Difference between revisions of "Lauderdale County, Tennessee Genealogy"

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Line 50: Line 50:
==== County Pronunciation  ====
==== County Pronunciation  ====
[http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:TNLauderdale.ogg Hear it spoken [[Image:Sound.png]]]<ref>Voice of Louise Lynch, Archivist, Williamson County, Tennessee Archives (2010).</ref>  
[http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:TNLauderdale.ogg Hear it spoken]<ref>Voice of Louise Lynch, Archivist, Williamson County, Tennessee Archives (2010).</ref>  
Did we get the accent right? If not, contact Nathan W. Murphy, [mailto:murphynw@familysearch.org murphynw@familysearch.org].
Did we get the accent right? If not, contact Nathan W. Murphy, [mailto:murphynw@familysearch.org murphynw@familysearch.org].

Revision as of 15:18, 16 August 2010

United States  Gotoarrow.png  Tennessee  Gotoarrow.png  Lauderdale County

West Tennessee county. Established 1835.

Location of Lauderdale County, Tennessee
Lauderdale County Boundary Map

Quick Dates

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

Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1881 1838  1909  1840  1835  1837 

County Courthouse

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

Lauderdale County Courthouse
100 Court Square
Ripley, TN 38063
Phone: 1-901-635-2561

  • County Clerk has marriage and probate records
    Phone: 1-731-635-2561
  • Circuit Court Clerk has court records
    Phone: 1-731-635-0101
  • Register of Deeds has land records
    Phone: 1-731-635-2171

Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.


The county was named after "James Lauderdale, who was killed in the War of 1812."[2]

Parent County

1835--Lauderdale County was created 24 November 1835 from Tipton, Haywood, and Dyer Counties. 
County seat: Ripley [3]

County Pronunciation

Hear it spoken[4]

Did we get the accent right? If not, contact Nathan W. Murphy, murphynw@familysearch.org.

Boundary Changes

Record Loss

1969--Fire damaged records

  • Lack of marriage records: 1835 to 1837


Populated Places

Abernathy (hist.) Durhamville Henning Olive Branch
Arp Edith Hurricane Hill Opossum
Asbury Flippin Key Corner Orysa
Ashport Fort Pillow Keyes Point Pleasant Hill
Barr Fulton Knob Creek Poplar Grove
Central Gates Lightfoot Porter Gap
Cherry Glimp Luckett Ripley
Curve Golddust Mack Three Point
Double Bridges Hales Point Nankipoo
Dry Hill Halls Oak Grove

Neighboring Counties


Research Guides

African American

United States African Americans Gotoarrow.png Tennessee African Americans


  • 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.


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


  • Davis, Bettie B. Lauderdale County, Tennessee, 1840 Census, 1850 Census, and 1850 Mortality Schedule. Memphis, Tenn.: B.B. Davis, 1983. FHL US/CAN book 976.816 X2.

1840 Pensioners


  • Davis, Bettie B. Lauderdale County, Tennessee, 1840 Census, 1850 Census, and 1850 Mortality Schedule. Memphis, Tenn.: B.B. Davis, 1983. FHL US/CAN book 976.816 X2

1850 Mortality Schedule

  • Davis, Bettie B. Lauderdale County, Tennessee, 1840 Census, 1850 Census, and 1850 Mortality Schedule. Memphis, Tenn.: B.B. Davis, 1983. FHL US/CAN book 976.816 X2


  • Sistler, Samuel D. 1880 Census Lauderdale County, Tennessee. Nashville, Tenn.: Byron Sistler and Associates, 2002. FHL US/CAN book 976.816 X2




Template:DNA DNA has been collected from men claiming descent from the following Lauderdale County residents. Attempts have not been made to verify the lineages of those tested.

  • [Brown] Descendant of Matthew Thomas Brown, b. 1831 Ripley, Lauderdale County, Tennessee. Y-DNA 25 Marker Test, FTDNA (Kit 30372). Genetic signature available online (labeled Group No. 22), genealogical description available online, courtesy: Brown/Browne/Braun DNA Study. Matches have been found.
  • [Doss] Descendant of George W. Doss (c1864-c1900) of Lauderdale County, Tennessee. Y-DNA 37 Marker Test, FTDNA (Kit 88650). Genetic signature available online (labeled Jw-1), genealogical description available online, courtesy: The Doss DNA Project, World Families. Matches have been found.

Family Histories

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]




  • Lauderdale County Register of Deeds has Land Records from 1835 and is located at the Courthouse, 100 Court Square, Ripley, Tennessee 38063; Telephone: (731) 635-2561.The  Land and property records include transfer of real estate or personal property, mortgages, leases, surveys, and entries.
  • The Family History Library has microfilmed copiies of deeds 1835-1900; land surveys 1822-1954.

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

War of 1812

Civil War

  • Lynn, H.M. H.M. Lynn Papers, 1858-1882. Southern Historical Collection, Manuscripts Dept., Wilson Library, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Free digital copy.  9th Tennessee Regiment, Company C.


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 Lauderdale County click on the following cities and 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 Lauderdale 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 records of Lauderdale County, Tennessee 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.
Family Findings
Genealogical articles with abstracts of Lauderdale 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 to retrieve them.
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 Lauderdale County ancestors went to prison!


Probate records are court records created after an individual’s death that relate to a court’s decisions regarding the distribution of the estate to the heirs or creditors and the care of any dependents. You may find the names of married daughters or other relatives and their residences; or information about the adoption or guardianship of minor children and dependents. Probate records do not always give an exact date of death, but the death usually occurred within four months of probate. These documents are important to family history researchers, because they usually exist for time periods before civil birth and death records were kept.

The County Court, Chancery Court, and County Clerk have responsibility for the probate records of Lauderdale County.

The following Lauderdale County probate records have been indexed:

  • [1837-1861] 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.]


Lauderdale County's original Tax Books covering 1852-1856 and 1873 to 1887 are held at the County Courthouse. TSLA microfilmed these records in 1976. FHL copies: FHL US/CAN Films 1008593-1008594.

The original Lauderdale County Roadwork Excuses and Poll Tax 1882-1927 are kept at the County Courthouse. GSU microfilmed these records in 2008: FHL US/CAN Film 1670142 Item 8.

Vital Records


Marriages were not officially recorded in Lauderdale County until 1838, when a law was passed mandating the practice.[5] 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.
  • For free lookups of Lauderdale County, Tennessee marriages 1851-1900 click here.

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

  • [1838-1866] Historical Records Project Marriage records, 1838-1866, Lauderdale, County, Tennessee Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1941. FHL US/CAN Film 24738
  • [1838-1867] 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.]
  • [1838-1867] Davis, Bettie B. Lauderdale County, Tennessee marriages, 1838-1867 Memphis, Tennessee : B.B. Davis, c1983. FHL US/CAN Book 976.816 V2d
  • [1838-1962] Lauderdale County, Tennessee County Court Clerk Marriage records (Lauderdale County, Tennessee), 1838-1962 Nashville, Tennessee : Tennessee State Library and Archives, 1976-2008. FHL US/CAN Film 1008552-54, 1928748, 1928749-50, 1670147 item 1
  • [1844-1860] Lauderdale County, Tennessee, marriages, 1844-1860 Signal Mountain, Tennessee : Mountain Press, [199-]. FHL US/CAN 976.816 V2L
  • [1867-1886] Davis, Bettie B. Lauderdale County, Tennessee, marriages, 1867-1886 Memphis, Tennessee, B.B. Davis, c1983. FHL US/CAN Book 976.816 V28d
  • RecordSearch at FamilySearch now includes indexed Tennessee marriages.  This is a free pilot site and still under construction.  At this time, it is best to search from the home page titled Discover Your Ancestors; indicate a surname, marriage "event" and a county name (i.e. Lauderdale, Tennessee).  Browse through the results for that surname. You may need to supply any variant spellings of the surname in separate searches.
  • 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 Lauderdale County divorce papers in diverse County Courthouse records, including some separate divorce cases, 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 Lauderdale County between the 1830s and the 1920s, try:

Societies and Libraries 

Forked Deer Regional Library
220 N Front St.
Halls, TN 38040
Phone: 1-731-836-5812
Toll free number: 800-426-6198
Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Halls Public Library
110 N Church St.
Halls, TN 38040
Phone: 1-731-836-5302
E-mail: citylibrary@bellsouth.net
Mon.-Sat. 12-5 p.m.

Lauderdale County Historical Society
For information write to:
Bettie B. Davis, Newsletter Editor
957 Doctor Hall Rd.
Halls, TN 38040-8727
Phone: 1-901-836-7073

Lauderdale County Library
120 Lafayette St
Ripley, TN 38063
Phone: 1-731-635-1872
E-mail: libraryl@bellsouth.net
Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sat. 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

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: 1-901-475-6608
E-mail: efrank@memphis.edu

Web Sites

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Lauderdale County, Tennessee


  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. "List of counties in Tennessee," Wikipedia.
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002), 641.
  4. Voice of Louise Lynch, Archivist, Williamson County, Tennessee Archives (2010).
  5. 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)