Tennessee Public Records
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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.
- Tennessee State Library and Archives, Tennessee Legislative Petitions [Index 1799-1829]; indexed by subject, county, and selected names in the text of the petition. Text does not include the names of the (often many) petitioners.
- Tennessee General Assembly. Journal of the Proceedings of the Legislative Council of the Territory of the United States of America, South of the River Ohio : Begun and Held at Knoxville, the 25th day of August, 1794. Nashville, Tennessee: Mckennie & Brown, 1852. Free digital copy.
- Fitzpatrick, Morgan C. Public School Laws of Tennessee Together with Leading Decisions of the Supreme Court, Explanatory Notes and Amendments Made by General Assemblies to the Year 1899. Nashville, Tennessee: Brandon Printing Co., 1899. Free digital copy.
- Fitzpatrick, Morgan C. Public School Laws of Tennessee Together with Leading Decisions of the Supreme Court, Explanatory Notes and Amendments Made by General Assemblies to May 14, 1901. Nashville, Tennessee: Brandon Printing Co., 1899. Free digital copy.
- Thompson, Samuel H. Public School Laws of Tennessee Together with Leading Decisions of the Supreme Court, Explanatory Notes and Amendments Made by General Assemblies to June Thirtieth, 1913. Nashville, Tennessee: Brandon Printing Co., 1913. Free digital copy.
- Caldwell, Joshua W.Studies in the Constitutional History of Tennessee. Cincinnati: The Robert Clarke Co., 1907. Free digital copy.
- Robertson, N. G. .and Tennessee State Board of Elections. Digest of Election Laws of Tennessee. Lebanon, Tennessee: Democrat Print, 1908. Free digital copy. Internet Archive.
- 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 RECORDS
TENNESSEE, [COUNTY] - PUBLIC RECORDS
To access available information, first log into FamilySearch.