Humphreys County, Tennessee Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Waverly[1]
Organized: October 19, 1809
Parent County(s): Stewart, Tennessee, Robertson[2]
Neighboring Counties
Benton  • Dickson  • Hickman  • Houston  • Perry
See County Maps
Humphreys County, Tennessee Courthouse.JPG
Location Map
Location of Humphreys County, Tennessee.PNG
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Humphreys County was named for Judge (and future Congressman) Parry Wayne Humphreys. The county is located in the northwestern area of the state.[3]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Humphreys County Courthouse
102 Thompson Street
Waverly, TN 37185
Humphreys County Website
County Clerk Phone: 931-296-7671
Circuit Court Clerk Phone: 931-296-2461
Register of Deeds Phone: 931-296-7681
Clerk & Master Phone: 931-296-2558

Courthouse burned in 1876 and 1898. Only the land records are complete.
Land records from 1809, marriage records from 1861 and probate records from 1838.[4]

Humphreys 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[5]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1908 1861 1908 1842 1809 1838 1810
*Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1914. General compliance by 1927.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

1876 and 1898 Fires damaged courthouse records.[6]

  • Lost census: 1810
  • Lost marriage records: 1809 to 1861
  • Lost probate records: 1809 to 1836

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

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

  • 1809 - Humphreys County was created 19 October 1809 from Stewart County.
  • From 1788 to 1796 people living in what is now Humphreys County were in extinct Tennessee. Their records for that period are now found in Robertson.[7]
  • County seat: Waverly[8]

For animated maps illustrating Tennessee county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Tennessee County Boundary Maps" (1777-1985) may be viewed for free 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:[9]

Unincorporated communities

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Additional Information
Middle Tennessee county on the Tennessee River. Established 1809.

The county is named after "U.S. Representative from Tennessee Parry Wayne Humphreys (1778-1839)."[10]

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 Humphreys County.

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Humphreys 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

  • Tennessee Cemeteries - Hometown Locator
  • Charles A. Reeves Jr. has created a detailed map showing the locations of Humphreys County cemeteries. It may be purchased for a small fee through his Cemetery Maps Catalog$

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1810 1,511
1820 4,067 169.2%
1830 6,187 52.1%
1840 5,195 −16.0%
1850 6,422 23.6%
1860 9,096 41.6%
1870 9,326 2.5%
1880 11,379 22.0%
1890 11,720 3.0%
1900 13,398 14.3%
1910 13,908 3.8%
1920 13,482 −3.1%
1930 12,039 −10.7%
1940 12,421 3.2%
1950 11,030 −11.2%
1960 11,511 4.4%
1970 13,560 17.8%
1980 15,957 17.7%
1990 15,795 −1.0%
2000 17,929 13.5%
2010 18,538 3.4%
Source: "".

1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, and 1940 federal population censuses of Humphreys 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 Humphreys County, TN census assignments, including links to transcribed files. The USGenWeb Census Project®


1810 Lost, but a substitute is available:

  • Sherrill, Charles A. The Reconstructed 1810 Census of Tennessee: 33,000 Long-lost Records from Tax Lists, Court Minutes, Church Records, Wills, Deeds and Other Sources. Mt. Juliet, Tenn.: C.A. Sherrill, 2001. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 X2s 1810.


Census takers found no free African Americans living in Humphreys County, Tennessee in 1820.[11]

  • Bentley, Elizabeth P. Index to the 1820 Census of Tennessee. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1981. FHL 976.8 X22b 1820. Online at Ancestry ($).

1840 Revolutionary War Pensioners


  • Garrett, Jill. Humphreys County, Tennessee 1850 Census Additional Notes. Columbia, Tennessee: J. K. Garrett, 1962. FHL 976.837 X2p
  • Finley, Nina. Census of the Houston County Area. Erin, Tennessee: Friends of Houston County Library, 19-? FHL 976.836 X2f Vol. 6, Northern Humphreys County.


  • Finley, Nina. Census of the Houston County Area. Erin, Tennessee: Friends of Houston County Library, 19-? FHL 976.836 X2f Vol. 7, Northern Humphreys County.


  • Clifton, Betty F.1870 Census of Humphreys County, Tennessee. Taylorsville, California: B.F. Clifton, 1979. FHL 976.837 X2c 1870
  • Finley, Nina. Census of the Houston County Area. Erin, Tennessee: Friends of Houston County Library, 19-? FHL 976.836 X2f Vol. 8, Northern Humphreys County.


  • Fischer, Marjorie Hood and Ruth B. Burns. 1880 Census, Humphreys County, Tennessee. Vista, California: Ram Press, 1987. FHL 976.837 X2f 1880

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. 8 1891. Humphreys County is included in Vol. 8.
  • 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]

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]


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


  • Adams - Hampton, Estelline Adams. John Adams, Esquire (III): Ancestors and Descendants. Unknown: unknown, 1976. Available at FHL US/CAN Film 982157 Item 7; digital versions available at Ancestry ($); View copies at FamilySearch Digital Library,; and Heritage Quest Online ($).
  • 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.
  • Hamilton - Hamilton, Thomas. Autobiography of Thomas Hamilton. Typescript, microfilmed 1972. FHL US/CAN Film 896607 Item 2.
  • Knight - Garrett, Jill Knight. Knight Cousins. [Columbia, TN: Unknown, 1967. Available at FHL US/CAN Film 928090; digital version at Heritage Quest Online ($).
  • McMurtry - McMurtry, Otis D. Chronology of the Life of John McMurtry, Esq., Soldier, Privateer of the American Revolution: Progentior of the McMurtry Clan of Tennessee. Typescript, TSLA. FHL US/CAN Film 570838 Item 2.
  • McMurtry - McMurtry, Brian L. The West Tennessee McMurtry Family: A Synopsis of the Lives and Historical Background that Surrounded the McMurtry Family of Humphreys, Benton, and Henry County, TN. Newburgh, Ind.: B.L. McMurtry, 2006. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 M229mb.
  • Whitfield - Whitfield, Vallie Jo Fox. Whitfield History and Genealogy of Tennessee. [Walnut Creek, CA: Unknown,, 1964. Available at FHL US/CAN Film 879642 Item 1; digital version available at Heritage Quest Online ($).

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

  • Humphreys County Register of Deeds has Land Records from 1810 and is located at Room 3 - Court House Annex, 102 Thompson, Waverly, Tennessee 37185; 931-296-7681. 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 deeds 1810-1897 with indeses 1810-1907; land sales frm the late 1800s to the early 1900s; tax books 1898-1916.
  • Free lookups available for Tennessee Land Grants C-CZ, H-Hz, S-Sz, N-O, P-

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

  • Smith, H. K. Some Encounters with General Forrest. McKenzie, Tenn.?: unknown, 1959. Available at Heritage Quest Online ($).

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Houston CountyDickson CountyHickman CountyPerry CountyBenton CountyTN HUMPHREYS.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

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

Additional resources include:

War of 1812

  • Embry, Hermione D. "War of 1812 - Tennessee Pensioners on List - January 2, 1883," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 7, No. 3 (Jul. 1960):65-68; Vol. 7, No. 4 (Oct. 1960):90-93. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 B2a v. 7 (1960); digital version at journal website. Includes Humphreys County pensioners 7(3):68, 7(4):90.

Civil War

Online Records

Regiments. Men in Humphreys 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 Humphreys County:

Confederate Soldiers

Additional sources for Civil War soldiers from Humphreys County:

Spanish American War

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Random Acts Of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK) volunteer is willing to do obituary lookups in Humphreys County newspapers covering the years 1931 to 2003. RAOGK Lookups

Many Tennessee newspapers are filmed and available at [1]. 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 Humphreys County click on the following cities or towns:

  • 1794-1851 - Lucas, Silas Emmett. Marriages from Early Tennessee Newspapers 1794-1851. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1978. FHL 976.8 V2L.
  • 1847-1851 - Smith, Jonathan K.T. Genealogical Abstracts from Reported Deaths, the Nashville Christian Advocate. [1847-1914] 10 vols. [Jackson, Tenn.]: J.K.T. Smith, 1997-2003. FHL US/CAN Books 976.855/N1 V48s 1847-1851 ff; digital versions at David Donahue Memorial: Tennessee Records Repository. Website expands upon the publications and includes deaths from the 1830s, 1840s, 1910s and 1920s. (Largely Methodist?)

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 Humphreys County Court has responsibility for the probate records.

Online Records and Indexes

Book Abstracts and Indexes

  • 1837-1861 - 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.
  • 1838-1844 - Works Progress Administration. Wills and Inventories, 1838-1844. Nashville, Tennessee: Works Progress Administration, 1938. Typescript of the original records.

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

Book Abstracts and Indexes

  • 1812 Taxable Inhabitants, 1812, Ansearchin' News, Vol. 11, No. 4 (Oct. 1964). For possible FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Humphreys.
  • 1812 Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Index to Early Tennessee Tax Lists. Evanston, Ill.: B. B. Sistler, 1977. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 R4s. Includes 1812 tax list.
  • 1812 Taxable Inhabitants, 1812, Benton County Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 6, No. 2 (Apr. 1994).
  • 1817 "U.S. Holds 1817 Public Sale of Federal Tax-Delinquent Properties in Tennessee," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 43, No. 2 (Summer 1996):63-68. For possible FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Humphreys. Includes Humphreys County.
  • 1836 - Nichols, Elizabeth Riggins. "Humphreys County, Tennessee 1836 Tax List," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 35, No. 3 (Fall 1988):111-114. For FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Overton.
  • 1837 - Nazor, Mary Louise Graham. "Humphreys County, Tennessee 1837 Tax List," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 35, No. 4 (Winter 1988):165-170. For FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Overton.
  • 1837-1843 - Fischer, Marjorie and Ruth B. Burns. Humphreys County, Tennessee, Records: Tax Lists, 1837-1843; Marriages, 1888-1900.Vista, California Ran Press, 1987. FHL 976.837 R4f
  • 1839 Tax List, 1839, River Counties, Vol. 2, No. 3 (Jul. 1973).
  • 1852 Tax List, 1852, District 1, River Counties, Vol. 10, Nos. 1-4 (1981).
  • 1869 "Humphreys County Land Sold for Unpaid 1869 Taxes," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 46, No. 2 (Summer 1999):39. For possible FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Overton.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Online indexes and Records

Book Abstracts and Indexes

  • 1861-1888 - Humphreys County, Tennessee Marriage Records, 1861-1888. FHL 976.837 V2f Information abstracted from marriage books A, C, D, F, and G.
  • 1888-1900 - Humphreys County, Tennessee, Records: Tax Lists, 1837-1843; Marriages, 1888-1900. FHL 976.837 R4f.

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

Humphreys County Public Library
201 Pavo Avenue
Waverly, TN 37185
Phone: 931-296-2143

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

Humphreys County Historical Society
105 1/2 Meridale
Waverly, TN 37185

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. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Tennessee.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Humphreys, Tennessee" in,_Tennessee accessed 21 Dec 2018
  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. Lost Records: Courthouse Fires and Disasters in Tennessee in Tennessee State Library and Archives in Tennessee Secretary of State (accessed 13 March 2016).
  7. "Tennessee County" in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia at (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.
  8. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002), 641. (FHL Book 973 D27e 2002). WorldCat entry.
  9. Wikipedia contributors, "Humphreys County, Tennessee," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Tennessee#Communities, accessed 24 November 2019.
  10. "List of counties in Tennessee," Wikipedia.
  11. Waldrep, G.C. "'Free Colored' Heads of Household in the 1820 Tennessee Census," online at Free African Americans.
  12. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at