Wilson County, Tennessee Genealogy

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Wilson County, Tennessee ancestry, family history, and genealogy research page. Guide to Wilson County (established 1799) 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.

Wilson County, Tennessee
Boundary map of Wilson County, Tennessee
Map of Tennessee highlighting Wilson County
Location in the state of Tennessee
Map of the U.S. highlighting Tennessee
Location of Tennessee in the U.S.
Founded: October 26, 1799
County Seat Lebanon
Website: www.wilsoncountytn.gov
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Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Major David Wilson, a Revolutionary War veteran and statesman. The County is located in the north central area of the state. [1]

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

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1881 1802 1908 1802 1789 1800 1810
Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1914. General compliance by 1927.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]


Wilson County Tennessee courthouse.jpg

Wilson County Courthouse, Lebanon, Tenn.


Wilson County Courthouse
228 East Main St.
Lebanon, TN 37088
Phone: 1-615-444-2835

County Clerk has marriage records from 1802
and probate records from 1800.
Clerk and Master and Clerk Circuit Court has divorce records.
Register of Deeds has land records. [3]

Wilson County Clerk
Marriage and probate records
228 East Main St., Room 101
P.O. Box 950
Lebanon, TN 37088
Phone: 1-615-444-0314

Wilson County Register of Deeds
Land records
228 East Main St.
P.O. Box 176
Lebanon, TN 37088
Phone: 1-615-443-2611
Document availability.

Wilson County Clerk and Master
Court records
134 S. College St., Room 200
Lebanon, TN 37087
Phone 1-615-444-2835
Mon.-Thurs. 8 a.m.-4:30
Fri. 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Wilson County Archives
111 South College St.
Lebanon, TN 37087
Phone: 1-615-443-1993
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. please call ahead

History[edit | edit source]

Middle Tennessee county established in 1799. The northern part of the county belonged to the pioneer Cumberland Settlements.[4]

The county is named after "David Wilson, a member of the legislatures of North Carolina and the Southwest Territory."[5]

A county history was written by Frank Burns[6]. A link to an online version can be found here.

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1799--Wilson County was established 26 October 1799 from part of Sumner County. Early records may be found under Sumner County.
County seat: Lebanon [7]

County Pronunciation[edit | edit source]

  1. Hear it spoken[8] (female)
  2. Hear it spoken[9] (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 MapofUS.org website.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]


1881 Fire may have damaged records in the courthouse.[10]

Lost censuses 1800, 1810

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

Places/LocalitiesCounty Histories

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:[11]

Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places
Ghost towns

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

African American[edit | edit source]

United States African Americans Gotoarrow.png Tennessee African Americans

  • Waldrep, G.C. "'Free Colored' Heads of Household in the 1820 Tennessee Census," available online, courtesy: Free African Americans website. [Includes free African Americans in this county.]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

  • Douthat, James L. Wilson County, Tennessee Biographies. 1887; reprint, Signal Mountain, Tenn.: Mountain Press. Free Surname Index and purchase details at Mountain Press website.

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

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

Additional Cemetery Resources

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1800 3,261
1810 11,952 266.5%
1820 18,730 56.7%
1830 25,472 36.0%
1840 24,460 −4.0%
1850 27,443 12.2%
1860 26,072 −5.0%
1870 25,881 −0.7%
1880 28,747 11.1%
1890 27,148 −5.6%
1900 27,078 −0.3%
1910 25,394 −6.2%
1920 26,241 3.3%
1930 23,929 −8.8%
1940 25,267 5.6%
1950 26,318 4.2%
1960 27,668 5.1%
1970 36,999 33.7%
1980 56,064 51.5%
1990 67,675 20.7%
2000 88,809 31.2%
2010 113,993 28.4%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".
1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 federal population schedules of Wilson 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.

1800 Lost

1810 A substitute is available:

  • Sherrill, Charles A. The Reconstructed 1810 Census of Tennessee: 33,000 Long-lost Records from Tax Lists, Court Minutes, Church Records, Wills, Deeds and Other Sources. Mt. Juliet, Tenn.: C.A. Sherrill, 2001. Google Books

1810 - 1891


  • Bentley, Elizabeth P. Index to the 1820 Census of Tennessee. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1981. FHL 976.8 X22b 1820
  • Waldrep, G.C. "'Free Colored' Heads of Household in the 1820 Tennessee Census," available online, courtesy: Free African Americans website. Includes free African Americans in this county.


  • Parlow, Thomas E. Federal Census of 1840, Wilson County, Tennessee. Typescript. FHL 976.854 X2p 1840

1840 Revolutionary War Pensioners


  • Carpenter, Mrs. V. Wilson County, Tennessee Population Schedule of the United States census of 1850. Huntsville, Arkansas: Century Enterprises, 1969. FHL 976.854 X2p 1850


  • Parlow, Thomas E. Federal Census of 1860, Wilson County, Tennessee, Civil Districts 1-25. Typescript. FHL 976.854 X2p 1860 2 vols.


  • Parlow, Thomas E. Federal Census of 1870, Wilson County, Tennessee. Lebanon, Tennessee :T.E. Partlow, 197-?. FHL 976.854 X2p 1870 2 vols.


  • Parlow, Thomas E. Federal Census of 1880, Wilson County, Tennessee. Nashville, Tennessee: B. Sistler & Associates, 1992. FHL 976.854 X2p 1880

1891 Male Voters


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.

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


  • 1801-1975 - Mount Olivet Baptist Church Records. Mount Juliet, 1801-1975. Manuscript. TSLA Reel #511.
  • 1801-1900 - Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Vital Statistics from 19th Century Tennessee Church Records. Nashville: Sitler and Associates, 1979. vol. 2 FHL 976.8 K29s Index to original Mount Olivet Baptist Church Records. Mount Juliet, 1801-1975.
  • 1815-1881 - Cedar Lick Baptist Church Records. Wilson County, 1815-1881. Manuscript. TSLA Reel #329. FHL 830169
  • 1815-1881 - Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Vital Statistics from 19th Century Tennessee Church Records. Nashville: Sitler and Associates, 1979. vol. 1 FHL 976.8 K29s Index to Cedar Lick Baptist Church Records. Wilson County, 1815-1881.
  • 1821-1958 - Rutland Baptist Church (Wilson County). Church records, 1821-1958. Nashville, Tennessee: Historical Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, 196-. Manuscript on film. FHL 984308 Item 4
  • 1881-1961 - Cedar Lick Baptist Church Records. Wilson County, 1881-1961. Manuscript. TSLA Reel #339. FHL 833250
  • 1881-1900 - Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Vital Statistics from 19th Century Tennessee Church Records. Nashville: Sitler and Associates, 1979. vol. 2 FHL 976.8 K29s Index to original Cedar Lick Baptist Church Records. Wilson County, 1881-1961.
  • Grime, John Harvey. History of Middle Tennessee Baptists: With Special Reference to Salem, New Salem, Enon and Wiseman Associations. Nashville, Tennessee: Baptist and Reflector, 1902.  Includes names changes for places in Middle Tennessee.

Methodist Episcopal


  • Big Springs Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Wilson Co., Tennessee, Church Register. S.l. : s.n., 196-. Manuscript. Includes index. FHL 976.8 A1 no. 2

Court[edit | edit source]

DNA[edit | edit source]

DNA Double Helix.png
DNA has been collected from men claiming descent from the following Wilson County residents. Attempts have not been made to verify the lineages of those tested.
  • Brown - Descendant of Richard Brown, b. 1763, moved to Wilson County, Tennessee abt 1799. Y-DNA 37 Marker Test, FTDNA (Kit 141095). Genetic signature available online (labeled Group No. 48), genealogical description available online, courtesy: Brown/Browne/Braun DNA Study. Matches have been found.

Family Histories[edit | edit source]

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)

The Wilson Co., TNGenWeb pages host the following guides:


As of August 2010, a query for persons born in Wilson (County), Tennessee at World Connect, results in more than 65,000 entries.


  • Adams - Ose, Enlow. The Family of John Washington Adams (1822-1907): and the Families of Robert Murray (1790/1800-1840/1850); Catherine Adams Stephens (ca. 1804-after 1860); Jesse Koonce (ca. 1769-ca. 1814); Nancy Brewer (ca. 1804-1850/1860); George Adams (before 1775-1830/1840) of Rutherford and Wilson County, Tennessee. Sacramento, Calif.: E. Ose, 1996. FHL Book 929.273 Ad18o.
  • Barnett - Sibley, Marilyn McAdams. John Calhoun Barnett, Jr., (1838-1912) of Grimes County, Texas: and Other Descendants of Robert Barnett (d.1818) of Wilson Co., Tennessee. Houston, Texas: M.M. Sibley, 1989. FHL Book 929.273 B264sm.
  • Bonner - Bonner, Kathryn R. The Bonner Family Record: This Record is Primarily of the Bonners of Surry and Sussex Counties, Virginia, Those that Went to Wilson, Madison and Shelby Counties, Tennessee, and Those that Went on to Phillips County, Arkansas: Today the Descendants are Spread into Many States. Marianna, Ark.: K.R. Bonner, 1979. FHL Book 929.273 A1 no. 3414.
  • Cantrell - Wright, Mildred S. George Washington Cantrell and His Wife Martha Elizabeth Lea Carver of Tennessee: Their Ancestry and Descendants. Beaumont, Texas: M.S. Wright, 1983. FHL US/CAN Book 929.273 C169wm.
  • Cason - Graves, James Merritt Joseph Cason deceased 1835 and his descendants Nashville, Tenn.: Graves Publishing, c1994 FHL Book 929.273 C27g; digital version available at FamilySearch Digital Library.
  • Christian - Edwards, Howell B. A Family Named Christian of Wilson County, Tennessee. Grants Pass, Ore.: H.B. Edwards, 1994?. FHL Book 929.273 C462ed.
  • Cluck - Graves, James Merritt. Wilson County Clucks of Tennessee: Six Generations of Henry Cluck's Descendants. Nashville, Tenn.: Graves Publishing, 1993. FHL Book 929.273 C627g. Digital version available at FamilySearch Digital Library.
  • Culbreath - Green, John Stinson Leroy Culbreath and Mary Fulk of Williamson County, Illinois and Stafford County, Kansas Wichita, Kansas?: J.S. Green, [199-?] FHL Book 929.273 C897g; digital version available at FamilySearch Digital Library.
  • Donaldson - Waters, Elise Donaldson. Genealogy of Donaldsons of Wilson and Clay County, Tennessee; Colsons, Browns, and Hords of Virginia and Tennessee, and Related Families. Nashville, Tenn.: E.D. Waters, 1981. FHL Large Q Book 929.273 D714w.
  • Donalson - Edwards, Christine Williams and Larry Kittrel Wilson. The Donalson Family of Caswell County, North Carolina and Wilson County, Tennessee. Typescript, microfilmed in 1972. FHL Film 897212 Item 3.
  • Edwards - Raymond, Charles E. Journey into the Past with Constable Jarrot William Edwards and Rebecca Bennett of Wilson County, Tennessee. Murrieta, Calif.: C.E. Raymond, 2005. FHL Book 921.73 Ed96r; digital version at FamilySearch Digital Library.
  • Edwards - Raymond, Charles E. Journey into the Past with War of 1812 Soldier John Edwards and Sarah Hackney: of Chatham County, North Carolina and Wilson County, Tennessee. Murrieta, Calif.: C.E. Raymond, 2006. FHL Book 929.273 Ed96r; digital version at [ https://www.familysearch.org/library/books/records/item/192670-journey-into-the-past-with-war-of-1812-soldier-john-edwards-and-sarah-hackney-of-chatham-county-north-carolina-and-wilson-county-tennessee?offset=1 FamilySearch Digital Library].
  • Finley - Finley, Carmen J. "John Finley of Montgomery/Wythe County, Virginia: Additional Children Identified," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 39, No. 1 (Jan.-Mar. 1995):3-22; Vol. 39, No. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 1995):94-103; Vol. 39, No. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 1995):202-212; Vol. 39, No. 4 (Oct.-Dec. 1995):282-294. Digital version at American Ancestors ($). FHL Book 975.5 B2vg v. 39 (1995).
  • Jackson - Jackson, B. Darrell. Jackson Family History: Descendants of Robert Jackson of Dinwiddie County, Virginia, to Nine Generations, ca. 1760-2008: with Ancestry of Allied Families -- Johnson, Blakely, Shields, Cooper, Stiles, Kitchell, Pierson, Bruen, Ogden, Swaine, and Owsley. Baltimore, Md.: Gateway Press, 2009. FHL Collection 929.273 J137j
  • Jones - Watson, Walter A. Notes on Southside Virginia. Richmond, Va.: D. Bottom, Superintendant of Public Print., 1925. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Knight - Garrett, Jill Knight. Knight Cousins. Columbia, TN: Unknown, 1967. Available at FHL US/CAN Film 928090; digital version at Heritage Quest Online ($).
  • Lain - Patterson, Edna Earle Fleming. The Lains of Wilson County, Tennessee and Some of Their Descendants. Houston, Texas: E.E.F. Patterson, 1981. FHL Book 929.273 L143p; FHL Film 1317111 Item 3.
  • Payne - Payne, Lois Wittenbraker. The Paynes of Wabash County, Illinois and Wilson County, Tennessee. Effingham, Ill.: L.W. Payne, 1984. FHL Book 929.273 P293pL.
  • Phillips - Phillips, Harry. Phillips Family History: A Brief History of the Phillips Family, Beginning with the Emigration from Wales, and a Detailed Genealogy of the Descendants of John and Benjamin Philips, Pioneer Citizens of Wilson County, Tenn. Lebanon, Tenn.: Lebanon Democrat, Inc., 1935. FHL Book 929.273 P541ph.
  • Phillips - Phillips, Harry and Don Phillips. History of the Phillips Family: A Brief History of the Phillips Family, Beginning with the Emigration from Wales, and a Detailed Genealogy of the Descendants of John and Benjamin Philips, Pioneer Citizens of Wilson County, Tenn. Washington, D.C.: Heritage Press, 1971. FHL Book 929.273 P541pha.
  • Rieff - Beekman, Jane Kyhl. Research Summaries of Reiff, Rieff, Rife and Welschans Families: of Switzerland, Alsace, (France-Germany), Pennsylvania, Virginia, Indiana, Wilson County, Tennessee; Washington County, Arkansas, etc. Muncie, Ind.: J.K. Beekman, 2003. FHL Book 929.273 R272bj; digital version at FamilySearch Digital Library.
  • Rowland - Sheridan, Richard C. Richardson Rowland (1791-1872) and His Family: Wilson County, Tennessee, and Caldwell County, Kentucky. Sheffield, Ala.: n.p., 1975. FHL Book 929.273 R796sr; another copy: FHL Book 929.273 R796s.
  • Stroud - Stroud, Roger Dean. From Old Dominion to Volunteer and Pioneer: The Archibald Stroud Family of Wilson County, Tennessee, Volume I. Provo, Utah: Stevenson's Genealogy Center, 1995. FHL Book 929.273 St89srd.
  • Tate - Carpenter, Evelyn Yates. Tate and Allied Families of Robertson County, Tennessee: Includes the Nearby Tennessee Counties of Davidson, Sumner, and Wilson. Includes Virginia and North Carolina, the States of Tate Family Origin. Includes Counties in Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri and Throughout the United States Where Many Tate Families Migrated. Clarksville, Tenn.: Jostens, 1987. FHL Book 929.273 T187c.
  • Thomas - James, Larry Alan. The Jewell and Thomas Families of Frederick County, Maryland and Wilson County, Tennessee. Neosho, Missouri: L.A. James, 1987. FHL Book 929.273 A1 no. 5839.
  • Young - Neal, Clarice and Ella McCaleb Young. David Young and Sarah Phillips Descendants: Wilson County, Tennessee, 1796-1994. Austin, Texas: C. Neal, 1995. FHL Book 929.273 Y84n.

Land[edit | edit source]


The original Wilson County Deed Books are held at the County Courthouse. In 1965, TSLA microfilmed Deed Books A to 169 (1789-1965) and Trust Deed Books EE to 215 (1829-1965) and indexes. FHL copies: FHL Films 427157-427252, 430339-430410, 2260203.

Local Land Entries Issued by North Carolina

The original Wilson County land entries issued by North Carolina are kept at the North Carolina State Archives in Raleigh. On their website, users can bring up a list of land entries issued in Wilson County, both before and after its land became a part of the state of Tennessee. Years covered: 1783-1802.


  1. Follow this link to conduct a "Call Number Search" using the MARS Catalog on their site.
  2. Using the pull down window, change "Call Numbers starting" to "A MarsID matching."
  3. Type 12.14.21 (Windows Vista users may need to include a period after the last digit, for example 12.14.21.) and click Search. This is the specific MarsID for Wilson County.
  4. Click on the entry that is returned: "Tennessee, Wilson County."
  5. In the window that pops up, click Show List of Child Records and a list of Wilson County land entries will be produced. Browse to find abstracts of the original records.[14]

N.B. You can also search by name through the Basic Search, but it lacks soundex capabilities.

Land Grants

  • Free index to 1500+ Pioneer Cumberland Settlements Land Grants, available online, courtesy: Cumberland Pioneer Settlers. The Cumberland Settlements region covered what is now this county. To view the land grants platted on maps, purchase the books described on this site, or access those available at the Family History Library FHL US/CAN Large Q Book 976.8 E7d.
  • The Tennessee Library and Archives shares this about land grants on their website: “The Tennessee State Library and Archives has a printed index which lists the names of individuals who received North Carolina land grants in Tennessee and land grants obtained directly from the state of Tennessee.  E-mail the Library and Archives with the name of the individual, and we will check to see if there is a listing in the index.” (Tennessee Archives)

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]

Trousdale CountySmith CountyDeKalb CountyCannon CountyRutherford CountyDavidson CountySumner CountyTN WILSON.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

  • Johnson, Mrs. Ross B. Some Early Settlers in Hickory County, Missouri from Sumner and Wilson Cos., Tenn.: With Some Genealogical Data on the Jordan L. Rhea Family, the Thomas Davis Family, the Robert Davis Family, the John S. Williams Family, the Elisha T. Condley Family. Typescript, microfilmed in 1975. FHL Film 928082 Item 13.

Military[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War[edit | edit source]

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

Additional resources include:

War of 1812[edit | edit source]
  • Embry, Hermione D. "War of 1812 - Tennessee Pensioners on List - January 2, 1883," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 8, No. 3 (Jul. 1961):95-98; Vol. 8, No. 4 (Oct. 1961):122-124. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 B2a v. 8 (1961); digital version at journal website. Includes Wilson County pensioners (p. 124).
Civil War[edit | edit source]

Online Records

Regiments. Civil War service men from Wilson County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed in or came from Wilson County:

Confederate Soldiers

Union Soldiers

Additional sources for Civil War soldiers from Wilson 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 Wilson County click on the following cities:

Occupations[edit | edit source]

  • 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 Wilson 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 Wilson County, Tennessee 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 US/CAN Book 976.8 B2a.
The Chronicle
Indexed in PERiodical Source Index (PERSI). Volumes 1 - 29 (1990 - 2007). For additional information see the Mount Julie-West Wilson County website.
The Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy and History
Genealogical articles with abstracts of records of Perry County, Tennessee have been published in The Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy and History, the quarterly of the Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society (23+ Vols.). To view a list of these articles, visit their online Index to Articles (1988-2005). Surname indexes are also available online for Vols. 2-22. The website also offers back issues for sale in paper and on CD. The Family History Library has a complete collection of this quarterly FHL US/CAN Book 976.85 D25m.

Prisons[edit | edit source]

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

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

The Wilson County Court has responsibility for the probate records. In 1965, TSLA microfilmed Will Books covering the years 1802 to 1965. FHL copies: FHL Films 430841-430853.

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:

  • Index to wills, 1803-1917
  • Inventories, Wills, 1802-1965 (33 vols.)
  • Wills, 1803-1917
  • Wills, 1825-1833
  • Guardian settlements, 1863-1896 (Vols. A-C)
  • Settlements, 1836-1965 (32 vols.)
  • Bonds, Letters, 1838-1965 (27 vols.)

The organization Strictly By Name provides free online indexes to early Wilson 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 Wilson County probate records have been abstracted, indexed, or both:

  • 1800-1899 - Partlow, Thomas E. The People of Wilson County, Tennessee, 1800-1899. Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1983. This indexed book includes court records, wills and inventories, church records, and other records from the Wilson County courthouse and from newspaper excerpts. The range of dates varies by record type. (FHL book 976.854 P2pa.)
  • 1878-1902 - Partlow, Thomas E. Wilson County, Tennessee, Deeds, Marriages and Wills, 1800-1902. Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1987. The range of dates stated in the title varies by record type. Wills of 1878-1899 are included in this indexed book. (FHL book 976.854 R2p.)
  • 1802-1850 - Partlow, Thomas E.; Suzann Goss, indexer. Wilson County, Tennessee Wills: Books 1-13, 1802-1850. Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1981.
  • 1802-1861 - Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Index to Wilson County, Tennessee Wills and Administrations, 1802-1861. Nashville, Tennessee: Byron Sistler, 1990. (FHL book 976.854 P22s.)
  • 1802-1810 - Willis, Laura. Wilson County Will Books Vol. 1-Dec 1802-Feb 1810. Mayfield, KY: Willis Historical, 1999. Available at FHL US/CAN Book 976.854 P2w. Digital version available at World Vital Records.
  • 1802-1832 - Strictly By Name (see above).
  • USGen Web's Wilson County page includes indexes and abstracts of court records.

Taxation[edit | edit source]

Original Wilson County tax records:

  • 1821-1964 - Tax Books, 1821-1964. Nashville: TSLA, 1965. Manuscript. On 81 microfilm reels.FHL 430885

The following Wilson County tax records have been abstracted:[15]

  • 1789 - Cumberland Settlements, Tax List, 1789, The Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy and History, Vol. 4, No. 2 (Fall 1990). For possible FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Periodicals.
  • 1803-1807 - Partlow, Thomas E. Tax Lists of Wilson County, Tennessee, 1803-1807 with Names in Court Records, 1802-1822. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1981. Digital version at Ancestry ($). FHL 976.854 R4p
  • 1804-1805 - O'Hara, Virginia G. "List of Taxables, Wilson County, Tennessee, for the Year 1804," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 11, No. 4 (Oct. 1964):165-170. For access, see Periodicals.
  • 1804 - Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Index to Early Tennessee Tax Lists. Evanston, Ill.: B. & B. Sistler, 1977. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 R4s. Includes 1804 tax list.
  • 1804 - Gant, Wanda. "Alphabetically Arranged Wilson Co., TN 1804 Tax List by Company: Arranged in Order to Compare to Warren County Names," available online, courtesy: USGenWeb Archives. Source: TSLA list.
  • 1814 - "Direct Federal Tax-Delinquent Property Owners Listed for 1814," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 43, No. 3(Fall 1996):115-120. For access, see Periodicals. Includes Wilson County.
  • 1827-1869 - Partlow, Thomas E. Wilson County, Tennessee, Genealogical Resource Material, 1827-1869. Greenville, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1997. FHL US/CAN Book 976.854 P27p. FHL 976.854 P27p

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]

The original Wilson County marriage records are housed at the Wilson County Archives. Marriages are complete from 1802.

State Marriage Records

The following Wilson County marriage records are microfilmed:

  • 1802-1965 - Available at the Family History Library. Includes indexes. FHL 430826 Filmed by the Tennessee State Library.
  • 1840-1953 - Available at the Family History Library. Includes indexes to marriages after 1838.FHL 2116810 Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah at the Wilson County Archives.

The following Wilson County marriage records have been indexed:

  • 1802-1840 - Marriage Records, 1802-1840, Wilson County, Tennessee. Nashville: TSLA, Historical Records Project, 1940. Typescript. FHL 24879 Items 2-3
  • 1802-1840 - Marriage Records, 1802-1840, Wilson County, Tennessee. Salt Lake City: GSU, Historical Records Project, 1940. Typescript. FHL 982246 Item 3
  • 1802-1850 - Whitely, Edythe R. Marriages of Wilson County, Tennessee, 1802-1850. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1981. FHL 976.854 V2w
  • 1802-1870 - Lucas, Silas Emmett and Ella Lee Sheffield. 35,000 Tennessee Marriage Records and Bonds 1783-1870. 3 vols. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1981. FHL 976.8 V2t v. 1 Abstracts include names of brides, grooms, bondsmen, marriage bond dates, and officiators for weddings in this county for the roughly specified years. Marriage data taken from an index card file at TSLA. Authors do not specify whether or not the card index completely indexes this county's marriages.
  • 1802-1865 - Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Early Middle Tennessee Marriages. 2 vols. Nashville, Tenn.: B. Sistler & Associates, 1988. FHL Book 976.8 V2sbv. 2 Indexes names of brides and grooms, and marriage or marriage bond dates for weddings in this county for the specified years.
  • 1800-1902 - Partlow, Thomas E. Wilson County, Tennessee, deeds, marriages and wills, 1800-1902. Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1987. FHL 976.854 R2p
  • 1861-1869 - Freedman's Bureau Marriage Certificates (1861-1869) is an index to the marriage records kept by the Memphis Field Office of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands. It includes grooms surname, grooms given name, groom's age, brides surname, bride's given name and other information.
  • 1733-1866 - Marriage Records. [17]
  • 1802-1850 - Marriage Records: Early–1850. [18]
Divorce[edit | edit source]

In 1940 and 1941, W.P.A. workers pinpointed the location of Wilson 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 Wilson County between the 1830s and the 1920s, try searching the following records:

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Mt. Juliet - Wilson County Library
2765 North Mt. Juliet R.
Mt. Juliet, TN 37122-0319
Phone: 1-615-758-7051    Facebook
Mon.,Tue.,Thurs. 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
Wed., Fri., Sat. 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Genealogical Resources: The library is the home of the Mount Juliet-West Wilson Historical Society. Their collections are in the Madelon Wright Smith Memorial Archives.
The Brentwood Library
8109 Concord Rd.
Brentwood, TN 37027
Phone: 1-615-371-2238
Fax: 1-614-371-2238
Mon.-Thurs. 9 a.m.-8 p.m.
Fri. 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sun.1 p.m.-6 p.m.
Genealogical Resources include Brentwood history, families, homes, census, tax records and more.

Info and map of regional library services on the Tennessee Archives page: Public Library Services & Resources

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Libraries

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

Mount Juliet-West Wilson County TN Historical Society
2765 North Mt. Juliet Rd.
Mt. Juliet, TN 37122-0319
Phone: 1-615-754-2418
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 337
Mount Juliet, TN 37122
E-mail: Donna G. Ferrell: dgferrell@aol.com
Mon, Tue, Thu 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
Wed., Fri., Sat. 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Genealogical Resources: The society focuses on discovering and collecting material that helps establish the history of Mount Juliet and West Wilson County, Tennessee. It collects genealogies, histories, manuscript material such as letters, diaries, journals and etc. The society's collection is housed at the Mount Juliet, TN Public Library in the Madelon Wright Smith Memorial Archives. The library and the Historical Society maintain a close working relationship and the files are accessible to the general public during the library's normal hours of operation.

Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society
PO Box 330948
Nashville, TN, USA 37203-7507

The society serves the 40 counties of middle Tennessee of which Wilson County is one. It publishes The Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy and History, see Periodicals.

Wilson County Tennessee Genealogy Websites[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Wilson County, Tennessee

Wilson County Tennessee Genealogy References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Wilson, Tennessee" in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilson_County,_Tennessee accessed 09 Jan 2019
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Wilson 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), Wilson, Tennessee page 645, At various libr40ries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. Founding of the Cumberland Settlements: The First Atlas 1779-1804.
  5. "List of counties in Tennessee," Wikipedia.
  6. Tennessee county history series : Wilson County / by Frank Burns ; Robert E. Corlew, editor by Burns, Frank, 1921-; Corlew, Robert Ewing Published 1983 Usage Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Topics Wilson County (Tenn.) -- History
  7. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002), 645. (FHL Book 973 D27e 2002). WorldCat entry.
  8. Voice of Lynnae Weller, Kingsport, Tenn. (2010).
  9. Voice of Gene Black, FamilySearch employee, former resident of Bristol, Tenn. (2010).
  10. Lost Records: Courthouse Fires and Disasters in Tennessee in Tennessee State Library and Archives in Tennessee Secretary of State (accessed 31 March 2014).
  11. Wikipedia contributors, "Wilson County, Tennessee," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilson_County,_Tennessee, accessed 15 December 2019.
  12. May be used for free at Family History Center. To locate a center near you, click here.
  13. May be used for free at Family History Center. To locate a center near you, click here.
  14. J. Mark Lowe, "The Land Grant Processes of North Carolina and Tennessee," Lecture, Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference, Knoxville, Tenn., August 21, 2010.
  15. The Heritage Quest Online version of PERSI aided in the compilation of this list.
  16. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/6/64/Igitennessees.pdf.
  17. Orem, Utah: Automated Archives, 1994. (Family History Library compact disc number 9 part 2.) Does not circulate to Family History Centers.
  18. Orem, Utah: Automated Archives, 1992. (Family History Library compact disc number 9 part 229.) Does not circulate to Family History Centers.