Morgan County, Tennessee Genealogy
Morgan County, Tennessee ancestry, family history, and genealogy research page. Guide to Morgan County (established 1817) 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.
|Morgan County, Tennessee|
Location in the state of Tennessee
Location of Tennessee in the U.S.
|Founded:||October 15, 1817|
- 1 Description
- 2 Quick Dates
- 3 County Courthouse
- 4 History
- 5 Places/Localities
- 6 Resources
- 6.1 Getting Started
- 6.2 Research Guides
- 6.3 African American
- 6.4 Cemeteries
- 6.5 Census
- 6.6 Church
- 6.7 Court
- 6.8 Family Histories
- 6.9 Land
- 6.10 Law and Legislation
- 6.11 Local Histories
- 6.12 Maps
- 6.13 Military
- 6.14 Newspapers
- 6.15 Occupations
- 6.16 Periodicals
- 6.17 Prisons
- 6.18 Probate Records
- 6.19 Taxation
- 6.20 Vital Records
- 7 Societies and Libraries
- 8 Websites
- 9 References
The County was named for Daniel Morgan (1736–1802), an American Revolutionary War officer who commanded the troops that defeated the British at the Battle of Cowpens, and who later served as a U.S. congressman from Virginia. The County is located in the north central area of the state. 
Morgan County's civil records start the following years:
Morgan County Courthouse
415 N. Kingston Street
Wartburg, TN 37887
County Clerk has birth records 1908-1912,
marriage records from 1862, divorce and
probate records, land records from 1818.
Morgan County Clerk
Marriage records and Birth records 1908-1912
P.O. Box 301
Wartburg, TN 37887
Morgan County Register of Deeds
415 North Kingston St.
Wartburg, TN 37887
Morgan County Clerk and Master
415 N. Kingston St.
Wartburg, TN 37887
Morgan County Circuit Court Clerk
415 N. Kingston St.
Wartburg, TN 37887
All of the offices are located on the 1st floor of the courthouse.
Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Sat. 8 a.m.-Noon
East Tennessee county. Established 1817.
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. .
1826, 1870, and 1904 Fires damaged the courthouse records.
- Lost census: 1820
- Lost marriage records: 1817 to 1861
- Lost probate records: 1817 to 1865
For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:
- Burned Counties Research in the FamilySearch Research Wiki.
- Arlene Eakle, When the Records are Gone in the Tennessee Genealogy Blog.
- Michael John Neill, Burned Counties in Family History Circle.
|Adkins Mill||Frankfort||Lavender||Rugby||Whetstone (hist.)|
|Annabel||Glades||Melrose (hist.)||Ruppe (hist.)||White Oak|
|Burrsville||High Point||Mill Creek||Stephens|
|Coal Field||Howard Mill||Oak Hill||Sunbright|
|Crookedfork (hist.)||Huffman||Obed Junction||Tupper Town|
|Deer Lodge||Islandford (hist.)||Petros||Union|
|Flat Rock||Lancing||Pilot Mountain||Wartburg|
Use the free Search for Surnames at Mountain Press's website to quickly search a variety of published Morgan County biography, cemetery, family Bible, land, and marriage 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.
- Genealogical "Fact Sheets" About Tennessee Counties: Morgan 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|
|Findagrave.com||Family History Library||Findagrave.com|
|See Tennessee Cemeteries for more information.|
Additional Cemetery Resources
- Tennessee Cemeteries - Hometown Locator
- Charles A. Reeves Jr. has created a detailed map showing the locations of Putnam County cemeteries. It may be purchased for a small fee through his Cemetery Maps Catalog$
1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, and 1940 federal population censuses of Morgan 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
1820 - Lost
The following book is a useful aid for finding the original records. A free online index, provided by Lineages, 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: Morgan County, East Tennessee Roots, Vol. 6, No. 2 ():56. For availability, see Periodicals.
- Sistler, Byron H. 1830 Census, East Tennessee. Evanston, Ill.: n.p., 1969. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 X2p 1830.
1840 Revolutionary War Pensioners
- A Census of Pensioners for Revolutionary or Military Services: With their Names, Ages, and Places of Residence, as Returned by the Marshalls of the Several Judicial Districts, Under the Act for Taking the Sixth Census. 1841; reprint, Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. FHL US/CAN Book 973 X2pc 1840; FHL US/CAN Film 2321. 1841 edition digitized by the U.S. Census Bureau and Google Books et. al. See Tennessee, Eastern District, Morgan County on page 154.
- Porch, Deane and Louise Gillespie Lynch. Morgan County, Tennessee 1850 Census. Franklin, Tenn.: Louise G. Lynch, 1973. FHL US/CAN Book 976.874 X2p.
1850 Agricultural Census
- Green, Linda L. Tennessee 1850 Agricultural Census. 2 vols. Woodbridge, Va.: L.L. Green, 2000. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 X2g v. 1 ff. Morgan County is included in Vol. 1.
- Index to 1860 Morgan County Census (Tennessee). Wartburg, Tenn.: Morgan County Genealogical Society, 199?. FHL US/CAN Book 976.874 X2i 1860.
- Index to 1870 Morgan County Census (Tennessee). Wartburg, Tenn.: Morgan County Genealogical Society, 199?. FHL US/CAN Book 976.874 X2i 1870.
- Index to 1880 Morgan County Census (Tennessee). Wartburg, Tenn.: Morgan County Genealogical Society, 199?. FHL US/CAN Book 976.874 X2i 1880.
- Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. 1880 Census Morgan County, Tennessee. Nashville, Tenn.: B. Sistler & Associates, 1996. FHL US/CAN Book 976.874 X2d 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. 5 1891. Morgan County is included in Vol. 5.
- 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
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)
- The Heritage of Morgan County, Tennessee, 1817-1999. Tenn.: Morgan County Heritage Book Committee, 1999. FHL US/CAN Book 976.874 D2h.
- Alexander - Gaston, Essie Gladys. The Clift-Penland Family. Unknown: Unknown, 1949. Available at FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 C613g digital version at Heritage Quest Online ($). Mentions the John Alexander family that went from Morgan County, Tennessee to Arkansas.
- Bowman - Bowman, Charles W. Bowman Genealogy: Fragmentary Annals of a Branch of the Bowman Family: To Which is Appended Data Relating to other Bowmans and the Spencers. Washington, D.C.: Law Reporter Print. Co., 1912. Available at FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 B684bc; FHL US/CAN Fiche 6046561; digital versions at Ancestry ($); Google Books (full view); and Heritage Quest Online ($).
- Kindred - Henrick, Ruby Rigor. Thomas Kindred Family History: Albermarle County, Virginia to Morgan County, Tennessee 1776-1986. St. Louis, Missouri: R.R. Henrick, 1986. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 K577r.
- Laymance - Roberts, Snyder E. A Sketch of Laymance Families of Morgan County, Tennessee. Tenn.: S.E. Roberts, 1985. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 A1 no. 8090.
- Ruffner - Roberts, Pauline H. Ruffner Families of Maienfeld, Switzerland and Morgan County, Tennessee. Oliver Springs, Tenn.: P.H. Roberts, 1981. Book: FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 R838ro; Microfilm: FHL US/CAN Film 1307514 Item 39.
- Stinecipher - Roberts, Snyder E. Data Sheets on Stinecipher Families of Morgan & Roane Counties, Tennessee. Oak Ridge, Tenn.: S. Roberts, 1987. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 A1 no. 8047.
The original Morgan County Deed Books are kept at the County Courthouse. In the 1970s, TSLA microfilmed Deed Books A to KZ (1818-1901) and accompanying Indexes (1818-1914). FHL copies: FHL US/CAN Films 978846-978866.
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. To read more about this valuable resource Click here. The searchable index is available at the TSLA; another version is available at World Vital Records.
- Hughes, Thomas. Rugby, Morgan County, Tennessee, Settlement. Cincinnati: Robert Clarke & Co., Print, 1880. 1975 reprint: FHL US/CAN Book 976.874/R1 H2h. Digital version at Google Books.
The following Morgan County Revolutionary War records are available online through TNGenWeb:
- 1835 Pension Roll
- 1852 Rejected or Suspended Pensions
- Select Morgan County Revolutionary War Pension Records
- Revolutionary War Soldiers of Morgan County
The 1840 Census of Pensioners has been abstracted multiple times:
- A Census of Pensioners for Revolutionary or Military Services: With their Names, Ages, and Places of Residence, as Returned by the Marshalls of the Several Judicial Districts, Under the Act for Taking the Sixth Census. 1841; reprint, Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. FHL US/CAN Book 973 X2pc 1840; FHL US/CAN Film 2321. 1841 edition digitized by the U.S. Census Bureau and Google Books et. al. [See Tennessee, Eastern District, Morgan County on page 154.]
- Revolutionary & Military Pensioners, 1840, Ansearchin' News, Vol. 33, No. 1 (Spring 1986).
Additional resources include:
- Local Soldiers, Revolution to Desert Storm, Morgan County Messenger, Vol. 7, No. 1 (Spring 1993).
- Matthias Williams Pension Application, 1832, Morgan County Messenger (Summer 1998).
- Rejected or Suspended Applications for Revolutionary War Pensions. Washington, D.C., 1852. Reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1969, and 1991. Reprints include "an Added Index to States." Digital version at Ancestry ($). Tennessee entries abstracted online at Tennesseans in the Revolutionary War, courtesy: TNGenWeb. Includes veterans from this county; Tennessee section begins on page 381.
- Revolutionary War Pens. Info., Court Minutes,1850-52, Pellissippian, Vol. 2, No. 2 (Apr. 1981).
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 Morgan County pensioners (p. 49).]
- 1861 - 1865 - Tennessee, Civil War Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, 1861-1865 at FamilySearch — index
- USGenWeb Archives, Morgan County Tennessee Archives. Civil War Pensions.
- 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
- Tennessee State Library and Archives, Tennessee Confederate Pension Applications: Morgan 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. Morgan County, page 367.
- TNGenWeb, Military Links for Morgan County. Scroll down to "Military Records."
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 Morgan County click on the following cities or towns:
- 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 Genealogical.com. Includes Morgan County.
- Tennesse Bureau of Agriculture, Statistics and Mines. Coal Mines and Mining--Tennessee. Nashville, Tennessee: A.B. Travel, 1883. Free digital copy.
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 Morgan County, Tennessee Genealogy records 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 Book 976.8 B2a.
- East Tennessee Roots
- Several genealogical articles with abstracts of Morgan County, Tennessee Genealogy 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 Book 976.8 D25e.
- Morgan County Messenger
- The Family History Library has Volume 1, no. 2 (Fall 1986) FHL US/CAN 976.874 B2m
Indexed at PERiodical Source Index (PERSI) Volume 1 (May 1986) - Volume 21 (Spring 2007)
- The Pellissippian
- Several genealogical articles with abstracts of Morgan County, Tennessee Genealogy 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 Book 976.8 D25p.
Learn if your Morgan County, Tennessee Genealogy ancestors went to prison!
- Inmates of the Tennessee State Penitentiary 1831-1850.
- Inmates of the Tennessee State Penitentiary 1851-1870.
The original Morgan County Wills are kept at the County Courthouse. In the 1970s, TSLA microfilmed Wills 1866-1935. FHL copy: FHL Film 978845. In 1988, TSLA also microfilmed Will Book 2 (1889-1958). FHL copy: FHL Film 1928793.
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, 1866-1958 (3 vols.)
- Insolvent estate records, 1887-1931 (2 vols.)
- Inventories, 1887-1947
- Probate records, 1880-1912
- Settlements, 1878-1926 (2 vols.)
The following Morgan County tax records have been abstracted:
- 1814 - "1814 Roane County, Tennessee Tax List," available online. "Only the tax list for the militia company that included most of the people that became Morgan Countians in 1817 is included here."
- 1817 - "1817 Roane County, Tennessee Tax List," available online. Includes area that later became Morgan County.
- 1836, 1848, 1874, 1876 - Morgan County, Tennessee, Tax Lists: Year 1836, 1848, 1874, 1876. n.p.: n.p., n.d. FHL US/CAN Book 976.874 R4m.
- 1836 - "Tax List, 1836," Morgan County Messenger, Vol. 2, No. 3 (Winter 1988).
- 1836 - "Tax List Excerpt, 1836," Scott County Historical Society Newsletter, Vol. 10, No. 4 (Summer 1993).
- 1836 - "Morgan County Tax Records District 1, 1836," available online.
- 1848 - Thornton, Mrs. Robert E. "Morgan County Tax List - 1848," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 14, No. 1 (Jan.-Mar. 1967):23-29. For FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Periodicals.
- 1625-1966 - Tennessee, United States Marriages at FindMyPast — index $
- 1780 - 2002 - Tennessee State Marriages 1780-2002 at Ancestry.com — index $
- 1862 - 1895 - Morgan County Marriage Index 1862-1895 in International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch.org - free.
For deaths of Methodists in Morgan County between the 1830s and the 1920s, try searching the following records:
- 1847-1914 - 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
Morgan County Genealogical and Historical Society
124 S. Kingston St., P. O. Box 684
Wartburg, TN 37887
(Located in the Archive Building (old jail building) and have an extensive collection of Civil War Pension Records, vertical files, genealogical books, census records, family histories and more.) Open Wed., Thur., Fri., 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
East Tennessee Historical Society
601 S. Gay Street
P.O. Box 1629
Knoxville, Tennessee 37901-1629
Coalfield Public Library
112 Jerry Jones Rd.
P.O. Box 97
Coalfield, TN 37719
Hours: Mon., Tues., Thurs. 12 noon-6 p.m.
Sat. 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Sunbright Public Library
142 Melton Dr.
Sunbright, TN 37872
Hours: Mon.-Thurs. 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.
Sat. 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Wartburg Public Library
514 Spring St.
Wartburg, TN 37887
Deer Lodge Public Library
110 Corinne Ave.
Deer Lodge, TN 37726
Petros Public Library
208 West Main St.
Petros, TN 37845
Oakdale Public Library
212 Queen St.
Oakdale, TN 37829
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.
- Morgan County, TN Family History and Genealogy Message Board (Ancestry)
- Morgan County, TNGenWeb (USGenWeb)
- RootsWeb Mailing List: TNMORGAN-L (Morgan County, Tennessee List)
- RootsWeb Mailing List: ETN-L (East Tennessee List)
- RootsWeb Mailing List: ETN-OZ-L (East Tennessee Migrants to Ozarks Region List)
- Morgan County TN Genealogy (LDS Genealogy)
- Wikipedia contributors, "Morgan, Tennessee" in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgan_County,_Tennessee accessed 27 Dec 2018
- "Earliest County Records," Tennessee State Library and Archives.
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Morgan County, Tennessee page 642, 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), 642. (FHA Book 973 D27e 2002). WorldCat entry.
- Voice of Lynnae Weller, Kingsport, Tenn. (2010).
- Voice of Gene Black, FamilySearch employee, former resident of Bristol, Tenn. (2010).
- [http://sos.tn.gov/products/tsla/lost-records-courthouse-fires-and-disasters-tennessee Lost Records: Courthouse Fires and Disasters in Tennessee] in Tennessee State Library and Archives in Tennessee Secretary of State (accessed 13 March 2016).
- Mary Barnett Curtis, Early East Tennessee Tax Lists: a compiled list of residents of the area covered in 22 east Tennessee counties for which there is [sic] no census records prior to 1830 (Fort Worth, Texas: Arrow Printing, 1964) FHL 976.8 R4c.
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Meigs County, Tennessee page 642, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
- The Heritage Quest Online version of PERSI aided in the compilation of this list.
- Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/8/88/Igitennesseel.pdf.