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Cheatham County, Tennessee Genealogy

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

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Cheatham County, Tennessee
Boundary map of Cheatham County, Tennessee
Map of Tennessee highlighting Cheatham County
Location in the state of Tennessee
Map of the U.S. highlighting Tennessee
Location of Tennessee in the U.S.
Founded: February 28, 1856
County Seat Ashland City
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Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Edward Saunders Cheatham, a state legislator. The County is located in the north central area of the state. [1]

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

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1881 1856 1881 1856 1856 1856 1810
Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1914. General compliance by 1927.

Cheatham County Tennessee Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Cheatham County Courthouse
100 Public Square
Ashland City, TN 37015
Phone: 615.792.5179

County Clerk has marriage and probate records from 1865.
Clerk Circuit Court has divorce and court records.
Register of Deeds has land records. [3]

Cheatham County Courthouse, Ashland City, Tenn.

Cheatham County Courthouse
100 Public Square
Ashland City, Tennessee 37015
Phone: 1-615-792-4620

Cheatham County Clerk
Marriage records
264 S. Main St., Suite 108
Ashland City, TN 37015
Phone: 1-615-792-5179

Cheatham County Register of Deeds
264 S. Main St., Suite 109
Ashland City, TN 37015
Phone: 1-615-792-4317
The County Register of Deeds registers and keeps all public records for Cheatham County.

Sat.8 a.m.-noon

Cheatham County Tennessee History[edit | edit source]

The county is named after "Tennessee state legislator Edward Cheatham."[4]

Cumberland (old) County, the ancestor of Cheatham County, started to get organized in 1837 from parts of Davidson, Robertson, Montgomery, and Dickson counties, but failed. Again in 1844 the another attempt at a county was made, but failed. A third try in 1856 finally succeeded in erecting Cumberland (old) County.[5]

But this act of creation was repealed, the boudaries were changed, and in 1857 the reconstituted entity was renamed Cheatham County because the Cumberland County name had been claimed later in 1856 by a new county on the Cumberland Plateau with its seat at Crossville.[5]

Middle Tennessee county established in 1856. The northern part of what is now Cheatham County belonged to the pioneer Cumberland Settlements.[6]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1856--Cheatham County was created 28 February 1856 from Davidson, Robertson, Dickson, and Montgomery Counties.
County seat: Ashland City[7]

From 1788 to 1796 people living in what is now part of Cheatham County were in extinct Tennessee County. Their records for that period are now found in Robertson County, Tennessee.[8]

County Pronunciation[edit | edit source]

  1. Hear it spoken[9] (female)
  2. Hear it spoken[10] (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]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Cheatham 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:[11]

Unincorporated communities

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Cheatham 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 Cheatham County biography, 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

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
See Tennessee Cemeteries for more information.

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1860 7,258
1870 6,678 −8.0%
1880 7,956 19.1%
1890 8,845 11.2%
1900 10,112 14.3%
1910 10,540 4.2%
1920 10,039 −4.8%
1930 9,025 −10.1%
1940 9,928 10.0%
1950 9,167 −7.7%
1960 9,428 2.8%
1970 13,199 40.0%
1980 21,616 63.8%
1990 27,140 25.6%
2000 35,912 32.3%
Source: "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau.
1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, and 1940 federal population censuses of Cheatham 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 Cheatham County, TN census assignments, including links to transcribed files. The USGenWeb Census Project®

Free lookups available for the 1860,1870, 1880 Cheatham County census. Also, available for lookups are the 1820, 1850 and 1880 Montgomery County census; the 1880 Davidson county census; and the 1850 and 1880 Robertson county census.

1810 - 1891


  • Dalton, Robert E. and Lynnette Hamilton Dalton 1860 Census, Cheatham County, Tennessee.Memphis, Tennessee: Dalton and Dalton, 1896. FHL 976.8462 X2d


  • Bishop, Brenda C.1870 Census Tennessee, Transcription for Cheatham County. Tallahassee, Florida: B.C. Bishop, 1883. FHL 976.8462 X2b

Transcription of 1870 Federal Census Cheatham County hosted by Rootsweb


  • Sistler, Byron H. and Barbara Sistler. 1880 Census-Tennessee: Transcription for Cheatham County. Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 198?. FHL 976.8462 X2s 1880

1890 Lost

  • 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. Cheatham 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.


  • Bush, Marisa, ed.. Cheatham County, Tennessee Census, 1920 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 1999. Available at Ancestry ($).

Male Voters

Church[edit | edit source]

Church records include baptisms, marriages and burials, as well as information about family members and clues about family migration.  For additional information about church records, religions, and religious archives in Tennessee, see Tennessee Church Records.

  • If the records you need are not through the Family History Library, contact the church(es) in the area where your ancestor lived.  Two sites that give information about churches in Cheatham County are:
- List of Cheatham County churches with addresses and phone numbers (Yellowbook)
- List of Cheatham County churches (TN HomeTownLocator)
  • In 1936, a helpful guide to early Cheatham County church records was published by the Works Project Administration. [12]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 Cheatham county are listed.

Court[edit | edit source]

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 Cheatham, Tennessee at World Connect, results in more than 10,000 entries.

  • Masters, Jack and Bill Puryear. Founding of the Cumberland Settlements: The First Atlas 1779-1804: Showing Who Came, How They Came, and Where They Put Down Roots. Gallatin, Tenn.: Warioto Press, 2009. FHL US/CAN Large Q Book 976.8 E7d. Supplements: FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 E7d supp. 1 ff. Purchase at Cumberland Pioneer Settlers.
  • von Verdo, Mary Ann Harris. The Pioneers of 'Possum Trot, Tennessee: Family Genealogies and Land Histories from 1787. n.p.: M.A.H. von Verdo, 1996. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8462 D2v.


  • Anderson - Caldwell, Janice. The Lost Branch of the Anderson Family: Ancestors and Descendants of Thomas Allen Howard Anderson and His Wife Martha Ann Stanley Including Allied Families. Helotes, Texas: J. Caldwell, 1995. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 An23ca.
  • Curfman, Kurfman, Corfman, Korffmann - Curfman, Robert Joseph. The Curfman-Kurfman-Corfman-Korffmann Genealogy. Denver: Priv. print., 1971. Digital versions available at Ancestry ($); and Heritage Quest Online ($).
  • Demonbreun - DeMunbrun, Weldon The Descendants of John Baptiste Demonbreun: 1788-1872 Weldon DeMunbrun, 1995. Free Lookups Available!
  • Head - Dennison, Jean Nunley. Our Head/Holmes Family: Including Allied Families: Bradley, Harris, Williams, Winters and Loose Connections: Frey, Hyde, Justice, Morris, York. Nashville, Tenn.: J.N. Dennison, 1986. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 H34d.
  • Hooper - Anne Goodwin's Family Source Compass (online)
  • Hunt - The Hunt Archives (online) Includes surnames: Hunt, Tucker, Barbera, Tompkins, Sheridan, Baker, Adams, Bradley, Brown, Freeman, Jenkins, Mack, Pace, Page, Wilson, Teasley, Thornton and more.
  • Hunter - Descendants of Jacob, Dempsey, Allen, David and Thomas Hunter (online)
  • Moore - Monroe, Ruby Moore. The Moore Family. Typescript, microfilmed 1996. FHL US/CAN Film 2055141 Item 3.
  • Morton - Burt, Aline Morton. A Pioneer Portrait. Rancho Bernardo, Calif.: A.M. Burt, 1971. FHL US/CAN Film 962205 Item 6.
  • Pack - Soyars, Crystine Yates. The Thomas M. Pack Clan, 1836-1977. Nashville, Tenn.: C.Y. Soyars, 1978. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 P12a.
  • Shearin - Cantrell, Charles Thomas. The 20th Century Shearin Genealogy. C.T. Cantrell, 1996. The book contains references to hundreds of those from Cheatham county. Free Lookups Available!
  • Stroud - Dennison, Jean Nunley. Our Dennison, Stroud Family: Including Allied Families Vanderville, McLaughlin, White, Allen, Williams, Hiland, McFerrin. Nashville, Tenn.: J.N. Dennison, 1991. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 D424dj.
  • Whitfield - Whitfield, Vallie Jo Fox. Whitfield History and Genealogy of Tennessee. [Walnut Creek, CA: Unknown,, 1964. Available at FHL US/CAN Film 879642 Item 1; digital version available at Heritage Quest Online ($).

Land[edit | edit source]

Land Grants

  • Free index to 1500+ Pioneer Cumberland Settlements Land Grants, available online, courtesy: Cumberland Pioneer Settlers. The Cumberland Settlements region covered what is now this county. To view the land grants platted on maps, purchase the books described on this site, or access those available at the Family History Library FHL US/CAN Large Q Book 976.8 E7d.
  • The Family History Library has mictofilm copies of deeds and mortgages 1856-1960 with indexes 1856-1876 and 1891-1969; land entries 1856-1915; Ranger books 1857-1877; and release books or undetermined years.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Deserted Sycamore Village by Lois Barnes focuses on the early families and history of Sycamore, Cheatham, Tennessee.  Many historical photographs are included.  Some readers caution that family genealogies are not all correct and need more research.  Free lookups available.

Maps[edit | edit source]

Robertson CountyDavidson CountyWilliamson CountyDickson CountyMontgomery CountyTN CHEATHAM.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military[edit | edit source]

War of 1812[edit | edit source]
Civil War[edit | edit source]

Online Records

Regiments. Civil War service men from Cheatham 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 Cheatham County.

Confederate Soldiers

Additional sources for Civil War soldiers from Cheatham County:

World War I[edit | edit source]
  • Soldiers and Seamen from Cheatham County, Tennessee, during World Wars I and II. Typescript, TSLA. Microfilmed 1961. FHL US/CAN Film 227224.
World War II[edit | edit source]
  • Soldiers and Seamen from Cheatham County, Tennessee, during World Wars I and II. Typescript, TSLA. Microfilmed 1961. FHL US/CAN Film 227224.

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

A local volunteer through Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness is willing to do free obituary lookups in the Ashland City Times 1878-present.

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 Cheatham County click on the following cities:

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 Cheatham 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:

CCHGA Bytes 2001–2010 Online
The Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy and History
Genealogical articles with abstracts of records of Cheatham 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.

Prisons[edit | edit source]

Learn if your Cheatham County ancestors went to prison!

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

The Cheatham 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:

  • Inventories, Wills, 1856-1871, Vol. A

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

  • 1856 - 1861 - Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Index to Tennessee Wills & Administrations 1779-1861. Nashville, Tenn. Byron Sistler & Associates, Inc., 1990. FHL US/CAN nbsp;976.8 P22s. Includes an index to this county's probate records.
  • 1856 - 1871 - Works Progress Administration. Cheatham County, Tennessee Wills & Inventories. 1936. Reprint, Signal Mountain, Tennessee: Mountain Press, 2001?. Indexed. Contains volume A. (FHL book 976.8462 P2c.)

Taxation[edit | edit source]

The following Cheatham County tax records have been abstracted:[13]

  • 1789 - Cumberland Settlements, Tax List, 1789, The Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy and History, Vol. 4, No. 2 (Fall 1990). For possible FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Periodicals.
  • 1856 - Cheatham County Tax List with Land Descendants and Map, 1856, The Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy and History, Vol. 4, No. 3 (Winter 1991); Vol. 4, No. 4 (Spring 1991); Vol. 5, No. 1 (Summer 1991). For possible FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Periodicals.
  • 1856 - County Tax List, 1856, CCHGA Bytes. Ashland City TN: Apr 2006; May 2006; Jun 2006; Jul 2006...
  • 1858 - Cheatham County Tax List, 1858 (annotated), CCHGA Bytes. Ashland City TN: Mar 2004; Apr 2004; Jan 2005; Feb 2005; Mar 2005; Apr 2005.
  • 1868 - Tax List Claims, 1868, CCHGA Bytes. Ashland City TN: Oct 2002.
  • 1873 - Tax Releases, 1873, CCHGA Bytes. Ashland City TN: Sep 2002.
  • 1873 - Delinquent Tax List, 1873, CCHGA Bytes. Ashland City TN: Oct 2002.
  • 1881 - Locations for Payment of Taxes, List, 1881, CCHGA Bytes. Ashland City TN: Oct 2006.
  • 1892 - Property Tax List, District 1, 1892, CCHGA Bytes. Ashland City TN: Jun 2005.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

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

Birth[edit | edit source]
  • 1881 - 1885 - Cheatham County Birth Index 1881-1885. Batch C710191 at FamilySearch - free.[14]
Marriage[edit | edit source]

The original Cheatham County marriage records are kept at the County Courthouse. The following Cheatham County marriage records are microfilmed:

  • 1856 - 1910 - Available at the Family History Library. 1887 is missing. Includes bonds, certificates and returns.FHL 2075150 Partially indexed at Record Search Pilot. See indexes below.
  • 1856 - 1956 - Available at the Family History Library. Indexes are at the front of most volumes.FHL 1012090 Partially indexed at Historical Records. See indexes below.
  • 1856 - 1996 - Available at the TSLA. Marriages 1856-1938 are available for interlibrary loan.

The following Cheatham County marriage records are indexed:

  • 1856 - 1881 - Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Early Middle Tennessee Marriages. 2 vols. Nashville, Tenn.: B. Sistler & Associates, 1988. FHLnbsp;US/CAN nbsp;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. Free Lookups Available!
  • 1856 - 1881 - Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Cheatham County, Tennessee, Marriages 1856-1881. Nashville, Tenn.: Sistler, 1988. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8462 V22s.
  • Marriage Records, Cheatham County, Tennessee.  Nashville: TSLA, Historical Records Project,, 1937. Typescript. FHL 976.8462 V2h
  • 1780-2002 - Many county marriage records are indexed with images at Ancestry's Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002. ($) Be aware that this index is not complete for all counties.
  • Cheatham County is not included in Marriage Records. [16] or in Marriage Records: Early–1850. [17]
Divorce[edit | edit source]
  • 1800 - 1965 - Tennessee. Tennessee Divorce and Other Records, 1800-1965. Nashville, Tennessee: Tennessee State Library and Archives. Available at Ancestry ($).

In 1940 and 1941, W.P.A. workers pinpointed the location of Cheatham 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.
Death[edit | edit source]

For deaths of Methodists in Cheatham County (or what later became Cheatham County) between the 1830s and the 1920s, try:

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

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.

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Cheatham County Public Library
188 County Services Drive Suite 200
Ashland City, TN 37015
Phone: 615-792-4828

The Ira T. Sanders Genealogy Room has Microfilm and Reference Records

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Cheatham County Historical and Genealogical Association
P. O. Box 703
Ashland City, TN 37015
Phone: 615-792-3623

The Cheatham County Historical and Genealogical Society was created in the early 1990s and includes a a number of chapters. CCHGA Quarterly Newsletters 2001–2010 online.

Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society
PO Box 330948
Nashville, TN, USA 37203-7507

The society serves the 40 counties of middle Tennessee of which Cheatham 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

Cheatham County Tennessee Genealogy Websites[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Cheatham County, Tennessee

Cheatham County Tennessee Genealogy References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Cheatham, Tennessee" in,_Tennessee accessed 17 Dec 2018
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Cheatham 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), Cheatham County, Tennessee page 638, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. "List of counties in Tennessee," Wikipedia.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Robert M. McBride, "Lost Counties of Tennessee," East Tennessee Historical Society's Publications 38 (1966): 6-7.
  6. Founding of the Cumberland Settlements: The First Atlas 1779-1804.
  7. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002), 638. (FHL Book 973 D27e 2002). WorldCat entry.
  8. "Tennessee County" in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia at (accessed 25 May 2010), and Alice Eichholz, Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, 3rd ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004) [[FHL Book 973 D27rb 2004 ]], 639.
  9. Voice of Lynnae Weller, Kingsport, Tenn. (2010).
  10. Voice of Louise Lynch, Archivist, Williamson County, Tennessee Archives (2010).
  11. Wikipedia contributors, "Cheatham County, Tennessee," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Tennessee, accessed 10 November 2019.
  12. WPA. Guide to Church Vital Statistics in Tennessee. Nashville: Tennessee State Planning Commission, 1942. FHL 976.8 K23w
  13. The Heritage Quest Online version of PERSI aided in the compilation of this list.
  14. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at
  15. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at
  16. Orem, Utah: Automated Archives, 1994. (Family History Library compact disc number 9 part 2.)
  17. Orem, Utah: Automated Archives, 1992. (Family History Library compact disc number 9 part 229.) These disks do not circulate to Family History Centers.