Tennessee Maps

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Jackson, Madison Co., TN (1870)

Online resources[edit | edit source]

Maps and atlases are used to locate the places where your ancestors lived. They identify political boundaries, names of places, geographical features, cemeteries, churches, and migration routes. Historical maps often show communities that no longer exist.

For maps illustrating how Tennessee county boundaries have changed over time, visit the free online Tennessee County Formation Maps, courtesy: MapGeeks.org and AniMap 3.0 or Newberry Atlas of Historical County Boundaries for Tennessee. Type year of interest. Click County Index for history of boundary changes.

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The American Memory section of the Library of Congress has many maps online for free, including the much heralded 1832 Map of the Stste of Tennessee taken from survey by Matthew Rhea. This map included a high level of detail on the county level and also Range markings for the western portion of the state.

David Rumsey has put a stunning collection of maps online. Many early Tennessee maps are among them, including this 1795 map of Tennessee. Note that many of these early maps were already out-of-date at publication, sometimes showing empty territory where, in fact, counties had already been formed.

The Tennessee State Department of Archives and Libraries has the largest collection of Tennessee maps. They are accessible through a card file in the Manuscript Reading Room. The Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) is in the beginning stages of posting digital copies of historical maps on their website through the Tennessee Virtual Archives (TEVA). Among the collection is a 1907 historical map showing Davidson County civil districts and the plotted residences of families living within those districts. Other maps from 1795 and 1806 show early waterways and settlements. The Department of Transportation in Nashville also has a large collection of maps and atlases for the state.

The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture site includes a collection of state maps showing major cities, rivers and roadways. Of special interest is a county map which shows a brief summary of each Tennessee county. These maps are published jointly by the Tennessee Historical Society and The University of Tennessee Press.

United States Census Bureau State and County Map.  This map will allow you to zoom in on any state or county in the United States and read the names of all of the neighboring counties.

Maps and atlases for Tennessee include:

  • Easton Morris’ Tennessee Gazetteer 1834 and Matthew Rhea’s Map of the State of Tennessee 1832. 1834. Reprint, Nashville, Tennessee: Gazetteer Press, 1971. Free digital copy online FHL book 976.8 E5m The record contains a general description of the state, an alphabetical list of places, a map, and a list of government officials.
  • Garrett, William Robertson and Albert Virgil Goodpasture. History of Tennessee; its people and its institutions from the earliest times to the year 1903. Free digital copy online. FHL book 976.8 H2gwThis is a school textbook which contains excellent maps.
  • Garrett, William Robertson. History of the South Carolina Cession, and the Northern Boundary of Tennessee. Nashville, Tennessee: Southern Methodist Publishing Co., 1884. Free digital copy. Map and explanation concerning the formation of Tennessee state boundaries.
  • Mead, H.D. Kentucky and Tennessee. A Complete Guide to Their Railroads, Stations and Distances, Connections North and South; Their Rivers, Landings. Louisville, H.E. 1867. Free digital copy, courtesy: Internet Archive.
  • A New Map of Tennessee: With its Roads and Distances from Place to Place along the Stage & Steamboat Routes. N.p., 1900's. Photocopy of original published by Thomas, Cowperthwait and Company FHL book 976.8 E7n This map shows land distances, steamboat routes, and railroads that were in progress or proposed. There are inserts for the areas of Nashville and Knoxville.
  • Puetz, C. J. Tennessee County Maps. Lyndon Station, Wisconsin: County Maps, 1980?. FHL book Q 976.8 E7p Contains detailed maps of each county with towns, roads, points of interest, and major rivers and creeks.
  • Rand, McNally & Company’s Indexed Atlas of the World. 1885. Reprint, Searcy, Arkansas: Presley Research, 1978. 976.8 E7rm 1885. This shows railroads, major and minor waterways, county boundaries, and county seats of Tennessee.
  • Tennessee Atlas and Gazetteer. Freeport, Maine: DeLorme Mapping Co., 1989. FHL book 976.8 E7t 2004 Provides topographical maps.

Charles A. Reeves Jr. has collected many old maps of the state of Tennessee and has also used his cartography skills to create detailed maps of great genealogical value. They may be purchased for small fees through his website, where visitors may view scaled-down versions ReevesMaps.com. Some of these maps include:

Antique Map Reproductions

  • Aboriginal Map of Tennessee, published 1886.
  • Tennessee, published 1818.
  • A Map of the Tennessee Government, Formerly Part

of North Carolina, taken Chiefly from Surveys by
Gen. D. Smith & others
, published 1795.

  • Kentucky and Tennessee, published 1825.
  • Map of Tennessee and Kentucky, 1796.
  • Tennessee, published 1826.
  • Map of Tennessee, 1804.
  • Tennessee, published 1837.
  • The State of Tennessee as it was in 1795, published 1814.
  • Kentucky and Tennessee, published 1845.
  • The State of Tennessee as it was in 1795, published 1817.
  • Tennessee, published 1850.

Original Map Creations

  • A Draught of the Cherokee Country, originally published 1762.
  • The Cherokee Country, originally published 1937.
  • Early Roads to the Tennessee Country, published 2000.
  • The Cherokee Lands Included in the Sycamore Shoals Agreement (1775).
  • Tennessee-Divided Loyalties [Civil War era], published 1999.
  • The Counties and Three "Grand Divisions" of Tennessee, published 1998.
  • Tennessee Slave Population As Reported in the 1860 Census.
  • The Road to Statehood, County Formation in East Tennessee, 1779-1796, published 2000.

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

See Tennessee Gazetteers, United States Maps, and United States Gazetteers for more resources regarding places in Tennessee. See the Tennessee Archives and Libraries article for facilities with regional collections which might include maps. Also check the Place Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under:







Websites[edit | edit source]