Houston County, Tennessee Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Erin
Organized: January 23, 1871
Parent County(s): Dickson, Humphreys, Stewart, Tennessee, Robertson [1]
Neighboring Counties
Benton  • Dickson  • Humphreys  • Montgomery  • Stewart
See County Maps
Location Map
Location of Houston County, Tennessee.PNG
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Old Houston County Courthouse, Arlington

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Houston County was named for Sam Houston. The county is located in the northwestern area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Houston County Courthouse
4725 East Main Street
PO Box 388
Erin, TN 37061-0388
County Courthouse Phone: 931-289-3633
County Clerk Phone: 931-289-3141
Clerk Circuit Court Phone: 931-289-4673
Register of Deeds Phone: 931-289-3510

Marriage records, divorce and court records
Probate records, land records.[3]

Houston 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 1871 1881 1871 1871 1869 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.[5]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

  • 1871--Houston County was created 23 January 1871 from Dickson, Humphreys, and Stewart Counties.
  • From 1788 to 1796 people living in what is now part of Houston County were in extinct Tennessee. Their records for that period are now found in Robertson.[6]
  • County seat: Erin[7]

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]

Unincorporated communities

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Additional Information

Gov. Sam Houston (1793-1863)

Middle Tennessee county on the Tennessee River. Established 1871.

The county is named after Sam Houston (1793-1863), Governor of Tennessee and later of Texas.[8]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

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

  • Middle Tennessee's Forgotten Children: Apprentices from 1784 to 1902. 2004. By Alan N. Miller. Baltimore, Md.: Clearfield Company. FHL US/CAN 976.8 U2ma. Includes Houston County.

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Houston 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.


Additional Cemetery Resources

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1880 4,295
1890 5,390 25.5%
1900 6,476 20.1%
1910 6,224 −3.9%
1920 6,212 −0.2%
1930 5,555 −10.6%
1940 6,432 15.8%
1950 5,318 −17.3%
1960 4,794 −9.9%
1970 5,845 21.9%
1980 6,871 17.6%
1990 7,018 2.1%
2000 8,088 15.2%
2010 8,426 4.2%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, and 1940 federal population censuses of Houston 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.



  • Finley, Nina. Census of Houston County Area.Erin, Tennessee Friends of Houston County Library, 19--?. vol.9 FHL 976.836 X2f
  • Sistler, Samuel D. 1880 census - Houston County, Tennessee. Nashville, Tennessee: B. Sistler & Associates, 2000. FHL 976.836 X2s 1880

1890 Lost

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. Houston 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.

Male Voters


  • Finley, Nina. Census of Houston County Area.Erin, Tennessee Friends of Houston County Library, 19--?. vol.10 FHL 976.836 X2f


  • Bush, Marisa, ed.. Houston County, Tennessee Census, 1920 (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2000. Available at Ancestry ($)

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 Houston, Tennessee at World Connect, results in more than 4,000 entries.


  • Adams - Proctor, Irene Adams. The Adams Family Kith and Kin: From Halifax County, Virginia to Yellow Creek Valley and Grices Creek, Houston County, Tennessee; a Narrative Account: History, Biography, Genealogy and Legend. Baltimore, Md.: Gateway Press, 2000. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 Ad17pi.
  • Beasley - Lockhart, William Thomas. The Beasley Family of Benton, Henry, Hickman, Houston, Humphreys and Stewart Counties of Tennessee. Florissant, Missouri: W. Lockhart, 1985. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 B38Lw.
  • Knight - Garrett, Jill Knight. Knight Cousins. Columbia, TN: Unknown, 1967. Available at FHL US/CAN Film 928090; digital version at Heritage Quest Online ($).

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

  • Houston County Register of Deeds has Land Records from 1871 and is located at the county Courthouse, P.O. Box 388, 100 Main St., Erin, Tennessee 37061; Telephone: (931) 289-3141. 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 1871-1967; probate deed books 1871-1957; trust deed books, 1872-1967; Plat books 1853-1967.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

  • Goodspeed firm Goodspeed history of Tennessee The Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1886 for histories of Montgomery, Robinson, Humphreys, Stewart, Dickson, Cheatham, and Houston Counties of Tennessee.
  • Finley, Nina - compiled from records housed at Houston County Board of Education Houston County School Data Pre-1930. 1991
  • McClain, Iris Hopkins A history of Houston County. 1966 FHL US/CAN book 976.836 H2

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Stewart CountyMontgomery CountyDickson CountyHumphreys CountyBenton CountyHenry CountyTN HOUSTON.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

War of 1812

Civil War

Online Records

Other Resources

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 Houston 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:

  • The River Counties Quarterly: (14 vols.) edited by Jill K. Garrett. The Family History Library has a complete collection FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 B2rc.

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

The Houston County Court has responsibility for the probate records.

Online Records and Indexes

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Online Indexes and Records

Book Abstracts and Indexes

  • Finley, Nina. Newspaper clipping collection: from the attic of Mr. and Mrs. James T. Brigham. Erin, Tennessee: Friends of Houston County Library, 19--. FHL Book 976.836 B39f

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 Books Online

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

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

Houston County Public Library
24 S. Spring Street
Erin, TN 37061
Phone: 931-289-3858

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

Houston County Historical Society
Erin, TN 37061
Email: jbthree@peoplestel.net

Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Tennessee County" in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tennessee_County (accessed 25 May 2010), and Alice Eichholz, Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, 3rd ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004) [[FHL Book 973 D27rb 2004 ]], 639.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Houston, Tennessee" in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Houston_County,_Tennessee accessed 21 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. Robert M.McBride, Tennessee County Data (Nashville, Tennessee: Tennessee States Library and Archives, 1966), 29.
  6. "Tennessee County" in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tennessee_County (accessed 25 May 2010), and Alice Eichholz, Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, 3rd ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004) [[FHL Book 973 D27rb 2004 ]], 639.
  7. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Tennessee.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  8. "List of counties in Tennessee," Wikipedia.
  9. 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.