Monroe County, Tennessee Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
(Redirected from Monroe County, Tennessee)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Monroe County, Tennessee ancestry, family history, and genealogy research page. Guide to Monroe County (established 1819) genealogy, history, and courthouse sources including birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, wills, deeds and land records, Civil War records, Revolutionary War records, family histories, cemeteries, churches, tax records, newspapers, and obituaries.

Monroe County, Tennessee
Boundary map of Monroe County, Tennessee
Map of Tennessee highlighting Monroe County
Location in the state of Tennessee
Map of the U.S. highlighting Tennessee
Location of Tennessee in the U.S.
Founded: November 13, 1819
County Seat Madisonville
Adopt-a-wiki page
TGW 45x45.jpg This page adopted by:
TNGenWeb Project
who welcome you to contribute.
Adopt a page today

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for President James Monroe. The County is located in the southeast area of the state. [1]

Monroe County, Tennessee Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1881 1838 1881 1820 1820 1833 1810
Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1914. General compliance by 1927.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]


Monroe County, Tennessee Courthouse.JPG

Monroe County Courthouse, Madisonville, Tenn.


Monroe County Courthouse
103 College St.
Madisonville, TN 37354
Phone: 1-423-442-5940

County Clerk has marriage record from 1838,
probate records from 1833 and court record from 1868.
Register of Deeds has land records. [3]

Monroe County Clerk
Marriage, probate and court records
103 College St., Suite 1
Madisonville, TN 37354
Phone: 1-423-442-2220

Monroe County Register of Deeds
Land records
103 College St., Suite 3
Madisonville, TN 37354
Phone: 1-423-442-2440

Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri. 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Wed. and Sat. 8:30 a.m.-Noon

History[edit | edit source]

President James Monroe (1758-1831)

East Tennessee county. Established 1819.

The county is named after President James Monroe (1758-1831).[4]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1819--Monroe County was established 13 November 1819 from Cherokee Indian Lands.
County seat: Madisonville [5]

County Pronunciation[edit | edit source]

  1. Hear it spoken[6] (female)
  2. Hear it spoken[7] (female)

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

For animated maps illustrating Tennessee county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Tennessee County Boundary Maps" (1777-1985) may be viewed for free at the website.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

1820s and 1860s Courthouse records were damaged by a fire in the 1820s, and the courthouse was razed during the American Civil War, 1861-1865.[8]

  • Lost census: 1820
  • Lack of marriage records: 1819 to 1837
  • Lost probate: 1819 to 1835

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

Places/Localities[edit | edit source]

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:[9]

Unincorporated communities

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Getting Started[edit | edit source]

Use the free Search for Surnames at Mountain Press's website to quickly search a variety of published Monroe County biography, cemetery, church, court, land, probate, and tax records. To determine which books are being searched, or to search each publication's index individually, click here. You are now equipped with a checklist of books to pull off the shelves at a genealogy library, or a wish list for your personal book collection.

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

African American[edit | edit source]

United States African Americans Gotoarrow.png Tennessee African Americans

Bible Records
[edit | edit source]

The Tennessee State Library and Archives at has digitized a large collection of family bible records. The images show the handwritten entries that provide birth, death, and marriage information. The images are available for download in pdf format. The records are indexed by the principle surnames.

Biography Indexes
[edit | edit source]

Monroe County Biography Indexes available online at TNGenWeb.

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county Family History Library
TNGenWeb WorldCat BillionGraves
TNGenWeb Archives Linkpendium
Tombstone Project Gravestones
TNGenWeb Cemeteries
See Tennessee Cemeteries for more information.

Additional Cemetery Resources

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1820 2,529
1830 13,708 442.0%
1840 12,056 −12.1%
1850 11,874 −1.5%
1860 12,607 6.2%
1870 12,589 −0.1%
1880 14,283 13.5%
1890 15,329 7.3%
1900 18,585 21.2%
1910 20,716 11.5%
1920 22,060 6.5%
1930 21,377 −3.1%
1940 24,275 13.6%
1950 24,513 1.0%
1960 23,316 −4.9%
1970 23,475 0.7%
1980 28,700 22.3%
1990 30,541 6.4%
2000 38,961 27.6%
2010 44,519 14.3%
Source: "".

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

1810 - 1891

1820 - Lost

1820 Manufactures

The original manufactures schedules for the Eastern and Western Districts of Tennessee are kept at NARA, Washington, D.C. FHL copies: FHL US/CAN Films 1024517-1024518.

The following book is a useful aid for finding the original records. A free online index, provided by Lineages, which cites the original document numbers, will help researchers determine if this resource can be of assistance: 

  • National Archives. Indexes to Manufactures Census of 1820. 1920; reprint, Knightstown, Ind.: Bookmark, 1977. FHL US/CAN Book 973 X2m 1820; digital version at Lineages. Covers this county.

These records have also been abstracted:

  • 1820 Census of Manufactures: Monroe County, East Tennessee Roots, Vol. 5, No. 4 ():180. For availability, see Periodicals.



1840 Revolutionary War Pensioners



1891 Male Voters


  • Wolfe, Violet Kirkpatrick, Kathleen Miller, Jim Steed, Carolyn Snider, and Vonore Historical Society. 1920 Monroe County, TN Census. 2 vols. Vonore, Tenn.: Vonore Historical Society, 2000. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8883 X29w 1920 v. 1 ff.

Church[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.

  • Monroe County Church Records
- FamilySearch Catalog - Monroe County Church Records
  • If the records you need are not in the Family History Library collection, contact the church(es) in the area where your ancestor lived.  Two sites that give information about churches in Monroe County are:
- List of Monroe County churches with addresses and phone numbers (Yellowbook)
- List of Monroe County churches (TN HomeTownLocator)

In 1936, a helpful guide to early Monroe County church records was published by the Works Project Administration. [10]Use this guide to locate which church records exist and where they were housed in 1936. The Tennessee State Library and Archives has filmed some of these records. To locate which records are available at the TSLA, go to the Genealogical Fact Sheet About Monroe County on the TSLA Web site and scroll down to "selected manuscript material". All filmed church records at the TSLA for Monroe County are listed. Many of these filmed records are also available at the Family History Library.

Transcribed Monroe County church histories and membership lists are available online at: TNGenWeb

  • St. Paul's Luthern Church
  • Chestua Baptist Church
  • Hiwassee Baptist Association (including Sweetwater Association)
  • Williamsburg Baptist Church
  • Bethlehem Baptist Church
  • Hickory Grove Church


  • 1824 - 1860 - Pond Creek Baptist Church. Church minutes, 1824-1860. Nashville, Tennessee: Historical Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, 196-? Manuscript. FHL 984308 Item 2
  • 1853 - 1972 - Notchey Creek Baptist Church Records. Madisonville, 1853-1972. TSLA Reel #428
  • 1853 - 1900 - Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Vital Statistics from 19th Century Tennessee Church Records. Nashville: Sitler and Associates, 1979. FHL 976.8 K29s vol.2   Index to Notchey Creek Baptist Church Records. Madisonville, 1853-1972.

Court[edit | edit source]

Family Histories[edit | edit source]

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)


As of August 2010, a query for persons born in Monroe, Tennessee at World Connect, results in more than 50,000 entries.

  • Monroe County Heritage Book Committee. Monroe County, Tennessee Heritage, 1819-1997: Established 1819, Monroe County, Tennessee. Salem, W.Va.: Walsworth Pub. Co., 1997. FHL 976.8883 H2m
  • Vonore Historical Society. Vonore Families: Yesterday and Today. 2 vols. Vonore, Tenn.: Vonore Historical Society, 1996-1997. FHL 976.8883/V1 H2v v. 1


  • Bell - Buland, Geraldine Joy Brown. Silas Bell of Wayne County, Kentucky (1787-186-): Blount and Monroe Counties, Tennessee; Murray County, Georgia; Titus County, Texas [and] Sons and Daughters to Dade and Lawrence Counties, Missouri; Pawnee County, Oklahoma; and Fayette County, Texas: Allied Lines [of] Aley, Byerly, Carter, Hall, Harrell, Loy, Mashburn, Wilson. Sepulpa, Oklahoma: Buland, Geraldine Joy Brown, 1978. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 B413f.
  • Bent - See Carson.
  • Blankenship - Blankinship, Leslie C. The Blankenship Family History. New Orleans, La.?: J. Q. Blankinship, 1967. Available at FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 B611bL; digital version at Heritage Quest Online ($).
  • Blankensop - See Blankenship.
  • Blankingship - See Blankenship.
  • Boggs - See Carson.
  • Carson - McClung, Quantrille D. Carson-Bent-Boggs Genealogy. Denver: Denver Public Library, 1962. Available at FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 C239; digital version at Heritage Quest Online ($).
  • Davis - Shepard, Kelly Rae Wilson. The Descendants of Clem Davis and Rachel Emaline Peak: with an Emphasis on the Descendants of James Ervin Davis and the Connecting Lines of John C. Payne, Thomas C. E. Davis, William Robert Daniell and Henry Lenderman. The Colony, Texas: K. Shepard, 1997. FHL 929.273 D291s
  • Day - Day, James Edward. Descendants of Christopher Day of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Los Angeles?: J.E. Day, 1958. Available at FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 D33d; FHL US/CAN Film 978076; digital versions at Ancestry ($); and Heritage Quest Online ($).
  • Dodd - Austin, Kim The Descendants of George Berry Dodd and Martha Lavinna Teffteller S.I.: s.n., 1995 FHL book 929.273 D661.
  • Harmon - Banes, Verna Baker. Harmon Family Research: Taken from the Verna Baker Banes Genealogical Collection. MSS., microfilmed 1996. FHL 1598444 Item 4
  • Hart - Hart, Charles Coffin. Joseph Hart and His Descendants. St. Louis, Mo.: R.P. Studley & Co., 1901. FHL 928166 Item 4. Free digital version online.
  • Henderson - Mitchell, Reba Henderson. The Family of Samuel Henderson (1786-1867) of Monroe County, Tennessee: A Genealogical and Historical Record of Samuel Henderson and His Wife, Nancy Blair, Their Twelve Children and Their Descendants to the Present Generation. Manisonville, Tenn.: R.H. Mitchell, 1980. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 A1 no. 3154.
  • Hensley - Schreibman, Laura and Laura Hensley. The Hensleys of Ballplay, Monroe County, Tennessee. Hazel Park, Michigan: L. Schreibman, 199-?. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 A1 no. 6391.
  • Jones - Hall, Evelyn Cook and William C. Hall. The Jefferson Thomas Jones Genealogy: Being a History of Jefferson Thomas Jones, Born 14 Aug. 1828 near Madisonville, Monroe Co., Tenn. and Later Living in Park, Greene Co., Ind. and His Descendants of Tennessee, Indiana, Iowa, etc.: Also Allied Families. Nevada, Iowa: E.C. Hall, 1985. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 J718h.
  • Moser - Corder, Lula Lee and Pauline Moser Shook. Moser Family History, Monroe County, Tenn.:
    Descendants of Leonard Moser, c1716-1782
    . 2 vols. Sandpoint, Idaho: P.M. Shook, 1983. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 M853cs ff.
  • Moses - Ward, Edith Croft. The Moses Families of Big Creek: The Family Pages of Joshua and Sarah Samples Moses and Related Families, Monroe County, Tennessee. Clinton, Tenn.: E.C. Ward, 1995. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 M853w.
  • Peak - Shepard, Kelly Rae Wilson. The Descendants of Clem Davis and Rachel Emaline Peak: with an Emphasis on the Descendants of James Ervin Davis and the Connecting Lines of John C. Payne, Thomas C. E. Davis, William Robert Daniell and Henry Lenderman. The Colony, Texas: K. Shepard, 1997. FHL 929.273 D291s
  • Wolfe - Feezell, Mina Belle Wolfe and Violet Kirkpatrick Wolfe. John Peeler Wolfe: Ancestors and Descendants, 1765-1992. [Englewood, Tenn.]: M. Feezell, [1993]. FHL 929.273 W832fm; digital version at BYU Family History Archives.

Land[edit | edit source]

TSLA microfilmed the original Monroe County Deed Books A to Z (1820-1892), Trust Deed Books A to D (1868-1894) and Indexes to both (1820-1910). FHL copies: FHL US/CAN Microfilms 956238-956248.

Law and Legislation[edit | edit source]

  • 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.] TSLA has created an index to names that appear in these acts covering the years 1796 to 1850. To read more about this valuable resource Click here. The searchable index is available at TSLA; another version is available at World Vital Records.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps[edit | edit source]

Loudon CountyBlount CountyMcMinn CountyPolk CountyCherokee CountyGraham CountyTN MONROE.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

A township measures 36 square miles and contains 36 sections of one square mile each.
A section of one square mile is equal to 640 acres. A quarter section divides the section into 4 equal parts containing 160 acres. For a full description of the Public Land Survey System see this webpage:

Military[edit | edit source]

Indian Wars[edit | edit source]
  • Narrative of Capt. Handly, Capture, 1793, American Historical Magazine, Vol. 2, No. 1 (Jan. 1897).
Revolutionary War[edit | edit source]

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

Additional resources include:

War of 1812[edit | edit source]
Civil War[edit | edit source]

Online Records

Regiments. Civil War service men from Monroe County served in various regiments. Men often joined a regiment or a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are the military units that were formed in or had many men from Monroe County:

Confederate Soldiers

Union Soldiers

Additional sources for Civil War soldiers from Monroe County:

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 Monroe County click on the following cities:

Occupations[edit | edit source]

  • Miller, Alan N. East Tennessee's Forgotten Children: Apprentices from 1778 to 1911. Baltimore, Md.: Printed for Clearfield Company, Inc., by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 2000. FHL US/CAN 976.8 U2m. Digital version at World Vital Records ($). Purchase at [Includes Monroe County.]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

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:

Ansearchin' News
Genealogical articles with abstracts of records of Monroe County, Tennessee have been published in Ansearchin' News, the quarterly magazine of the Tennessee Genealogical Society. To view a list of these articles, visit their county index. To read digitized versions of the first 36 years of articles (Vols. 1-36), browse their archive or conduct a surname search. The Family History Library has a complete collection of the Ansearchin' News quarterly FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 B2a.
East Tennessee Roots
Genealogical articles with abstracts of Monroe County, Tennessee records have been published in East Tennessee Roots (10 vols.). A subject index to these articles is available online. Surname indexes to Volumes 9 and 10 are also available online. The Family History Library has collected most issues of East Tennessee Roots FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 D25e.
The Pellissippian
Genealogical articles with abstracts of Monroe County, Tennessee records were published in the The Pellissippian (25 vols., 1980-2004), the quarterly of the Pellissippi Genealogical and Historical Society. The society has posted tables of contents for all 25 volumes on their website. They also have back issues available for purchase. The Family History Library has acquired the first 20 volumes FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 D25p.

Prisons[edit | edit source]

Learn if your Monroe County, Tennessee Genealogy ancestors went to prison!

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

TSLA microfilmed the original Monroe County Will Books 1 to 4 (1833 to 1922). FHL copy: FHL Film 956237.

Online 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:

  • Wills, 1825-1922 (Vols. A, 1-4)

The organization Strictly By Name provides free online indexes to early Monroe County probate records. They offer a record retrieval service to photocopy and transcribe microfilm copies of the original documents for a small fee. Available indexes:

The following Monroe County probate records have been indexed:

  • 1833 - 1861 - Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Index to Tennessee Wills & Administrations 1779-1861. Nashville, Tenn. Byron Sistler & Associates, Inc., 1990. FHL US/CAN 976.8 P22s. Includes an index to this county's probate records. Free Lookups Available! 

Taxation[edit | edit source]

TSLA microfilmed the original Monroe County Tax Books 1868, 1874, 1899-1900. FHL copies: FHL US/CAN Films 956249-956250.

The following Monroe County tax records have been abstracted:[11]

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

See also How to order Tennessee Vital Records or order electronically online.

Birth[edit | edit source]
Marriage[edit | edit source]

Marriages were not officially recorded in Monroe County until 1838, when a law was passed mandating the practice.[13] The following publication, based on early newspapers, helps to alleviate this genealogical obstacle:

  • 1794 - 1851 - Lucas, Silas Emmett. Marriages from Early Tennessee Newspapers 1794-1851. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1978. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 V2L.

The following Monroe County Courthouse marriage records have been indexed:

  • 1838 - 1870 - Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Early East Tennessee Marriages. 2 vols. Nashville, Tenn.: Byron Sistler & Associates, Inc., 1987. FHL US/CAN 976.8 V2s v. 1. Indexes names of brides and grooms, and marriage dates for weddings in this county for the specified years. Free Lookups Available!
Divorce[edit | edit source]

In 1940 and 1941, W.P.A. workers pinpointed the location of Monroe County divorce papers in diverse County Courthouse records, 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.
Death[edit | edit source]

For deaths of Methodists in Monroe County between the 1830s and the 1920s, try searching the following records:

Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]

See also a List of Tennessee Archives, Libraries, Publications, Historical & Genealogical Societies

  • Monroe County Historical Society, Inc
    Affiliate Chapter of the East Tennessee Historical Society
    P. O. Box 359
    Sweetwater, TN 37874

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

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.

Websites[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Monroe County, Tennessee

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Monroe, Tennessee" in,_Tennessee accessed 27 Dec 2018
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Monroe County, Tennessee. Page 638-645 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 637-640.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Monroe County, Tennessee page 642, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. "List of counties in Tennessee," Wikipedia.
  5. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002), 642. (At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  6. Voice of Joyce Gaston Reece, Friends of the Archives Historical and Preservation Society, Monroe Co., TN., Secretary and American Local History Network, Board of Directors, Vice President (2010).
  7. Voice of Lynnae Weller, Kingsport, Tenn. (2010).
  8. Lost Records: Courthouse Fires and Disasters in Tennessee in Tennessee State Library and Archives in Tennessee Secretary of State (accessed 31 March 2014).
  9. Wikipedia contributors, "Monroe County, Tennessee," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Tennessee, accessed 4 December 2019.
  10. WPA. Guide to Church Vital Statistics in Tennessee. Nashville: Tennessee State Planning Commission, 1942. FHL 976.8 K23w
  11. The Heritage Quest Online version of PERSI aided in the compilation of this list.
  12. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at
  13. Gale Williams Bamman, C.G., "Research in Tennessee," National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 81, No. 2 (June 1993):105. FHL US/CAN Book 973 B2ng v. 81 (1993)