Fayette County, Tennessee Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

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

County Facts
County seat: Somerville
Organized: September 29, 1824
Parent County(s): Hardeman, Shelby[1]
Neighboring Counties
Benton (MS)  • Hardeman  • Haywood  • Marshall (MS)  • Shelby  • Tipton
See County Maps
Location Map
Location of Fayette 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]

Fayette County was named for Marquis de Lafayette. The county is located in the southwestern area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Fayette County Courthouse
P.O. Box 218
1 Court Square
Somerville, TN 38068-0218
Fayette County Courthouse Phone: 901-465-5219
County Clerk Phone: 901-465-5213
Chancery Court and Clerk and Master Phone: 901-465-5217

County clerk has birth and death records 1925-1929, marriage records from 1838 except 1918-1925 lost in the fire
Court records
Clerk and Master have probate records
Register of Deeds has land records[3]

Fayette 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
1814 1838 1814 1824 1821 1836 1810
*Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1914. General compliance by 1927.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

1925 Courthouse burned and many records were damaged.[5]
1824-1837:Lack of marriage records
1824-1836:Lost probate records

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

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

  • 1824--Fayette County was created 29 September 1824 from Hardeman and Shelby Counties.
  • County seat: Somerville[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

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Additional Information

The Marquis de Lafayette

West Tennessee county.

The county is named after Revolutionary War hero, the Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834).[8]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

  • Douthat, James L. Fayette County, Tennessee Biographies. 1887; reprint, Signal Mountain, Tenn.: Mountain Press. Free Surname Index and purchase details at Mountain Press website.
  • All of the family biographies from the History of Fayette County, Tennessee (1887) by Goodspeed are availableonline at My Genealogy Hound.

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 Fayette County.

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Fayette 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 8,652
1840 21,501 148.5%
1850 26,719 24.3%
1860 24,327 −9.0%
1870 26,145 7.5%
1880 31,871 21.9%
1890 28,878 −9.4%
1900 29,701 2.8%
1910 30,257 1.9%
1920 31,499 4.1%
1930 28,891 −8.3%
1940 30,322 5.0%
1950 27,535 −9.2%
1960 24,577 −10.7%
1970 22,692 −7.7%
1980 25,305 11.5%
1990 25,559 1.0%
2000 28,806 12.7%
2010 38,413 33.4%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, and 1940 federal population censuses of Fayette 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 Fayette 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 Fayette County, Tennessee,population schedules Huntsville, Arkansas Century Enterprises, 1969 FHL US/CAN book 976.821 X2


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


  • Sistler, Samuel D. 1880 census, Fayette County, Tennessee Nashville, Tennessee Byron Sistler and Associates, 2003 FHL US/CAN book 976.821 X22

Male Voters

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.

  • Fayette County Church Records
- FamilySearch Catalog - Fayette County Church Records
  • 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 Fayette County are:
- List of Fayette County churches with addresses and phone numbers (Yellowbook)
- List of Fayette County churches (TN HomeTownLocator)
  • In 1936, a helpful guide to early Fayette 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 Fayette County are listed. Many of these filmed records are also available at the Family History Library.


  • 1832-1901 - Mt. Pisgah Primitive Baptist Church Records. Fayette County, 1832-1901. Manuscript. TSLA Reel #361
  • 1832-1900 - Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Vital Statistics from 19th Century Tennessee Church Records.Nashville: Sitler and Associates, 1979.FHL 976.8 K29s vol.2 Index to original Mt. Pisgah Primitive Baptist Church Records. Fayette County, 1832-1901.



  • 1890-1970 - Moscow Methodist Church Records. Fayette County, 1890-1970. Typescript. TSLA Reel #360
  • 1890-1900 - Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Vital Statistics from 19th Century Tennessee Church Records.Nashville: Sitler and Associates, 1979.FHL 976.8 K29s vol.2 Index to original Moscow Methodist Church Records. Fayette County, 1890-1970.
  • Historical Records Project. Immanuel Episcopal Church Minutes, La Grange, Tennessee.Typescript. FHL 24645 Includes index.
  • Historical Records Project. St. Thomas Episcopal Church Minutes and history, Somerville, Tennessee. Typescript. FHL 24645 Item 1


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]

African American
The Runaway Slave Blog is a online resource where runaway slaves listed in pre-1865 West Tennessee newspapers are identified. Some of the runaway ads appeared in Fayette County newspapers.

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

More than a dozen genealogies have been published about Fayette County, Tennessee families. For more information visit Fayette County, Tennessee Compiled Genealogies.

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

Fayette County Register of Deeds has Land Records from 1825 and is located at Courthouse, P. O. Box 99, Somerville, Tennessee 8068-0218; Telephone: (901) 465-5251. Land and property records include transfer of real estate or personal property, mortgages, leases, surveys, and entries.

The Family History has microfilm copies od deed books 1825- 1890 and land entries 1821-1881.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Tipton CountyHaywood CountyHardeman CountyBenton CountyMarshall CountyShelby CountyTN FAYETTE.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

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

Additional resources include:

War of 1812

Civil War

Online Records

Regiments. Men in Fayette 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 Fayette County:

Confederate Soldiers

Additional sources for Civil War soldiers from Fayette 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 Fayette County click on the following towns:

  • LaGrange
  • Somerville
  • 1794-1851 - Lucas, Silas Emmett. Marriages from Early Tennessee Newspapers 1794-1851. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1978. FHL 976.8 V2L.

For deaths of Methodists in Fayette 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 the probate records of Fayette County.

Online Records

Book Abstracts and Indexes

  • 1836-1861 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]

Book Abstracts and Indexes

  • 1836 West, Betsy F. "Fayette County, Tennessee Tax List-1836," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 22, No. 1 (Spring 1975):30-35; Vol. 22, No. 2 (Summer 1975):90-95; Vol. 22, No. 3 (Fall 1975):140-144; Vol. 22, No. 4 (Winter 1975):188-192. For FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Fayette.
  • 1874 Taxpayers, 1874, Old Timer Press. Ripley MS: Mar 1982. Vol. 1 Iss. 9.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Online Indexes and Records

Book Abstracts and Indexes

  • 1838-1873 - Early West Tennessee Marriages. 2 vols. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 V2sb v. 1 ff. Indexes names of brides and grooms, and marriage dates in this county for the specified years.

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

Somerville-Fayette County Library
216 W Market St
Somerville, TN 38068
Phone: 901-465-5248
The Historical Room contains county records, state records, family histories, obituaries, cemetery records, and church records.

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 Fayette County. For state-wide genealogical societies, see Tennessee Societies.

Fayette County Historical Society
P.O. Box 304
Somerville, TN 38068
Email: info@fayettecountyhistorical.org
Website Facebook

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, "Fayette, Tennessee" in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fayette_County,_Tennessee accessed 18 Dec 2018
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists : United States of America, 10th ed., (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002) Fayette 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, "Fayette County, Tennessee," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fayette_County,_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. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/d/d3/Igitennesseef.pdf.
  11. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/d/d3/Igitennesseef.pdf.
  12. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/d/d3/Igitennesseef.pdf.