Bradley County, Tennessee Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

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

County Facts
County seat: Cleveland
Organized: February 10, 1836
Parent County(s): Cherokee Indian Lands[1]
Neighboring Counties
Catoosa (GA)  • Hamilton  • Meigs  • McMinn  • Murray (GA)  • Polk  • Whitfield (GA)
See County Maps
Bradley County, Tennessee Courthouse.JPG
Location Map
Location of Bradley County, Tennessee.PNG
Adopt-a-wiki page
TGW 45x45.jpg This page adopted by:
TNGenWeb Project
who welcome you to contribute.
Adopt a page today

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Colonel Edward Bradley who served in the War of 1812. The County is located in the southeast central area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Bradley County Courthouse
155 Ocoee St.
Cleveland, TN 37311
Bradley County Website Phone: 423-728-7205
County Clerk Phone: 423-728-7205
Chancery Clerk and Master Phone: 423-728-7205
Register of Deeds Phone: 423-728-7240
County Clerk of Circuit Court Phone: 423-728-7214 or 423-728-7048

County Clerk has marriage records from 1864.
Clerk and Master has probate records from 1864.
Register of Deeds has land and military discharge records from 1864.
Circuit and Session Court has divorce and court records from 1864.
Cleveland Public Library has early court records, census, probate, marriage and death records. [3]

Bradley 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
1908 1864 1908 1864 1864 1864 1810
*Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1914. General compliance by 1927.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

Bradley County has lost:

  • Early will books and some early deeds
  • Antebellum marriage records

For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

  • 1836--Bradley County was created 10 February 1836 from Cherokee Indian Lands.
  • County seat: Cleveland[5]

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]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

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

  • Miller, Alan N. East Tennessee's Forgotten Children: Apprentices from 1778 to 1911. Baltimore, Md.: Printed for Clearfield Company, Inc., by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 2000. FHL US/CAN 976.8 U2m. Digital version at World Vital Records ($). Purchase at Includes Bradley County.

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Bradley 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.


Census Records[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1840 7,385
1850 12,259 66.0%
1860 11,701 −4.6%
1870 11,652 −0.4%
1880 12,124 4.1%
1890 13,607 12.2%
1900 15,759 15.8%
1910 16,336 3.7%
1920 18,652 14.2%
1930 22,870 22.6%
1940 28,498 24.6%
1950 32,338 13.5%
1960 38,324 18.5%
1970 50,686 32.3%
1980 67,547 33.3%
1990 73,712 9.1%
2000 87,966 19.3%
2010 98,963 12.5%
Source: "".

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

1840 Revolutionary War Pensioners


  • Campbell, Ellen Ann Westerberg. Bradley County, Tennessee: 1850 Federal Census. Cleveland, Tenn.: E.A.W. Campbell, 1973. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8873 X2c 1850.
  • S-K Publications. "Bradley County, TN - Census-1850 Census Index," available online through USGenWeb Archives.


  • Snell, William R. and Bradley County Historical Society. 1860 Federal Census, Bradley County, Tennessee. Cleveland, Tenn.: W.R. Snell, 1983. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8873 X22s 1860.


  • Lee College History students and Cleveland Public Library staff and volunteers. Bradley County, Tennessee, 1870 Census Index. Cleveland, Tenn.: Lee College, 1987. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8873 X2b index.


  • Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. 1880 Census - Tennessee: Transcription for Bradley County. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 198-?. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8873 X2s.



  • Cross, Nancy, Brenda Davis and Edna Wiefering. 1920 Bradley County, Tennessee, Census Index. Cleveland, Tenn.: Cleveland Public Library, 1999. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8873 X28c 1920. (Typo on FamilySearch Catalog reads Cenus Index.)

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.

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


Methodist Episcopal

  • 1881-1885 - Methodist Episcopal Church South, Cleveland, Baptism Index 1881-1885. Batch C710101 at FamilySearch[9]
  • 1880-1895 - Methodist Episcopal Church South, Cleveland, Marriage Index 1880-1895. Batch M710101 at FamilySearch[10]


Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Cleveland

Flint Spring Presbyterian Church

  • 1866-1885 - Flint Spring Presbyterian Church Baptism Index 1866-1885 in International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch. Batch C710081 [13]
  • 1850-1895 - Flint Spring Presbyterian Church Marriage Index 1850-1895 in International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch. Batch M710081 [14]
  • In 1936, a helpful guide to early Bradley County church records was published by the Works Project Administration. [15]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 Bradley county are listed.

Court Records[edit | edit source]

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. 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.

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]


As of August 2010, a query for persons born in Bradley, Tennessee at World Connect, results in more than 20,000 entries.

  • Bradley County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Bradley County, Tennessee, 1836-1998. Cleveland, Tennessee? Bradley County Heritage Book Committee, c1998 ; Waynesville, North Carolina: Don Mills (Salem, West Virginia Walsowrth Pub. Co.). FHL US/CAN Book 976.8873 H2t.
  • Manly, Elizabeth Cate. Chatata Valley Families and Their Neighbors. Tennessee: n.p., 198-. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8873 D2m.
  • Wooten, John Morgan. Brief Sketch of Pioneer Families of Bradley County, Tennessee. Chattanooga, Tenn.: n.p., 1934-1936. FHL US/CAN Film 966946 Item 5. Includes families of Callaway, Clingen, Craigmiles, Day, Donohoo, Edwards, Gaut, Goodner, Hambright, Hughes, Jones, Julian, Lusk, Lea, McCarty, Parks, Still, Waterhouse, Weatherly, Ramsey, Shugart.


Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

The original Bradley County Deed Books are held at the Bradley. The TSLA microfilmed Deed Books A to L (1839 to 1891) and an index and Trust Deed Books A to M (1864 to 1902). Copies of their microfilms are also available at the Family History Library: FHL US/CAN Films 966924-966933.

McClure, Lucille Abstracts of Ocoee District early land records - entries Signal Mountain, Tennessee Mountain Press, [1991] FHL US/CAN 976.8 R28m Free lookups available!

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Hamilton CountyMeigs CountyMcMinn CountyPolk CountyMurray CountyWhitfield CountyTN BRADLEY.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War
The following Bradley County Revolutionary War records are available online through TNGenWeb:

Additional resources include:

War of 1812

Civil War

Regiments. Men in Bradley 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 Bradley County:

Confederate Soldiers

Union Soldiers

Additional sources for Civil War soldiers from Bradley County:

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Many Tennessee newspapers are filmed and available at 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 Bradley County click on the following cities:

Book Abstracts and Index

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:

Bradley Branches
Family History Library has Volume 6, no. 2 (summer 1993). FHL US/CAN 976.8873 B2b
Bradley Branches is indexed in PERiodical Source Index (PERSI).
Chronicles of Bradley

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Some of Bradley County's original Will Books have been destroyed. Those that survive are held at the Bradley. TSLA microfilmed Will Books 1 to 2 (1859 to 1905). FHL copies: FHL Films 464077 Item 3 and 966923 Items 2-3.

Online Records

Book Abstracts and Indexes

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

The TSLA microfilmed the original Bradley County Tax Books 1865-1890. Copies of their microfilms are also available at the Family History Library: FHL US/CAN Films 966935-966937.Free lookups available for some early east Tennessee tax records.

Book Abstracts and Indexes

  • 1836 Douthat, James L. Bradley County, Tennessee, 1836 Tennessee Civil Districts and Tax Lists. Signal Mountain, Tenn.: Mountain Press, 1993. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8873 R4d 1836.Free lookups available!Purchase details.
  • 1837 Snell, William R. 1837 Tax List, Bradley County, Tennessee. 1978. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8873 R4t.
  • 1837-1839 - Nichols, Elizabeth Riggins. "Bradley County, Tennessee Tax Lists 1837-1838 - 1839," Vol. 33, No. 1 (Spring 1986):9-14; Vol. 33, No. 2 (Summer 1986):69-72; Vol. 33, No. 3 (Fall 1986):119-122, 126. For FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Bradley. Free lookups available!
  • 1837 Map from Tax List, 1837, Bradley Branches. Cleveland TN: Summer 1996. Vol. 9 Iss. 2.
  • 1837-1839 - Tax Lists, Dist. 4 & 5, 1837-39, Polk County Historical and Genealogical Society Quarterly and Newsletter. Benton TN: May 2000. Vol. 6 Iss. 1.
  • 1837 Tax List, 1837, Bradley Branches. Cleveland TN: 2001. Vol. 14 Iss. 3-4.
  • 1838 Snell, William R. 1838 Tax List, Bradley County, Tennessee. 1978. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8873 R4L.
  • 1839 Jones, Rena and Kent Hawkins. 1839 Tax List, Bradley County, Tennessee. 197-. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8873 R4b.
  • 1849 Petition for Amendment of Revenue Law, 1849, Bradley Branches. Cleveland TN: Spring 1997. Vol. 10 Iss. 1.
  • 1862 Cleveland Public Library. "1862 Assessment List: Bradley County, Tennessee," available online through TNGenWeb.
  • 1890 Johnson, David S. and Patsy A. Johnson. Tax List 1890, Bradley County, Tennessee. n.p.: D.S. Johnson, 1985. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8873 R4j.
  • 1890 - Tax List, 1890, Districts 1-13, Chronicles of Bradley. Cleveland TN: 1985-1987, Vols. 5-8. Free lookups available!
  • 1909 Langheld, Susan. "Delinquent Tax Notices: Bradley County, Tennessee June 1909," available online through TNGenWeb. (Source: Journal & Banner, Cleveland, Tenn., May 21, 1909.)

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Birth[edit | edit source]

Online Records

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Early Bradley County marriage records were lost in courthouse fires.

Online Indexes and Records

Book Abstracts and Indexes

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 Bradley 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 Bradley County. For state-wide library facilities, see Tennessee Archives and Libraries.

Cleveland Bradley County Public Library
795 Church Street NE
Cleveland, TN 37311
Phone: 423-472-2163

Cleveland Bradley County Library History Branch and Archives
833 North Ocoee Street
Cleveland, TN 37311
Phone: 423-479-8367
Genealogy resources: Vital records, family, city and county histories, court records, local newspapers from 1854-1970, Civil War sources, special collections including the Mayfield Papers, James F. Corn Papers (Cherokee Indians), and the William R. Snell Papers.

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

Bradley County Historical Society
P.O. Box 4845
Cleveland, TN 37320-4845

Bradley County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 1384
Cleveland, TN 37364

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, "Bradley, 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, "Bradley County, Tennessee," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Tennessee, accessed 7 November 2019.
  7. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at
  8. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at
  9. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at
  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
  12. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at
  13. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at
  14. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at
  15. WPA. Guide to Church Vital Statistics in Tennessee. Nashville: Tennessee State Planning Commission, 1942. FHL 976.8 K23w