Search this collection of 278,000 names from the marriage records of 21 Tennessee counties. This data set contains the most complete record of marriages available for many of these counties for the time period covered. Many early Tennessee
marriage records have not survived, but the indexed page images
included here preserve much of what remains and make the records
available for easy searching.
Many of the compilations included were recorded from the earliest
possible marriage registers, while others were collected from original
bonds and licenses found among loose papers in county courthouses.
Because these documents can be so difficult to track down, this
collection takes on extremely significant genealogical value.
In some cases, county marriage records were not officially maintained for the period in question, or were done so in an unorganized manner,
so that records could only be found in several types of sources. When that is true, the records included in this data set are
apparently all that exist.
The books included here,
originally published by the Genealogical
Publishing Company, were almost exclusively compiled by Edythe
Whitley. Ms. Whitley spent a lifetime studying the genealogical
records of Middle Tennessee an area originally in the domain
of North Carolina.
You may obtain the following
information from this data set:
- Names of the bride and groom
- Date marriage bond and/or license was issued
- Date marriage was performed
- Name of person officiating the ceremony
- Name of the bondsman (usually a relative)
- Additional genealogical annotations
It is important to note
that the listing of a marriage bond
signifies only that a marriage was intended, not that a marriage
actually took place. On the other hand, the record of a marriage
license indicates proof of marriage.
Books Included in This Data Set
This data includes indexed page
images from the following books:
Records: Anderson County, 1838-1858
Anderson County was created in 1801 from parts of Knox and Grainger Counties.
Its marriage records begin in 1838, for those of the period 1801 to 1838 are
apparently missing. Still, for the period 1838 to 1858, about 1,000 marriages
were recorded. Listed in chronological order, they give the names of the bride
and groom, the date of issue of the marriage bond or license, and the date the
marriage was performed.
Records: Blount County, 1795-1859
Blount County was created from Knox County in 1795, just one year before Tennessee
won statehood. Its marriage records date from 1795 and are recorded in a register
in the county clerk's office in Maryville. The marriages listed in this work
have been copied from that register. The majority of the records derive from
marriage licenses and thus prove that a marriage was performed. In some cases
the records derive solely from marriage bonds, which in themselves are not proof
of marriage, only that a marriage was intended. Arranged in alphabetical order
by the surname of the groom, the records abstracted here give the names of the
bride and groom, the date of issue of the marriage bond or license, and the
names of the bondsmen. Altogether 4,000 marriages are listed in this work, which
also features a separate index of brides.
Claiborne County, Tennessee, 1838-1850 & Campbell County, Tennessee, 1838-1853
Claiborne County was created in 1801 from parts of Grainger and Hawkins counties,
and Campbell County from parts of Anderson and Claiborne five years later. This
book comprises the earliest surviving marriage records of both of these strategically-placed
counties. The records date from 1838, when marriage registers came into official
use in the state. Altogether some 2,000 marriages are listed here, each giving
the names of the bride and groom, the date of issue of the license, and the
date of the marriage.
Records: Davidson County, 1789-1847
All of the early Davidson County marriage bonds and licenses were destroyed
by fire, but the first two volumes of marriage registers compiled from the original
bonds and licenses are intact. They cover January 1789-December 1837, and January
1838-December 1847. The abstracted records cover about 7,000 marriages, and
they are in the order of their appearance in the registers, each beginning with
the groom's surname. The rest of the entry is the name of the bride, the issue
date of the bond or license, sometimes the marriage date, and the name of the
officiating minister or J.P. All brides and grooms are listed in the index.
Records: Gibson County, 1824-1860
Gibson County, situated in the western part of Tennessee, was created in 1823.
Its marriage records, preserved from 1824, are on file in the courthouse in
Trenton. The records abstracted here derive from both bonds and licenses and
are arranged in chronological order. Each gives the names of the bride and groom,
the date of the bond or license (frequently both), and the names of the bondsmen.
At least 4,000 marriage records are in this compilation, and all 10,000 persons
mentioned in the records brides, grooms, and bondsmen are listed
in the index.
Grainger County, Tennessee, 1796-1837
Grainger County was taken from Hawkins and Knox counties in 1796. Grainger's
marriage records were recorded in a register for the first time by the Works
Projects Administration. This present work is an adaptation of that register.
As far as is known, no other compiled record of the marriages was ever made,
for the county clerk apparently did not record the returns of either bonds or
licenses. In the time that has elapsed since the register was compiled, many
original bonds and licenses have been lost. The WPA register is therefore the
most complete record of Grainger County marriages available. Arranged chronologically,
the records given in the work include the names of the bride and groom, the
date of the marriage bond and/or license, and the names of the bondsmen. The
index contains references to some 6,000 persons.
Jefferson County, Tennessee, 1792-1836
The original Jefferson County marriage records are no longer extant; instead,
this present work is based on a unique marriage register which was prepared
by the Works Projects Administration during the 1930s. The records given here
are arranged by date of marriage and are numbered in sequence. Nearly 6,000
brides and grooms are named, each of whom is easily located in the index.
Records: Lawrence County, 1818-1854
Lawrence County, Tennessee, in the south-central part of the state, just above
Alabama, was created from parts of Maury and Hickman Counties in 1817. Its marriage
records, commencing in 1818, are on file in the county clerk's office in Lawrenceburg.
The records abstracted in the first section of this book (1818 to 1838) derive
from the original bonds and licenses, while records appearing in the second
section (1818 to 1854) are based on a marriage register. Both sets of records,
totaling about 2,500 marriages, provide the names of the bride and groom and
the date of the marriage bond or license (frequently both). Approximately 5,000
brides, grooms and bondsmen are listed.
Records: Maury County, 1808-1852
Maury County was created in 1807 from Williamson County, which had been taken
off of Davidson County a few years before. The marriage records, dating from
the founding of the county, are based on the county clerk's marriage registers,
and are supplemented by some 1,250 recently discovered marriage bonds. Arranged
in several sections, some chronological, some alphabetical, the records give
the names of the bride and groom, the issue date of the marriage license or
bond, the marriage date and, sometimes, the name of the person who stood surety
to the bond. Altogether about 6,000 marriage records, and the names of the brides,
grooms, and others mentioned in the text are listed in the index.
Records: McMinn County, 1821-1864
McMinn County was formed in 1819 from lands ceded to the United States by the
Cherokee Indians. The early marriage records of the county are somewhat disorganized
for they could only be found in several types of record sources, so those that
are in this work are apparently all that exist. Arranged chronologically, the
2,000 records include the names of the bride and groom, the date of issue of
the marriage bond or license, the date of the marriage, and the names of bondsmen.
Records: Rhea County, 1808-1859
Rhea County was formed from Roane County late in 1807 and so the records in
this volume start with the beginning of the county. Transcribed from a microfilm
copy of the bonds and licenses at the State Archives in Nashville, they were
also compared with the WPA transcripts of the records. The marriage records
give the names of the bride and groom, the date of the bond or license, the
marriage date, and the name of the officiating clergyman or J.P.
Roane County, Tennessee 1801-1838
Roane County was officially formed from Knox County on November 6, 1801. This
publication contains an almost complete record of the early marriages of Roane
County. Information includes names of the bride and groom, the date of the marriage
bond or license (frequently both) and the names of bondsmen.
Robertson County, Tennessee 1839-1861
Robertson County was created from old Tennessee County in 1796, the year that
Tennessee became a state. The early marriage records of Robertson County, unfortunately,
have not survived neither in the form of a marriage register nor as unrecorded
bonds and the earliest extant records begin only in 1839. The object
of this book, therefore, is to preserve the early marriage records that have
survived. The marriage abstracts given here are arranged in chronological order
under the surname of the groom, the balance of each entry containing the name
of the bride, the date the marriage license was issued (and often the date of
the marriage itself), and the name of the officiating minister or J.P. Altogether
more than 3,000 marriage records are abstracted in this work and the names of
brides, grooms, and others mentioned incidentally in the entries appear in the
Rutherford County, Tennessee 1804-1872
Rutherford County, Tennessee was erected in 1803 from Davidson County and at
one time occupied territory extending all the way south to the Alabama state
line. With the exception of a few deed books, destroyed during the Civil War,
most of the old records of Rutherford County are extant, and most like
the marriage records can be found at the courthouse in Murfreesboro.
What is singular about the Rutherford County marriages is their extent: they
are among the largest bodies of marriage records we have seen. This present
work to lend substance to the claim contains abstracts of 11,000
The marriage records published
here are arranged in three sections,
some in alphabetical order, some chronological. Each entry contains
the names of the bride and groom, the date of issue of the marriage
bond or the license, and, sometimes, the name of the person who stood
surety to the bond, usually a relative of the bride or groom. Nearly
25,000 persons brides, grooms, and sureties are listed in the
index to the work.
Records: Shelby County, 1820-1858
Shelby County, Tennessee was created November 24, 1819 from Hardin County and
its records of marriages commenced almost at once. It is believed that the original
marriage records were destroyed. However, those that are given here were copied
from a marriage register kept at the courthouse in Memphis, the county seat.
They were numbered as found in the register and those on the opening pages are
out of sequence. While this work is not an exact copy of the register, it does
have all the marriages found there about 5,000! Arranged in a single
numerical sequence, the records abstracted give the names of the bride and groom,
the issue date of the bond or license, and the marriage date. All 10,000 brides
and grooms are listed in the index.
Records: Stewart County, 1838-1866
Stewart County was erected November 1, 1803 from a part of Montgomery County.
At that time it comprised a domain which extended west to the Tennessee River
and south to the Alabama line. After the Chickasaw Purchase of 1819 the jurisdiction
of the county for a while extended to the Mississippi River. While the county
seat was established by 1805, the earliest marriage records in the courthouse
at Dover date from 1838. The records given here were copied at the courthouse
from loose papers (1838-1866). For the most part they derive from bonds and
licenses, and there are about 2,500 marriages, and they are indexed.
Sumner County, Tennessee, 1787-1838
Sumner County was created in 1786, while still a part of North Carolina, and
was an important crossroads in the flow of migration. Its records are indispensable
in the quest for ancestors who migrated south and west from Virginia, Kentucky,
and North Carolina. This present volume contains abstracts of approximately
5,000 marriage records. For some unknown reason the Clerk of Sumner County did
not record the early marriages in a book or ledger, as was the custom. The marriages
abstracted here derive instead from original bonds and unrecorded licenses found
amongst loose papers in the courthouse in Gallatin. For this reason, and for
reasons that are manifest in the nature of the records themselves, this work
assumes an importance of awesome dimensions.
As is customary in such
publications, the marriages are arranged in
alphabetical order by the surname of the groom. The bride-to-be, the
date of the bond or license, and the names of ministers, witnesses,
and bondsmen make up the balance of each entry. Virtually every entry
gives the name of at least one bondsman (usually a relative), and all
persons mentioned in the entry except the groom, minister, or J.P.
are indexed, the combined total of names amounting to some 15,000.
of Washington County, Tennessee, 1787-1840
Washington County originally embraced all of what is now Tennessee, but in 1790,
perhaps earlier, it embraced the present northeast counties of Carter, Washington,
and Unicoi. These Washington County marriage records are arranged chronologically
from September 19, 1787 to December 31, 1840 and name a total of about 4,500
men and women. Additional information includes the exact date of the bond and
the name of the bondsman. All names brides, grooms, and bondsmen
are listed in alphabetical order in the index for quick and easy reference.
Tennessee Oldest Marriage Book, 1809-1859
Doliante White County, Tennessee originally encompassed all of what is now Warren
County, as well as parts of the counties of Cannon, Coffee, De Kalb, Franklin,
Grundy, Putnam, and Van Buren. The 2,000 marriages in this book, as the title
indicates, are the oldest on record. The marriages are arranged alphabetically
by the names of the grooms and furnish the names of brides and officiating ministers,
along with a number of genealogical annotations.
Williamson County, Tennessee 1804-1850
Williamson County was created on October 26, 1799 from Davidson County. When
first formed, it included what later became all or part of Maury, Lawrence,
Lewis, Marshall, and Giles counties. Information includes names of the bride
and groom, the date of the marriage bond or license (frequently both) and the
names of bondsmen.
Records: Wilson County, 1802-1850
Wilson County's marriage records did not begin until 1802. From then until 1841,
when a register was started, the marriage bonds and licenses were stored in
loose bundles in the county courthouse. Mrs. Whitley's abstracts derive from
the original bonds and licenses and the earliest marriage register. The 8,000
marriage records in this work are arranged chronologically under the name of
the groom, the rest of each entry being the name of the bride, the issue date
of the marriage license or bond, the marriage date (if given), and the name
of a bondsman (usually a relative), and the name of the officiating clergyman
or J.P. About 20,000 persons-brides, grooms, and bondsmen are listed in the