Difference between revisions of "Obion County, Tennessee Genealogy"

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== Resources  ==
== Resources  ==
==== Getting Started  ====
==== Getting Started  ====
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''[[African American Research|United States African Americans]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[African-American Resources for Tennessee|Tennessee African Americans]]''  
''[[African American Research|United States African Americans]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[African-American Resources for Tennessee|Tennessee African Americans]]''  
==== Biographies<br> ====
*[http://www.mygenealogyhound.com/tennessee-counties/obion-county-tennessee-genealogy-biographies.asp Family Biographies from The History of Obion County, Tennessee] (1887) published by Goodspeed are available free on the My Genealogy Hound website.<br>
==== Cemeteries  ====
==== Cemeteries  ====
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==== Maps  ====
==== Maps  ====
*[http://www.mygenealogyhound.com/maps/tennessee-maps/tn-obion-county-tennessee-1888-map.html Map of 1888 Obion County, Tennessee] with numerous small settlements. (My Genealogy Hound)<br>
==== Military  ====
==== Military  ====
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*Smith, Jonathan K.T. ''Genealogical Abstracts from Reported Deaths, the Nashville Christian Advocate''. [1847-1914] 10 vols. [Jackson, Tenn.]: J.K.T. Smith, 1997-2003. {{FHL|789366|item|disp=FHL Books 976.855/N1 V48s 1847-1851}}; digital versions at [http://www.tngenweb.org/records/tn_wide/obits/nca/index.html David Donahue Memorial: Tennessee Records Repository]. [Website expands upon the publications and includes deaths from the 1830s, 1840s, 1910s and 1920s.]
*Smith, Jonathan K.T. ''Genealogical Abstracts from Reported Deaths, the Nashville Christian Advocate''. [1847-1914] 10 vols. [Jackson, Tenn.]: J.K.T. Smith, 1997-2003. {{FHL|789366|item|disp=FHL Books 976.855/N1 V48s 1847-1851}}; digital versions at [http://www.tngenweb.org/records/tn_wide/obits/nca/index.html David Donahue Memorial: Tennessee Records Repository]. [Website expands upon the publications and includes deaths from the 1830s, 1840s, 1910s and 1920s.]
== Societies and Libraries  ==
== Societies and Libraries  ==

Revision as of 19:33, 1 February 2014

United States Gotoarrow.png Tennessee Gotoarrow.png Obion County

Obion County, Tennessee genealogy and family history research page. Guide to Obion 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.

Hand and keyboard.jpg Tennessee
Online Records

Obion County, Tennessee
Boundary map of Obion County, Tennessee
Map of Tennessee highlighting Obion County
Location in the state of Tennessee
Map of the U.S. highlighting Tennessee
Location of Tennessee in the U.S.
Founded: October 24, 1823
County Seat Union City
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Quick Dates

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

Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1907 1838*  1925  1830  1824  1834 

.*W.P.A. abstracts begin 1824

County Courthouse

Obion County Courthouse, Union City, Tenn. Courtesy: Collection: County Court Houses, Flickr by Jimmy Emerson. Used by permission.

Obion County Courthouse
6 Bill Burnett Circle
Union City, TN 38261
Phone: 1-731-885-2562

County Clerk has marriage records from 1824 and probate records from 1833.
Circuit and Chancery Court has divorce records.
Circuit and General Sessions Court has court records.
Register of Deeds has land records [2]

Obion County Clerk
Marriage and probate records
2 Bill Burnett Circle
Union City, TN 38261
Phone: 1-731-885-3831

Obion County Register of Deeds
Land records
P.O. Box 514
Union City, TN 38261
Phone: 1-731-885-9351

Obion County Circuit Court Clerk
Court records
2 Bill Burnett Circle
Union City, TN 38261
Phone: 1-731-885-1372

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


Obion River near Obion, Tenn.

West Tennessee county. Established 1823.

The county is named after the Obion River.[3]

Parent County

1823--Obion County was established 24 October 1823 from Chickasaw Indian Lands.
County seat: Union City [4]

County Pronunciation

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

Boundary Changes

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

Record Loss

1842--Earthquake damaged records

  • Lost census: 1890
  • Marriage records are lacking 1823 to 1838
  • Lost probate records: 1823 to 1834

Although these are not burned records, applying strategies used for burned counties may aid in compensating for their loss. For further information on researching in burned counties, see the following:


Populated Places

Bethel (hist.) Gibbs Mason Hall Roneys Store
Camp Ground Glass McConnell Samburg
Cat Corner Gratio Midway Shofner
Clayton Grays Camp Minnick South Fulton
Cloverdale Harris Moffatt Spout Springs
Crockett Highland Obion Sunnyside
Crystal Hornbeak Old Fremont Troy
Dixie Jacksonville Pierce Station Union City
Elbridge Kenton Polk Walnut Log
Englewood Lassiter Corner Protemus Wolverine
Fremont Macedonia Rives Woodland Mills

Neighboring Counties



Getting Started

Use the free Search for Surnames at Mountain Press's website to quickly search a variety of published Obion County biography, court, and marriage 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.

  • 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.
  • Obion Co. TN Cemetery Records, part of the TNGenWeb Cemetery Database, lists many cemeteries in the county, often with indexes and transcripts of the burials.
  • Charles A. Reeves Jr. has created a detailed map showing the locations of Putnam County cemeteries. It may be purchased for a small fee through his website.


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


1840 Pensioners


  • Green, Linda L. Tennessee 1850 Agricultural Census. 2 vols. Woodbridge, Va.: L.L. Green, 2000. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 X2g v. 1 ff. [Obion County is included in Vol. 1.]




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. 3 1891. [Obion County is included in Vol. 3.]
  • 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. Digital version, by Johanna Thompson, at TNGenWeb.



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]


As of August 2010, a query for persons born in Obion, Tennessee at World Connect, results in more than 45,000 entries.

  • Hillis, L.B. Illustrated, Historic, Industrial - Biographical Book of Obion County. Obion, Tenn.: Obion County Enterprise, 1911. FHL US/CAN Film 204871.



  • Obion County Register of Deeds has Land Records from 1824 and is located at the Courthouse, 2 Bill Burnett Circle, Union City, TN 38261; Telephone: (731) 885-2562. Land and property records include transfer of real estate or personal property, mortgages, leases, surveys, and entries.
  • Willis, Laura. Obion County Deed Books Feb 1825-Feb 1831. Simmons Historical Publications, 2001. Digital version available at World Vital Records ($). Available for purchase at Simmons Historical Publications.
  • The Family History Library has microfilm copies of deeds and trust deeds 1824-1900 with indexes 1824-1904; land entries and land surveys 1820-1904.

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.] 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



Revolutionary War

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

Additional resources include:

War of 1812

  • Embry, Hermione D. "War of 1812 - Tennessee Pensioners on List - January 2, 1883," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 8, No. 2 (Apr. 1961):49-52. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 B2a v. 8 (1961); digital version at journal website. [Includes Obion County pensioners (p. 49).]

Civil War

Civil War service men from Obion 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 Obion County.

Confederate Soldiers

Union Soldiers

Additional sources for Civil War soldiers from Obion County:


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 Obion 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 Obion 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 Obion 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.
Family Findings
Genealogical articles with abstracts of Obion 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.
Obion Origins
The Family History Library has Volume 1 - 23 (1983 - Oct 2005) FHL US/CAN 976.813 D25o
Indexed at PERiodical Source Index (PERSI) Volume 1 - 23 (May 1983 - Oct 2005)
See website for further information: http://www.tngenweb.org/obion/library/hsociety.htm
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 Obion County, Tennessee Genealogy ancestors went to prison!

Private Papers

  • Bowers - Abington - Guerrant - Cobb Bible Records, ca. 1801-1991. MSS., FHL Film 1697941 Item 18.
  • Daughters of the American Colonists. Union City Chapter (Tennessee). Bible Records: Union City, Obion County, Tennessee, 1788-1964. 1979. FHL Book 976.8 A1 no. 73.
  • Daughters of the American Colonists. Union City Chapter (Tennessee). Family Bible Records of Obion County Tennessee and Fulton County Kentucky. 1982. FHL Book 976 D2f.
  • Morris - Collier - Martin Family Bible Records, ca. 1770-1958. MSS., FHL Film 325876 Item 9.


The County Court and Chancery Court have responsibility for the probate records of Obion 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, 1833-1861
  • Inventories, Settlements, Wills, 1834-1924 (4 vols.)
  • Bonds, 1859-1904 (4 vols.)
  • Bonds, Letters, 1861-1918 (4 vols.)
  • Guardian records, 1878-1893
  • Insolvent estate records, 1877-1902
  • Inventories, 1870-1900 (7 vols.)
  • Settlements, 1861-1903 (11 vols.)

The following Obion County probate records have been abstracted, indexed, or both:

  • [1833-1861] Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Index to Tennessee Wills and Administrations 1779-1861. Nashville, Tenn. Byron Sistler and Associates, Inc., 1990. FHL US/CAN 976.8 P22s. [Includes an index to this county's probate records.]
  • [1834-1842] Willis, Laura, Betty Sellers, and Wilda Jetton. Obion County, Tenn., Wills, Adm. and Bonds [1834-1842]. Melber, KY: Simmons Historical Pub., 2001. 3 volumes. Available at FHL US/CAN Book 976.813 P2w; selected volumes can also be found at World Vital Records ($): Volume 3 1840-1842; and Volume 4 1842-1843. Available for purchase at Simmons Historical Publications.


The original Obion County Tax Books 1825-1885 are kept at the County Courthouse. TSLA microfilmed these records in 1976. FHL copies: FHL US/CAN Film 1007354-1007359.

The original Obion County Tax Records 1856-1919 are kept at the County Courthouse. GSU microfilmed these records in 2002: FHL US/CAN Films 2293653 Item 2-2293654.

A variety of miscellaneous Obion County tax records are included in the collection Obion County, Tennessee Civil Cases, 1823-1900; Indexes, 1823-1885. The original records are kept at the County Courthouse. In 2000-2001, GSU microfilmed these records: FHL US/CAN Film 2209029 Item 1 ff.

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

  • [1824-1825] Dennis. "Tax List: 1824 and 1825, Obion County, Tennessee," available online, courtesy: USGenWeb Archives.
  • [1826] Dennis. "Tax List: 1826, Obion County, Tennessee," available online, courtesy: USGenWeb Archives.
  • [1827] Dennis. "Tax List: 1827, Obion County, Tennessee," available online, courtesy: USGenWeb Archives.
  • [1828] Dennis. "Tax List: 1828, Obion County, Tennessee," available online, courtesy: USGenWeb Archives.
  • [1829] Dennis. "Tax List: 1829, Obion County, Tennessee," available online, courtesy: USGenWeb Archives.
  • [1837] Davis, Bettie Brandon. "Obion County, Tennessee Tax List 1837," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 25, No. 1 (Spring 1978):39-44. For FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Periodicals; digital version of District 8 at RootsWeb
  • [1851] Poll Tax Records, 1851, Obion Origins, Vol. 6, No. 3 (Aug. 1988).
  • [1871-1897] Powell, Jane N. "[Partial Misc. Tax Lists for Obion Co., TN District 6 and 7 from 1871-1897,"] available online, courtesy: TNGenWeb. [Mainly surnames that begin with initial letters A, B, C.]

Vital Records


Marriages were not officially recorded in Obion County during the first few years of its existence. In 1838, 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 976.8 V2L.

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

  • [1824-1877] Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Early West Tennessee Marriages. 2 vols. Nashville, Tenn.: B. Sistler and 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.]
  • [1824-1860] Historical Records Project and Historical Records Survey Marriage records, 1824-1860, Obion County, Tennessee Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1940. FHL US/CAN Film 24780 items 4 and 9-10. Free lookups available
  • [1824-1877] Grace Dietzel Gary, Carolyn West Stricklin, Daughters of the American Revolution, Reelfoot Chapter (Union City, Tennessee) Obion County, Tennessee, marriage records, 1824-1877 FHL US/CAN Book 976.813 V2g
  • 1838-1895 - Obion County Marriage Index 1838-1895 in International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch - free.[8]
  • [1838-1952] Obion County, Tennessee County Court Clerk Marriages (Obion County, Tennessee), 1838-1952 Nashville, Tennessee : Tennessee State Library and ArchivesFHL US/CAN Film 1007235 items 3-7 to 1007239, 1928794-99
  • [1870-1900] Obion County, Tennessee Justice of the Peace Obion County, Tennessee miscellaneous records, 1870-1900 Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 2002. FHL US/CAN Film 2315552 item 2
  • [1900, 1931-1950] Tennessee County Court (Obion County) Obion County, Tennessee, marriage licenses, and marriage, 1900, 1931-1950 Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1998, 2002. FHL US/CAN Film 2114756 items 1-2, 2114757, 2114941-42, 2114951, 2293654 item 2.
  • 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 Obion County divorce papers in diverse County Courthouse records, 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.
  • Hays, Tony. West Tennessee Death Records [ca. 1823-1852]. 2 vols. n.p.: Kitchen Table Press, 1987. FHL Book 976.8 V2ht v. 1-2. [Obion County is included in Vol. 1]

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

Societies and Libraries

Obion County Public Library
1221 E Reelfoot Ave
Union City, TN 38261
Phone: 1-731-885-7000
Mon., Tues., Thurs. 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
Wed. 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Fri. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sat. 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
The Tennessee Room holds materials from Obion County and other localities within a 150 mile radius. Records found in the Tennessee Room include Newspapers, Periodicals, City and State Records, Census Records, Deeds, Wills, Maps, and more.
Obion County Historical Society
 P.O. Box 241
 Union City, TN 38261
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

Family History Centers

Web Sites

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Obion 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. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Obion County, Tennessee page 642, At various libr40ries (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), 642. (FHL Collection Ref Book 973 D27e 2002). WorldCat entry.
  5. Voice of Joyce Gaston Reece, Friends of the Archives Historical and Preservation Society, Monroe Co., TN., Secretary and American Local History Network, Board of Directors, Vice President (2010).
  6. Voice of Lynnae Weller, Kingsport, Tenn. (2010).
  7. The Heritage Quest Online version of PERSI aided in the compilation of this list.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/8/88/Igitennesseel.pdf.
  9. Gale Williams Bamman, C.G., "Research in Tennessee," National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 81, No. 2 (June 1993):105. FHL 973 B2ng v. 81