Tennessee Vital Records

Vital records, as their name suggests, are connected with central life events: birth, marriage, and death. Maintained by civil authorities, they are prime sources of genealogical information; but, unfortunately, official vital records are available only for relatively recent periods. These records, despite their recent creation in the United States, are critically important in genealogical research, often supplying details on family members well back into the nineteenth century. The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy, by Loretto Szucs and Sandra Luebking.

The Tennessee Vital Records Office keeps birth records for 100 years and death, marriage, and divorce records for 50 years; after that time, the records are sent to the Tennessee State Library and Archives for public access and family research.

Tennessee State law dictates that certified copies of their records can only be provided to the person named on the certificate or certain family members.  However, verification of information from their records (excluding cause of death) can be provided to any requester.  If you wish verification of information from our records you should complete the appropriate form (birth, death, marriage, divorce) and mail it along with the required fee to:

Tennessee Vital Records
1st Floor, Andrew Johnson Tower
710 James Robertson Parkway
Nashville, TN 37243

Some earlier birth and death records are available at the Tennessee State Library and Archives. Early Tennessee county records including marriages can also be obtained from the Tennessee State Library and Archives.

Tennessee Birth Records

Tennessee began keeping birth records statewide in 1908. The Tennessee State Library and Archives has statewide Tennessee birth records for the years 1908-1912 and 1914-1915. (The year 1913 is considered to be a ‘dead year’ for birth records in Tennessee, since no birth records were recorded at the state level during that year. The four larger cities in Tennessee —  Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga and Memphis — did record births during 1913.)

Tennessee Marriage Records

  • Tennessee, Marriages, 1796-1950
    Name index to marriage records from the state of Tennessee. Microfilm copies of these records are available at the Family History Library and FamilySearch Centers. Due to privacy laws, recent records may not be displayed. The year range represents most of the records. A few records may be earlier or later.
  • Tennessee Marriages to 1825
    This database of Tennessee marriages to 1825 contains over 45,000 names. Each entry includes groom, bride, marriage date, county, and state. Every name is indexed so you can search for one name, or two names that are linked. The marriage date is usually the date of marriage as given in the original entry. However, when no marriage date is given (e.g., the “marriage return” was not provided to the record keeper), the date of the license is used. In a few cases, a marriage will be listed twice, but in two different counties. This most often happened when a couple obtained a license in one county, but were actually married in another.
  • Tennessee Marriages, 1851-1900 (Requires Ancestry.com Membership) Get 14 Days Free Access!!!
    Tennessee, which became the sixteenth state in 1796, was home to more than a million residents before the Civil War. This database is a collection of marriage records from the state, between 1851 and 1900. This update adds marriages from Carter, Morgan, White, and Williamson counties to those of Wayne, McMinn, Madison, Haywood, Claiborne, Dekalb, Franklin, Giles, Henry, Humphreys, Lawrence, Lincoln, Montgomery, Roane, Scott, Sequatchie, Shelby, Smith, Stewart, Sumner, Union, Warren, Wilson, Hickman, Lauderdale, Monroe, Hawkins, Weakley, and Rutherford counties. Researchers will find the names of both bride and groom, the marriage date, and the county where the ceremony was performed.
  • Cocke County
    • Tennessee, Cocke County Records, 1860-1930
      This collection includes marriage records, 1870-1929; wills, 1860-1929 and chancery court records, 1860-1930. This collection is being published as images become available.
  • Putnam County
    • Tennessee, Putnam County Marriages, 1930-1961
      This collection includes digital images marriage records from Putnam County which were filmed at the Tennessee State Archives. This collection is being published as images are available.
  • Shelby County
  • White County
    • Tennessee, White County Records, 1809-1975
      This is a collection of records from White County including marriages, 1950-1975; chancery court records 1825-1937, and circuit court records, 1809-1900. The county court records include primarily probate records. The chancery and circuit court records include disputed estate and property records, some wills, and divorces. This collection is being published as images become available.

Tennessee Divorce Records

Tennessee Death Records

  • Tennessee, Deaths and Burials, 1874-1955
    Name index to death and burial records from the state of Tennessee. Microfilm copies of these records are available at the Family History Library and Family History Centers. This set contains 227,540 records. Due to privacy laws, recent records may not be displayed. The year range represents most of the records. A few records may be earlier or later.
  • Shelby County

AccessGenealogy.com United States Vital Records.

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4 thoughts on “Tennessee Vital Records”

  1. I am looking for the parents of Levi Murphy (Murphee) who lived in Overton during the late 1700s to early 1800s. Levi was born on November 28, 1819. I have not been able to find a birth record or any information relating to his parents or siblings. Any assistance would be helpful.

    1. Hello Karen, My name is Chris Speck. I see where you are looking for the parents of Levi Murphy. I’m on the same quest. I own the property on Spring Creek that has the Old Cainy Ridge cemetery. This property where the cemetery is was land grant to a Enoch Murphy in 1825. His son was Levi and he requested to be buried there in his will. I am wanted to place a stone in the cemetery Would love to know when Levi passed away. Please contact me when you can. Chrisspeck@hotmail.com my cell is 931-239-6969. Look forward to learning more.

  2. I am searching for any information on my Cherokee roots. My grandmother was pearl everett & she was full blooded Cherokee Indian. She lived n Maryville Tennesee at the time of her death many years ago & want to know if i can get some info on her & my ancestry background. My email is jeniley833@hotmail.com & phone 864-423-0305. Any info is greatly appreciated.
    Thank you
    Jennifer Lee Mitchell

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