Obion County, Tennessee Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Union City
Organized: October 24, 1823
Parent County(s): Chickasaw Indian Lands[1]
Neighboring Counties
Dyer  • Fulton (KY)  • Gibson  • Lake  • Weakley
See County Maps
Location Map
Location of Obion County, Tennessee.PNG
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Obion County was named for the Obion River and is located in the northwestern area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Obion County Courthouse
6 Bill Burnett Circle
Union City, TN 38261
County Courthouse Phone: 731-885-2562
County Clerk Phone: 731-885-3831
Register of Deeds Phone: 731-885-9351
County Circuit Court Clerk Phone: 731-885-1372

County Clerk has marriage records from 1824 and probate records from 1833.
Circuit and Chancery Court has divorce records.
Circuit and General Sessions Court has court records.
Register of Deeds has land records [3]

Obion 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 1824 1881 1824 1820 1833 1810
*Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1914. General compliance by 1927.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

1842 An earthquake damaged courthouse records.[5]

  • Lost probate records: 1823 to 1834

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

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

  • 1823--Obion County was established 24 October 1823 from Chickasaw Indian Lands.
  • County seat: Union City[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

Obion River near Obion, Tenn.

West Tennessee county. Established 1823.

The county is named after the Obion River.[8]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

  • Bowers - Abington - Guerrant - Cobb Bible Records, ca. 1801-1991. MSS., FHL Film 1697941 Item 18.
  • Daughters of the American Colonists. Union City Chapter (Tennessee). Bible Records: Union City, Obion County, Tennessee, 1788-1964. 1979. FHL Book 976.8 A1 no. 73.
  • Daughters of the American Colonists. Union City Chapter (Tennessee). Family Bible Records of Obion County Tennessee and Fulton County Kentucky. 1982. FHL Book 976 D2f.
  • Morris - Collier - Martin Family Bible Records, ca. 1770-1958. MSS., FHL Film 325876 Item 9.

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 Obion County.

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Obion 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.
1830 2,099
1840 4,814 129.3%
1850 7,633 58.6%
1860 12,817 67.9%
1870 15,584 21.6%
1880 22,912 47.0%
1890 27,273 19.0%
1900 28,286 3.7%
1910 29,946 5.9%
1920 28,393 −5.2%
1930 29,086 2.4%
1940 30,978 6.5%
1950 29,056 −6.2%
1960 26,957 −7.2%
1970 29,936 11.1%
1980 32,781 9.5%
1990 31,717 −3.2%
2000 32,450 2.3%
2010 31,807 −2.0%
Source: "".

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



1840 Pensioners





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. Obion 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.

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]


  • Hillis, L.B. Illustrated, Historic, Industrial - Biographical Book of Obion County. Obion, Tenn.: Obion County Enterprise, 1911. FHL US/CAN Film 204871.


Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Fulton CountyWeakley CountyGibson CountyDyer CountyLake CountyTN OBION.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

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

War of 1812

  • Embry, Hermione D. "War of 1812 - Tennessee Pensioners on List - January 2, 1883," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 8, No. 2 (Apr. 1961):49-52. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 B2a v. 8 (1961); digital version at journal website. Includes Obion County pensioners (p. 49).

Civil War

Online Records

Regiments. Men in Obion 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 Obion County:

Confederate Soldiers

Union Soldiers

Additional sources for Civil War soldiers from Obion County:

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 Obion County click on the following cities and 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 County Court and Chancery Court have responsibility for the probate records of Obion County.

Online Records and Indexes

Book Abstracts and Indexes

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

The original Obion County Tax Books 1825-1885 are kept at the County Courthouse. TSLA microfilmed these records in 1976. FHL copies: FHL US/CAN Film 1007354-1007359.

The original Obion County Tax Records 1856-1919 are kept at the County Courthouse. GSU microfilmed these records in 2002: FHL US/CAN Films 2293653 Item 2-2293654.

A variety of miscellaneous Obion County tax records are included in the collection Obion County, Tennessee Civil Cases, 1823-1900; Indexes, 1823-1885. The original records are kept at the County Courthouse. In 2000-2001, GSU microfilmed these records: FHL US/CAN Film 2209029 Item 1 ff.

Book Abstracts and Indexes

  • 1824 -1825 - Dennis. "Tax List: 1824 and 1825, Obion County, Tennessee," available online, courtesy: USGenWeb Archives.
  • 1826 Dennis. "Tax List: 1826, Obion County, Tennessee," available online, courtesy: USGenWeb Archives.
  • 1827 Dennis. "Tax List: 1827, Obion County, Tennessee," available online, courtesy: USGenWeb Archives.
  • 1828 Dennis. "Tax List: 1828, Obion County, Tennessee," available online, courtesy: USGenWeb Archives.
  • 1829 Dennis. "Tax List: 1829, Obion County, Tennessee," available online, courtesy: USGenWeb Archives.
  • 1837 Davis, Bettie Brandon. "Obion County, Tennessee Tax List 1837," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 25, No. 1 (Spring 1978):39-44. For FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Obion; digital version of District 8 at RootsWeb.
  • 1851 Poll Tax Records, 1851, Obion Origins, Vol. 6, No. 3 (Aug. 1988).
  • 1871-1897 - Powell, Jane N. "[Partial] Misc. Tax Lists for Obion Co., TN District 6 and 7 from 1871-1897," available online, courtesy: TNGenWeb. Mainly surnames that begin with initial letters A, B, C.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Online indexes and Records

Book Indexes and Abstracts

  • 1824-1877 - Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Early West Tennessee Marriages. 2 vols. Nashville, Tenn.: B. Sistler and Associates, 1989. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 V2sb v. 1 ff. Indexes names of brides and grooms, and marriage dates for weddings 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 Books Online

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

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

Obion County Public Library
1221 E Reelfoot Ave
Union City, TN 38261
Phone: 731-885-7000
The Tennessee Room holds materials from Obion County and other localities within a 150-mile radius. Records found in the Tennessee Room include Newspapers, Periodicals, City and State Records, Census Records, Deeds, Wills, Maps, and more.

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

Obion County Historical Society
P.O. Box 241
Union City, TN 38261

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, "Obion, Tennessee" in Wikipedia accessed 27 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. Lost Records: Courthouse Fires and Disasters in Tennessee in Tennessee State Library and Archives in Tennessee Secretary of State (accessed 13 March 2016).
  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, "Obion County, Tennessee," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 8 December 2019.
  8. "List of Counties in Tennessee," Wikipedia.
  9. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at
  10. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at