Tennessee Fast Facts and Key Resources

By Lauren Eisenstodt Premium

Sign up for the Family Tree Newsletter Plus, you’ll receive our 10 Essential Genealogy Research Forms PDF as a special thank you!

Get Your Free Genealogy Forms

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Statehood: 1796

US territory status: 1790, known as the Territory of the US South of the River Ohio (the Southwest Territory). Previously part of North Carolina.

First extant federal census: 1830

Statewide birth and death records begin: 1908, but death certificates didn’t give parents’ names or birth date/place until 1914. No statewide records for 1913.

Statewide marriage records begin: 1945

State-land state

Counties: 13 in 1796; 95 today

Contact for vital records:

Tennessee Office of Vital Records

Central Services Building,

First Floor 421 Fifth Ave. N.
Nashville, TN 37247
(615) 741-1763


Web Sites

Abstracts from Tennessee Newspapers
Civil War Rosters — Tennessee Links

Cyndi’s List — Tennessee

First People of Tennessee and the American Southwest

Tennesseans in the Revolutionary War

Tennessee GenWeb Project

Tennessee Resources at RootsWeb


The Family Tree Resource Book for Genealogists edited by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack and Erin Nevius (Family Tree Books)

First Families of Tennessee: A Register of Early Settlers and Their Present-Day Descendants (East Tennessee Historical Society)

Research in Tennessee by Gale Williams Bamman (National Genealogical Society)

The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture edited by Carroll Van West (Tennessee Historical Society)

Tennessee Genealogical Research by George K. Schweitzer (self-published, from <>)

Tennessee Place Names by Larry L. Miller (Indiana University Press)

Organizations and Archives

Chattanooga-Hamilton County Bicentennial Library

1001 Broad St.,Chattanooga, TN 37402, (423) 757-5310,<>

East Tennessee Historical Society

East Tennessee History Center, 601 S. Gay St., Box 1629, Knoxville, TN 37901, (865) 215-8824, <>

Memphis/Shelby County Public Library and Information Center

3030 Poplar Ave., Memphis, TN 38111, (901) 415-2742, <>

Nashville Public Library

615 Church St., Nashville,  TN 37219, (615) 862-5800, <>

Tennessee Genealogical Society 9114 Davies Plantation Road, Brunswick, TN 38014, <>

The Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road, Nashville, TN 37243, (615) 532-1550, < /environment/ hist>

Tennessee State Library and Archives

403 Seventh Ave. N., Nashville, TN 37243, (615) 741-2764, < / sos / statelib>

University of Memphis Library

Special Collections Department, 126 Ned R. McWherter Library, Room 404, Memphis, TN 38152, (901) 678-2210, <>

University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Hoskins Library, Special Collections, 1401 Cumberland Ave., Knoxville, TN 37996, (865) 974-4480, <>
From the June 2005 Family Tree Magazine 

Tennessee Historic Sites

Battlefields & Military Parks
More Civil War battles were fought in Tennessee than in any other state besides Virginia. You can see those battlegrounds at the National Park Service-designated Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park near the Tennessee-Georgia border (706-866-9241, <>), Fort Donelson National Battlefield in Dover (931-232-5706, < fodo>), Shiloh National Military Park in Shiloh (731-689-5696, < shil>) and Stones River National Battlefield in Murfreesboro (615-893 9501, < stri>).

Belle Meade Plantation

5025 Harding Road
Nashville, TN 37205
(615) 356-0501

During the Battle of Nashville, Union and Confederate soldiers skirmished in the front yard of this 1853 mansion. Tour the house and the surrounding historical buildings.

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

222 Fifth Ave. S.
Nashville, TN 37203
(800) 852-6437

Get the scoop on country music’s roots. The museum’s permanent exhibit, Sing Me Back Home, retraces the genre’s 19th-century origins through photos and musical artifacts.

Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park

1245 Davy Crockett Park Road
Limestone, TN 37681
(423) 257-2167

See a replica of the cabin where Crockett was born, a museum devoted to the King of the Wild Frontier and more.

East Tennessee History Center

601 S. Gay St.
Knoxville, TN 37901
(865) 215-8824

This fantastic research facility hosts the Knox County Archives, Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection and the new East Tennessee Historical Society Museum.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

107 Park Headquarters Road
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
(865) 436-1200

Inside this beautiful park, you can visit the Mountain Farm Museum, a collection of 1800s farm buildings; the 1886 Mingus Mill; and the picturesque Cataloochee Valley.

The Hermitage

4580 Rachel’s Lane
Hermitage, TN 37076
(615) 889-2941

President Andrew Jackson’s historic home became a museum in 1889. Tour the grounds and be sure to explore the current exhibits.

National Civil Rights Museum

450 Mulberry St.
Memphis, TN 38103
(901) 521-9699

Located at the Lorraine Motel, the site of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, the museum chronicles the civil rights movement and its legacy.

Tennessee State Museum

505 Deaderick St.
Nashville, TN 37243
(800) 407-4324

Explore Tennessee history from its beginnings 15,000 years ago up to the early 1900s at this expansive museum.

Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum (TVRM)

4119 Cromwell Road
Chattanooga, TN 37421
(423) 894-8028

Take a ride on the Southeast’s largest historical railroad, and check out old rail cars parked outside TVRM’s re-created 1910 depot.

Visitor Information

Tennessee Department of Tourist Development

William Snodgrass/Tennessee Tower

312 Eighth Ave. N., 25th Floor
Nashville, TN 37243
(800) 462-8366


From the June 2005 Family Tree Magazine