Fentress County, Tennessee Genealogy

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United States Gotoarrow.png Tennessee Gotoarrow.png Fentress County

Fentress County, Tennessee genealogy and family history research page. Guide to Fentress County (established 1823) 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.

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Online Records

Fentress County, Tennessee
Boundary map of Fentress County, Tennessee
Map of Tennessee highlighting Fentress County
Location in the state of Tennessee
Map of the U.S. highlighting Tennessee
Location of Tennessee in the U.S.
Founded: November 28, 1823
County Seat Jamestown
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Fentress County Tennessee Quick Dates

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

Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1908 1905 1908 1830 1820 1905

Fentress County Tennessee Courthouse

Fentress County Courthouse
 101 S Main Street
Jamestown, TN 38556
Phone: 931.879.8615 

County Clerk has marriage records from 1905.
Register of Deeds has land records. [2]

Fentress County Courthouse, Jamestown, Tenn.
Fentress County Courthouse
101 Main Street South
Jamestown, TN 38556
Phone: 1-931-879-8615

County Clerk has marriage records
Phone: 1-931-879-8014

Register of Deeds has land records
Phone: 1-931-879-7818

Circuit Court Clerk has court records
Phone: 1-931-879-7919

Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Sat. 8 a.m.-noon

Fentress County Tennessee History

Middle Tennessee county.

The county is named after "Tennessee state legislator James Fentress."[3]

Parent County

1823--Fentress County was created 28 November 1823 from Overton and Morgan Counties.
County seat: Jamestown[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

1905 -- Courthouse burned and many records were damaged.

  • Lost census: 1890
  • Lost marriages: 1823 and 1904
  • Lost probate: 1823 to 1904

For further information on researching in burned counties, see the following:

Fentress County Tennessee Places/Localities

Populated Places

Cities and Towns:

Banner Springs
Camp Ground
Double Top
East Jamestown
Gilreath Mill
Little Crab
Pall Mall
Pine Haven
Red Hill
Sharp Place
Squirrel Flat
Wolf River

Neighboring Counties

Fentress County Tennessee Genealogy Resources


Getting Started

Use the free Search for Surnames at Mountain Press's website to quickly search a variety of published Fentress County census, court, land, and tax 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

African American

United States African Americans Gotoarrow.png Tennessee African Americans


Tennessee cemetery records often identify birth, death, relationship, and military information, as well as religious affiliation.

One of the best places to start searches for Fentress County cemetery records is:

The following websites may contain Fentress County cemetery records:

  • 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 Fentress 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.


  • Sistler, Byron H. 1830 Census, East Tennessee. Evanston, Ill.: n.p., 1969. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 X2p 1830.
  • Hatfield, Wanda S. Early Records, Fentress County, Tennessee: 1830, 1840, 1850 Census; 1833 Enumeration. Signal Mountain, Tennessee: Mountain Press, 1988. FHL 976.869 X2h


  • Hatfield, Wanda S. Early Records, Fentress County, Tennessee: 1830, 1840, 1850 Census; 1833 Enunmeration. Signal Mountain, Tennessee: Mountain Press, 1988. FHL 976.869 X2h


  • Hatfield, Wanda S. Early Records, Fentress County, Tennessee: 1830, 1840, 1850 Census; 1833 Enunmeration. Signal Mountain, Tennessee: Mountain Press, 1988. FHL 976.869 X2h

1840 Pensioners


  • Carpenter, V.K.Seventh Census of the United States, 1850, Fentress County, Tennessee. Huntsville, Arkansas: Century Enterprises, Genealogical Service, 1969. FHL 976.869 X2p 1850
  • Hatfield, Wanda S. Early Records, Fentress County, Tennessee: 1830, 1840, 1850 Census; 1833 Enunmeration. Signal Mountain, Tennessee: Mountain Press, 1988. FHL 976.869 X2h
  • Peden, Eva C. 1850 Census of Fentress County, Tennessee.Glasgow, Kentucky, Gorin Genealogical Publishing, 1992. FHL 976.869 X2pe 1850
  • Robbins, Kathleen W.1850 Fentress County Census. Huntsville, Tennessee: Scott County Historical Society, 19-?FHL 976.869 X2s 1850


  • Robbins, Kathleen W.1860 Fentress County Census. Huntsville, Tennessee: Scott County Historical Society, 198-?FHL 976.869 X2s 1860


  • Hatfield, Wanda S. 1870 Federal Census Fentress County, Tennessee. Pall Mall, Tennessee: W.S. Hatfield, 1992. FHL 976.869 X2h 1870


  • Hatfield, Wanda S. 1880 Federal Census Fentress County, Tennessee. S.I.:s.n., 1986? FHL 976.869 X2f
  • Sistler, Byron H. and Barbara Sistler. 1880 Census Fentress County, Tennessee. Nashville, Tennessee: B. Sistler and Associates, 1993. FHL 976.869 X22s 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. [Fentress 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.


  • Hatfield, Wanda S. 1900 Federal Census of Fentress County, Tennessee. Pall Mall, Tennessee: W.S. Hatfield, 1991 FHL 976.869 X2h 1900
  • Minton, Vestina L.Fentress County Census, Tennessee,1900.Harrogate, Tennessee: T. and V. Minton, 1990. FHL 976.869 X2m 1900


  • Hatfield, Wanda S. 1910 Federal Census of Fentress County, Tennessee. Signal Mountain, Tennessee: Mountain Press, 1989 FHL 976.869 X2h 1910


  • Ramsey, Gerald R.1920 Census of Fentress County, Tennessee.Signal Mountain, Tennessee: Mountain Press, 1994. FHL 976.869 X29f 1920



Court records began in 1842


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

"This Personal Ancestral File database contains genealogies of nearly every family to live in Fentress County from its foundation." (Info file):


  • Fentress County Register of Deeds has Land Records from 1820 and is located at Courthouse, Main St., Jamestown, TN 38556; (931) 879-8615. Land and property records include transfer of real estate or personal property, mortgages, leases, surveys, and entries.
  • The organization Strictly By Name provides free online indexes to early Fentress County land records. They offer a research service to photocopy and transcribe microfilm copies of the original documents for a small fee. Available indexes:
  1. Deed Book A: 1820-1838
  2. Deed Book B: 1837-1843
  • The Family History Library has microfilm copies of deeds 1820-1901 with indexes 1820-1904; land entry books 1824-1901.

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

  • Hogue, Albert Ross. History of Fentress County, Tennessee: The Old Home of Mark Twain's Ancestors. Nashville, Tenn.: Press of Williams Printing Co., 1916. Digital version at Google Books. 1975 reprint: FHL US/CAN Book 976.869 H2ha.



Revolutionary War

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

Additional resources include:

War of 1812

Civil War

Civil War service men from Fentress 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 Fentress County.

Confederate Soldiers

Union Soldiers

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



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 Fentress 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.
Fentress County Historical Society Newsletter
The Fentress County Historical Society was established in 1968. For further information regarding the newsletter and Society, see their website: www.fentresscountyhistorical society.org.
The Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy and History
Genealogical articles with abstracts of records of Fentress 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.
Overton County, Tennessee Kin
"This newsletter, although called “Overton County,” covers all the area in Overton, Fentress, and Pickett County, TN along with Monterey in Putnam County, and Clinton, Wayne and Cumberland County in Kentucky”—Vol. 7, no. 4, p. 2.
The Family History Library has vol. 1, issues 1-4; vol. 2, issues 1-4; vol. 3, issues 1-4; vol. 4, issues 1-4; vol. 5, issues 1-4; vol. 6, issue 1; vol. 7 issue 4, vol. 8, issue 2. FHL US/CAN 976.8684 B2n.
Indexed in the PERiodical Source Index (PERSI).
The Pellissippian
Genealogical articles with abstracts of Fentress County, Tennessee 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 US/CAN Book 976.8 D25p.


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


The Fentress County Court has responsibility for the probate records, which began in 1905.


The following Fentress County tax records have been abstracted:[7]

  • [1833] Barham, Eleanor R. and Elizabeth R. Nichols. "1833 Enumeration, Fentress County, Tennessee," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 27, No. 1 (Spring 1980):9-12. For FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Periodicals. (600 names)
  • [1833] York, Bruce. "1833 Fentress County Tax List," available online, courtesy: TNGenWeb.
  • [1865] Tax List, 1865, Fentress County Historical Society Newsletter. Jamestown TN: Fall 1992. Vol. 4 Iss. 3.
  • [1872] Tax Books, 1872, Fentress County Historical Society Newsletter. Jamestown TN: Summer 1989. Vol. 1 Iss. 2; Fall 1989. Vol. 1 Iss. 3; Winter 1989. Vol. 1 Iss. 4; Spring 1990. Vol. 2 Iss. 1; Summer 1990. Vol. 2 Iss. 2; Fall 1990. Vol. 2 Iss. 3; Winter 1990. Vol. 2 Iss. 4; Spring 1991. Vol. 3 Iss. 1.
  • [1872] Hatfield, Wanda S. 1872 Tax Records, Fentress County, Tennessee. Signal Mountain, Tennessee : Mountain Press, 1991. FHL 976.869 R4h; online: free surname index and purchase details
  • [1875] Dog Tax, 1875, Fentress County Historical Society Newsletter. Jamestown TN: Spring 1992. Vol. 4 Iss. 1.
  • [1892] Tax Book, 1892, Fentress County Historical Society Newsletter. Jamestown TN: Spring 1989. Vol. 1 Iss. 1.
  • [1892] Delinquent Tax List, 1892, Fentress County Historical Society Newsletter. Jamestown TN: Fall 1992. Vol. 4 Iss. 3.

Vital Records


Birth records began in 1914


The original Fentress County marriage records are kept at the County Courthouse. Marriages records before 1905 are lost. 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 976.8 V2L.

The following Fentress County marriage records are microfilmed:

  • [1905-1986] Available at the TSLA. Marriages 1817-1899 are available for interlibrary loan.
  • [1905-1963] Available at the Family History Library. Some volumes are indexed.FHL 978380

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


Death records began in 1914

  • Tennessee Deaths and Burials 1874-1955. Name index with extracted death certificate information.  Search by surname then browse through the results. You may need to supply variant spellings of the names.

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

Fentress County Tennessee Genealogy Societies

Fentress County Historical Society
PO Box 1431
Jamestown, TN 38556
Phone: 1-931-879-7622

Upper Cumberland Genealogical Society
Putnam Library
48 East Broad St.
Cookeville, TN 38501

Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society
PO Box 330948
Nashville, TN, USA 37203-7507
The society serves the 40 counties of middle Tennessee of which Fentress County is one. It publishes The Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy and History, a quarterly containing articles of genealogical and historical interest. Little-known Tennessee records are published and indexed, along with family genealogies, Bible records and material submitted by members. There is an alphabetical Index to articles in the Journal 1988-summer 2005

Fentress County Tennessee Genealogy Libraries


Fentress County Public Library
306 South Main St.
Jamestown, TN 38556
Phone: 1-931-879-7512
Fax: 1-931-879-6984
E-mail: fcpublib@txlakes.net
Hours: Mon.-Thurs. 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
Fri. 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sat. 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Genealogy Reference Material available

Family History Centers

This is not a mailing address. Due to limited staff, Family History Centers are unable to respond to mail inquiries.

Fentress County Tennessee Genealogy Websites

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Fentress County, Tennessee

Fentress County Tennessee Genealogy References

  1. "Earliest County Records," Tennessee State Library and Archives.
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Fentress 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. The Heritage Quest Online version of PERSI aided in the compilation of this list.