Overton County, Tennessee Genealogy

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Overton County, Tennessee
Boundary map of Overton County, Tennessee
Map of Tennessee highlighting Overton County
Location in the state of Tennessee
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Location of Tennessee in the U.S.
Founded: September 11, 1806
County Seat Livingston
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United States  go to  Tennessee  go to  Overton County
Middle Tennessee county. Established 1806.

Quick Dates

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

Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1925 1867  1925  1820  1801  1870 

County Courthouse

Overton County Courthouse, Livingston, Tenn.
Overton County Courthouse
317 East University St.
Livingston, TN 38570
Phone: 1-931-823-2536

Overton County Clerk
Marriage and probate records
317 E. University St., Room #22
Livingston, TN 38470
Phone: 1-931-823-2631

Overton County Register of Deeds
Land records
317 E. University St.
Livingston, TN 38570
Phone: 1-931-823-4011

Overton County Circuit Court Clerk
Court records
317 E. University St.
Livinston, TN 38570
Phone: 1-931-823-2312

Mon.,Tues., Thurs., Fri. 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Wed. and Sat. 8 a.m.-Noon


The county is named after "John Overton (1766–1833), one of the cofounders of Memphis, Tennessee."[2]

Parent County

1806--Overton County was established 11 September 1806 from Jackson County. Early records may be found under Jackson County.
County seat: Livingston [3]

County Pronunciation

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

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

1865--Fire damaged records
  • Lost censuses: 1810, 1890
  • Lost marriage records: 1806 to 1866
  • Lost probate records: 1806 to 1869

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


Populated Places

Allons Grey (hist.) Monroe Rickman
Allred Hanging Limb Muddy Pond Rocky Ridge
Alpine Hardy Netherlands (hist.) Sulphur
Anderson Hargiss Nettle Carrier (hist.) Taylors Crossroads
Beaver Hill Henard (hist.) Oak Dale Timothy
Big Springs Highland Oak Grove Twinton
Bonsack Hilham Oakley Unity
Bushing (hist.) Hix (hist.) Obey City Vine Ridge
Cliff Springs Holly Springs Okalona Ward (hist.)
Columbia Hill Independence Ozone Waterloo
Cravenstown Ivyton Poplar Springs Westfork (hist.)
Crawford Lee (hist.) Pines (hist.) Windle
Cullom (hist.) Livingston Poteet (hist.) Windletown
Eagle Creek (hist.) Lovejoy Qualls (hist.) Wirmingham
Garretts Mill Mineral Springs Rays
Green Pond Miranda (hist.) Rhyan Springs

Neighboring Counties


Getting Started

Use the free Search for Surnames at Mountain Press's website to quickly search a variety of published Overton County land, military, 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 go to Tennessee African Americans

  • Waldrep, G.C. "'Free Colored' Heads of Household in the 1820 Tennessee Census," available online, courtesy: Free African Americans website. [Includes free African Americans in this county.]
  • African American Poll Tax, 1867, Overton County Historical Society Newsletter, Vol. 5, No. 1 (Spring 2001).


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.
  • Overton 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 Overton County cemeteries. It may be purchased for a small fee through his website.


1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 federal population censuses of Overton 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 Overton County, TN census assignments, including links to transcribed files and scanned images of census microfilm. [The USGenWeb Census Project®].

1810 - Lost, but a substitute is available:

  • Sherrill, Charles A. The Reconstructed 1810 Census of Tennessee: 33,000 Long-lost Records from Tax Lists, Court Minutes, Church Records, Wills, Deeds and Other Sources. Mt. Juliet, Tenn.: C.A. Sherrill, 2001. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 X2s 1810.


  • Bentley, Elizabeth P. Index to the 1820 Census of Tennessee. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1981. FHL 976.8 X22b 1820
  • Houston, Martha Lou. 1820 Census of Overton County Tennessee. Washington, D.C.: M. L. Houston, 1900. Free digitized book.
  • Waldrep, G.C. "'Free Colored' Heads of Household in the 1820 Tennessee Census," available online, courtesy: Free African Americans website. [Includes free African Americans in this county.]


1840 Revolutionary War Pensioners

1850 Agricultural Census

  • 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. [Overton 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. 5 1891. [Overton 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.


  • Young, Denise, ed. Overton County, Tennessee Census, 1920 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 1999. Available at Ancestry ($).




DNA Double Helix.png
DNA has been collected from men claiming descent from the following Overton County residents. Attempts have not been made to verify the lineages of those tested.
  • [Brown] Descendant of Samuel Brown, b. abt 1790 North Carolina, d. abt 1845 Overton County, Tennessee. Y-DNA 37 Marker Test, FTDNA (Kit 109827). Genetic signature available online (labeled Group No. 93), genealogical description available online, courtesy: Brown/Browne/Braun DNA Study. Matches have been found.
  • [Parrett] Descendant of James Forrester Parrett (1830-1868) of Overton County, Tennessee. Y-DNA 37 Marker Test, FTDNA (Kit 67049). Genetic signature available online (labeled Fr-1), genealogical description available online, courtesy: The Doss DNA Project, World Families. Matches have been found with Doss surname.

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 Overton, Tennessee at World Connect, results in more than 115,000 entries!


  • [Bates] Bates, Madison C. Bates, a Brief History and Genealogy of Joseph Harrison Bates. Galesburg, Ill.: Wagoner Printing Co., 1915. FHL/VAULT US/CAN Film 1145782 Item 3; digital version at Google Books.
  • [Bilbrey] Eldridge, Charles S. History, Tennessee, My People and Me. Dayton, Ohio: C.S. Eldridge, 1991. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273EL24ec.
  • [Carlock] Carlock, Marion Pomeroy. History of the Carlock Family and Adventures of Pioneer Americans: Including the Kimbrough, Goodpasture, Hoyl, Fite, Fancher, Lee, Wells, Judy, Tracy, Settles, Gaddis, Rowell, Moore, Cornelison, Harrold, Brown and other Connecting Families. Los Angeles, CA: M. P. Carlock, 1929. Available at FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 C196c; FHL US/CAN 1033974 Item 4; digital versions at Ancestry ($); and Heritage Quest Online ($).
  • [Copeland] Orpha Halssell and Charlcie Pauline Carlton Fletcher Ancestors and descendants of Solomon Addison Copeland Oklahoma City, Oklahoma : P.C. Fletcher, 1988 FHL book 929.273 C79 Digital version available at BYU Family History Archives.
  • [Crawford] Edward Crawford's Family: With Special Emphasis on those Descendants Who Lived in or Passed through Macoupin County, Illinois: With Eventual Concentrations in Illinois, Missouri, Oregon, Texas, Tennessee. n.p.: Crawford Family Book Committee, 1988. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 C856.
  • [Dale] Edgerly, Dorthea Roach and Raymond Henry William Dale (1783-1857)of Lawrence County, Indiana Oceanside, California : D.R. Edgerly FHL book 929.273 D156e.Digital version available at Family History Archives.
  • [Finley] Finley, Carmen J. "John and Mary Finley of Montgomery (Wythe) County, Virginia," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 34, No. 4 (Oct.-Dec. 1990):243-255; Vol. 35, No. 1 (Jan.-Mar. 1991):18-33; Vol. 35, No. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 1991):122-135; Vol. 35, No. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 1991):173-185; Vol. 35, No. 4 (Oct.-Dec. 1991):251-262. Digital version at American Ancestors ($). FHL Book 975.5 B2vg v. 34 (1990)-v. 35 (1991).
  • [Garrett] Parke, Iris Garrett. Garrett Family of Buckingham County, Virginia and Overton County, Tennessee. Typescript, microfilmed in 1980. FHL US/CAN Film 1035813 Item 18.
  • [Gerlach] See Carlock.
  • [Goodpasture] Bates, Madison C. Bates, a Brief History and Genealogy of Joseph Harrison Bates. Galesburg, Ill.: Wagoner Printing Co., 1915. FHL/VAULT US/CAN Film 1145782 Item 3; digital version at Google Books.
  • [Goodpasture] Goodpasture, Robert Abraham. The Goodpastures of Iowa and Washington: With Related Families. Georgetown, Calif.: R.A. Goodpasture, 1978. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 G624gra.
  • [Gregg] Rucker, Frank. Josiah Gregg. Independence, Missouri: Independence Examiner, 1949. FHL FAM HIST Book 921.73 A1 no. 108.
  • [Hammons] Williams, Sharon Ruth Hammons. Descendants of Hammons brothers John Milton and Elcanah C., 1820-1990. Chillicothe, Ohio: S.H. Williams, 1990. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 H184w.
  • [Harp] Smith, Mattie Benson. Harp Strings. Broken Arrow, Oklahoma: M.B. Smith, [1986?]. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 H23s.
  • [Huddleston] Huddleston, George. Huddleston Family Tables. Concord, NH: Rumford Press, 1933. Available at FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 H866h 1973; FHL US/CAN Film 928072 Item 8; digital version at Ancestry ($); and Heritage Quest Online ($).
  • [Kimbrough] See Carlock.
  • [Goodpasture] See Carlock.
  • [Lovell] Pompey, Sherman Lee. Some Descendants of William Lovell of Overton County,Tennessee. Clovis, Calif.: S.L. Pompey, 1970. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 A1 no. 293.
  • [Parrott] Kelsey, Mavis P. Benjamin Parrott c. 1795-1839 and Lewis Stover 1781-1850/60 of Overton County, Tennessee and Their Descendants. Houston, Texas: M.P. Kelsey, 1979. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 P249k.
  • [Phillips] Sroka, John. A Workbook on the Phillips Families of Overton County, Tennessee. South Jordan, Utah: J. Sroka, 2006. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 P541sj.
  • [Robbins] Gray, Shawn Descendants of Isaac Robbins Muncie, Indiana : S. Gray, [2003] FHL book 929.273 R535g. Digital version available at BYU Family History Archives.
  • [Smith] Smith, Oma Ivadell. Smith-Garrett and Allied Families of Overton, Fentress and Pickett Counties, Tennessee: The Genealogy of Joseph Albert Smith and Nova Catherine Garrett. Jacksonville, Fla.: O. Smith, 1979. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 Sm61e.
  • [Stover] Kelsey, Mavis P. Benjamin Parrott c. 1795-1839 and Lewis Stover 1781-1850/60 of Overton County, Tennessee and Their Descendants. Houston, Texas: M.P. Kelsey, 1979. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 P249k.
  • [Vaughn] Vaughn, Charles P. and Bernice Elizabeth Hoke Vaughn. The Vaughn Genealogy: from Wake County, North Carolina, to Jackson and Overton Counties, Tennessee. Ventura, Calif.: B.E. Vaughn, 1990. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 V465vc.


The organization Strictly By Name provides free online indexes to early Overton County land records. They offer a record retrieval service to photocopy and transcribe microfilm copies of the original documents for a small fee. Available indexes:

  1. Deed Book A: 1806-1809
  2. Deed Book B: 1801-1809
  3. Deed Book C: 1811-1813

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 Overton 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 Overton County pensioners (p. 49).]
  • Transcription typed and formatted by Harold Keisling. Third? Regiment Tennessee Militia, Capt. Wiley Huddelston's Company  Raised from men who were from Overton, Pickett and Fentress County, Tennessee. Courtesy: TNGenWeb

Civil War

Civil War service men from Overton 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 Overton County.

Confederate Soldiers

Union Soldiers

Additional sources for Civil War soldiers from Overton 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 Overton County click on the following town:


  • Miller, Alan N. Middle Tennessee's Forgotten Children: Apprentices from 1784 to 1902. Baltimore, Md.: Printed for Clearfield Company, Inc., by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 2004. FHL US/CAN 976.8 U2ma. Purchase at Genealogical.com. [Includes Overton 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 Overton 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.

Overton County Historical Society Newsletter
Family History Library has volume 1 - 8 FHL US/CAN 976.8684 B2n. Indexed in PERiodical Source Index (PERSI)
For further information see Overton County Historical Society website: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~tnoverto/OCHS/index.htm
The Upper Cumberland Researcher
Genealogical articles with abstracts of records of Overton County, Tennessee have been published in The Upper Cumberland Researcher, the journal of the Upper Cumberland Genealogical Association, Inc. To view a list of the first 17 years of these articles, visit their online Seventeen Year Index to The Upper Cumberland Researcher (Vols. 1-17, 1975-1992). The Index contains a "Counties" section beginning on page 19. The Family History Library has most issues through the present FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 B2u (1975-1993) and FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 B2u (1994-present).

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

Probate Records

The Overton County Court has responsibility for the probate records.

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, 1870-1926 (2 vols.)
  • Bonds, 1871-1886
  • Bonds, Letters, 1887-1968 (3 vols.)
  • Insolvent estate records, 1873-1948 (2 vols.)
  • Inventories, 1848-1861
  • Probate records, 1867-1887
  • Settlements, 1870-1907 (3 vols.)

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


The following Overton County tax records have been abstracted:[6]

  • [1814] "Direct Federal Tax-Delinquent Property Owners Listed for 1814," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 43, No. 3 (Fall 1996):115-120. For possible FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Periodicals. [Includes Overton County.]
  • [1836] Tatum, Ausborn C. "Overton County, Tennessee 1836 Tax List," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 30, No. 1 (Spring 1983):15-20; Vol. 30, No. 2 (Summer 1983):80-82. For FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Periodicals.
  • [1836] Douthat, James L. 1836 Overton County, Tennessee Civil Districts & Tax List. Signal Mountain, Tenn.: Mountain Press, 2001. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8684 R4d.
  • [1836] Tax List and Civil Districts, 1836, Tennessee Genealogy and History, Vol. 5, Nos. 1-2 (2001).
  • [1836] Tax List, 1836, Overton County, Tennesse Kin, Vol. 9, No. 3 (Jul. 2003); Vol. 10, No. 1 (Jan. 2004).
  • [1836] County Tax Records, 1836 (sel.), Overton County Historical Society Newsletter, Vol. 8, No. 4 (Winter 2004).
  • [1860s] "Civil War Union Tax Assessments," The Upper Cumberland Researcher, Vol. 2, No. 2 (Dec. 1977):14-; Vol. 3, No. 1 (Feb. 1978):4-. For access, see Periodicals.
  • [1862] Tax List, 1862, Overton County, Tennessee Kin, Vol. 9, No. 3 (Jul. 2003); Vol. 9, No. 4 (Oct. 2003).
  • [1867] Released from Paying Tax, 1867, Overton County Historical Society Newsletter, Vol. 3, No. 4 (Winter 1999).
  • [1867] African American Poll Tax, 1867, Overton County Historical Society Newsletter, Vol. 5, No. 1 (Spring 2001).
  • [1874-1875] Sales of Land for Unpaid Taxes, 1874-1875, Overton County Historical Society Newsletter, Vol. 7, No. 1 (Spring 2003).
  • Men in Army Released from Poll Tax, Overton County Historical Society Newsletter, Vol. 5, No. 4 (Winter 2001).

Vital Records

  • TSLA. Overton County Vital Records. Nashville, Tennessee: Filmed by the TSLA, 1988. FHL 1928804

The original Overton County marriage records are kept at the County Courthouse. Dur to fire, marriages were lost in Overton County until 1867. 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 Overton County marriage records are microfilmed:

  • [1867-1994] Available at the TSLA.
  • [1867-1953] Available at the Family History Library. Each volume is indexed.FHL 981126

The following Overton County marriage records are abstracted and/or indexed:

Overton County is not included in Sistler's Early Middle Tennessee Marriages.


In 1940 and 1941, W.P.A. workers pinpointed the location of Overton 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.

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

Societies and Libraries

Overton County Historical Society
P.O. Box 753
Livingston, TN 38570
Phone: 1-931-403-0909

Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society
PO Box 330948
Nashville, TN, USA 37203-7507
The society serves the 40 counties of middle Tennessee of which Overton 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

Millard Oakley Public Library
107 East Main St.
Livingston, TN 38570
Phone: 1-931-823-1888

Family History Centers

Web Sites

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Overton 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), 642. (FHL Collection Ref Book 973 D27e 2002). WorldCat entry.
  4. Voice of Lynnae Weller, Kingsport, Tenn. (2010).
  5. Voice of Gene Black, FamilySearch employee, former resident of Bristol, Tenn. (2010).
  6. The Heritage Quest Online version of PERSI aided in the compilation of this list.