Morgan County, Tennessee Genealogy

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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
Boundary map of Morgan County, Tennessee
Map of Tennessee highlighting Morgan County
Location in the state of Tennessee
Map of the U.S. highlighting Tennessee
Location of Tennessee in the U.S.
Founded: October 15, 1817
County Seat Wartburg
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Description[edit | edit source]

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. [1]

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

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1908 1862 1908 1824 1818 1818 1810
Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1914. General compliance by 1927.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]


Morgan County Tennessee courthouse.jpg

Morgan County Courthouse, Wartburg, Tenn.


Morgan County Courthouse
415 N. Kingston Street
Wartburg, TN 37887
Phone: 1-423-346-3105

County Clerk has birth records 1908-1912,
marriage records from 1862, divorce and 
probate records, land records from 1818.[3]

Morgan County Clerk
Marriage records and Birth records 1908-1912
P.O. Box 301
Wartburg, TN 37887
Phone: 1-423-346-3480

Morgan County Register of Deeds
Land records
415 North Kingston St.
Wartburg, TN 37887
Phone: 1-423-346-3105

Morgan County Clerk and Master
Probate records
415 N. Kingston St.
Wartburg, TN 37887
Phone: 1-423-346-3881

Morgan County Circuit Court Clerk
Court records
415 N. Kingston St.
Wartburg, TN 37887
Phone: 1-423-346-3503

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

History[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War hero Daniel Morgan (1736-1802)

East Tennessee county. Established 1817.

The county is named after Revolutionary War Officer Daniel Morgan (1736-1802).[4]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1817--Morgan County was established 15 October 1817 from Roane County. 
County seat: Wartburg [5]

County Pronunciation[edit | edit source]

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

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]


1826, 1870, and 1904 Fires damaged the courthouse records.[8]

  • 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:

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
  • Mossy Grove
  • Rugby
  • Stephens
Census-designated places

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 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.

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

African American[edit | edit source]

United States African Americans
Tennessee African Americans

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

  • 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$

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1820 1,676
1830 2,582 54.1%
1840 2,660 3.0%
1850 3,430 28.9%
1860 3,353 −2.2%
1870 2,969 −11.5%
1880 5,156 73.7%
1890 7,639 48.2%
1900 9,587 25.5%
1910 11,458 19.5%
1920 13,285 15.9%
1930 13,603 2.4%
1940 15,242 12.0%
1950 15,727 3.2%
1960 14,304 −9.0%
1970 13,619 −4.8%
1980 16,604 21.9%
1990 17,300 4.2%
2000 19,757 14.2%
2010 21,987 11.3%
Source: "".

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.

See Morgan County,TN census assignments, including links to transcribed files. The USGenWeb Census Project®.

1810 - 1891

1820 - Lost[10]

1820 Manufactures

The original manufactures schedules for the Eastern and Western Districts of Tennessee are kept at the 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, 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.


1840 Revolutionary War Pensioners


  • 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.




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

Church[edit | edit source]

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 Morgan, Tennessee at World Connect, results in more than 15,000 entries.


Land[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

  • Tennessee State Library and Archives, Acts of Tennessee 1796-1850: Index to Names. [11]

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.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps[edit | edit source]

Fentress CountyScott CountyAnderson CountyRoane CountyCumberland CountyTN MORGAN.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War[edit | edit source]

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

The 1840 Census of Pensioners has been abstracted multiple times:

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[edit | edit source]
  • 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).]
Civil War[edit | edit source]

Online Records

Other Resources

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 Morgan County click on the following cities or towns:

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 Morgan County.
  • Tennesse Bureau of Agriculture, Statistics and Mines. Coal Mines and Mining--Tennessee. Nashville, Tennessee: A.B. Travel, 1883. Free digital copy.

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 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.

Prisons[edit | edit source]

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

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

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.

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, 1866-1958 (3 vols.)
  • Insolvent estate records, 1887-1931 (2 vols.)
  • Inventories, 1887-1947
  • Probate records, 1880-1912
  • Settlements, 1878-1926 (2 vols.)

Taxation[edit | edit source]

The following Morgan County tax records have been abstracted:[12]

  • 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.

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]
Death[edit | edit source]

For deaths of Methodists in Morgan 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

Morgan County Genealogical and Historical Society
124 S. Kingston St.,  P. O. Box 684
Wartburg, TN 37887
Phone: 1-423-346-5500
(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
Phone: 1-865-215-8824

Coalfield Public Library
112 Jerry Jones Rd.
P.O. Box 97
Coalfield, TN 37719
Phone: 1-865-435-4275
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
Phone: 1-423-628-2439
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
Phone: 1-423-346-2479

Deer Lodge Public Library
110 Corinne Ave.
Deer Lodge, TN 37726
Phone: 1-423-965-3029

Petros Public Library
208 West Main St.
Petros, TN 37845
Phone: 1-423-324-2825

Oakdale Public Library
212 Queen St.
Oakdale, TN 37829
Phone: 1-423-369-2595

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: Morgan County, Tennessee

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Morgan, Tennessee" in,_Tennessee accessed 27 Dec 2018
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Morgan 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), Morgan County, Tennessee page 642, At various libr40ries (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. (FHA Book 973 D27e 2002). WorldCat entry.
  6. Voice of Lynnae Weller, Kingsport, Tenn. (2010).
  7. Voice of Gene Black, FamilySearch employee, former resident of Bristol, Tenn. (2010).
  8. [ Lost Records: Courthouse Fires and Disasters in Tennessee] in Tennessee State Library and Archives in Tennessee Secretary of State (accessed 13 March 2016).
  9. Wikipedia contributors, "Morgan County, Tennessee," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Tennessee, accessed 5 December 2019.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. The Heritage Quest Online version of PERSI aided in the compilation of this list.
  13. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at