Tennessee Public Records
Records of mayors, commissioners, overseers of the poor, and schools are examples of government sources that may give information about ancestors not contained in other records. Some collections that contain a variety of records, such as land, history, tax, court, or other records, may be classified as “public records.” These records can be found on the state, county, and sometimes town or township level. Tennessee has many state and county public records. Three examples are:
- Tennessee State Library and Archives, Tennessee Legislative Petitions [Index 1799-1829]; indexed by subject and names in the text of the petition, NOT by the name of signers of the petition.
- Sherrill, Charles A. Tennessee Convicts: Early Records of the State Penitentiary. Mount Juliet, Tennessee: Charles A. Sherrill, 1997. (Family History Library book 976.8 J6s.) This record covers the years 1831–1850. The record includes place and name indexes. Digital version also available for free at World Vital Records.
- Sistler, Byron. Every Name Index to 18 Middle Tennessee County Record Books. Nashville, Tennessee: Byron Sistler & Associates, 1992. (Family History Library book 976.8 P22sb; film 1697905 item 2.) This contains an alphabetical list of names in the land, court, cemetery, probate, and vital records of Bedford, Giles, and Lincoln counties.
To find various types of Tennessee public records, use the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:
TENNESSEE - PUBLIC RECORDSTENNESSEE, [COUNTY] - PUBLIC RECORDS