Perry County, Tennessee Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Linden
Organized: November 14, 1818
Parent County(s): Hickman[1]
Neighboring Counties
Benton  • Decatur  • Hickman  • Humphreys  • Lewis  • Wayne
See County Maps
Location Map
Location of Perry County, Tennessee.PNG
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Perry County was named for the War of 1812 naval hero Oliver Hazard Perry and is located in the west-central area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Perry County Courthouse
121 East Main Street P O Box 16.
Linden, TN 37096
County Courthouse Phone: 931-589-2216
County Clerk Phone: 931-589-2219

Perry County Register of Deeds
P.O. Box 625865
Highway 412 West
Linden, TN 37096
County Register of Deeds Phone: 931-589-2217
County Clerk has birth records 1908-1912 and 1925-1939 and marriage records from 1899.
Register of Deeds has land records. [3]

Perry 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 1865 1881 1826 1820 1863 1810
*Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1914. General compliance by 1927.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

1863 and 1928 Fires damaged courthouse records.[5]

  • Lost marriage records: 1819 to 1864
  • Lost probate records: 1819 to 1862

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

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

  • 1818--Perry County was established 14 November 1818 from Hickman County.
  • County seat: Linden[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
  • Crooked Creek
  • DePriest Bend
  • Flat Woods
  • Horner
  • Howard

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Additional Information

U.S. Naval hero Oliver Hazard Perry 1785-1819

Middle Tennessee county. Established 1818.

The county is named after U.S. Naval hero Oliver Hazard Perry (1785-1819).[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 Perry County.

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Perry 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]

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



  • Bentley, Elizabeth P. Index to the 1820 Census of Tennessee. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1981. FHL 976.8 X22b 1820. Online at Ancestry ($).
  • Houston, Martha Lou. 1820 Census of Perry County, Tennessee. Washington, D.C.: s.p., 1900. Online at Internet Archive.
  • Presley, Mrs. Leister E. Census, Lawrence, Perry, Shelby Counties, Tennessee, 1820. Searcy, Arkansas: Presley, 198-?. FHL 976.8 X2p 1820
  • Census takers found no free African Americans living in Perry County, Tennessee in 1820.[9]

1840 Pensioners


  • Glaser, Linda K.J. 1850 Census for Perry County, Tennessee, Taken by R. M. Thomas, 2 Sept. 1850 to 4 Oct. 1850. Lansdowne, Pennsylvania L.J.K. Glaser, 1966. FHL 976.838 X2p 1850


  • Malone, Royleta C. and Patricia A. Sherzinger. 1860 Perry County, Tennessee Census : Including Slave Schedule and Mortality Schedule, with Full Name Index. Salt Lake City, Utah : R. C. Malone, 1988. FHL 976.838 X2m 1860


  • Bridges, Alec F. 1870 Federal Census, Perry County, Tennessee. Gallatin, Tennessee: A.F. Bridges, 1997. FHL 976.838 X29b 1870


  • Sistler, Barbara and Byron Sistler. 1880 Census Perry County, Tennessee. Nashville, Tennessee: B. Sistler & Associates, 1999. FHL 976.838 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. 8 1891. Perry 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



  • Bridges, Alec F. 1910 Federal Census, Perry County, Tennessee. Gallatin, Tennessee: A.F. Bridges, 1997 . FHL 976.838 X29b 1910


  • Bridges, Alec F. 1920 Federal Census, Perry County, Tennessee. Gallatin, Tennessee: A.F. Bridges, 1996 . FHL 976.838 X29b 1920

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. [10]

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

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]



  • Denton - Whitley, Edythe Johns Rucker. Some of the Descendants of Rev. Richard Denton. McMinnville, TN: Womack Print. Co., 1959. Available at FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 D435; digital version at FamilySearch Digital Library, ; and Heritage Quest Online ($).
  • Moffitt - Young, Laurie M. Family Notes on Keith, Lott, Sketoe, Donahoo and Arnold of Muhlenberg: Lear and Sheffield of Christian, Todd and Muhlenberg County, Kentucky; Smith and Beck, Spencer County, Indiana; Moffitt, Randolph County, North Carolina, Perry, Hickman and Humphries Co., Tn. Boise, Idaho: L.M. Young, 1990. FHL 929.273 K269y
  • Norman - Hemphill, Patricia M. Normans of Tennessee and Missouri their Descendants and Ancestors 1776-1995 (including Blair, Coffey, Grammer and Leeper.) Decorah, IowaAnundsen, 1995. FHL 929.273 N781h
  • Talley - Acker, W.L. The Talley Families of Tennessee and Texas: Descendants of the American Revolutionary Soldier, John Talley, Jr., of Perry County Tennessee. Mesquite, Texas: W.L. Acker, 1998. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 T145aw.
  • White - Sibley, Marilyn McAdams. Hester White McAdams (1818-1849) of Walker County, Texas: and Her Ancestors. Houston, Texas: M.M. Sibley, 1988. FHL 929.273 A1 no. 5508
  • Whitfield - Whitfield, Vallie Jo Fox. Whitfield History and Genealogy of Tennessee. [Walnut Creek, CA: Unknown,, 1964. Available at FHL US/CAN Film 879642 Item 1; digital version available at Heritage Quest Online ($).

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Lewis CountyDecatur CountyBenton CountyHumphreys CountyHickman CountyWayne CountyTN PERRY.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War
The following Perry 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. 8, No. 2 (Apr. 1961):49-52. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 B2a v. 8 (1961); digital version at journal website. Includes Perry County pensioners (p. 50).
  • Perry County, Tennessee War of 1812 Includes War of 1812 Perry County soldier project and select pension applications. Courtesy: TNGenWeb

Mexican War

Civil War

Online Records

Regiments. Men in Perry 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 Perry County:

Confederate Soldiers

Union Soldiers

Additional sources for Civil War soldiers from Perry 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 Perry County click on the following town:

  • 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 Perry 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]

Book Abstracts and Indexes

  • 1837 - Tatum, Ausborn C. "Perry County, Tennessee 1837 Tax List," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 29, No. 2 (Summer 1982):77-81; Vol. 29, No. 3 (Fall 1982):131-132. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 B2a v. 29-30 (1982-1983); free digital version at society's website. For further access, see Perry.
  • 1884-1885 - Tax Receipts, 1884-85, Perry County Quarterly, Vol. 3, No. 3 (Sep. 1997).

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Online indexes and Records

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

Perry County Library
104 College Rd.
Linden, TN 37096
Phone: 931-589-5011
Fax: 931-589-6210

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

Perry County, Tennessee Historical Society
c/o Perry County Library
104 College St.
Linden, TN 37096
Phone: 931-589-5011

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, "Perry, Tennessee" in Wikipedia accessed 02 Jan 2019
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Perry County, Tennessee, 642.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, "Perry County, Tennessee," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Tennessee, accessed 8 December 2019.
  8. "List of Counties in Tennessee," Wikipedia.
  9. Waldrep, G.C. "'Free Colored' Heads of Household in the 1820 Tennessee Census," online at Free African Americans.
  10. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Tennessee.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  11. *Waldrep, G.C. "'Free Colored' Heads of Household in the 1820 Tennessee Census," available online, courtesy: Free African Americans website.
  12. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at Media:Igitennesseel.pdf.