Fayette County, Tennessee Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
Revision as of 22:05, 12 February 2014 by Sgr2000 (talk | contribs) (corrected broken mytennesseegenealogy links)

Jump to: navigation, search

United States Gotoarrow.png Tennessee Gotoarrow.png Fayette County

Fayette County, Tennessee genealogy and family history research page. Guide to Fayette County (established 1824) 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.

Hand and keyboard.jpg Tennessee
Online Records

Fayette County, Tennessee
Boundary map of Fayette County, Tennessee
Map of Tennessee highlighting Fayette County
Location in the state of Tennessee
Map of the U.S. highlighting Tennessee
Location of Tennessee in the U.S.
Founded: September 29, 1824
County Seat Somerville
Adopt-a-wiki page
TGW 45x45.jpg This page adopted by:
TNGenWeb Project
who welcome you to contribute.
Adopt a page today

Fayette County Tennessee Quick Dates

Fayette County's civil records start the following years:[1]

Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1924 1848  1925  1830 1838  1846 

Fayette County Tennessee Courthouse

Fayette County Courthouse
1 Court Square; County Courthouse
Somerville, TN 38068
Phone: 901.465.2871 

County Clerk has birth and death records 1925-1929,
marriage records from 1838 except marriage records
1918-1925 lost in fire; Clerk and Master has probate 
records  Register of Deeds has land records [2]

Fayette County Courthouse, Somerville, Tenn. Courtesy: Collection: County Court Houses, Flickr by Jimmy Emerson. Used by permission.

Fayette County Courthouse
P.O. Box 218
1 Court Square
Somerville, TN 38068-0218
Phone: 1-901-465-5219

Fayette County Clerk
Birth and Death 1925-1929
Marriage from 1838 except 1918 - 1925 lost in fire
P.O. Box 218
1 Court Square, Room 101
Somerville, TN 38068
Phone 1-901-465-5213

Fayette County Register of Deeds
Land records
P.O. Box 99
1 Court Square
Somerville, TN 38068
Phone: 1-901-465-5251

County Chancery Court-Clerk and Master
Court records
P.O. Box 220
Somerville, TN 38068
Phone: 1-901-465-5217

Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Fayette County Tennessee History

The Marquis de Lafayette

West Tennessee county.

The county is named after Revolutionary War hero, the Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834).[3]

Parent County

1824--Fayette County was created 29 September 1824 from Hardeman and Shelby Counties.
County seat: Somerville[4]

County Pronunciation

  1. Hear it spoken[5] (female)
  2. Hear it spoken[6] (male)

Boundary Changes

"Rotating Formation Tennessee County Boundary Maps" (1777-1985) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website. They rely on AniMap 3.0 software.

Record Loss

1925 -- Courthouse burned and many records were damaged.

  • Lack of marriage records: 1824 to 1837
  • Lost probate records: 1824 to 1836
For further information on researching in burned counties, see the following: 

Fayette County Tennessee Places / Localities

Populated Places 

For a list of locations in this county and information about each location online, through some helpful websites, please click on Populated Places Table for Fayette County

Neighboring Counties

Fayette County Tennessee Genealogy Resources


Research Guides

African American

United States African Americans Gotoarrow.png Tennessee African Americans

The Runaway Slave Blog is a free online resource where runaway slaves listed in pre-1865 West Tennessee newspapers are identified. Some of the runaway ads appeared in Fayette County newspapers.


  • Douthat, James L. Fayette County, Tennessee Biographies. 1887; reprint, Signal Mountain, Tenn.: Mountain Press. Free Surname Index and purchase details at Mountain Press website.
  • All of the family biographies from the History of Fayette County, Tennessee (1887) by Goodspeed are available free online at My Genealogy Hound.


  • Find A Grave can be searched by the name of a person or family to find where a person is buried. Usually gives birth and death dates often with a picture of the tombstone. May give obituaries, names of family members and links to their information in Find A Grave.


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

1840 Revolutionary War Pensioners


  • Carpenter, Mrs. V.K. Seventh census of the United States, 1850 : Fayette County, Tennessee, free population schedules Huntsville, Arkansas : Century Enterprises, 1969 FHL US/CAN book 976.821 X2


  • Felldin, Jeanne Robey and Tucker, Charlotte Magee 1860 United States census, Fayette County, Tennessee, surname index Tomball, Texas : Genealogical Publications, c1976 FHL US/CAN book 976.8 A1


  • Sistler, Samuel D. 1880 census, Fayette County, Tennessee Nashville, Tennessee : Byron Sistler and Associates, 2003 FHL US/CAN book 976.821 X22


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.

  • Fayette County Church Records
- Family History Library Catalog - Fayette County Church Records
  • 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 Fayette County are:
- List of Fayette County churches with addresses and phone numbers (Yellowbook)
- List of Fayette County churches (TN HomeTownLocator)
  • In 1936, a helpful guide to early Fayette County church records was published by the Works Project Administration. [7]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 Fayette County are listed. Many of these filmed records are also available at the Family History Library.


  • 1832-1901 - Mt. Pisgah Primitive Baptist Church Records. Fayette County, 1832-1901. Manuscript. TSLA Reel #361
  • 1832-1900 - Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Vital Statistics from 19th Century Tennessee Church Records.Nashville: Sitler and Associates, 1979.  FHL 976.8 K29s vol.2   Index to original Mt. Pisgah Primitive Baptist Church Records. Fayette County, 1832-1901.



  • 1890-1970 - Moscow Methodist Church Records. Fayette County, 1890-1970. Typescript. TSLA Reel #360
  • 1890-1900 - Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Vital Statistics from 19th Century Tennessee Church Records.Nashville: Sitler and Associates, 1979.FHL 976.8 K29s vol.2   Index to original Moscow Methodist Church Records. Fayette County, 1890-1970.
  • Historical Records Project. Immanuel Episcopal Church Minutes, La Grange, Tennessee.Typescript. FHL 24645 Includes index.
  • Historical Records Project. St. Thomas Episcopal Church Minutes and history, Somerville, Tennessee. Typescript. FHL 24645 Item 1


On microfilm:

  • 1847-1935 - Church Records 1847-1935. Mount Pleasant Cumberland Presbyterian Church (Fayette County, Tennessee). Manuscript. TSLA Reel #225 FHL 570860 Item 2



More than a dozen genealogies have been published about Fayette County, Tennessee Genealogy families. To view a list, visit Fayette County, Tennessee Genealogy.


Fayette County Register of Deeds has Land Records from 1825 and is located at Courthouse, P. O. Box 99, Somerville, Tennessee 8068-0218; Telephone: (901) 465-5251. Land and property records include transfer of real estate or personal property, mortgages, leases, surveys, and entries.

The Family History has microfilm copies od deed books 1825- 1890 and land entries 1821-1881.

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.

Local Histories



Revolutionary War

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

Additional resources include:

War of 1812

Civil War

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

Confederate Soldiers

Additional sources for Civil War soldiers from Fayette County:


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 Fayette County click on the following towns:


  • 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 Fayette County.]


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 Fayette 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.

Family Findings
Genealogical articles with abstracts of Fayette County, Tennessee records have been published in Family Findings, the quarterly of the Mid-West Tennessee Genealogical Society (42+ vols.). The Family History Library has most issues of this quarterly FHL US/CAN 976.8 B2f.
Tables of contents for some volumes are available online, courtesy: TNGenWeb Project:
Many articles from this publication have been reproduced on the TNGenWeb Project website, try this specialized Google search.
West Tennessee Historical Society Papers
Family History Library has Volumes 1 - 16 and 30 FHL US/CAN Book 976.81 B5w. The West Tennessee Historical Society Papers are indexed in PERiodical Source Index (PERSI).
To view Table of Contents and complete articles from 1947 - 2005 see Shelby County Register of Deeds


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


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

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, 1836-1854 (Vols. A-B)
  • Inventories, 1854-1856
  • Letter, 1891-1965
  • Settlements, 1858-1914 (6 vols.)

The following Fayette County probate records have been indexed:

  • [1836-1861] Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Index to Tennessee Wills & Administrations 1779-1861. Nashville, Tenn. Byron Sistler & Associates, Inc., 1990. FHL US/CAN 976.8 P22s. [Includes an index to this county's probate records.]


The following Fayette County tax records have been abstracted:

  • [1836] West, Betsy F. "Fayette County, Tennessee Tax List - 1836," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 22, No. 1 (Spring 1975):30-35; Vol. 22, No. 2 (Summer 1975):90-95; Vol. 22, No. 3 (Fall 1975):140-144; Vol. 22, No. 4 (Winter 1975):188-192. For FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Periodicals.
  • [1874] Taxpayers, 1874, Old Timer Press. Ripley MS: Mar 1982. Vol. 1 Iss. 9.

Vital Records


Marriages were not officially recorded in Fayette County until 1838, when a law was passed mandating the practice.[9] The following publication, based on early newspapers, helps to alleviate this genealogical obstacle:

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

The following Fayette County Courthouse marriage records have been abstracted and/or indexed:

  • 1838-1895 - Fayette County Marriage Index 1838-1895 in International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch - free.[8]
  • 1838-1857 - Historical Records Project Marriage records, 1838-1857, Fayette County, Tennessee Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1939. FHL US/CAN Film 24645 items 3-6
  • 1838-1963 - Fayette County (Tennessee) County Court Clerk Marriage records (Fayette County, Tennessee), 1838-1963 Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1976-1997. FHL US/CAN Films
  • 1838-1873 - Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Early West Tennessee Marriages. 2 vols. Nashville, Tenn.: B. Sistler & Associates, 1989. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 V2sb v. 1 ff. [Indexes names of brides and grooms, and marriage dates for weddings in this county for the specified years.]
  • Tennessee County Marriages, 1790-1950 - covers all counties in Tennessee.
  • Many county marriage records are indexed with images at Ancestry's Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002 ($).  Be aware that this index is not complete for all counties.

In 1940 and 1941, W.P.A. workers pinpointed the location of Fayette County divorce papers in diverse manuscript collections, see:

  • 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.

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

Fayette County Tennessee Genealogy Societies and Libraries

Fayette County Historical Society
PO Box 304
Somerville, TN 38068
Somerville-Fayette County Library
216 W Market St
Somerville, TN 38068
Phone: 1-901-465-5248
Mon., Wed., Fri., Sat. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Thurs. 12 p.m.-8 p.m.
The Historical Room contains county records, state records, family histories, obituaries, cemetery records, and church records
West Tennessee Heritage Study Center
Paul Meek Library
University of Tennessee at Martin
Phone: 1-731-881-7060
Hours vary by semester
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, Fulton, and Hickman counties in Kentucky.
West Tennessee Historical Society
P.O. Box 111046
Memphis, TN 38111
Phone: 901-475-6608
E-mail: efrank@memphis.edu

Family History Centers

Fayette County Tennessee Genealogy Websites

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Fayette County, Tennessee

Fayette County Tennessee Genealogy References

  1. Guide to Public Vital Statistics in Tennessee. Nashville, Tenn.: The Tennessee Historical Records Survey (W.P.A.), 1941; "Earliest County Records," Tennessee State Library and Archives.
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Dyer County, Tennessee page 639, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. "List of Counties in Tennessee," Wikipedia.
  4. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002), 639. (FHL Collection Ref Book 973 D27e 2002). WorldCat entry.
  5. Voice of Lynnae Weller, Kingsport, Tenn. (2010).
  6. Voice of Gene Black, FamilySearch employee, former resident of Bristol, Tenn. (2010).
  7. WPA. Guide to Church Vital Statistics in Tennessee. Nashville: Tennessee State Planning Commission, 1942. FHL 976.8 K23w
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/d/d3/Igitennesseef.pdf.
  9. Gale Williams Bamman, C.G., "Research in Tennessee," National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 81, No. 2 (June 1993):105. FHL US/CAN Book 973 B2ng v. 81 (1993)