Dyer County, Tennessee Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Dyersburg
Organized: October 16, 1823
Parent County(s): Chickasaw Indian Lands[1]
Neighboring Counties
Crockett  • Gibson  • Lake  • Lauderdale  • Mississippi (AR)  • Obion  • Pemiscot (MO)
See County Maps
Dyer County Tennessee Courthouse.jpg
Location Map
Location of Dyer County, Tennessee.PNG
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Dyer County was named for Robert Henry Dyer (circa 1774-1826). The county is located in the northwestern area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Dyer County Courthouse
P.O. Box 1360
115 Market Street
Dyersburg, Tennessee 38025-1360
Dyer County Website Phone: 731-286-7814
County Clerk Phone: 731-286-7818
Register of Deeds Phone: 731-286-7814

County clerk has marriage and probate records from 1850, divorce and court records from 1927, and funeral records from 1914-1956.
Recorder of Deeds has land records.[3]

Dyer 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 1850 1881 1927 1820 1853 1810
*Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1914. General compliance by 1927.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

1864 Courthouse burned and many records were damaged.[5]

  • Lost marriage records: 1823 to 1859
  • Lost probate records: 1823 to 1853

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

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

  • 1823--Dyer County was created 16 October 1823 from Chickasaw Indian Lands.
  • County seat: Dyersburg[6]

For animated maps illustrating Tennessee county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Tennessee County Boundary Maps" (1777-1985) may be viewed at the MapofUS.org 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:[7]

Unincorporated communities

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Additional Information
West Tennessee county.

The county is named after "Tennessee state legislator Robert Henry Dyer."[8]

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 Dyer County.

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Dyer 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.
1830 1,904
1840 4,484 135.5%
1850 6,361 41.9%
1860 10,536 65.6%
1870 13,706 30.1%
1880 15,118 10.3%
1890 19,878 31.5%
1900 23,776 19.6%
1910 27,721 16.6%
1920 29,983 8.2%
1930 31,405 4.7%
1940 34,920 11.2%
1950 33,473 −4.1%
1960 29,537 −11.8%
1970 30,427 3.0%
1980 34,663 13.9%
1990 34,854 0.6%
2000 37,279 7.0%
2010 38,335 2.8%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, and 1940 federal population censuses of Dyer 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 Dyer County, TN census assignments, including links to transcribed files. The USGenWeb Census Project®


1840 Revolutionary War Pensioners


  • Carpenter, Mrs. V.K. Seventh census of the United States, 1850; Dyer County, Tennessee,population schedules Huntsville, Arkansas Century Enterprises, Genealogical SErvices, 1969 FHL US/CAN book 976.815 X2


  • Felldin, Jeanne Robey and Tucker, Charlotte Magee 1860 United States census, Dyer County, Tennessee, surname index Tomball, Texas Genealogical Publications, c1976 FHL US/CAN book 976.8 A1


  • Sistler, Samuel 1880 census, Dyer County, Tennessee Nashville, Tennessee Byron Sistler and Associates, 2002 FHL US/CAN book 976.815 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. 3 1891. Dyer County is included in Vol. 3.
  • 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.

Male Voters

Church Records[edit | edit source]

List of Churches and Church Parishes

  • If the records you need are not found in the Family History Library collection, contact the church(es) in the area where your ancestor lived.Two sites that give information about churches in Dyer County are:
- List of Dyer County churches with addresses and phone numbers (Yellowbook)
- List of Dyer County churches (TN HomeTownLocator)
  • In 1936, a helpful guide to early Dyer County church records was published by the Works Project Administration. [9]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 Dyer County are listed. Many of these filmed records are also available at the Family History Library.
  • Tennessee Diaries, Memoirs and Church Records in the Manuscript Division, Tennessee State Library and Archives: Listed by County. Nashville, Tenn.: Manuscript Division, 1965. Digital versions of this guide are available at Ancestry ($); and Heritage Quest Online ($).

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. 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]

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

Dyer County Register of Deeds has Land Records from 1823 and is located at Courthouse Square, P.O. Box 1360, Dyersburg, Tennessee 38025-1360; Telephone: (731) 286-7814. Land and property records include transfer of real estate or personal property, mortgages, leases, surveys, and entries

The Family History Library has microfilm copies of deed books 1824-1882 with indexes 1822-1915, land survey books 1827-1860, and survey entries 1820-1911.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Pemiscot CountyMississippi CountyLake CountyObion CountyGibson CountyCrockett CountyLauderdale CountyTN DYER.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

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

Additional resources include:

War of 1812
There were no War of 1812 pensioners or widows of pensioners living in Dyer County on 2 January 1883.[10]

Civil War

Online Records

Regiments. Men in Dyer 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 Dyer County:

Confederate Soldiers

Additional sources for Civil War soldiers from Dyer 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 Dyer County click on the following cities or towns:

For deaths of Methodists in Dyer County between the 1830s and the 1920s, try:

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 Dyer County probate records.

Online Records

Book Abstracts and Indexes

  • 1853-1893 - Lambert, Agnes and Mary N. Gilmore, transcribers for Works Progress Administration. Dyer County, Tennessee Wills. Nashville, Tennessee: Byron Sistler & Assoc., 1998. (FHL book 976.815 P2L v. 1.)
  • 1853-1861 - 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 wills.
  • USGenWeb's Dyer County page has links to several transcribed wills.

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

The original Dyer County Tax Books 1862, 1873-1884 were microfilmed by the TSLA in 1970. FHL copy: FHL US/CAN Film 833249.

Book Abstracts and Indexes

  • 1836 - Tatum, Ausborn C. "Dyer County, Tennessee 1836 Tax List," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 29, No. 4 (Winter 1982):177-180. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 B2a v. 29-30 (1982-1983);digital version at society's website. For further access, see Periodicals.
  • 1836 - Tax List, 1836, Tennessee Genealogy and History. Signal Mountain TN: Aug 1997. Vol. 1 Iss. 2-3.
  • 1836 - Douthat, James L. 1836 Dyer County, Tennessee Civil Districts and Tax Listing. Signal Mountain, Tenn.: Mountain Press, 2003. FHL US/CAN Book 976.815 R4d.
  • 1836 - Alsup, Samuel. "1836 Tax Rolls, Dyer Co., TN," available online, courtesy: TNGenWeb.
  • 1859 - Appling, Lynn Pierce. "Dyer County Tax Sales 1859," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 45, No. 1 (Spring 1998):36-38. FHL US/CAN ;Book 976.8 B2a v. 45-46 (1998-1999). For access, see Periodicals

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Online Indexes and Records

Book Abstracts and Indexes

Death[edit | edit source]

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

Hamilton Parks Public Library
74 Parks Plaza
Trimble, TN 38259
Phone: 731-297-3601
Email: trimblelibrary@hotmail.com

McIver's Grant Public Library
204 N Mill Ave
Dyerburg, TN 38024
Phone: 731-285-5032
Email: library38024@yahoo.com

Newbern City Library
220 E Main St
Newbern, TN 38059
Phone: 731-627-3153
Email: newber_c@bellsouth.net

West Tennessee Heritage Study Center
Paul Meek Library
10 Wayne Fisher Dr.
Martin, TN 38238
Phone: 731-881-7065
Houses 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 Dyer County. For state-wide genealogical societies, see Tennessee Societies.

Dyer County Historical Society
120B McGaughey Street E.
Dyersburg, TN 38024
Phone: 731-286-7829

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, "Dyer, Tennessee" in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyer_County,_Tennessee accessed 18 Dec 2018
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists : United States of America, 10th ed., (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002) Dyer County, Tennessee, p.639
  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 31 March 2014).
  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, "Dyer County, Tennessee," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyer_County%2C_Tennessee, accessed 13 November 2019.
  8. "List of counties in Tennessee," Wikipedia.
  9. WPA. Guide to Church Vital Statistics in Tennessee. Nashville: Tennessee State Planning Commission, 1942. FHL 976.8 K23w
  10. Hermioned 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. [Discussion about Dyer County appears on page 43.]
  11. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/6/60/Igitennesseea.pdf.