Macon County, Tennessee Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Lafayette
Organized: January 18, 1842
Parent County(s): Smith, Sumner[1]
Neighboring Counties
Allen (KY)  • Clay  • Jackson  • Monroe (KY)  • Smith  • Sumner  • Trousdale
See County Maps
Location Map
Location of Macon County, Tennessee.PNG
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Macon County was named the late Revolutionary War veteran and United States Senator, Nathaniel Macon. The county is located in the north-central area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Macon County Courthouse
106 County Courthouse
Lafayette, TN 37083
County Courthouse Phone: 615-666-2000
County Clerk Phone: 615-666-2333
Circuit Court Clerk Phone: 615-666-2354
Register of Deeds Phone: 615- 666-2353

County Clerk has birth record 1908-1912, marriage record from 1901; probate record from 1900
Clerk Circuit Court has divorce and court records
Register of Deeds has land records[3]

Macon 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 1901 1925 1843 1901 1900 1810
*Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1914. General compliance by 1927.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

1860, 1901, and 1932 Most pre-1900 records have been lost in courthouse fires.[5]

  • Lost land records
  • Lost marriage records: 1842 to 1900
  • Lost probate records: 1842 to 1939
  • Because of three courthouse fires, the records stored there prior to 1901 are mostly destroyed. The Macon County Historical Society website, is working to restore these lost records through several different means. To learn what records are now available, it is worthwhile to contact the Macon County Historical Society at P.O. Box 231, Lafayette, Tennessee 37083-0231.

Surviving chancery court records act as a substitute to the lost land and probate records.

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

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

  • 1842--Macon County was created 18 January 1842 from Smith and Sumner Counties.
  • County seat: Lafayette[6]

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

Unincorporated communities

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Additional Information

Sen. Nathaniel Macon (1758-1837)

Middle Tennessee county established in 1842. Macon County's land belonged to the pioneer Cumberland Settlements.[8]

The county is named after U.S. Senator Nathaniel Macon (1758-1837).[9]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

  • Douthat, James L. Macon County, Tennessee Biographies. Signal Mountain, Tenn.: Mountain Press. Mountain Press provides online surname list.

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

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Macon 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.
1850 6,948
1860 7,290 4.9%
1870 6,633 −9.0%
1880 9,321 40.5%
1890 10,878 16.7%
1900 12,881 18.4%
1910 14,559 13.0%
1920 14,922 2.5%
1930 13,872 −7.0%
1940 14,904 7.4%
1950 13,599 −8.8%
1960 12,197 −10.3%
1970 12,315 1.0%
1980 15,700 27.5%
1990 15,906 1.3%
2000 20,386 28.2%
2010 22,248 9.1%
Source: "".

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



  • Cothron, Judy M., ed. Macon County Tennessee, 1850 & 1860 Census. Lafayette, Tennessee: Macon County Historical Society, 1997. FHL 976.8484 X2c
  • Porch, Deane. Macon County, Tennessee, 1850 Census. Franklin, Tennessee: L.G. Lynch, 19-?. FHL 976.8484 X2p 1850


  • Cothron, Judy M., ed. Macon County Tennessee, 1850 & 1860 Census. Lafayette, Tennessee: Macon County Historical Society, 1997. FHL 976.8484 X2c


  • Cothron, Judy M., ed.Macon County, Tennessee, 1870 & 1880 Census.Lafayette, Tennessee Macon County Historical Society, 1995. FHL 976.8484 X2m 1870-1880


  • Cothron, Judy M., ed.Macon County, Tennessee, 1870 & 1880 Census.Lafayette, Tennessee Macon County Historical Society, 1995. FHL 976.8484 X2m 1870-1880
  • Sistler, Byron H. and Barbara Sistler. 1880 census, Macon County, Tennessee. Nashville, Tennessee B. Sistler & Associates, 1993. FHL 976.8484 X2s 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. 6 1891. Macon County is included in Vol. 6.
  • 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


  • Crumpton, Barbara. 1900 Census, Macon County, Tennessee.Duncan, Oklahoma: Creative Copies, 1988. FHL 976.8484 X2c 1900
  • Pryor, Mary C. Macon County, Tennessee 1900 & 1910 Census. Lafayette, Tennessee: Macon County Historical Society, 2004. FHL 976.8484 X2pm 1900-1910


  • Pryor, Mary C. Macon County, Tennessee 1900 & 1910 Census. Lafayette, Tennessee: Macon County Historical Society, 2004. FHL 976.8484 X2pm 1900-1910


Church Records[edit | edit source]

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.

  • Macon County Church Records
  • Church histories tell when a church started in the area, who the early members were, give data about church leaders, etc.
  • If the records you need are not through the Family History Library, contact the church(es) in the area where your ancestor lived. Two sites that give information about churches in Macon County are:


  • 1831-1928 - Hillsdale Baptist Church Records. Macon County, 1831-1928. Manuscript. TSLA Reel #215. FHL 570855 Item 3. Formerly the East Fork of Goose Creek Church.
  • 1831-1900 - Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Vital Statistics from 19th Century Tennessee Church Records. Nashville: Sitler and Associates, 1979. vol. 1 FHL 976.8 K29s Index to original Hillsdale Baptist Church Records. Macon County, 1831-1928.
  • 1841-1883 Hastings, Patricia G. Into His Marvelous Light: the Minutes of the Siloam Missionary Baptist Church, 1841-1883. Nashville, Tennessee: P.G. Hastings, 1988. FHL 976.8484 K2h

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]

  • Macon County Tennessee Historical Society. Macon County, Tennessee: History and Families. Paducah, Ky.: Turner Pub. Co., 2001. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8484 H2m.
  • Macon County Historical and Genealogical Society. Macon Roots: A Record of the Families of Macon County, Tennessee in 1850. n.p.: Ridge Runner, 2008. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8484 D2m.
  • Masters, Jack and Bill Puryear. Founding of the Cumberland Settlements: The First Atlas 1779-1804: Showing Who Came, How They Came, and Where They Put Down Roots. Gallatin, Tenn.: Warioto Press, 2009. FHL US/CAN Large Q Book 976.8 E7d. Supplements: FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 E7d supp. 1 ff.
  • Ballew - Ballew, David L. Ancestors of Leonard Ballew. West Palm Beach, Fla.: D.L. Ballew, 1987? FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 B212b.
  • Cragon - Cragon, Henry D., Harvey Allen Cragon, Miller Murray Cragon, and James Alexander Cragon. Tennessee Cragons and Their Kinfolk. [Birmingham, Alabama?: H.D. Cragon], 1974. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 C843c.
  • Doss - Murphy, Nathan W. Descendants of Azariah Doss and His Wife Lydia (Ayres) Doss. Hanson, Ky.: David W. Murphy and Associates, 1998. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 D741m

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

  • Blankenship, Harold G. History of Macon County, Tennessee. n.p.: H.G. Blankenship, 1986. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8484 H2b.
  • Roddy, Vernon On the early story of Red Boiling Springs, Tennesse with selected supporting materials Hartsville, Tennessee V. Roddy, 1991 (Murfreesboro, Tennessee Ambassador Print) FHL US/CAN book 976.8484 H2rv

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Allen CountyMonroe CountyClay CountyJackson CountySmith CountyTrousdale CountySumner CountyTN MACON.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

War of 1812

  • Embry, Hermione D. "War of 1812 - Tennessee Pensioners on List - January 2, 1883," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 8, No. 1 (Jan. 1961):20-23. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 B2a v. 8 (1961); digital version at Ansearchin' News archives at Tennessee Genealogical Society. Includes Macon County pensioners (p. 21).

Civil War

Online Records

Regiments. Men in Macon 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 Macon County:

Confederate Soldiers

Union Soldiers

Additional sources for Civil War soldiers from Macon County:

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

  • Gregory, Charles Cal's Column-Macon County Times. Transcription Cal's Column.
  • 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 Macon County click on the following cities:
  • 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 Macon County Court and County Clerk have responsibility for probate records.

Online Records and Indexes

Book Abstracts and Indexes

  • Macon County (Tennessee) County Clerk and Tennessee State Library and Archives (Nashville, Tennessee) Macon County, Tennessee wills, ca. 1946-1977 Nashville, Tennessee Filmed by the Tennessee State Library and Archives, 1988. FHL US/CAN film 1928767 item 6

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

Book Abstracts and Indexes[10]

  • 1789 Cumberland Settlements, Tax List, 1789, The Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy and History, Vol. 4, No. 2 (Fall 1990). For possible FHL and online access, as well as indexes, seePeriodicals. Includes area that later became Macon County.
  • 1868 Taxpayers, 3rd District, 1868, Macon County Historical Society Newsletter, Vol. 8, No. 2 (Summer 1992).

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

Macon County Public Library
311 Church St.
Lafayette, TN 37083
Phone: 615-666-4340
Fax: 615-666-8932

Red Boiling Springs Branch Library
335 East Main Street
Red Boiling Springs, TN 37150
Phone: 615-699-3701

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

Macon County Historical Society
111 East Locust Street
P.O. Box 231
Lafayette, TN 37083
Phone: 615-688-6247

Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

  • "Research in Macon County," The Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy and History, Vol. 6, No. 3 (Winter 1993). For possible FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Periodicals.

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, "Macon, Tennessee", accessed 27 Dec 2018
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists : United States of America, 10th ed., (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002) Macon County, Tennessee, p.641
  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.
  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, "Macon County, Tennessee," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Tennessee, accessed 2 December 2019.
  8. Founding of the Cumberland Settlements: The First Atlas 1779-1804.
  9. "Nathaniel Macon", Wikipedia.
  10. The Heritage Quest Online version of PERSI aided in the compilation of this list.