRAL-L (South Central Tennessee List)
- "Earliest County Records," Tennessee State Library and Archives.
- "List of counties in Tennessee," Wikipedia.
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002), 641.
- Voice of Gene Black, FamilySearch employee, former resident of Bristol, Tenn. (2010).
- The Heritage Quest Online version of PERSI aided in the compilation of this list.