Davidson County, Tennessee Genealogy

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Guide to Davidson County, Tennessee ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.


County Facts
County seat: Nashville
Organized: October 6, 1783
Parent County(s): Washington[1]
Neighboring Counties
Cheatham  • Robertson  • Rutherford  • Sumner  • Williamson  • Wilson
See County Maps
Courthouse
Davidson County, Tennessee Courthouse.JPG
Location Map
Location of Davidson County, Tennessee.PNG
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Lake Watauga, Centennial Park, Davidson County, Nashville, TN.

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for William Lee Davidson, a North Carolina general who was killed opposing General Cornwallis and the British Army's crossing of the Catawba River on February 1, 1781. The County is located in the north-central area of the state. [2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Davidson County Courthouse
700 2nd Ave South
Nashville, TN 37210
Davidson County Website Phone: 615-862-5710
County Clerk Phone: 615-862-6050
Circuit Court Clerk Phone: 615-862-5181
Register of Deeds Phone: 615-862-6790
Clerk and Master Phone: 615-862-5710
Davidson Metropolitan Government Archives Phone: 615-862-5880

County Clerk has marriage records from 1789 and probate records from 1783
Clerk of the Circuit Clerk has divorce and court records
Register of Deeds and land records[3]

County Pronunciation

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

Davidson County, Tennessee Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[6]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1881 1789 1881 1783 1784 1783 1810
Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1914. General compliance by 1927.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

1856 Courthouse burned and many records were damaged.[7]

  • Lost censuses: 1790, 1800, 1810

For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[9]

Cities
Unincorporated communities
Suburbs

All of Davidson County is included in the consolidated Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County. In many cases if the municipalities were incorporated before consolidation they retained some autonomy as independent municipalities. For the purpose of U.S. Census, the portions of Davidson County that are outside the boundaries of the six independently incorporated municipalities are collectively treated as the Nashville-Davidson balance.

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Additional Information
Davidson County was officially established in April of 1783 by an act of the North Carolina legislature. It was named for Gen. William Davidson, an officer of North Carolina in the Revolutionary war.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina, and it is hereby Enacted by the authority of the same, that all that part of this State lying west of the Cumberland Mountain where the Virginia line crosses, extending westward along the said line to Tennessee River, thence up said river to the mouth of Duck River, thence up Duck River to where the line of marked trees run by the commissioners for laying off land granted the Continental Line of this State intersects said river (which said line is supposed to be in thirty-five degrees fifty minutes north latitude) thence east along said line to the top of Cumberland Mountain, thence northwardly along said mountain to the beginning, shall after the passing of this Act be and is hereby declared to be a distinct county by the name of Davidson.

In 1780, the Cumberland Compact referred to the settlement on the bluff above the Cumberland River as Nashborough. Nashborough was also the name used in the minutes of the Davidson County court which commenced in the fall of 1783. Although Nashborough was the formal name given to the fort, the pioneering settlers, by and large, referred to it as French Lick Station. (Eastin Morris' TENNESSEE GAZETTEER, 1834)

In April of 1784, the legislature of North Carolina passed an act that made the town official, changing the name to Nashville. The bill set aside "two hundred acres of land, situate on the south side of Cumberland River, at a place called the Bluff, adjacent to the French Lick, in which said Lick shall not be included, to be laid off in lots of one acre each, with convenient streets, lanes, and alleys, reserving four acres for the purpose of erecting public buildings, on which land, so laid off according to the directions of this act, is hereby constituted and erected, and established a town, and shall be known and called Nashville, in memory of the patriotic and brave Gen. Nash." Five Trustees were appointed to handle the business of the town and a treasurer was named. A plan of town lots of one acre each and a public square of four acres was surveyed. Proceeds from the sale of the lots were to be used to build a courthouse and a jail on the public square.

Middle Tennessee County. Davidson County was at the heart of the pioneer Cumberland Settlements.[10]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

  • 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 Davidson County.

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Davidson County, Tennessee online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Tennessee Cemeteries for more information.

  Tennessee cemetery records often identify birth, death, relationship, and military information, as well as religious affiliation.

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1790 3,459
1800 9,965 188.1%
1810 15,608 56.6%
1820 20,154 29.1%
1830 28,122 39.5%
1840 30,509 8.5%
1850 38,882 27.4%
1860 47,055 21.0%
1870 62,897 33.7%
1880 79,026 25.6%
1890 108,174 36.9%
1900 122,815 13.5%
1910 149,478 21.7%
1920 167,815 12.3%
1930 222,854 32.8%
1940 257,267 15.4%
1950 321,758 25.1%
1960 399,743 24.2%
1970 448,003 12.1%
1980 477,811 6.7%
1990 510,784 6.9%
2000 569,891 11.6%
2010 626,681 10.0%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, and 1940 federal population censuses of Davidson 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 Davidson County, TN census assignments including links to transcribed files. The USGenWeb Census Project®

1790 Lost, only statistics survive [11], but substitutes are available:

  • Eakle, Arlene. Tennessee Research. 2010. Purchase information at Arlene Eakle's Tennessee Genealogy Blog. Includes a reconstructed 1790 census, sources: "Contemporary lists–tax lists, militia rolls, land grants and deeds, claims for pre-emption lands, names recorded in diaries and journals. And numerous histories compiled by local historians from records that we have not seen or read ourselves."
  • Fulcher, Richard Carlton, comp. 1770-1790 Census of the Cumberland Settlements: Davidson, Sumner and Tennessee Counties (In what is now Tennessee). Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1987. Available at FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 X2f; digital version at World Vital Records ($).
  • McGhee, Lucy Kate. Partial Census of 1787 to 1791 of Tennessee as Taken from the North Carolina Land Grants. 3 Parts. Microfilmed in 1990. FHL US/CAN Films 1728882 Item 4 and 1683130 Item 3.

Lost

1800 Lost, but a substitute is available, see Davidson.

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.

1810-1891

1820

  • Waldrep, G.C. "'Free Colored' Heads of Household in the 1820 Tennessee Census," available online, courtesy: Free African Americans website. Includes African Americans in this county.

1820 Manufactures

The original manufactures schedules for the Eastern and Western Districts of Tennessee are kept at the NARA, Washington, D.C. FHL copies: FHL US/CAN Films 1024517-1024518.

The following book is a useful aid for finding the original records. Aonline index, provided by Lineages, will help researchers determine if this resource can be of assistance:

  • National Archives. Indexes to Manufactures Census of 1820. 1920; reprint, Knightstown, Ind.: Bookmark, 1977. FHL US/CAN Book 973 X2m 1820; digital version at Lineages. Covers this county.

1840 Revolutionary War Pensioners

1850

1860

1890 Lost, but a substitute is available:

  • Sistler, Byron H. and Barbara Sistler. 1890 Civil War Veterans Census, Tennessee. Evanston, Illinois: Byron Sistler and Associates, 1978. FHL 976.8 X2s 1890

1891 Male Voters

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Church records include baptisms, marriages and burials, as well as information about family members and clues about family migration. For additional information about church records, religions, and religious archives in Tennessee, see Tennessee Church Records.

  • Davidson County Church Records
- FamilySearch Catalog - Davdison County Church Records
  • Church histories tell when a church started in the area, who the early members were, give data about church leaders, etc.
- FamilySearch Catalog - Davidson County Church History
  • If the records you need are not through the Family History Library, contact the church(es) in the area where your ancestor lived. Two sites that give information about churches in Davidson County are:
- List of Davidson County churches with addresses and phone numbers (Yellowbook)
- List of Davidson County churches (TN HomeTownLocator)
  • In 1936, a helpful guide to early Davidson County church records was published by the Works Project Administration. [12]Use this guide to locate which church records exist and where they were housed in 1936. The Tennessee State Library and Archives has filmed some of these records. To locate which records are available at the TSLA, go to the appropriate "county fact sheet" on the TSLA Web site and scroll down to "selected manuscript material". All filmed church records at the TSLA for Davidson County are listed. Many of these filmed records are also available at the Family History Library.

Baptist

  • Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives
    The Southern Baptist Convention Building
    901 Commerce Street #400
    Nashville, TN 37203
    Telephone: 615-244-0344
    Internet: website

Disciples of Christ

  • Disciples of Christ Historical Society
    1101 Nineteenth Avenue South
    Nashville, TN 37212-2196
    Telephone: 866-834-7563
    Internet: website

Episcopal

Jewish

  • Jewish Federation of Nashville Middle Tennessee Library and Archives
    801 Percy Warner Boulevard, Suite 102
    Nashville, TN 37205
    Telephone: 615-356-3242 x255
    Fax: 615-352-0056
    Internet: website

Methodist Episcopal

  • Tennessee Conference
    520 Commerce Street, Suite 205
    Nashville, TN 37203
    Telephone: 615-263-0518 (call to make an appointment)
    Internet: website
  • Mathews, Reverend John D.D. Peeps into Life Autobiography. Methodist Episcopal Church Tennessee Conference, 1904. Free digital copy.
  • The Doctrines and Discipline of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South Nashville, Tenn. M.E. Church, South, Tenn., 1892. Digital version at Google Books.

Presbyterian

  • The First Presbyterian Church, Nashville, Tennessee: The Addresses Delivered in Connection with the Observance of the One Hundredth Anniversary, November 8-15, l9l4. Nashville, Tenn.: Foster & Parkes Company, 1915. Digital version at Google Books.
  • 1861 - 1885 - Moore Memorial Presbyterian Church, Nashville, Baptism Index 1861-1885 in International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch. Batch C530311.

Roman Catholic

  • Diocese of Nashville
    The Catholic Center
    2400 Twenty-first Avenue, South
    Nashville, TN 37212-5387
    Telephone: 615-383-6393
    Fax: 615-292-8411
    Internet: website

Court Records[edit | edit source]

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. The 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 the TSLA; another version is available at World Vital Records.

Directories[edit | edit source]

Nashville City Directories are available for most years between 1853 and 1997 at the Tennessee State Archives. Digitized copies are available online for the following years:

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

  • During the War of 1812, American officials reported finding 35 British aliens, many of whom had families, living in Nashville and Davidson County. Ancestry ($) [14]

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

African Americans

In 1862 Nashville built a series of forts around the city. The project was built by Union soldiers and impressed slaves and black workers in just five months. This site lists the laborers employed August 1, 1862 to April 1, 1863. The site gives the name of the slave, the slave owner and the file number.

For a case study of how to trace a slave family in early Nashville, study:

  • Franklin, John Hope and Loren Schweninger. In Search of the Promised Land: A Slave Family in the Old South. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. FHL Book 929.273 T361f

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

General

As of August 2010, a query for persons born in Davidson, Tennessee at World Connect, results in more than 65,000 entries. A query for persons born in Nashville, Tennessee results in more than 45,000 entries.

  • 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. Identifies families that had settled in Tennessee before it achieved statehood in 1796.

Bibliography

  • Barkley - Fischer, Kathryn Barkley The Barkley brigade: the story of John Barkley of Smith County, Tennessee and his descendants, 1753-1994 Covington, Louisiana: Barkley-Symons Enterprises, 1994 FHL book 929.273 B246. Digital version available at FamilySearch Digital Library.
  • Bell - Lewis, Leroy Carlisle. Leander Bell of Henderson County, Tennessee: A Genealogical Survey and Historical Record of His Life and the Lives of His Descendants and His Ancestors. Searcy, Ark.: L.C. Lewis, 1987. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 B413L.
  • Bell - Bell, Eldon Raymond. Bells History: of Shenandoah Valley, VA and Knox County, TN. Springdale, Arkansas: E.R. Bell, 1994. Available at FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 B413ber.
  • Bishop - Gray, John W. The Life of Joseph Bishop, the Celebrated Old Pioneer in the First Settlements of Middle Tennessee. Nashville, Tennessee: s.p., 1858. Free digital copy.
  • Branch - Ford, Ethel Taylor. Thomas Taylor and Benjamin Branch of Nashville, Tennessee, and Related Families. Amarillo, Tex.: E.T. Ford, 1972. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 T218f; digital versions at Ancestry ($) and FamilySearch Digital Library.
  • Buchanan - Whitworth, M.C. and Whitworth Family Association. Malchiga Coffee Whitworth, III: Member No. 76, Whitworth Family Association. Nashville: M.C. Whitworth, (1998?). FHL US/CAN Film 1425148 Item 9.
  • Burnett - Burnett, Paul H. Recollections and Opinions of an Old Pioneer. New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1880. Free digital copy, courtesy: Internet Archive.
  • Byrn - Turner, Mary Lalla Byrn The Byrn family: the ancestors and descendants of James Riley Byrn of middle Tennessee and western Kentucky and his wife, Emily Blackwell Oliver, from Virginia Paducah, Kentucky: M.L.B. Turner, (1985?). Utica, Kentucky: McDowell Publications. FHL book 929.273 B846. Digital version available at FSbook.
  • Clupper - Clupper, Milford Lyon and Mona Atwill Clupper. Nine Generations from David Keith Clupper: Born in Nashville, Tenn. [Murfreesboro, Tenn.]: M. Clupper, 1992. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 C628cm.
  • Flournoy - Rivers, Flournoy. "The Flournoy Family," The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 2, No. 1 (Jul. 1894):81-90; Vol. 2, No. 2 (Oct. 1894):190-213; Vol. 2, No. 3 (Jan. 1895):318-327; Vol. 2, No. 4 (Apr. 1895):437-447; Vol. 3, No. 1 (Jul. 1895):67-79; Vol. 3, No. 4 (Apr. 1896):414-416; Vol. 4, No. 1 (Jul. 1896):97-101. Digitized by JSTOR
  • Gambill - Brown, Louise G. and Jane C. Luna. The Descendants of Bradley Gambill. Columbia, Tenn.: P-Vine Press, 1979. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 G143b.
  • Hardeman - Burnett, Paul H. Recollections and Opinions of an Old Pioneer. New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1880. Free digital copy, courtesy: Internet Archive.
  • Harris - Whitley, Edythe Johns Rucker. Lineage of Judith Gene Harris Doss, Nashville Tennessee: Includes Hodges, Randle, Hearn, Parker, Turner, Truitt, and Smith. Typescript, 1968. FHL US/CAN Film 875145 Item 2.
  • Key - Key, Betty and Marcus M. Key. "John and Susannah Key of Old Amherst County, Virginia," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 29, No. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 1985):117-122; Vol. 29, No. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 1985):196-204. Digital version at American Ancestors ($). FHL Book 975.5 B2vg v. 29 (1985).
  • McKinley - McKinley, Gay Martin and Ruth Carter McKinley. McKinley Memories: Descendants of Daniel Bell McKinley, Sr. and Mary Bonville. Wyandotte, Okla.: Gregath, 1997. FHL 929.273 M215mg
  • Smith - Dyson, Dawn. A History of the Family of Herman Hampton and Julious Bonnie Holloway Smith of Nashville, Tennessee. Athens, Ga.: D. Dyson, 1996. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 Sm58d.
  • Stephens - Stephens, Robert W. Stephens Family History: Ancestry and Descendants of Revolutionary Soldier Robert Stephens and His Wife, Sarah Farmer, of Virginia, Through Their Son Josiah Stephens. Dallas, Texas: R.W. Stephens, c1982. FHL Book 929.273 St45sr.
  • Stumb - Saeger, Paul H. The Stumb Family of Nashville, Tennessee. Birmingham, Ala.: P.H. Saeger, 1993. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 St95sp.
  • Swanson - McRaven, William Henry. Life and Times of Edward Swanson: One of the Original Pioneers Who with General James Robertson Founded Nashville, Tennessee, 1779; First Recorded Settler of Williamson County, Tennessee, March, 1780. Nashville, Tenn.: W.H. McRaven, 1937. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 Sw24m.
  • Tate - Carpenter, Evelyn Yates. Tate and Allied Families of Robertson County, Tennessee: Includes the Nearby Tennessee Counties of Davidson, Sumner, and Wilson. Includes Virginia and North Carolina, the States of Tate Family Origin. Includes Counties in Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri and Throughout the United States Where Many Tate Families Migrated. Clarksville, Tenn.: Jostens, 1987. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 T187c.
  • Taylor - Ford, Ethel Taylor. Thomas Taylor and Benjamin Branch of Nashville, Tennessee, and Related Families. Amarillo, Tex.: E.T. Ford, 1972. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 T218f; digital versions at Ancestry ($) and FamilySearch Digital Library.
  • Thomas - Franklin, John Hope and Loren Schweninger. In Search of the Promised Land: A Slave Family in the Old South. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. FHL Book 929.273 T361f
  • Thurman - Whitley, Edythe Johns Rucker. Thurman Lineage: Descent of Mrs. Helen Goodpasture of Nashville, Tennessee. Typescript, 1950. FHL US/CAN Film 1035575 Item 8; digital version at FamilySearch Digital Library.
  • Whiteley - Whiteley, Amos. This Brief History of the Whiteleys in America is Issued for the Purpose of Presenting Changes and Additions Since My Former Book was Issued ...: Also to Include Information Recently Procured in Regard to the Maryland Branch of the Whiteley Family. n.p.: A. Whiteley, 1922. FHL 929.273 W587wa; digital versions at FamilySearch Digital Library and Internet Archive.
  • Whitworth - Whitworth, M.C. and Whitworth Family Association. Malchiga Coffee Whitworth, III: Member No. 76, Whitworth Family Association. Nashville: M.C. Whitworth, (1998?). FHL US/CAN Film 1425148 Item 9.
  • Wright - Wright, Samuel S. Wright Family. S. Wright, 1994. FHL 929.273 W93ws

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

Deeds

Davidson County Register of Deeds has Land Records from 1784 and is located at 700 2nd Ave. S, Nashville, Tennessee 37210; Telephone: (615) 862-6050. Land and property records include transfer of real estate or personal property, mortgages, leases, surveys, and entries

  • The Family History Library has microfilm copies of land records of deeds 1784-1940 with indexes 1784-1924; register books 1784-1789; and Davidson county land ownership maps from the Library of Congress Map division 1871-about 1900.
  • The organization Strictly By Name providesonline indexes to early Davidson County land records. They offer a research service to photocopy and transcribe microfilm copies of the original documents for a small fee. Available indexes:
  • 1874-1787 - Deed Book A
  • 1787-1791 - Deed Book B
  • 1791-1796 - Deed Book C
  • 1796-1798 - Deed Book D
  • 1798-1802 - Deed Book E
  • 1803-1806 - Deed Book F
  • Willis, Laura and Betty Sellers. Davidson County, Tennessee Deeds, 1784-1796. Melber, KY: Simmons Historical, 1998. 8 volumes. Available at FHL US/CAN Book 976.855 R2w; purchase at Simmons Historical Publications; digital versions at World Vital Records ($)
  • 1784-1787 - v. 1
  • 1786-1787 - v. 2
  • 1787-1790 - v. 3
  • 1790-1791 - v. 4
  • 1789-1791 - v. 5
  • 1791-1793 - v. 6
  • 1793-1794 - v. 7
  • 1794-1796 - v. 8.

Local Land Entries Issued by North Carolina
The original Davidson County land entries issued by North Carolina are kept at the North Carolina State Archives in Raleigh. On their website, users can bring up a list of land entries issued in Davidson County, both before and after it became a part of the state of Tennessee. Years covered: 1783-1824.

Land Grants

  • Free index to 1500+ Pioneer Cumberland Settlements Land Grants, available online, courtesy: Cumberland Pioneer Settlers. The Cumberland Settlements region covered what is now this county. To view the land grants platted on maps, purchase the books described on this site, or access those available at the Family History Library FHL US/CAN Large Q Book 976.8 E7d.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Robertson CountySumner CountyWilson CountyRutherford CountyWilliamson CountyCheatham County250PX
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

The TSLA (TSLA) is in the beginning stages of posting digital copies of historical maps on their website through the Tennessee Virtual Archives (TEVA). Among the collection is a 1907 historical map showing Davidson County civil districts and the plotted residences of families living within those districts.

Additional Nashville and Davidson County historical maps include:

  • 1783 Reeves, Charles A. Davidson & Greene Counties (Tennessee) - Created in 1783. Published 2000. Purchase at ReevesMaps.com; website includes a scaled-down version of the map.
  • 1855 General View of Nashville. Published 1855. Purchase at ReevesMaps.com; website includes a scaled-down version of the map.
  • 1860's - Map of Nashville, Tennessee. Published 1860s. Purchase at ReevesMaps.com; website includes a scaled-down version of the map.
  • 1871 Map of Davidson County, TN. Published 1871. Purchase at ReevesMaps.com; website includes a scaled-down version of the map.
  • 1872 Ruger. Bird's Eye View of Nashville. Originally published 1872. Purchase at ReevesMaps.com; website includes a scaled-down version of the map.
  • 1880s - Wellege. Nashville, Tennessee in the 1880s. Originally published 1872. Purchase at ReevesMaps.com; website includes a scaled-down version of the map.
  • 1894 A City Map of Nashville, Tennessee. Published 1894. Purchase at ReevesMaps.com; website includes a scaled-down version of the map.
  • 1897 Tennessee Centennial Exposition, Nashville, Tennessee. Originally published 1897. Purchase at ReevesMaps.com; website includes a scaled-down version of the map.
  • 1939 A Map of Nashville. Published 1939. Purchase at ReevesMaps.com; website includes a scaled-down version of the map.

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War
The following Davidson 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. 7, No. 2 (Apr. 1960):40-45. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 B2a v. 7 (1960); digital version at journal website. Includes Cocke County pensioners (pp. 41-42)
  • Whitley, Edythe Johns Rucker. Tennessee Genealogical Records, Davidson County Pioneers: Revolutionary and War of 1812 Soldiers. 1965. FHL US/CAN Book 976.855 M23w.

Civil War

Online Records

Regiments. Men in Davidson County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (part of a large regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed in Davidson County:

Confederate Soldiers

Union Soldiers

Additional sources for Civil War soldiers from Davidson County:

Civil War Battle
The following Civil War battle was fought in Davidson County:

  • December 15-16, 1864 - Nashville. Heritage Preservation Services.
Map showing Civil War battles fought in Tennessee.

Spanish American War

World War I
Gilmore, Rose Long. Davidson County Women in the World War 1914-1919. Nashville, Tennessee: Foster and Parkes, 1923.

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

United States Passport Applications are available from 1796-1925 - indexed at Family Search

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Nashville Retrospect - The Nashville Retrospect is amonthly newspaper devoted to Nashville nostalgia and history. It features reprints of long-forgotten news, articles by local historians, and remembrances by older Nashvillians. Also available by subscription if you are not local.

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 Davidson County click on the following cities:

  • 1794-1851 - Lucas, Silas Emmett. Marriages from Early Tennessee Newspapers 1794-1851. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1978. FHL 976.8 V2L.
  • 1876 Smith, Jonathan K.T. Nashville Daily American, 1876, a Genealogical Scrapbook. Jackson, Tennessee: J.K.T. Smith, 2003. FHL 976.855 V4s

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

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Photographs[edit | edit source]
Prisons[edit | edit source]


Private Papers[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Genealogical periodicals can contain unique sources and can be local, regional, or statewide. The following periodicals cover this county:

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

The Davidson County Court and the County Clerk have responsibility for the probate records, most available at the Metropolitan Government Archives.

Online Records

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

Book Abstracts and Indexes

  • 1783 - 1830 - Marsh, Helen C. and Timothy R. Marsh. Davidson County, Tennessee, Wills and Inventories. Greenville, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1990. Indexed. Contains Vol. 1, 1783-1816, and Vol. 2, 1816-1830. (FHL book 976.855 P2m.)
  • 1784 - 1861 - Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Index to Tennessee Wills & Administrations 1779-1861. Nashville, Tenn. Byron Sistler & Associates, Inc., 1990. FHL US/CAN 976.8 P22s. Includes an index to this county's probate records.
  • 1784 - 1816 - Strictly By Name (see above).

School Records[edit | edit source]

  • Roger Williams 1884-1885 School Catalog
  • Fisk University: History, Building and Site, and Services of Dedication, at Nashville, Tennessee, January 1st, 1876. New York: Published for the Trustees of Fisk University, 1876. Digital version at Google Books.
  • Stearns, Eben S. Historical Sketch of the Normal College, at Nashville, Tenn: An Address Before Its Officers and Students on Its Ninth Anniversary, Dec. 1, 1884. Cincinnati: Elm Street Printing Company, 1885. Digital version at Google Books.

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

Book Abstracts and Indexes

  • 1787 "Davidson County Tax List for 1787," available online, courtesy: Friends of Metropolitan Archives of Nashville and Davidson County, TN.
  • 1787, 1812 Whitley, Edythe Johns Rucker. Pioneers of Davidson County, Tennessee. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Pub. Co., c1996. Available at FHL US/CAN Book 976.855 H2wh; digital versions are available at Ancestry ($) and World Vital Records ($).
  • 1787 First Tax List, 1787, Brief, Krefeld Immigrants and Their Descendants. Sacramento CA: Fall 2003. Vol. 20 Iss. 2.
  • 1788, 1805, 1811 Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Index to Early Tennessee Tax Lists. Evanston, Ill.: B. & B. Sistler, 1977. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 R4s. Includes 1788, 1805, 1811 tax lists.
  • 1789 Cumberland Settlements, Tax List, 1789, The Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy and History, Vol. 4, No. 2 (Fall 1990). For possible FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Davidson.
  • 1798 Duncan, Ruth Henley. "List of Taxable Property, Davidson County, Tennessee, October 1, 1798" and "List of Slaves Owned in Davidson County, Tennessee, October 1, 1798," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 8, No. 3 (July 1961):78-86. For FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Davidson.
  • 1805 - West, Betsy F. "Davidson County, Tennessee, Tax List-1805," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 26, No. 2 (Spring 1979):80-85; Vol. 26, No. 3 (Fall 1979):128-132; Vol. 26, No. 4 (Winter 1979). For FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Davidson.
  • 1805 Davidson County 1805 Tax List Annotated, The Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy and History, Vol. 21, No. 1 (Summer 2007); Vol. 21, No. 2 (Fall 2007); Vol. 21, No. 3 (Winter 2008); Vol. 22, No. 2 (Fall 2008); Vol. 22, No. 3 (Winter 2009); Vol. 22, No. 4 (Spring 2009). For possible FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Davidson.
  • 1811 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. Cites Davidson County Tax List, 1811, Early Tax Lists microfilm reel #3, TSLA, Nashville as source.
  • 1812 - West, Betsy F. "Davidson County, Tennessee, Tax List-1812," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 26, No. 4 (Winter 1979):164-173. For FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Davidson.
  • 1812 Douthat, James L. 1812 Davidson County, Tennessee, Tax List: Taken from the Microfilm Copy Found in the Tennessee State Archives. Signal Mountain, Tenn.: Mountain Press, (2000?). FHL US/CAN Book 976.855 R4d; online: index and purchase details.
  • 1812 "Enumeration of the Free Male Inhabitants of Davidson County Taken in the Year 1812," Alphabetical Arrangement available online, courtesy: Friends of Metropolitan Archives of Nashville and Davidson County, TN.
  • 1812 "Enumeration of the Free Male Inhabitants of Davidson County Taken in the Year 1812." Arranged by company. Available online, courtesy: Friends of Metropolitan Archives of Nashville and Davidson County, TN.
  • 1812 Davidson County Tax List 1812, The Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy and History, Vol. 16, No. 3 (Winter 2003); Vol. 16, No. 4 (Spring 2003); Vol. 17, No. 1 (Summer 2003). For possible FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Trousdale.
  • 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 Davidson. Includes Davidson County.
  • 1817 "U.S. Holds 1817 Public Sale of Federal Tax-Delinquent Properties in Tennessee," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 43, No. 2 (Summer 1996):63-68. For possible FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Davidson. [Includes Davidson County.]
  • 1826 Release of Taxes, 1826, Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy and History. Nashville TN: Summer 1996. Vol. 10 Iss. 1.
  • 1829 - "Davidson County, Tennessee 1829 Tax List," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 32, No. 2 (Summer 1985):63-68; Vol. 32, No. 3 (Fall 1985):123-130; Vol. 32, No. 4 (Winter 1985):179-182. For FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Davidson.
  • ca.1865 Tennessee Tax Lists Holdings, ca.1865, Southern Genealogists Exchange Quarterly. Jacksonville FL: Summer 1965. Vol. 6 Iss. 34.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Online Indexes and Records


Book Abstracts and Indexes

  • 1789-1847 - Marriages of Davidson County, Tennessee, 1789 - 1847. Two volumes. FHL|976.855 V2w
  • 1789-1870 - 35,000 Tennessee Marriage Records and Bonds 1783-1870. 3 vols. FHL 976.8 V2t v. 1. Includes names of brides, grooms, bondsmen, marriage bond dates, and officiators for specified years.
  • 1789-1873 - Early Middle Tennessee Marriages. 2 vols. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 V2sb v. 2 ff.

Death[edit | edit source]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Listed below are archives in Davidson County. For state-wide archival repositories, see Tennessee Archives and Libraries.
Metropolitan Government Archives
3801 Green Hills Village Drive
Nashville, TN 37215
Phone: 615-862-5880
Website

Metropolitan Government Archives, a division of the Nashville Public Library, contains historical records of Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County.

Friends of Metropolitan Archives of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee
3801 Green Hills Village Drive
Nashville, TN 37215
Phone: 615-862-5880
Website

"The Friends of Archives is a nonprofit chapter of The Friends of the Public Library of Davidson County." (per website)
Website includes links to records including cemetery records, census, tax lists, church records, court records, vital records, military records and more.

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Libraries

Dickson Tennessee Family History Center
100 Brown Rd
Burns, TN 37029
Phone: 615-441-1006
Website

Madison Tennessee Family History Center
107 Twin Hills Dr
Madison, TN 37115
Phone: 615-859-6926
Website

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Listed below are libraries in Davidson County. For state-wide library facilities, see Tennessee Archives and Libraries.

Nashville Public Library
615 Church St.
Nashville, TN 37219
Phone: 615-862-5800
Website

The Nashville Public Library has a significant collection of Davidson County records. They have posted an online index to Nashville marriages 1864-1905 and Nashville obituaries 1964 to the present. Obituaries from 2006 are available in full text with a Nashville Library card. Copies of obituaries can be accessed at the library or at the TSLA. For a $15 fee, up to 5 obituaries will be researched, copied and mailed to those unable to research in person.

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Listed below are societies in Davidson County. For state-wide genealogical societies, see Tennessee Societies.

  • Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society
    PO Box 682263
    Franklin, TN, 37068
    Website
    The society serves the 40 counties of middle Tennessee of which Davidson 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
  • Historical Commission of Metropolitan Nashville - Davidson County
    701 Broadway, B-20
    Nashville, TN 37203
    Phone: 615-259-5027
    Facebook website.
Green check.png
The usage of "Mormon" and "LDS" on this page is approved according to current policy.


  • Tennessee Genealogy Research Community LDSGenealogy
    LDSGenealogy was created to help people to find information about their ancestors. This is all on line. They have over 32,000 records for TN.
    Facebook website.

Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

  • Genealogical "Fact Sheets" About Tennessee Counties: Davidson County, courtesy: TSLA. (Identifies published county histories, published local records, census records, newspapers and local records on microfilm, and select manuscripts.)
  • "Genealogical Research in Davidson County," The Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy and History, Vol. 6, No. 4 (Spring 1993). For possible FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Davidson.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Tennessee.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Davidson, Tennessee" in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davidson_County,_Tennessee accessed 17 Dec 2018
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Tennessee.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. Voice of Lynnae Weller, Kingsport, Tenn. (2010).
  5. Voice of Gene Black, FamilySearch employee, former resident of Bristol, Tenn. (2010).
  6. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Tennessee.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  7. Lost Records: Courthouse Fires and Disasters in Tennessee in Tennessee State Library and Archives in Tennessee Secretary of State (accessed 13 March 2016).
  8. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Tennessee.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  9. Wikipedia contributors, "Davidson County, Tennessee," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davidson_County,_Tennessee, accessed 11 November 2019.
  10. Founding of the Cumberland Settlements: The First Atlas 1779-1804.
  11. Arlene Eakle, "Reconstructing the 1790 Census of Tennessee," Arlene Eakle's Tennessee Genealogy Blog, 20 May 2010.
  12. WPA. Guide to Church Vital Statistics in Tennessee. Nashville: Tennessee State Planning Commission, 1942. FHL 976.8 K23w
  13. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/6/60/Igitennesseea.pdf.
  14. Kenneth Scott. British Aliens in the United States During the War of 1812. Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1979, 372-378 (see West Tennessee). FHL US/CAN 973 W4s; digital version at Ancestry ($).
  15. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/6/60/Igitennesseea.pdf.
  16. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/6/60/Igitennesseea.pdf.
  17. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/6/60/Igitennesseea.pdf.
  18. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/6/60/Igitennesseea.pdf.