Newspapers publish notices of marriage, divorce, death, funerals, obituaries, and wartime casualty lists. Notices include names of the persons involved, the date of the event, and may contain maiden names, names of parents, and other relatives.
Newspapers also publish articles of local interest, including religious and social events in the community, with the names of those involved. Some newspapers serve several communities and devote columns to the everyday happenings in the area.
Newspapers also include legal notices, estate sales, and advertising for local businesses.Local volunteers, through Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness, are available to do obituary lookups in newspapers for many places in Tennessee.
Inventories on the Internet
More than 6,000 newspapers have been identified for the Tennessee Newspaper Project. Their Internet site has a database you can search to find a newspaper’s title, town, life span, and repository:
- Tennessee Newspaper Project in the University of Tennessee—Knoxville Libraries.
Contact the repository for further details. Many allow you to borrow microfilm copies through interlibrary loan.
The Family History Library has some Tennessee newspapers and newspaper extracts on microfilm; for example:
- Creekmore, Pollyanna. Tennessee Newspaper Extracts and Abstracts. Knoxville, Tennessee: Clinchdale Press, 1995–. This is a work in progress. Two volumes have been published covering the years 1816–1839. A third volume covering 1840–1849 is being prepared.
- Eddlemon, Sherida K. Genealogical Abstracts of Tennessee Newspapers. 3 vols. Bowie, Maryland: Heritage, 1988. (Family History Library book 976.8 D2e.) Three Volumes. Volume 1 covers 1791–1808, volume 2 covers 1803 to 1812, and volume 3 covers 1821–1828. Free Lookups Available!
The Christian Advocate is a Methodist newspaper. Death records from this publication have been abstracted:
- 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 US/CAN Books 976.855/N1 V48s 1847-1851 ff; digital versions at David Donahue Memorial: Tennessee Records Repository. [Website expands upon the publications and includes deaths from the 1830s, 1840s, 1910s and 1920s.]
See the United States Newspapers and United States Obituaries wiki articles for help in locating other newspapers published in Tennessee. See Tennessee Obituaries for help in finding obituaries. See the Tennessee Archives and Libraries article for facilities with regional collections which might include newspapers.
For more resources regarding local newspapers for Tennessee, use the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:
TENNESSEE - NEWSPAPERS
TENNESSEE, [COUNTY], NEWSPAPERS
TENNESSEE, [COUNTY], [TOWN] -
TENNESSEE - OBITUARIES
TENNESSEE, [COUNTY] - VITAL RECORDS
- USNPL: Tennessee - This site provides links to Tennessee historical newspaper and current newspaper websites
- The University of Tennessee Libraries' "Research Guide to Newspapers" helps researchers know of the newspapers available in their collection and provides links to websites with newspapers.