Union County, Tennessee Genealogy
East Tennessee county. Established 1850.
- 1 Quick Dates
- 2 County Courthouse
- 3 History
- 4 Places/Localities
- 5 Resources
- 5.1 Getting Started
- 5.2 Research Guides
- 5.3 African American
- 5.4 Cemeteries
- 5.5 Census
- 5.6 Church
- 5.7 Court
- 5.8 DNA
- 5.9 Family Histories
- 5.10 Land
- 5.11 Local Histories
- 5.12 Maps
- 5.13 Military
- 5.14 Newspapers
- 5.15 Occupations
- 5.16 Periodicals
- 5.17 Prisons
- 5.18 Probate
- 5.19 Taxation
- 5.20 Vital Records
- 6 Societies and Libraries
- 7 Web Sites
- 8 References
Union County's civil records start the following years:
901 Main St.
Maynardville, TN 37807
Union County Clerk
Birth records from 1864
Marriage and probate records
901 Main St.
Maynardville, TN 37807
Union County Register of Deeds
901 Main St., Suite 108
Maynardville, TN 37807
Union County Circuit Court Clerk
901 Main St., Suite 220
Maynardville, TN 37807
Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Sat. 9 a.m.-noon
The origin of the county name is not entirely clear. Some believe it symbolized the unification of several East Tennessee counties at it's formation. Others point out Tennessee's desire to preserve the Union.
"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.
- Lost census: 1890
- Lost marriage records: 1854 to 1864
- Lost probate records: 1854 to 1858
For further information on researching in burned counties, see the following:
- Arlene Eakle, When the Records are Gone in Tennessee Genealogy Blog
- Burned Counties Research in FamilySearch Wiki
- Michael John Neill, Burned Counties in Family History Circle
|Ailor (hist.)||Hurricane Branch (hist.)||New Loyston||Rose Hill|
|Alder Springs||Irwin||New Prospect (hist.)||Rule (hist.)|
|Chesney||Lickskillet||Oak Grove||Sharps Chapel|
|Chestnut Grove||Little Barren||Paulette||Sill (hist.)|
|Condon||Long Hollow (hist.)||Pennington Chapel||Speedwell|
|Duke (hist.)||Loo (hist.)||Phebe (hist.)||Stiner Store (hist.)|
|Gabe (hist.)||Loyston (hist.)||Raccoon Valley||Welch Crossroad|
|Haversons (hist.)||Luttrell||Ray (hist.)||White Hollow|
|Haynes (hist.)||Maynardville||Rhodelin (hist.)||Woodburn (hist.)|
|Hinds Creek Valley||Mossy Spring||Ridenour|
Use the free Search for Surnames at Mountain Press's website to quickly search a variety of published Union County biography and cemetery 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.
- Genealogical "Fact Sheets" About Tennessee Counties: Union County, courtesy: TSLA. (Identifies published county histories, published local records, census records, newspapers and local records on microfilm, and select manuscripts.)
CemeteriesTennessee 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.
- Find A Grave also gives a list of cemeteries in Union County linking to the information about the people buried there,
- Union Co. TN Cemetery Records, part of the TNGenWeb Cemetery Database, lists many cemeteries in the county, often with indexes and transcripts of the burials.
- Union County, Tennessee, USGenWeb Tombstone Transcription Project lists many cemeteries in the county and has transcripts of the tombstones arranged by cemetery.
- The Family History Library Catalog lists some records of cemeteries in Union county. Some of the books or others may be on Google Books or available at public libraries.
|Source: "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau.|
1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 federal population censuses of Union 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.
- Collins, Sonja and Evelyn Holloway. Transcription, Federal Census Schedule, Union County, Tennessee, 1860, Indexed: First Census of Union County. [Corryton, Tenn.]: S. Collins and E. Holloway, 1983. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8935 X2c 1860.
- Collins, Sonja and Evelyn Holloway. Transcription, Federal Census Schedule, Union County, Tennessee, 1870, Indexed. [Corryton, Tenn.]: S. Collins and E. Holloway, 1983. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8935 X2c 1870.
- Collins, Sonja and Evelyn Holloway. Transcription, Federal Census Schedule, Union County, Tennessee, 1880, Indexed. [Corryton, Tenn.]: S. Collins and E. Holloway, 1984. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8935 X2c 1880.
- Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. 1880 Census Union County, Tennessee. Nashville, Tenn.: B. Sistler & Associates, 1996. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8935 X2s 1880.
- Collins, Sonja and Evelyn Holloway. Transcription, Federal Census Schedule, Union County, Tennessee, 1900, Indexed. [Corryton, Tenn.]: E. Holloway and S. Collins, 1985. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8935 X2c 1900.
- Collins, Sonja. Transcription, Federal Census Schedule, Union County, Tennessee, 1910, Indexed. [Corryton, Tenn.]: S. Collins, 1985. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8935 X2c 1910.
- Carter, Martha Jean Atkins. Union County, Tennessee, 1920 Federal Census. Knoxville, Tenn.: [M.J.A. Carter, 1997?]. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8935 X2cm 1920.
- Carter, Martha Jean Atkins. 1930 Union County, Tennessee, Federal Census. Knoxville, Tenn.: M.J.A. Carter, . FHL US/CAN Book 976.8935 X29c 1930.
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]
- Wilson, Marshall A. Families of Norris Reservoir Area. Clinton, Tennessee: Pellissippi Genealogical and Historical Society, 1986. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8935 D2w.
- Norris Dam on the Clinch River in Eastern Tennessee was a project of the Tennessee Valley Authority in the 1930s. Nearly 3,000 families, totalling almost 14,000 persons, were required to vacate land that was to be inundated by the resulting reservoir. In connection with the removal of families and gravesites, Mr. Wilson, a TVA official, collected historical and genealogical information about Norris Valley residents; he presents information about 75 of those families, along with a brief chronology of the area. Each family record begins with the name of a father and the name of that man's father, con- tinuing through other ancestors of the direct male line back to the earliest one known. Families represented by ten or more male heads of household include Agee, Carden, Hatmaker, Irwin, Longmire, Miller, Rice, and Sharp.
- [Baker] Nelson, Elmer R. The history and descendants of (William) Martin Baker and his wife Sarah M. Cook Chatsworth, California:E.R. Nelson, 1999.FHL book 929.273 B171. Digital version available at BYU Family History Archives.
- [Hickle] Hubbs, Ferol Frost. Hubbs - Frost and Allied Families. 1958. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 H862hf.
- [Monroe] Peters, Sam C. and Bonnie Heiskell Peters. Mark Monroe: An East Tennessee Pioneer and His Corn Crib. Knoxville, Tenn.: Union County Books, 2004. FHL 921.73 M757p
- [Ridenour] Ridenour, James. The Ridenour Families of Union County, Tennessee, 1850-1930. Maynardville, Tenn.: Union County Historical Society (Tennessee), 2004?. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8935 D2r.
The original Union County Deed Books are kept at the County Courthouse. In the 1970s, TSLA microfilmed Deed Books A to P (1856-1900) and an accompanying Index (1856-1907). FHL copies: FHL US/CAN Films 976349-976357.
War of 1812
- Embry, Hermione D. "War of 1812 - Tennessee Pensioners on List - January 2, 1883," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 8, No. 3 (Jul. 1961):95-98. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 B2a v. 8 (1961); digital version at journal website. [Includes Union County pensioners (pp. 97-98).]
- Carter, William Randolph. History of the First regiment of Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry in the Great war of the Rebellion, with the Armies of the Ohio and Cumberland, under Generals Morgan, Rosecrans, Thomas, Stanley and Wilson. Knoxville, Tennessee: Gaut-Ogden Co. Printers, 1902. Free digital copy. Union.
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 Union County click on the following city:
- Miller, Alan N. East Tennessee's Forgotten Children: Apprentices from 1778 to 1911. Baltimore, Md.: Printed for Clearfield Company, Inc., by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 2000. FHL US/CAN 976.8 U2m. Digital version at World Vital Records ($). Purchase at Genealogical.com. [Includes Union 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:
- Pathways History and Genealogical Journal
- "A quarterly publication of the Union County Historical Society" organized in 1980.
The Family History Library has most volumes to the present time. FHL US/CAN 976.8935 H25p
Indexed at PERiodical Source Index (PERSI)
Digital copies of Pathways Historical and Genealogical Journal:Union County Historical Society Volumes 18,21,25,26 available at BYU Family History Archives
- The Pellissippian
- Genealogical articles with abstracts of Union County, Tennessee records were published in the The Pellissippian (25 vols., 1980-2004), the quarterly of the Pellissippi Genealogical and Historical Society. The society has posted tables of contents for all 25 volumes on their website. They also have back issues available for purchase. The Family History Library has acquired the first 20 volumes FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 D25p.
- Family History Library has volumes 2 and 3 (Feb 2006 - Oct 2007)
For additional information see website: http://www.unioncountytn.com/history/default.htm. Website includes Volume 3, Issue 3 May/June 2007 online.
Learn if your Union County ancestors went to prison!
- Inmates of the Tennessee State Penitentiary 1851-1870, free index available online, courtesy: TSLA.
The original Union County Will Books are kept at the County Courthouse. In 1974, TSLA microfilmed:
- Wills and Inventories Book B (1875-1911)
- Administrators' Settlements Books B to D (1859-1899)
- Guardians' Settlements 1856-1902
- Claims against Estates 1872-1915.
FHL copies: FHL US/CAN Film 976335-976340.
The following Union County tax records have been abstracted and/or indexed:
-  Tax List, Districts 1-10, 1854, Pathways, Vol. 3, No. 3 (Jul. 1984); Vol. 3, No. 4 (Oct. 1984); Vol. 4, No. 1 (Jan. 1985); Vol. 4, No. 2 (Apr. 1985); Vol. 4, No. 4 (Oct. 1985); Vol. 5, No. 3 (Jul. 1986); Vol. 5, No. 4 (Oct. 1986); Vol. 6, No. 1 (Mar. 1987); Vol. 6, No. 2 (Jun. 1987); Vol. 6, No. 3 (Sep. 1987). For access, see Periodicals.
-  Tax List, Districts 1-10, 1855, Pathways, Vol. 6, No. 4 (Dec. 1987); Vol. 7, No. 2 (Jun. 1988); Vol. 7, No. 3 (Sep. 1988); Vol. 7, No. 4 (Dec. 1988); Vol. 8, No. 1 (Mar. 1989); Vol. 8, No. 2 (Jun. 1989); Vol. 8, No. 3 (Sep. 1989); Vol. 8, No. 4 (Dec. 1989); Vol. 9, No. 1 (Mar. 1990); Vol. 9, No. 2 (Jun. 1990). For access, see Periodicals.
-  Tax List, Districts 1-10, 1856, Pathways, Vol. 9, No. 4 (Dec. 1990); Vol. 10, No. 1 (Mar. 1991); Vol. 10, No. 2 (Jun. 1991); Vol. 10, No. 3 (Sep. 1991); Vol. 10, No. 4 (Dec. 1991); Vol. 11, No. 1 (Mar. 1992); Vol. 11, No. 2 (Jun. 1992); Vol. 11, No. 3 (Sep. 1992); Vol. 11, No. 4 (Dec. 1992). For access, see Periodicals.
-  Tax List, Districts 1-10, 1857, Pathways, Vol. 12, No. 1 (Mar. 1993); Vol. 12, No. 2 (Jun. 1993); Vol. 12, No. 3 (Sep. 1993); Vol. 12, No. 4 (Dec. 1993); Vol. 13, No. 1 (Mar. 1994); Vol. 13, No. 2 (Jun. 1994); Vol. 14, No. 2 (Jun. 1995); Vol. 14, No. 3 (Sep. 1995); Vol. 14, No. 4 (Dec. 1995); Vol. 15, No. 1 (Mar. 1996); Vol. 15, No. 2 (Jun. 1996); Vol. 15, No. 3 (Sep. 1996); Vol. 15, No. 4 (Nov. 1996); Vol. 16, No. 1 (Mar. 1997); Vol. 16, No. 2 (Jun. 1997); Vol. 16, No. 3 (Sep. 1997); Vol. 16, No. 4 (Dec. 1997); Vol. 17, No. 1 (Mar. 1998); Vol. 17, No. 2 (Jun. 1998). For access, see Periodicals.
-  Tax List, Districts 1-10, 1858, Pathways, Vol. 17, No. 3 (Sep. 1998); Vol. 17, No. 4 (Dec. 1998); Vol. 18, No. 1 (Mar. 1999); Vol. 18, No. 2 (Jun. 1999); Vol. 18, No. 3 (Sep. 1999); Vol. 18, No. 4 (Dec. 1999); Vol. 19, No. 1 (Mar. 2000); Vol. 19, No. 2 (Jun. 2000); Vol. 19, No. 3 (Sep. 2000). For access, see Periodicals.
-  Tax List, 1859, Pathways, Vol. 19, No. 4 (Dec. 2000); Vol. 23, No. 1 (Mar. 2004); Vol. 23, No. 2 (Sep. 2004). For access, see Periodicals.
-  Tax List, 1860, Pathways, Vol. 24, No. 1 (Mar. 2005); Vol. 24, No. 2 (Jun. 2005); Vol. 24, No. 4 (Dec. 2005); Vol. 25, No. 2 (Jun. 2006); Vol. 25, No. 3 (Sep. 2006); Vol. 26, No. 1 (Mar. 2007); Vol. 26, No. 2 (Jun. 2007). For access, see Periodicals.
The original Union County Marriage Books are kept at the County Courthouse. Antebellum marriage registers no longer survive, but published transcripts include a few alternative marriage sources for the 1850s. The original records have been microfilmed:
- Marriage Books 1 to 7 (1864-1969). Microfilmed in 1970s and 1980s by TSLA. FHL copies: FHL US/CAN Films 976341-976342, 1928862-1928863.
Union County's marriage records have been abstracted multiple times. Each editor followed similar abstraction standards:
- [1856-1975] Collins, Betty VanOver. Union County, Tennessee, Marriages. 2 vols. Knoxville, Tenn.: B.J. Collins, 2000. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8935 V29cb v. 1 ff. [Abstracts names of brides and grooms, ages, marriage dates; includes annotations taken from family Bibles, Civil War records, and other manuscripts.]
- [1864-1900] Hickle, Wanda Wilmouth. Tennessee, Union County, Marriage Applications and Licenses, 1864-1900. Luttrell, Tenn.: W.W. Hickle, 1983. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8935 V2h. [Abstracts names of brides, grooms, and officiators, as well as dates of license and marriage; includes annotations taken from additional sources.]
- [1901-1916] Collins, Sonja. Union County, Tennessee, Marriage Applications and Licenses, 1901-1916. [Corryton, Tenn.]: S. Collins, 1985. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8935 V2cs. [Abstracts names of brides, grooms, and officiators, as well as dates of license and marriage.]
For deaths of Methodists in Union County between the 1830s and the 1920s, try:
- 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.]
Societies and Libraries
- Union County Historical Society, Inc.
3824 Maynardville, Highway
P.O. Box 95
Maynardville, TN 37807
- East Tennessee Historical Society
601 S. Gay St.
P.O. Box 1629
Knoxville, TN 37901-1629
- Maynardville Public Library
296 Main St.
Maynardville, TN 37807
Hours: Mon. and Fri. 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Tues. and Thurs. 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Sat. 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
- Luttrell Public Library
115 Park Rd
Luttrell, TN 37779
Family History Centers
- Family History Library Catalog (FamilySearch)
- Mailing List: TNUNION-L (Union County, Tennessee List) (RootsWeb)
- Mailing List: ETN-L (East Tennessee List) (RootsWeb)
- Mailing List: ETN-OZ-L (East Tennessee Migrants to Ozarks Region List) (RootsWeb)
- Mailing List: UPPEREASTTN-L (Upper East Tennessee List) (RootsWeb)
- Union County, TN Family History and Genealogy Message Board (Ancestry)
- Union County, TN Genealogy and Family History (Linkpendium)
- Union County, TN Genealogy Forum (GenForum)
- Union County, TNGenWeb (USGenWeb)
- Union County, TN History, Records, Facts and Genealogy (MyTennesseeGenealogy)
- "Earliest County Records," Tennessee State Library and Archives.
- "List of counties in Tennessee," Wikipedia.
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002), 644. (FHL Collection Ref Book 973 D27e 2002). WorldCat entry.
- Voice of Lynnae Weller, Kingsport, Tenn. (2010).
- Voice of Gene Black, FamilySearch employee, former resident of Bristol, Tenn. (2010).
- The Heritage Quest Online version of PERSI aided in the compilation of this list.