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Decatur County, Tennessee Genealogy

Guide to Decatur County, Tennessee ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.


County Facts
County seat: Decaturville
Organized: November 1845
Parent County(s): Perry[1]
Neighboring Counties
Benton  • Carroll  • Hardin  • Henderson  • Perry  • Wayne  •
See County Maps
Courthouse
TNDecaturcourthouse.jpg
Location Map
Location of Decatur County, Tennessee.PNG
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County InformationEdit

DescriptionEdit

The County was named for Stephen Decatur, Jr., who gained national recognition in the First Barbary War, the Second Barbary War, and the War of 1812 by his leadership and achievements at sea. The County is located in the west central area of the state. [2]

County CourthouseEdit

Decatur County Courthouse
PO Box 488
Decaturville, TN 38329-0488
Decatur County Website Phone: 731-852-3417
County Clerk Phone: 731-852-3417
Clerk Master Phone: 731-852-3422
Circuit Court Clerk Phone: 731-852-3125
Register of Deeds Phone: 731-852-3712

Court records
Marriage records from 1869
Register of Deeds has land records. [3]

County Pronunciation

  1. Hear it spoken[4] (female)
  2. Hear it spoken[5] (female)

Decatur County, Tennessee Record DatesEdit

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[6]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1881 1869 1908 1860 1846 1869 1810
Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1914. General compliance by 1927.

Record LossEdit

1869 and 1927 Courthouse burned and many records were damaged.[7]

  • Marriages lost 1845 to 1869
  • Probate lost 1845 to 1869
  • Nearly all records, except deeds, lost in 1869 fire.[8]

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


Boundary ChangesEdit

Populated PlacesEdit

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:[10]

Cities
Towns
Unincorporated communities


History TimelineEdit

Additional Information

U.S. Naval Officer Stephen Decatur (1779-1820)

The county is named after U.S. naval officer Stephen Decatur (1779-1820).[11]

ResourcesEdit

Bible RecordsEdit

BiographiesEdit

Business, Commerce, and OccupationsEdit

  • Miller, Alan N. West Tennessee's Forgotten Children: Apprentices from 1821 to 1889. Baltimore, Md.: Printed for Clearfield Company, Inc., by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 2006. FHL US/CAN 976.8 U2man. Purchase at Genealogical.com. Includes Decatur County.

CemeteriesEdit

Cemeteries of Decatur County, Tennessee online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Tennessee Cemeteries for more information.

 

Census RecordsEdit

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1850 6,003
1860 6,276 4.5%
1870 7,772 23.8%
1880 8,498 9.3%
1890 8,995 5.8%
1900 10,439 16.1%
1910 10,093 −3.3%
1920 10,198 1.0%
1930 10,106 −0.9%
1940 10,261 1.5%
1950 9,442 −8.0%
1960 8,324 −11.8%
1970 9,457 13.6%
1980 10,857 14.8%
1990 10,472 −3.5%
2000 11,731 12.0%
2010 11,757 0.2%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

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

Church RecordsEdit

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.

  • Decatur County Church Records
- FamilySearch Catalog - Decatur County Church Records
  • Church histories tell when a church started in the area, who the early members were, give data about church leaders, etc.
  • If the records you need are not found 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 Bedford County are:
- List of Decatur County churches with addresses and phone numbers (Yellowbook)
- List of Decatur County churches (TN HomeTownLocator)
  • In 1936, a helpful guide to early Decatur County church records (Guide to Church Vital Statistics in Tennessee, also FHL 976.8 K23w) was published by the Works Project Administration. 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 appropriate "county fact sheet" on the TSLA Web site and scroll down to "selected manuscript material". All filmed church records at the TSLA for Decatur County are listed. Many of these filmed records are also available at the Family History Library.

Court RecordsEdit

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.

DirectoriesEdit

Emigration and ImmigrationEdit

Ethnic, Political, and Religious GroupsEdit

Funeral HomesEdit

GenealogiesEdit

More than a dozen genealogies have been published about Decatur County, Tennessee families. For more information visit Decatur County, Tennessee Compiled Genealogies.

GuardianshipEdit

Land and Property RecordsEdit

Decatur County Register of Deeds has Land Records from 1846 and is located at 22 West Main Street, Decaturville, Tennessee 38329, or P.O. Box 488, Decaturville, TN 38329-0488; Telephone: 731-852-3712. Land and property records may include transfer of real estate or personal property, mortgages, leases, surveys, and entries.
The Family History Library has microfilmed deed records 1846-1896 with indexes to 1926 and survey books 1891-1918.

Local HistoriesEdit

Maps and GazetteersEdit

Carroll CountyBenton CountyHumphreys CountyPerry CountyWayne CountyHardin CountyHenderson CountyTN DECATUR.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

MigrationEdit

Military RecordsEdit

War of 1812

Civil War

Online Records

Regiments. Men in Decatur County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (part of a large regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed in Decatur County:

Confederate Soldiers

Union Soldiers

Additional sources for Civil War soldiers from Decatur County:

Naturalization and CitizenshipEdit

NewspapersEdit

Many Tennessee newspapers are filmed and available at the 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 Decatur County click on the following cities or towns:

  • 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.

For deaths of Methodists in Decatur County between the 1830s and the 1920s, try:

ObituariesEdit

Other RecordsEdit

PrisonsEdit

PeriodicalsEdit

Genealogical periodicals can contain unique sources and can be local, regional, or statewide. The following periodicals cover this county:

Probate RecordsEdit

The County Court has responsibility for the probate records of Decatur County.

Online Records

School RecordsEdit

Tax RecordsEdit

The original Decatur County Tax Books 1888-1889, 1896-1898 are kept at the County Courthouse. In the 1970s, the TSLA microfilmed these records. FHL copies: FHL US/CAN Film 979664.

Book Abstracts and Indexes

  • 1848 "1849 Land Sales Held in 3 West Tennessee Counties for Unpaid Taxes," [1848 taxpayers in Decatur, Carroll, and Henderson counties], Ansearchin' News, Vol. 44, No. 4 (Winter 1997):12. For FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Decatur.
  • 1852-1882 - Hill, Phyllis. "Decatur County, TN - Misc - Tax Receipts of W.G. Riggs," available online, courtesy: USGenWeb Archives. Abstracts of receipts Riggs received for paying his taxes, various years between 1852 and 1882.
  • 1888 Hill, Phyllis. "Decatur County, TN - Land - Property Tax Records, District 12, 1888," available online, courtesy: USGenWeb Archives.
  • 1889 Hill, Phyllis. "Decatur County, TN - Land - Property Tax Records, District 12, 1889," available online, courtesy: USGenWeb Archives.
  • 1896 Hill, Phyllis. "Decatur County, TN - Land - Property Tax Records, District 12, 1896," available online, courtesy: USGenWeb Archives.

Vital RecordsEdit

BirthEdit

MarriageEdit

Online Indexes and Records


Book Abstracts and Indexes

  • 1869-1921, 1927-1992 - Early marriage records of Decatur County, Tennessee FHL US/CAN Book 976.832 V2a volume 1 and 2 Book covers all recorded marriages from 1869 to 1921. A fire on March 25, 1927 destroyed all records between March 23, 1921 and March 25, 1927. Book then begins the records following the fire through the year 1992.

DeathEdit

DivorceEdit

  • 1800-1965 - Tennessee. Tennessee Divorce and Other Records, 1800-1965. Nashville, Tennessee: Tennessee State Library and Archives. Available at Ancestry ($)
  • W.P.A. Guide to Public Vital Statistics in Tennessee. Nashville, Tenn.: The Tennessee Historical Records Survey, 1941. FamilySearch Books Online; FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 A3gp - Inventory stating where divorce records are housed.

Research FacilitiesEdit

ArchivesEdit

Family History CentersEdit

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.

LibrariesEdit

Decatur County Public Library
20 W Market St
Decaturville, TN 38329
Phone: 731-852-3325
E-mail: dcldsl@tds.net
Website

The Tennessee Room holds birth and marriage records, census records, cemetery records, county histories, military records, county deeds, court minutes, newspapers, etc. The director of the Library has volunteered to take pictures of headstones in Decatur county

Parsons Public Library
535 Tennessee Ave South
Parsons, TN 38363
Phone: 731-847-6988
E-mail: parsonslib@netease.net

West Tennessee Heritage Study Center
Paul Meek Library
University of Tennessee at Martin
Phone: 731-881-7060
Website

The Heritage Study Center holds a variety of genealogical resources including materials relating to the following counties in Tennessee: Benton, Carroll, Chester, Crockett, Decatur, Dyer, Fayette, Gibson, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson, Henry, Houston, Humphreys, Lake, Lauderdale, Madison, McNairy, Obion, Perry, Shelby, Stewart, Tipton, Wayne, Weakley and Carlisle (KY), Fulton (KY), and Hickman (KY) counties in Kentucky.

MuseumsEdit

SocietiesEdit

Decatur County Historical Society
PO Box 700
Decaturville, TN 38329-0700.
Website

West Tennessee Historical Society
P.O. Box 111046
Memphis, TN 38111
Phone: 901-475-6608
E-mail: efrank@memphis.edu
Website

WebsitesEdit

Research GuidesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Tennessee.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Decatur, Tennessee" in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decatur_County,_Tennessee accessed 18 Dec 2018
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Tennessee.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. Voice of Lynnae Weller, Kingsport, Tenn. (2010).
  5. Voice of Louise Lynch, Archivist, Williamson County, Tennessee Archives (2010).
  6. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Tennessee.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  7. Lost Records: Courthouse Fires and Disasters in Tennessee in Tennessee State Library and Archives in Tennessee Secretary of State (accessed 31 March 2014).
  8. Robert M. McBride, Tennessee County Data (Nashville, Tennessee: Tennessee States Library and Archives, 1966), 20.
  9. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Tennessee.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  10. Wikipedia contributors, "Decatur County, Tennessee," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decatur_County%2C_Tennessee#Communities, accessed 12 November 2019.
  11. "List of counties in Tennessee", Wikipedia.
  12. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/6/60/Igitennesseea.pdf.
  13. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/6/60/Igitennesseea.pdf.