Chester County, Tennessee Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Henderson
Organized: March 1, 1879
Parent County(s): Madison, Henderson, McNairy, Hardeman[1]
Neighboring Counties
Hardeman  • Hardin  • Henderson  • Madison  • McNairy
See County Maps
Chester county tennessee courthouse.jpg
Location Map
Location of Chester County, Tennessee.PNG
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Colonel Robert I. Chester, a quartermaster in the War of 1812, an early postmaster in Jackson, and a federal marshal. The County is located in the southwest area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Chester County Courthouse
P.O. Box 292
133 East Main St.
Henderson, TN 38340
County Website Phone: 731-989-2233
Clerk of Circuit Court Phone: 731-989-2454
Circuit Court Clerk Phone: 731-989-2454
Register of Deeds Phone: 731-989-4991
County Clerk Phone: 731-989-2233

Clerk Circuit Court has divorce and court records
Register of Deeds has land records.[3]

Chester 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 1890 1908 1882 1891 1890 1810
*Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1914. General compliance by 1927.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

1910 Courthouse burned and many records were damaged.[5]

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

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

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:[7]

Unincorporated communities

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]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Chester 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.
1890 9,069
1900 9,869 8.8%
1910 9,090 −7.9%
1920 9,669 6.4%
1930 10,603 9.7%
1940 11,124 4.9%
1950 11,149 0.2%
1960 9,569 −14.2%
1970 9,927 3.7%
1980 12,727 28.2%
1990 12,819 0.7%
2000 15,540 21.2%
2010 17,131 10.2%
Source: "".

1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 Chester County federal population schedules 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.

1880 - See parent counties

1890 Lost

  • 1890 - 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. 7 1891. Johnson County is included in Vol. 7.
  • 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.

1891 Male Voters

Church Records[edit | edit source]

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court Records[edit | edit source]

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 Chester, Tennessee at World Connect, results in more than 4,500 entries.


  • Baird - See McConnell.
  • Barber - See McConnell.
  • Martin - See McConnell.
  • McCall - See McConnell.
  • McConnell - McConnell, Newton Whitfield. Genealogical History of the Families of McConnells, Martins, Barbers, Wilsons, Bairds, McCalls and Morris. Unknown: Unknown, 1913. Available at FHL US/CAN Film 1031512 Item 8; digital version available at Heritage Quest Online ($).
  • Morris - See McConnell.
  • Wilson - See McConnell.

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

Chester County Register of Deeds has Land Records from 1891 and is located at Courthouse, P.O. Box 205, Henderson, TN 38340-0205; Telephone: (901) 989-2233. Land and property records include transfer of real estate or personal property, mortgages, leases, surveys, and entries.

The Family History Library has Chester County deeds 1891-1899.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Henderson CountyHardin CountyMcNairy CountyHardeman CountyMadison CountyTN CHESTER.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

War of 1812
There were no War of 1812 pensioners or widows of pensioners living in Chester County on 2 January 1883.[8]

Civil War

Online Records

Regiments. Men in Chester 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 Chester County:

Confederate Soldiers

Additional sources for Civil War soldiers from Chester County:

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 Chester County click on the following city:

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 has responsibility for Chester County probate records.

Online Records

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

The original Chester County Tax Books 1890-1894 are kept at the County Courthouse. In the 1970s, the TSLA microfilmed these records. FHL copy: FHL US/CAN Film 979721.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Online Indexes and Record

Death[edit | edit source]

For deaths of Methodists in Chester County (or what later became Chester County) between the 1830s and the 1920s, try:

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 Books Online.

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

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

Chester County Library
1012 E Main St
Henderson, TN 38340
The Chester County Library contains a Genealogy Room.

West Tennessee Heritage Study Center
Paul Meek Library
10 Wayne Fisher Dr.
Martin, TN 38238
Phone: 731-881-7065

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

Chester County Historical Society
1012 E. Main St.
Henderson, TN 38340
Phone: 731-989-4673

Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

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, "Chester, Tennessee" in,_Tennessee accessed 17 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. Lost Records: Courthouse Fires and Disasters in Tennessee in Tennessee State Library and Archives in Tennessee Secretary of State (accessed 13 March 2016).
  6. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Tennessee.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  7. Wikipedia contributors, "Chester County, Tennessee," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Tennessee, accessed 10 November 2019.
  8. Hermione D. Embry, "War of 1812 - Tennessee Pensioners on List - January 2, 1883," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 7, No. 2 (Apr. 1960):40-45. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 B2a v. 7 (1960); digital version at journal website. (For discussion of Chester County, see page 40.)
  9. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at