Benton County, Tennessee Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Camden
Organized: December 19, 1835
Parent County(s): Henry, Humphreys[1]
Neighboring Counties
Carroll  • Decatur  • Henry  • Houston  • Humphreys  • Perry  • Stewart
See County Maps
Benton County Tennessee courthouse.jpg
Location Map
Location of Benton County,Tennessee.PNG
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Benton 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.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Benton County Courthouse
1 Court Square 101
Camden, TN 38320
Phone: 731-584-6053
Benton County Website

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]

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

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[4]
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.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

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

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

For animated maps illustrating Tennessee county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Tennessee County Boundary Maps" (1777-1985) may be viewed at the website.

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:[6]

Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Additional Information
The county is named after "Creek War veteran David Benton (1779-1860), an early settler in the county."[7]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

  • West Tennessee's Forgotten Children: Apprentices from 1821 to 1889. 2006. By Alan N. Miller. Baltimore, Md.: Clearfield Company. FHL US/CAN 976.8 U2man. Online at MyHeritage ($). Includes Benton County.

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Benton County, Tennessee online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Tennessee Cemeteries for more information.
  • Tennessee cemetery records often identify birth, death, relationship, and military information, as well as religious affiliation.

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1840 4,772
1850 6,315 32.3%
1860 8,463 34.0%
1870 8,234 −2.7%
1880 9,780 18.8%
1890 11,230 14.8%
1900 11,888 5.9%
1910 12,452 4.7%
1920 12,046 −3.3%
1930 11,237 −6.7%
1940 11,976 6.6%
1950 11,495 −4.0%
1960 10,662 −7.2%
1970 12,126 13.7%
1980 14,901 22.9%
1990 14,524 −2.5%
2000 16,537 13.9%
2010 16,489 −0.3%
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($)



  • 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



  • 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 Records[edit | edit source]

List of Churches and Church Parishes

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. [8]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 Records[edit | edit source]

County Court

Law and Legislation

  • 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. Online searchable index at TSLA.

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

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

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[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 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.

Survey books, v. A-B, 1821-1848; index, 1821-1847; images

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

  • Perry, Larry T. A Pictorial History of the Old 23rd District. L.T. Perry, 198? Free lookups
  • Smith, Jonathan Kennon Thompson Historic Benton a people's history of Benton County, Tenn. Memphis, Tennessee: Richard H. Harris, 1976FHL US/CAN book 976.833 H2sk. Free lookups

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

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

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War

War of 1812

Civil War

Online Records

Regiments. Men in Benton County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (part of a large regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed in Benton County:

Confederate Soldiers

Additional sources for Civil War soldiers from Benton County:

Civil War Battle
The following Civil War battle was fought in Benton County:

Map showing Civil War battles in Tennessee

Spanish American War

World War I and II

Naturalization and Citizenship[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:

The following publications are based on early newspapers:

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.

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Prisons[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Genealogical periodicals can contain unique sources and can be local, regional, or statewide. The following periodicals cover this county:

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

Book Abstracts and Indexes

  • 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.

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[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.

Book Abstracts and Indexes

  • 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 Benton.
  • 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 Benton.
  • 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]

Online Records

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Online Indexes and Records

Book Abstracts and Indexes

  • 1832-1869 - Early West Tennessee Marriages. 2 vols. FHL 976.8 V2sbff
  • 1837-1900 - Benton County, Tennessee marriage records, 1837-1900 FHL 976.833 V2b

Death[edit | edit source]

Online Records

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Online Records

Online Titles

  • W.P.A. Guide to Public Vital Statistics in Tennessee. Nashville, Tenn.: The Tennessee Historical Records Survey, 1941. FamilySearch Digital Library.

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Listed below are archives in Benton County. For state-wide archival repositories, see Tennessee Archives and Libraries.

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

  • Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
  • FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Listed below are libraries in Benton County. For state-wide library facilities, see Tennessee Archives and Libraries.

Big Sandy Branch Library
12 Front St.
Big Sandy, TN 38221
Phone: 731-593-0225

Benton County Library
121 S Forrest Ave
Camden, TN 38320
Phone: 731-584-4772
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
10 Wayne Fisher Dr.
Martin, TN 38238
Phone: 731-881-7065
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 (KY), Fulton (KY), and Hickman (KY) counties in Kentucky.

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Listed below are societies in Benton County. For state-wide genealogical societies, see Tennessee Societies.

Benton County Genealogical Society and History
P.O. Box 775
Camden, TN 38320
Phone: 615-218-1503

Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

Research Guides

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Tennessee.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Benton, Tennessee" in,_Tennessee accessed 11 Dec 2018
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Tennessee.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Tennessee.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  5. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Tennessee.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "Benton County, Tennessee," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Tennessee, accessed 6 November 2019.
  7. "List of counties in Tennessee," Wikipedia.
  8. WPA. Guide to Church Vital Statistics in Tennessee. Nashville: Tennessee State Planning Commission, 1942. FHL 976.8 K23w
  9. Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State, (accessed 22 August 2012)
  10. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at
  11. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at