Tennessee Compiled Genealogies

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The term genealogy is used in this wiki and in the Family History Library Catalog to describe a variety of records containing family information previously gathered by other researchers, societies, or archives.

Genealogy records can include pedigree charts, compiled data on families, correspondence, ancestor lists, research exchange files, record abstracts, and collections of original or copied documents. These sources can save time, but because they are compiled from other sources, you must carefully evaluate their accuracy.

Most archives, historical societies, and genealogical societies have special collections of previous research and indexes of genealogical value. These must usually be searched in person.

Family histories sections have been started on each Tennessee county page. The goal is to identify all known published genealogies for each county's families.

For folks who settled in Tennessee before it became a state in 1796, the following publication, based on a lineage society that accepts as members people who descend from documented pre-1796 pioneers, is a tremendous resource:

  • East Tennessee Historical Society. First Families of Tennessee: A Register of Early Settlers and Their Present-day Descendants. Knoxville, Tenn.: East Tennessee Historical Society, 2000. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 H2ff.

Statewide Collections and Publications 

Manuscript Collections

  • Daughters of the American Revolution (Kentucky). Genealogical Collection. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1971. (On 101 Family History Library films beginning with 850670.) This collection consists of transcripts of Bible, cemetery, church, marriage, death, obituary, and probate records at the DAR Library in Washington, D.C. The volumes are generally arranged by county and many have individual indexes.
  • Draper Manuscript Collection described in Tennessee History.
  • Calvin M. McClung Collection described in Tennessee Archives and Libraries. Digital versions are available at Ancestry ($), Knox County Public Library (free), and World Vital Records ($).
  • Edythe Rucker Whitley Collection contains 2,300 notebooks of genealogical research compiled by Mrs. Edythe Rucker Whitley, who conducted extensive research on the pioneer families of North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, and other states. She also compiled genealogical data on many prominent men of Tennessee and elsewhere in the United States. The collection is organized by surname. Use of the collection is limited to one box at a time. The collection is at:
Williamson County Public Library
1314 Columbia Ave.
Franklin, TN 37064
Telephone: 615-794-3105
Fax: 615-595-1245
Internet: http://lib.williamson-tn.org/
  • The manuscript collections of the Tennessee State Library and Archives include many personal papers, diaries, letters, biographies, and other records of genealogical value. Collections in the archives are listed here.


  • Allen, Penelope Johnson. Leaves from the Family Tree. 1933–1937. Reprint, Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1982. (Family History Library book 976.8 D2a.) This is a reprint of family genealogies in the Chattanooga Sunday Times. The original clippings are in:
  • Leaves from the Family Tree. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1979. (Family History Library film 1036445 item 2.)
  • Ancestor Charts. Huntsville, Alabama: Margaret M. Cowart, 1976. (Family History Library book 976.859 D2h.) This record contains 500 pedigrees of families from central Tennessee.
  • Hehir, Donald M. Tennessee Family Histories and Genealogies: A Bibliography. Bowie, Maryland: Heritage Books, 1996. (Family History Libray book 976.8 D23h.) This is a bibliography of sources for surnames in the Library of Congress with Tennessee connections.
  • Ray, Worth S. Tennessee Cousins: A History of Tennessee People. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1968. (Family History Library book 976.8 D2r 1968.) This source contains transcripts of various original records, wills, vital records, and more. The record is indexed.
  • Ritchie, Ruth. Genealogy of Some East Tennessee Families of the Early Nineteenth Century. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1972. (Family History Library film 896897 item 3.) Corrections to this records are in:
  • Ritchie, Ruth. Supplement to Genealogy of Some East Tennessee Families of the Early Nineteenth Century. N.p., 1948. (Family History Library book 976.8 D2rr supp.; fiche 6104316.896897)
  • Tennessee Settlers and Their Descendants: Genealogical Data about Some of the Men and Women Who Helped Shape the Volunteer State. Memphis, Tennessee; Knoxville, Tennessee: Tennessee Genealogical Society: Tennessee Valley Publishing, 1994. (Family History Library book 976.8 D2t). The record contains descendants of some of the early settlers of the state for up to nine generations. It includes a surname index.
  • Tucker, Mabel Abbott. Middle Tennessee Family History. Three Volumes. [Fayetteville, Tennessee]: M. A. Tucker, (Fayetteville, Tennessee: Horton Print). (Family History Library book 976.8 D2tm.) This source contains birth, marriage and death records. Each record is indexed.
  • Whitley, Edythe Johns Rucker, 1900. Tennessee Genealogical Records: Records of Early Settlers from State and County Archives. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing, 1981. (Family History Library book 976.8 D2w.) This book is a compilation of wills, deeds, Revolutionary War warrants, and family records at the State Archives in Nashville. The record is indexed.

Writing and Sharing Your Family History

Sharing your own family history is valuable for several reasons:

  • It helps you see gaps in your own research and raises opportunities to find new information.
  • It helps other researchers progress in researching ancestors you share in common.
  • It draws other researchers to you who already have information about your family that you do not yet possess.
  • It draws together researchers with common interests, sparking collaboration opportunities. For instance, researchers in various localities might choose to do lookups for each other in remote repositories. Your readers may also share photos of your ancestors that you have never seen before.
See also:

External Links

  • FamilySearch (familysearch.org) has resources for searching genealogical collections online including: Ancestral File, digitized family histories, digitized historical records, International Genealogical Index, and Pedigree Resource File. The Family History Library Catalog can help you identify additional records. The site provides a community for learning and sharing.
  • Rootsweb's WorldConnect Project (http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com) offers genealogies shared free by a worldwide community
  • http://www.tennesseegenealogy.org/ is a free resource for finding Tennessee genealogy and historical data

Additional Sources

  • Acklen, Jeannette Tillotson, compiler. Tennessee Records: Tombstone Inscriptions and Manuscripts. 1933. Reprint, Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1998. (Family History Library Book 976.8 V3ac 1998.) This indexed book was compiled from family Bibles, tombstones, manuscripts and other sources.
  • McBride, Robert M., compiler. Tennessee County Data for Historical and Genealogical Research. Nashville: Tennessee State Library and Archives, 1966. This guide includes details about record loss in Tennessee counties and lists the extant newspapers.
  • Moore, John Trotwood and Justin P. Foster, editors. Tennessee: The Volunteer State, 1769-1923, 4 vols. Nashville: S.J.Clarke Publishing Co., 1923. This indexed four-volume set includes church information and Tennessee history in addition to three volumes of biographies. (Family History Library Book 976.8 D3m v. 1-4.)
  • Schweitzer, George K. Tennessee Genealogical Research. [N.p.], G. K. Swchweitzer, 1993.  (Family History Library Book 976.8 D27sg.) This guide includes a record list and bibliography for each county.

More genealogy sources can be found in United States Genealogy. See the Tennessee Archives and Libraries article for facilities with regional collections which might include genealogies. Other genealogical records of Tennessee can be found in the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:




A Guide to Printing Your Family History assists you in compiling your own family stories, traditions, and other memories.