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Benton County, Tennessee Genealogy

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

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Benton County, Tennessee
Boundary map of Benton County, Tennessee
Map of Tennessee highlighting Benton County
Location in the state of Tennessee
Map of the U.S. highlighting Tennessee
Location of Tennessee in the U.S.
Founded: December 19, 1835
County Seat Camden
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Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for David Benton (1779–1860), who was an early settler in the county and a member of the Third Regiment, Tennessee Militia in the Creek War. The County is located in the west area of the state. [1]

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

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1881 1836 1881 1836 1820 1836 1810
Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1914. General compliance by 1927.

Benton County Tennessee Courthouse[edit | edit source]


Benton County Tennessee courthouse.jpg

Benton County Courthouse, Camden, Tenn.]] Benton County Courthouse
1 E Court Square
Camden, TN 38320
Phone: 901-584-6053

County Clerk has marriage records from 1836 and probate records from 1840.
Clerk of the Circuit Court has divorce and court records.
Register of Deeds has land records.[3]


Mon.-Thurs. 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Fri. 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Benton County Tennessee History[edit | edit source]

The county is named after "Creek War veteran David Benton (1779–1860), an early settler in the county."[4]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1835--Benton County was created 19 December 1835 from Henry and Humphreys Counties.
County seat: Camden [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]

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

Benton 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:[8]

Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Benton 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 Benton County biography, cemetery, land, 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]

Tennessee cemetery records often identify birth, death, relationship, and military information, as well as religious affiliation.

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]

1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, and 1940 federal population censuses of Benton 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 Benton County, TN census assignments, including links to transcribed files. The USGenWeb Census Project®

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

1810 - 1891


  • Smith, Jonathan Kennon Thompson, An Abtract of the 1840 United States census for Benton County, Tennessee (S.I.: s.n.), 1977 (Memphis: R.H. Harris) FHL US/CAN Book 976.833 X28s

1840 Revolutionary War Pensioners


  • Sistler, Byron and Barbara 1880 census Benton County, Tennessee (Nashville, Tennessee: B. Sistler and Associates, 1990) FHL US/CAN Book 976.833 X2

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. 2 1891. Benton County is included in Vol. 2.
  • 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


  • Benton County 1891 Enumeration of Male Inhabitants of 21 years of Age and Up. Henry County Tennessee Archives. Free lookups available!


  • Dunlap, Linda and Denham, Laura 1900 every-name census index, Benton County, Tennessee (Paris, Tennessee: W.G. Rhea Public Library, 2003?) FHL US/CAN book 976.833 X22


  • Dunlap, Linda and Denham, Laura 1910 every-name census index, Benton County, Tennessee (Paris, Tennessee: W.G. Rhea Public Library, 2003?) FHL US/CAN book 976.833 X22


  • Dunlap, Linda and Denham, Laura 1920 every-name census index, Benton County, Tennessee (Paris, Tennessee: W.G. Rhea Public Library, 2003?) FHL US/CAN book 976.833 X22

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.

  • Church histories tell when a church started in the area, who the early members were, give data about church leaders, etc.
- FamilySearch Catalog - Benton County Church History

  • If the records you need are not available through the Family History Library, contact the church(es) in the area where your ancestor lived.  Two sites that give information about churches in Benton County are:
    - List of Benton County churches with addresses and phone numbers (Yellowbook)
    - List of Benton County churches (TN HomeTownLocator)

The churches with the largest membership in Benton County are the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church. For more information about religions in the county, see the charts showing membership by faith created by the Association of Religion Data Archives.

  • In 1936, a helpful guide to early Benton County church records was published by the Works Project Administration. [9]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 the county are listed.

Court[edit | edit source]

County Court

Genealogy[edit | edit source]

More than 65 genealogies have been published about Benton County, Tennessee families. For more information visit Benton County, Tennessee Compiled Genealogies.

Land[edit | edit source]

The Benton County Register of Deeds is located at the Courthouse, E. Court Square, Rm. 101, Camden, TN 38320-0008; Telephone: (901) 584-6053. It has has land records beginning with the county's organization in 1836. Land and property records include transfer of real estate or personal property, mortgages, leases, surveys, and entries.

Other records available include:

  • Benton County Deed Books Vol. 2-May 1843-Jan 1849 ([Mayfield, KY?]:Simmons Historical Publications,s.d.). Digital version available at World Vital Records ($). Available for purchase at Simmons Historical Publications.
  • Benton County Deed Books Vol. 3-Feb 1849-Nov 1852, ([Mayfield, KY?]:Simmons Historical Publications,s.d.). Digital version available at World Vital Records ($).
  • The Family History Library has microfiled records from the Register of Deeds Office of Deed Books 1836-1885 and Trust Books 1874-1882. It also has some published land records.
  • Wills, Laura Benton County, Tennessee, Deeds Volume 1 (June 1830 - April 1843) Free lookups available!

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]

Maps[edit | edit source]

Stewart CountyHouston CountyHumphreys CountyPerry CountyDecatur CountyHenderson CountyCarroll CountyHenry CountyTN BENTON.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

*Maps of Tennessee (1777-1985)

Military[edit | edit source]

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

Online Records

Regiments. Civil War service men from Benton 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 Benton County:

Confederate Soldiers

Additional sources for Civil War soldiers from Benton County:

Civil War Battle[edit | edit source]

The following Civil War battle was fought in Benton County:

Map showing Civil War battles in Tennessee
Spanish American War[edit | edit source]
World War I and II[edit | edit source]

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 Benton County click on the following city:

This newspaper has been partially abstracted:

Occupations[edit | edit source]

  • Miller, Alan N. West Tennessee's Forgotten Children: Apprentices from 1821 to 1889. Baltimore, Md.: Printed for Clearfield Company, Inc., by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 2006. FHL US/CAN 976.8 U2man. Includes Benton 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 Benton 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.

Benton County Genealogical Society Quarterly
Family History Library has volume 3, no. 1 (Jan - Mar 1991) - 21, no. 4 (Dec 2009) with some issues missing.
FHL 976.833 D25b. Free lookups available for 1989 - 1997 Quarterly.
BYU Family History Archives has BCGS quarterly volume 17 and volume 19
Family Findings
Genealogical articles with abstracts of Benton County, Tennessee records have been published in Family Findings, the quarterly of the Mid-West Tennessee Genealogical Society (42+ vols.). The Family History Library has most issues of this quarterly FHL US/CAN 976.8 B2f.
Tables of contents for some volumes are available online through TNGenWeb Project:
Many articles from this publication have been reproduced on the TNGenWeb Project website, try this specialized Google search.
West Tennessee Historical Society Papers
Family History Library has Volumes 1 - 16 and 30 FHL US/CAN Book 976.81 B5w. The West Tennessee Historical Society Papers are indexed in PERiodical Source Index (PERSI)
To view Table of Contents and complete articles from 1947 - 2005 see Shelby County Register of Deeds

Prisons[edit | edit source]

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

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

The County Court Clerk has responsibility for the probate records of Benton County. Some probate records are kept at the Benton County Archives.

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:

  • Settlements, Wills, 1855-1968
  • Accounts, Settlements, 1860-1928
  • Bonds, Letters, 1874-1968
  • Claims against estates, 1867-1943
  • Index to Administrations and Guardianships, 1858-1868
  • Insolvent estate records, 1852-1916
  • Settlements, 1860-1930

The following Benton County probate records have been abstracted, indexed, or both:

  • 1836 - 1910 - Benton County Genealogical Society. Wills of Benton County 1836-1910. Camden, Tennessee: The Benton County Genealogical Society, 2009.
  • 1837 - 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 original Benton County Tax Books 1836-1909 were microfilmed by TSLA in 1968. FHL copies: FHL US/CAN Films 944046, 557667.

The following Benton County tax lists have been abstracted:[11]

  • 1836 - "1836 Land and Poll Tax List," Transcript, Benton County Public Library, Camden, Tenn. Digital version, by Brian Nichols, available online at TNGenWeb.
  • 1836 - "1835 Map of Civil Districts, Benton County, Tennessee" and "Benton County, Tennessee 1836 Tax List," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 41, No. 2 (Summer 1994):56-61. For FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Periodicals.
  • 1836 - Tax List, 1836, Benton County Genealogical Society Quarterly. Camden TN: Jul 1997. Vol. 9 Iss. 3.
  • 1836 - Poll Tax Payers, 1836, Benton County Genealogical Society Quarterly
  • 1837 - Cleveland, Harry Milton. "Benton County, Tennessee 1837 Tax List," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 41, No. 3 (Fall 1994):107-110. For FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Periodicals.
  • 1844 - Land Tax List, 1844, Benton County Genealogical Society Quarterly. Camden TN: Dec 2005. Vol. 17 Iss. 4.
  • 1865 - 1866- Smith, Jonathan K.T. United States Direct Tax Commission, District of Tennessee, Benton County, 1865-1866. Jackson, Tenn.: n.p., 1992. FHL US/CAN Book 976.833 R4s.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Birth[edit | edit source]
Marriage[edit | edit source]

Marriages were not officially recorded in Benton County during the first few years of its existence.In 1838, a law was passed mandating the practice.[13] The following publication, based on early newspapers, helps to alleviate this genealogical obstacle:

The following Benton County Courthouse marriage records have been abstracted and/or indexed:

The following books are available through the Family History Library and also have free lookups:

  • 1837 - 1900 - Brewer, William Hulon Benton County, Tennessee marriage records, 1837-1900 Camden, Tennessee : Glover's Trace Chapter, Daughter of the American Revolution, 1985. FHL 976.833 V2b The publisher feels that this book contains the most complete information on marriages in Benton County in existance (sic) as of this date."--Pref.
  • 1846 - 1850 - Douthat, James L. Benton County, Tennessee marriage book #1 : 1846-1850 Signal Mountain, Tenn.: J.L. Douthat, 1981. FHL 976.833 V2d
Divorce[edit | edit source]

In 1940 and 1941, W.P.A. workers pinpointed the location of Benton 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 Benton 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 976.855/N1 V48s 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.

Benton County Tennessee Family History Center[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.

1921 Lone Oak Rd
Paris, TN
Phone: 1-731-642-2285
Hours: Wed. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. and 6 p.m.-8 p.m.; Thurs. 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; All other times by appt. Online catalog

These are not mailing addresses. Due to limited staff, Family History Centers are unable to respond to mail inquiries.

Benton County Tennessee Genealogy Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]

Big Sandy Branch Library
12 Front St.
Big Sandy, TN 38221
Phone: 1-731-593-0225
Mon. - Fri. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Benton County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 775
Camden, TN 38320
Website lists current leadership and publications for sale. The members receive the Benton County Genealogical Society which is published in March, June, September, and December.
Benton County Library
121 S Forrest Ave
Camden, TN 38320
Phone: 1-731-584-4772
Mon., Wed., Fri. 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
Tues. and Thurs. 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
Sat. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Note: The County Archives is located in the basement of the main facility of the Benton County Public Library
West Tennessee Heritage Study Center
Paul Meek Library
University of Tennessee at Martin
Phone: 1-731-881-7060
Hours vary by semester
The Heritage Study Center holds a variety of genealogical resources including materials relating to the following counties in Tennessee: Benton, Carroll, Chester, Crockett, Decatur, Dyer, Fayette, Gibson, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson, Henry, Houston, Humphreys, Lake, Lauderdale, Madison, McNairy, Obion, Perry, Shelby, Stewart, Tipton, Wayne, Weakley and Carlisle, Fulton, and Hickman counties in Kentucky.
West Tennessee Historical Society
P.O. Box 111046
Memphis, TN 38111
Phone: 1-901-475-6608

Benton County Tennessee Genealogy Websites[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Benton County, Tennessee

Benton County Tennessee Genealogy References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Benton, Tennessee" in,_Tennessee accessed 11 Dec 2018
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Benton 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), Benton 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. Wikipedia contributors, "Benton County, Tennessee," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Tennessee, accessed 6 November 2019.
  9. WPA. Guide to Church Vital Statistics in Tennessee. Nashville: Tennessee State Planning Commission, 1942. FHL 976.8 K23w
  10. Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State
  11. The Heritage Quest Online version of PERSI aided in the compilation of this list.
  12. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at
  13. Gale Williams Bamman, C.G., "Research in Tennessee," National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 81, No. 2 (June 1993):105. FHL 973 B2ng v. 81
  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