Houston County, Tennessee Genealogy
Guide to Houston County, Tennessee Genealogy ancestry, family history and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
|Houston County, Tennessee|
Location in the state of Tennessee
Location of Tennessee in the U.S.
|Founded:||January 23, 1871|
- 1 Quick Dates
- 2 County Courthouse
- 3 History
- 4 Places/Localities
- 5 Resources
- 5.1 Research Guides
- 5.2 African American
- 5.3 Cemeteries
- 5.4 Census
- 5.5 Church
- 5.6 Court
- 5.7 Family Histories
- 5.8 Land
- 5.9 Local Histories
- 5.10 Maps
- 5.11 Military
- 5.12 Newspapers
- 5.13 Occupations
- 5.14 Periodicals
- 5.15 Probate Records
- 5.16 Taxation
- 5.17 Vital Records
- 6 Societies and Libraries
- 7 Websites
- 8 References
Houston County's civil records start the following years:
Houston County Courthouse
PO Box 388;
Erin, TN 37061-0388
County Clerk has marriage records.
Clerk Circuit Court has divorce and court records.
County Court has probate records.
Register of Deeds has land records. 
Houston County Courthouse
4725 East Main Street
Erin, TN 37061
Houston County Clerk
Marriage,probate and court records
4725 East Main St., Room 100
Erin, TN 37061
Houston County Register of Deeds
4725 East Main St., Room 103
P.O. Box 412
Erin, TN 37061
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Middle Tennessee county on the Tennessee River. Established 1871.
For animated maps illustrating Tennessee county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Tennessee County Boundary Maps" (1777-1985) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website.
There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.
|Arlington||Ellis Mills||McKinnon||Spring Hill|
|Cotton Patch Crossroads||Grays Crossing||New Hope||Stewart|
|Danville(hist.)||Griffin (hist.)||Omega (hist.)||Tennessee Ridge|
|Denmark||Lewis Branch||Pollard||Yellow Creek|
- Genealogical "Fact Sheets" About Tennessee Counties: Houston County, courtesy: TSLA. (Identifies published county histories, published local records, census records, newspapers and local records on microfilm, and select manuscripts.)
|Tombstone Transcriptions Online||Tombstone Transcriptions in Print||List of Cemeteries in the county|
|TNGenWeb||Family History Library||BillionGraves|
|See Tennessee Cemeteries for more information.|
Additional Cemetery Resources
- Tennessee Cemeteries - Hometown Locator
- Houston County, Tennessee Cemetery Listing - cemetery information with transcriptions
- Douthat, James L. Kentucky Lake Reservoir Cemeteries. Vol. 2. Signal Mountain, Tenn.: Mountain Press, 1988. Free Surname Index and purchase details at Mountain Press website.
- Maupin, Judith Ann Cemetery Records of Land Between the Lakes (Betweist Rivers) 1814-1982 May 1982. Cemetery records of land between the lakes Free lookups available!
1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, and 1940 federal population censuses of Houston 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.
1810 - 1891
- Finley, Nina. Census of Houston County Area.Erin, Tennessee : Friends of Houston County Library, 19--?. vol.9 FHL 976.836 X2f
- Sistler, Samuel D. 1880 census - Houston County, Tennessee. Nashville, Tennessee: B. Sistler & Associates, 2000. FHL 976.836 X2s 1880
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. 2 1891. Houston County is included in Vol. 2.
- 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.
- Finley, Nina. Census of Houston County Area.Erin, Tennessee : Friends of Houston County Library, 19--?. vol.10 FHL 976.836 X2f
- Bush, Marisa, ed.. Houston County, Tennessee Census, 1920 (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2000. Available at Ancestry ($)
It is anticipated that this bibliography will eventually identify all known family histories published about residents of this county. Use this list to:
- Locate publications about direct ancestors
- Find the most updated accounts of an ancestor's family
- Identify publications, to quote Elizabeth Shown Mills, about an ancestor's "FAN Club" (Friends, Associates, and Neighbors)
- Adams - Proctor, Irene Adams. The Adams Family Kith and Kin: From Halifax County, Virginia to Yellow Creek Valley and Grices Creek, Houston County, Tennessee; a Narrative Account: History, Biography, Genealogy and Legend. Baltimore, Md.: Gateway Press, 2000. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 Ad17pi.
- Beasley - Lockhart, William Thomas. The Beasley Family of Benton, Henry, Hickman, Houston, Humphreys and Stewart Counties of Tennessee. Florissant, Missouri: W. Lockhart, 1985. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 B38Lw.
- Knight - Garrett, Jill Knight. Knight Cousins. Columbia, TN: Unknown, 1967. Available at FHL US/CAN Film 928090; digital version at Heritage Quest Online ($).
- Houston County Register of Deeds has Land Records from 1871 and is located at the county Courthouse, P.O. Box 388, 100 Main St., Erin, Tennessee 37061; Telephone: (931) 289-3141. 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 deed books 1871-1967; probate deed books 1871-1957; trust deed books, 1872-1967; Plat books 1853-1967.
- Goodspeed firm Goodspeed history of Tennessee The Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1886 Lookups available for histories of Montgomery, Robinson, Humphreys, Stewart, Dickson, Cheatham, and Houston Counties of Tennessee.
- Finley, Nina - compiled from records housed at Houston County Board of Education Houston County School Data Pre-1930. 1991 Free lookups available!
- McClain, Iris Hopkins A history of Houston County. 1966 FHL US/CAN book 976.836 H2 Free lookups available!
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. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 B2a v. 7 (1960); digital version at journal website. Includes Houston County pensioners (p. 68)
- 1861 - 1865 - Tennessee, Civil War Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, 1861-1865 at FamilySearch — index
- 1861 - 1865 - Tennessee, Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers, 1861-1865 at FamilySearch — index
- 1861 - 1865 - U.S., Confederate Soldiers Compiled Service Records, 1861-1865 at Ancestry — index (free)
- 1861 - 1865 - U.S., Union Soldiers Compiled Service Records, 1861-1865 at Ancestry — index (free)
- 1891 - 1965 - Tennessee, Confederate Pension Applications, Soldiers and Widows, 1891-1965 at FamilySearch — images
- Civil War Research Database $
- Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System
- Tennessee State Library and Archives, Tennessee Confederate Pension Applications: Houston County. Includes soldier's name, county, pension #, unit or widow.
- United States Pension Bureau, List of Pensioners on the Roll January 1, 1883: Giving the Name of Each Pensioner, the Cause for ... (Washington Printing Office; 1883). Online at Internet Archive. Houston County, page 348.
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 Houston County click on the following city:
- Miller, Alan N. Middle Tennessee's Forgotten Children: Apprentices from 1784 to 1902. Baltimore, Md.: Printed for Clearfield Company, Inc., by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 2004. FHL US/CAN 976.8 U2ma. Purchase at Genealogical.com. Includes Houston County.
Tap into the minds of local experts. Editors of genealogical periodicals publish unique sources that researchers who are new to their area would not likely discover. This type of material may be found in local, regional, or statewide genealogical society journals. The following periodicals cover this county:
- The River Counties
- Genealogical articles with abstracts of Houston County, Tennessee records were published in The River Counties Quarterly, (14 vols.) edited by Jill K. Garrett. The Family History Library has a complete collection FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 B2rc.
The Houston County Court has responsibility for the probate records.
FamilySearch has placed scans of the following records online in the Tennessee, Probate Court Books, 1795-1927 collection. These are browse-only collections. Handwritten indexes may be found at the front or back of some volumes:
- Inventories, Wills, 1869-1966 (Vols. 1-4)
- Appropriation records, 1889
- Bonds, Letters, 1926-1966 (Vol. 2)
- Settlements, 1914-1953 (Vol. 3)
- 1881 - 1882 - Houston County Birth Index 1881-1882. Batch C519333 in International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch.org- free.
The original Houston County marriage records are kept at the County Courthouse. Marriages are available from the time the county was created in 1871.
The following Houston County marriage records are microfilmed:
- 1625-1966 - Tennessee, United States Marriages at FindMyPast — index $
- 1871 - 1991 - Available at the TSLA.
- 1871 - 1967 - Available at the Family History Library. Some volumes are indexed.FHL 547752
The following Houston County marriage records have been abstracted and/or indexed:
- 1871 - 1937 - Houston County Marriage Index 1871-1937 in International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch.org - free.</ref>
- Finley, Nina. Newspaper clipping collection: from the attic of Mr. and Mrs. James T. Brigham. Erin, Tennessee: Friends of Houston County Library, 19--. FHL 976.836 B39f
- 1780 - 2002 - Many county marriage records are indexed with images at Ancestry.com's Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002. ($) Be aware that this index is not complete for many counties.
- 1790 - 1950 - Tennessee County Marriages, 1790-1950 at FamilySearch.org- covers all counties in Tennessee.
- 1838 - 1888 - Tennessee Civil Marriages, 1838-1888 at FamilySearch.org — index and images
Houston County is not included in Sistler's Early Middle Tennessee Marriages.
In 1940 and 1941, W.P.A. workers pinpointed the location of Houston County divorce papers in diverse manuscript collections, see the following resources:
- W.P.A. Guide to Public Vital Statistics in Tennessee. Nashville, Tenn.: The Tennessee Historical Records Survey, 1941. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 A3gp.
For deaths of Methodists in Houston County (or what later became Houston County) between the 1830s and the 1920s, try searching the following records:
- 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.
Societies and Libraries
Houston County Historical Society
c/o Nina Finley
P.O. Box 401
Erin, TN 37061
Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society
PO Box 330948
Nashville, TN, USA 37203-7507
The society serves the 40 counties of middle Tennessee of which Houston County is one. It publishes The Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy and History, a quarterly containing articles of genealogical and historical interest. Little-known Tennessee records are published and indexed, along with family genealogies, Bible records and material submitted by members. There is an alphabetical Index to articles in the Journal 1988-summer 2005
Houston County Public Library
PO Box 183
Erin, TN 37061-0183
| West Tennessee Heritage Study Center
Paul Meek Library
University of Tennessee at Martin
Hours vary by semester
|The Heritage Study Center 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, Fulton, and Hickman counties in Kentucky.|
Family History Centers
Family history centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes. See family history center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.
- FamilySearch Catalog (FamilySearch) — The catalog is genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, and publications) This catalog is different than the indexed Historical Records.
- Houston County, Tennessee by Dan Martin. Genealogy Resources, Local History, Queries
- Houston County, TN Family History and Genealogy Message Board (Ancestry)
- Houston County, Tennessee Genealogy and Family History (Linkpendium)
- Houston County, TNGenWeb (USGenWeb)
- Rootwalker: Genealogy Pages for Northern Middle TN Free Genealogy Resources for the Region
- RootsWeb Mailing List: DanvilleCrossing-L (Tennessee River County Genealogy and History List)
- RootsWeb Mailing List: DanvilleQueries-L (Tennessee River County Genealogy and History List)
- RootsWeb Mailing List: TN-ROOTWALKER-L (North Central Tennessee Genealogy List)
- Houston County TN Genealogy (LDS Genealogy)
- "Earliest County Records," Tennessee State Library and Archives.
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Houston County, Tennessee page 641, At various libr40ries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
- "List of counties in Tennessee," Wikipedia.
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002), 641. (FHL Book 973 D27e 2002). WorldCat entry.
- "Tennessee County" in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tennessee_County (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.
- Voice of Lynnae Weller, Kingsport, Tenn. (2010).
- Voice of Gene Black, FamilySearch employee, former resident of Bristol, Tenn. (2010).
- Robert M.McBride, Tennessee County Data (Nashville, Tennessee: Tennessee States Library and Archives, 1966), 29.
- Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/d/d3/Igitennesseef.pdf.