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Cannon County, Tennessee Genealogy

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Guide to Cannon County, Tennessee ancestry, family history and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

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Cannon County, Tennessee
Boundary map of Cannon County, Tennessee
Map of Tennessee highlighting Cannon County
Location in the state of Tennessee
Map of the U.S. highlighting Tennessee
Location of Tennessee in the U.S.
Founded: January 31, 1836
County Seat Woodbury
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Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Governor Newton Cannon. The County is located in the central area of the state. [1]

Cannon County, Tennessee Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1881 1838 1881 1836 1836 1836 1810
Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1914. General compliance by 1927.
Cannon County Courthouse Tower, Woodbury, Tenn.

Cannon County Tennessee Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Cannon County Courthouse
County Courthouse
Woodbury, TN 37190
Phone: 615.563.5936
200 West Main St.
Woodbury, TN 37190-1195
Phone: 1-615-563-4278
Mon.-Tues. and Thurs.-Fri. 8 a.m.-4 p.m. (Closed Wed.)
Sat. 8 a.m.-noon

County Clerk has marriage records from 1838.
Register of Deeds has land records. [3]

Cannon County Tennessee History[edit | edit source]

The county is named after Tennessee Governor Newton Cannon (1781-1841).[4]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1836--Cannon County was created 31 January 1836 from Warren, Rutherford, and Smith Counties.
County seat: Woodbury [5]

County Pronunciation[edit | edit source]

  1. Hear it spoken[6] (female)
  2. Hear it spoken[7] (male)

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

For animated maps illustrating Tennessee county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Tennessee County Boundary Maps" (1777-1985) may be viewed for free at the website.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]


1934 Courthouse burned and many records were damaged.[8]

  • Lack of marriage records: 1836 to 1837

For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:

Cannon County Tennessee Places / Localities[edit | edit source]

Populated Places
[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[9]

Unincorporated communities

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Cannon County Tennessee Genealogy Resources[edit | edit source]

Getting Started[edit | edit source]

Use the free Search for Surnames at Mountain Press's website to quickly search a variety of published Cannon County biography, court, marriage, and probate 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[edit | edit source]

African American[edit | edit source]

United States African Americans Gotoarrow.png Tennessee African Americans

Biographies[edit | edit source]

All of the family biographies from the History of Cannon County, Tennessee (1887) by Goodspeed Publishing Co., are available free online at My Genealogy Hound.

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county Family History Library
TNGenWeb WorldCat BillionGraves
TNGenWeb Archives Linkpendium
Tombstone Project Gravestones
TNGenWeb Cemeteries Epodunk
BillionGraves Interment
See Tennessee Cemeteries for more information.
  • 1888 - 1906 W.P.A. Cannon County Bible, Family, and Tombstone Records. TSLA, Roll 8 of Record Group 107. Microfilmed in the 1930s. Free online index, created by Steve Carson through GSC Associates Historical Records Products. (The pages may load slowly.) For a small fee, the company sells three Cannon County CDs, which include a digitized version of this book, and a variety of other local records.

Census[edit | edit source]

1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 federal population schedules of Cannon 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 Cannon County, TN census assignments, including links to transcribed files. The USGenWeb Census Project®

Tennessee, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1810-1891  -  Ancestry ($)

1810 - Lost, except for those records coming from portions of parent county Rutherford. A substitute exists for lost portions:

  • Sherrill, Charles A. The Reconstructed 1810 Census of Tennessee: 33,000 Long-lost Records from Tax Lists, Court Minutes, Church Records, Wills, Deeds and Other Sources. Mt. Juliet, Tenn.: C.A. Sherrill, 2001. FHL 976.8 X2s 1810.

1810 - 1891

1891 Voter


1840 Revolutionary War Pensioners


  • Porch, Deane. Cannon County Tennessee, 1850 Census. Franklin, Tennessee: C. Lynch, 1974. FHL 976.8535 X2p 1850
  • S-K Publications. "Cannon County, TN - 1850 Census Index," available online through USGenWeb Archives.



  • Sistler, Byron and Barabara Sistler. 1880 Census, Cannon County, Tennessee. Nashville, Tennessee: Byron Sistler and Assoc., 1974. FHL 976.8 A1 no. 119

1890- Lost but a substitute is available:

  • Sistler, Byron H. and Barbara Sistler. 1890 Civil War Veterans Census, Tennessee. Evanston, Illinois: Byron Sistler and Assoc., 1978. FHL 976.8 X2s 1890

Church[edit | edit source]


Court[edit | edit source]

  • 1836-1897 - W.P.A. Cannon County Deed Index, Volume 1. Typescript, TSLA, Roll 8 of Record Group 107. Microfilmed in the 1930s. Free online index, created by Steve Carson through GSC Associates Historical Records Products. (The pages may load slowly.) For a small fee, the company sells two Cannon County CDs, which include a digitized version of this book, and a variety of other local records.
  • 1836-1895 - W.P.A. Cannon, and County Record of Wills Book ATSLA, Roll 8 of Record Group 107. Microfilmed in the 1930s. Free online index, created by Steve Carson through GSC Associates Historical Records Products. (The pages may load slowly.) For a small fee, the company sells three Cannon County CDs, which include a digitized version of this book, and a variety of other local records.

Family Histories[edit | edit source]

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 Cannon, Tennessee at World Connect, results in more than 30,000 entries.


  • Alexander - Andrews, Vera B. Alexanders of Cannon Co., TN: A Family History and Genealogy, Covering 1848-1989, Plus Some Earlier. Elkhart, Ind.: V.B. Andrews, 1989. FHL Book 929.273 AL26av.
  • Dickson - Smith, Austin Wheeler. The Dickson-McEwen and Allied Families Genealogy. Cookeville, TN: Unknown, 1945. FHL Book 929.273 D561s. Digital version available at Heritage Quest Online ($).
  • Duggin - Butler, E. Dean. History of the Duggin and Related Families of Cannon County, Tennessee. Memphis, Tenn.: E.D. Butler, 1979. FHL Book 929.273 D879d.
  • George - See Gray.
  • Gray - Webb, Thomsa G. The Webb Families of Dekalb County, Tennessee, and 23 Related Families: Including Bethel, Cantrell, Colvert, Fuson, Gribble, Hicks, Jaco, Judkins, Magness, Mangum, Moser, Parker, Potter, Redmon, Snow, Turner, and Weedon Families, Along with the Farmer and Foushee Families of Virginia; the Gray, George, and Sageley Families of Cannon County, Tennessee, the Nathaniel Miller Family of Rutherford County, Tennessee, and Others. Smithville, Tenn.: Bradley Printing Co., 2002. FHL Book 929.273 W381wt.
  • McEwen - See Dickson.
  • Sageley - See Gray.

Land[edit | edit source]

  • Cannon County Register of Deeds has Land Records from 1836 and is located at Courthouse, Public Square, Woodbury, Tennessee 37190; (615) 563-4278. 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 1836-1892 with indexes 1836-1916; land entries 1836-1897; Surveyors' books 1836-1860; and oil and gas leases 1869-1881.

Law and Legislation[edit | edit source]

  • 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[edit | edit source]

  • The Goodspeed Histories of Cannon, Coffee, DeKalb, Warren and White Counties: With Biographical Sketches and Aboriginal Map of Tennessee. McMinnville, TN: B. Lomond Press, 1972. Reprint. Originally published: Nashville, TN: Goodspeed Pub. Co., 1887. Available at FHL US/CAN Film 924077 Item 2. Digital version available at World Vital Records ($).

Maps[edit | edit source]

DeKalb CountyWarren CountyCoffee CountyRutherford CountyWilson CountyTN CANNON.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War[edit | edit source]

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

Additional resources include:

War of 1812[edit | edit source]
  • Embry, Hermione D. "War of 1812 - Tennessee Pensioners on List - January 2, 1883," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 7, No. 1 (Jan. 1960):13-16. FHL Book 976.8 B2a v. 7 (1960); digital version at journal website. Includes Cannon County pensioners (pp. 15-16).
Civil War[edit | edit source]

Online Records

Regiments. Civil War service men from Cannon County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed in or came from Cannon County:

Confederate Soldiers

Additional sources for Civil War soldiers from Cannon County:

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

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 Cannon County click on the following towns:

Occupations[edit | edit source]

  • 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 [Includes Cannon County.]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

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 Cannon 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.

The Upper Cumberland Researcher
Genealogical articles with abstracts of records of Cannon County, Tennessee have been published in The Upper Cumberland Researcher, the journal of the Upper Cumberland Genealogical Association, Inc. To view a list of the first 17 years of these articles, visit their online Seventeen Year Index to The Upper Cumberland Researcher (Vols. 1-17, 1975-1992). The Index contains a "Counties" section beginning on page 19. The Family History Library has most issues through the present FHL Book 976.8 B2u (1975-1993) and FHL Book 976.8 B2u (1994-present).

Prisons[edit | edit source]

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

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

The Cannon County Court has responsibility for the probate records.

Online 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, 1836-1895 (Vol. A)
  • Dockets, 1846-1890 (11 vols.)
  • Minutes, 1836-1902 (24 vols.)

The following Cannon County probate records have been abstracted or indexed:

  • 1836 - 1895 - W.P.A. Cannon, and County Record of Wills Book A. TSLA, Roll 8 of Record Group 107. Microfilmed in the 1930s.Free online index, created by Steve Carson through GSC Associates Historical Records Products. (The pages may load slowly.) For a small fee, the company sells three Cannon County CDs, which include a digitized version of this book, and a variety of other local records
  • 1836 - 1895 - Carlson, Gladys. Abstract of Cannon County, Tennessee Will Book. Signal Mountain, Tennessee: Mountain Press, [2001?]. Indexed. Contains Vol. A. (FHL book 976.8535 P28c.)
  • 1836 - 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.

Taxation[edit | edit source]

The following Cannon County tax records have been abstracted:[10]'

  • 1847 - "Cannon County, Tennessee Tax Sale, 1847," Upper Cumberland Genealogical Association Bulletin, Vol. 14, No. 4 (Aug. 1990): 181-. For access, see Periodicals
  • 1854 - Spradley, Pat. "Cannon County, TN - Census - Insolvent Tax List, 1854," available online through USGenWeb Archives. Source: Cannon County Clerk Minute Book C:400 (Jan Term 1855), TSLA Roll #21.
  • 1869 - "Cannon County Land Sold for Unpaid Taxes in 1869," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 44, No. 1 (Spring 1997):8. For FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Periodicals.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

See also How to order Tennessee Vital Records or order electronically online.

Birth[edit | edit source]
  • 1881 - 1885 - Cannon County Birth Index 1881-1885. Batch C710141 at FamilySearch - free.[11]
Death[edit | edit source]
Marriage[edit | edit source]

The original Cannon County marriage records are kept at the County Courthouse. Marriages were not officially recorded in Cannon County until 1838, when a law was passed mandating the practice.[12] The following publication, based on early newspapers, helps to alleviate this genealogical obstacle:

The following Cannon County marriage records are microfilmed:

  • 1838 - 1989 - Available at the TSLA. Marriages 1838-1898 are available for interlibrary loan. Marriages 1929-1934 are missing.
  • 1838 - 1867, 1871-1929, 1934-1959 - Available at the Family History Library. Indexes are at the front of each volume.FHL 898442

The following Cannon County Courthouse marriage records have been abstracted or indexed:

  • 1783 - 1870 - Lucas, Silas Emmett and Ella Lee Sheffield. 35,000 Tennessee Marriage Records and Bonds 1783-1870. 3 vols. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1981. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 V2t v. 1. Abstracts include names of brides, grooms, bondsmen, marriage bond dates, and officiators for weddings in this county. Marriage data taken from an index card file at the TSLA. Authors do not specify whether or not the card index completely indexes this county's marriages.
  • 1838 - 1895 - Cannon County Marriage Index 1838-1895 in International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch - free.[13]
  • 1838 - 1873 - 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.
  • 1850 - 1866 - W.P.A. Cannon County Marriage  Records, Volume 6. TSLA, Roll 8 of Record Group 107. Microfilmed in the 1930s. Free online index, created by Steve Carson through GSC Associates Historical Records Products. (The pages may load slowly.) For a small fee, the company sells two Cannon County CDs, which include a digitized version of this book, and a variety of other local records.
  • Cannon County is not included in Marriage Records. [14] or in Marriage Records: Early–1850. [15]

State Marriage Records

Cannon County Tennessee Genealogy Libraries[edit | edit source]

Adams Memorial Library
212 College St.
Woodbury, TN 37190
Phone: 1-615-563-5861 (Main Library)
Hours: (Central Time):
Mon., Wed., Fri., Sat. 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Tues. 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Thurs. 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun. CLOSED
Special Notes: A great library with a growing genealogy collection. The library has an online catalog.

Cannon County Historical Society
Meets quarterly at the Adams Memorial Library where information may be obtained regarding the society.  

Family History Centers
[edit | edit source]

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes.

Cannon County Tennessee Genealogy Societies[edit | edit source]

Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society
PO Box 330948
Nashville, TN, USA 37203-7507
The society serves the 40 counties of middle Tennessee of which Cannon County is one. It publishes The Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy & 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

Cannon County Tennessee Genealogy Websites[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Cannon County, Tennessee

Cannon County Tennessee Genealogy References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Cannon, Tennessee" in,_Tennessee accessed 17 Dec 2018
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Cannon County, Tennessee. Page 638-645 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 637-640.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Cannon County, Tennessee page 638, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. "List of counties in Tennessee," Wikipedia.
  5. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002), 638. (FHL Book 973 D27e 2002). WorldCat entry.
  6. Voice of Lynnae Weller, Kingsport, Tenn. (2010).
  7. Voice of Gene Black, FamilySearch employee, former resident of Bristol, Tenn. (2010).
  8. Lost Records: Courthouse Fires and Disasters in Tennessee in Tennessee State Library and Archives in Tennessee Secretary of State (accessed 13 March 2016).
  9. Wikipedia contributors, "Cannon County, Tennessee," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Tennessee#Communities, accessed 8 November 2019.
  10. The Heritage Quest Online version of PERSI aided in the compilation of this list.
  11. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at
  12. 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)
  13. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at
  14. Orem, Utah: Automated Archives, 1994. (Family History Library compact disc number 9 part 2.)
  15. Orem, Utah: Automated Archives, 1992. (Family History Library compact disc number 9 part 229.) These disks do not circulate to Family History Centers.

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