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Dyer County, Tennessee Genealogy

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

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Dyer County, Tennessee
Boundary map of Dyer County, Tennessee
Map of Tennessee highlighting Dyer County
Location in the state of Tennessee
Map of the U.S. highlighting Tennessee
Location of Tennessee in the U.S.
Founded: October 16, 1823
County Seat Dyersburg
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Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Robert Henry Dyer (circa 1774—1826). The County is located in the northwest area of the state. [1]

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

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1908 1850 1881 1927 1820 1853 1810
Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1914. General compliance by 1927.

Dyer County Tennessee Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Dyer County Courthouse, Dyersburg, Tenn

Dyer County Courthouse
P.O. Box 1360
115 Market Street
Dyersburg, Tennessee 38025-1360
Phone: 1-731-286-7814

  • County Clerk has marriage, probate, court and funeral records
    Phone: 1-731-286-7818

Mon.-Fri. 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Last Saturday of the month, 8:30 a.m.-noon

Dyer County Tennessee History[edit | edit source]

West Tennessee county.

The county is named after "Tennessee state legislator Robert Henry Dyer."[3]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1823--Dyer County was created 16 October 1823 from Chickasaw Indian Lands.
County seat: Dyersburg[4]

County Pronunciation[edit | edit source]

  1. Hear it spoken[5] (female)
  2. Hear it spoken[6] (male)

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

For animated maps illustrating Tennessee county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Tennessee County Boundary Maps" (1777-1985) may be viewed for free at the website.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]


1864 Courthouse burned and many records were damaged.[7]

  • Lost marriage records: 1823 to 1859
  • Lost probate records: 1823 to 1853

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

Dyer County Tennessee Places / Localities[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:[8]

Unincorporated communities

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Dyer County Tennessee Genealogy Resources[edit | edit source]

Getting Started[edit | edit source]

Use the free Search for Surnames at Mountain Press's website to quickly search a variety of published Dyer County biography 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[edit | edit source]

African American[edit | edit source]

United States African Americans Gotoarrow.png Tennessee African Americans

[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county Family History Library
TNGenWeb WorldCat BillionGraves
TNGenWeb Archives Linkpendium
Tombstone Project Gravestones
TNGenWeb Cemeteries Epodunk
See Tennessee Cemeteries for more information.

Census[edit | edit source]

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

1810 - 1891

1840 Revolutionary War Pensioners


  • Carpenter, Mrs. V.K. Seventh census of the United States, 1850; Dyer County, Tennessee, free population schedules Huntsville, Arkansas : Century Enterprises, Genealogical SErvices, 1969 FHL US/CAN book 976.815 X2


  • Felldin, Jeanne Robey and Tucker, Charlotte Magee 1860 United States census, Dyer County, Tennessee, surname index Tomball, Texas : Genealogical Publications, c1976 FHL US/CAN book 976.8 A1


  • Sistler, Samuel 1880 census, Dyer County, Tennessee Nashville, Tennessee : Byron Sistler and Associates, 2002 FHL US/CAN book 976.815 X2

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. 3 1891. Dyer County is included in Vol. 3.
  • 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.

Male Voters

Church[edit | edit source]

  • If the records you need are not found in the Family History Library collection, contact the church(es) in the area where your ancestor lived.  Two sites that give information about churches in Dyer County are:
- List of Dyer County churches with addresses and phone numbers (Yellowbook)
- List of Dyer County churches (TN HomeTownLocator)
  • In 1936, a helpful guide to early Dyer County church records was published by the Works Project Administration. [9]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 Dyer County are listed. Many of these filmed records are also available at the Family History Library.
  • Tennessee Diaries, Memoirs and Church Records in the Manuscript Division, Tennessee State Library and Archives: Listed by County. Nashville, Tenn.: Manuscript Division, 1965. Digital versions of this guide are available at Ancestry ($); and Heritage Quest Online ($).

Court[edit | edit source]

Genealogy[edit | edit source]

Land[edit | edit source]

Dyer County Register of Deeds has Land Records from 1823 and is located at Courthouse Square, P.O. Box 1360, Dyersburg, Tennessee 38025-1360; Telephone: (731) 286-7814. 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 deed books 1824-1882 with indexes 1822-1915, land survey books 1827-1860, and survey entries 1820-1911.

Law and Legislation[edit | edit source]

  • 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.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps[edit | edit source]

Pemiscot CountyMississippi CountyLake CountyObion CountyGibson CountyCrockett CountyLauderdale CountyTN DYER.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War[edit | edit source]

The following Dyer County Revolutionary War records are available online through TNGenWeb:

Additional resources include:

War of 1812[edit | edit source]

There were no War of 1812 pensioners or widows of pensioners living in Dyer County on 2 January 1883.[10]

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Online Records

Regiments. Civil War service men from Dyer 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 Dyer County:

Confederate Soldiers

Additional sources for Civil War soldiers from Dyer County:

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Many Tennessee newspapers are filmed and available at the 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 Dyer County click on the following cities or towns:

Occupations[edit | edit source]

  • Miller, Alan N. West Tennessee's Forgotten Children: Apprentices from 1821 to 1889. Baltimore, Md.: Printed for Clearfield Company, Inc., by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 2006. FHL US/CAN 976.8 U2man. Purchase at [Includes Dyer County.]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

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 Dyer 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.

Family Findings
Genealogical articles with abstracts of Dyer County, Tennessee records have been published in Family Findings, the quarterly of the Mid-West Tennessee Genealogical Society (42+ vols.). The Family History Library has most issues of this quarterly FHL US/CAN 976.8 B2f. TGenWeb now has received permission to share back issues of this journal (1969-1979).
Tables of contents for some volumes are available online, courtesy TNGenWeb Project:
Many articles from this publication have been reproduced on the TNGenWeb Project website, try this specialized Google search.
West Tennessee Historical Society Papers
Family History Library has Volumes 1 - 16 and 30 FHL US/CAN Book 976.81 B5w. The West Tennessee Historical Society Papers are indexed in PERiodical Source Index (PERSI).
To view Table of Contents and complete articles from 1947 - 2005 see Shelby County Register of Deeds

Prisons[edit | edit source]

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

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

The County Court has responsibility for Dyer County probate records.

Online 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, 1853-1893 (Vol. A)

The following Dyer County probate records have been indexed:

  • 1853 - 1893 - Lambert, Agnes and Mary N. Gilmore, transcribers for Works Progress Administration. Dyer County, Tennessee Wills. Nashville, Tennessee: Byron Sistler & Assoc., 1998. (FHL book 976.815 P2L v. 1.)
  • 1853 - 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 wills.
  • USGenWeb's Dyer County page has links to several transcribed wills.

Taxation[edit | edit source]

The original Dyer County Tax Books 1862, 1873-1884 were microfilmed by the TSLA in 1970. FHL copy: FHL US/CAN Film 833249.

The following Dyer County tax records have been abstracted:[11]

  • 1836 - Tatum, Ausborn C. "Dyer County, Tennessee 1836 Tax List," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 29, No. 4 (Winter 1982):177-180. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 B2a v. 29-30 (1982-1983); free digital version at society's website. For further access, see Periodicals.
  • 1836 - Tax List, 1836, Tennessee Genealogy and History. Signal Mountain TN: Aug 1997. Vol. 1 Iss. 2-3.
  • 1836 - Douthat, James L. 1836 Dyer County, Tennessee Civil Districts and Tax Listing. Signal Mountain, Tenn.: Mountain Press, 2003. FHL US/CAN Book 976.815 R4d; online: free surname index and purchase details.
  • 1836 - Alsup, Samuel. "1836 Tax Rolls, Dyer Co., TN," available online, courtesy: TNGenWeb.
  • 1859 - Appling, Lynn Pierce. "Dyer County Tax Sales 1859," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 45, No. 1 (Spring 1998):36-38. FHL US/CAN ;Book 976.8 B2a v. 45-46 (1998-1999). For access, see Periodicals

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

See also How to order Tennessee Vital Records or order electronically online.

Birth[edit | edit source]
Marriage[edit | edit source]

Marriages were not officially recorded in Dyer County until 1838, when a law was passed mandating the practice.[12] The following publication, based on early newspapers, helps to alleviate this genealogical obstacle:

The following Dyer County marriage records have been indexed:

  • 1860 - 1895 - Dyer County Marriage Index 1860-1895 in International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch - free.[13]
  • 1860 - 1879 - Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Early West Tennessee Marriages. 2 vols. Nashville, Tenn.: B. Sistler & Associates, 1989. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 V2sb v. 1 ff. Indexes names of brides and grooms, and marriage dates for weddings in this county for the specified years.
  • 1860 - 1880 - Historical Records Project Marriage records, 1860-1880, Dyer County, Tennessee Salt Lake City, Utah: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1939. FHL US/CAN 24642 item 3
  • 1860 - 1969 - Dyer County (Tennessee) County Court Clerk Marriages, 1860-1969 Dyersburg, Tennessee: State Library and Archives, 1970. FHL US/CAN Film 833217-229 and 1011421-424
Divorce[edit | edit source]

In 1940 and 1941, W.P.A. workers pinpointed the location of Dyer County divorce papers in diverse manuscript collections, 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.
Death[edit | edit source]

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

Dyer County Tennessee Genealogy Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]

See also a List of Tennessee Archives, Libraries, Publications, Historical & Genealogical Societies

Dyer County Historical Society
120B McGaughey Street E.
Dyersburg, TN 38024
Phone: 1-731-286-7829
Hamilton Parks Public Library
74 Parks Plaza
Trimble, TN 38259
Phone: 1-731-297-3601
Tues., Thurs. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sat. 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

McIver's Grant Public Library
204 N Mill Ave
Dyerburg, TN 38024
Phone: 731-285-5032
Hours: Mon. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Tues.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Newbern City Library
220 E Main St
Newbern, TN 38059
Phone: 1-731-627-3153
Mon. 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Tues.-Sat. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

West Tennessee Heritage Study Center
Paul Meek Library
University of Tennessee at Martin
Phone: 1-731-881-7060
Hours vary by semester
The Heritage Study Center holds a variety of genealogical resources including materials relating to the following counties in Tennessee: Benton, Carroll, Chester, Crockett, Decatur, Dyer, Fayette, Gibson, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson, Henry, Houston, Humphreys, Lake, Lauderdale, Madison, McNairy, Obion, Perry, Shelby, Stewart, Tipton, Wayne, Weakley and Carlisle, Fulton, and Hickman counties in Kentucky.
West Tennessee Historical Society
P.O. Box 111046
Memphis, TN 38111
Phone: 901-475-6608

Family History Centers
[edit | edit source]

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes.

Dyer County Tennessee Genealogy Websites[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Dyer County, Tennessee

Dyer County Tennessee Genealogy References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Dyer, Tennessee" in,_Tennessee accessed 18 Dec 2018
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Dyer County, Tennessee. Page 638-645 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 637-640.
  3. "List of counties in Tennessee," Wikipedia.
  4. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002), 639. (FHL Book 973 D27e 2002). WorldCat entry.
  5. Voice of Lynnae Weller, Kingsport, Tenn. (2010).
  6. Voice of Gene Black, FamilySearch employee, former resident of Bristol, Tenn. (2010).
  7. Lost Records: Courthouse Fires and Disasters in Tennessee in Tennessee State Library and Archives in Tennessee Secretary of State (accessed 31 March 2014).
  8. Wikipedia contributors, "Dyer County, Tennessee," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 13 November 2019.
  9. WPA. Guide to Church Vital Statistics in Tennessee. Nashville: Tennessee State Planning Commission, 1942. FHL 976.8 K23w
  10. Hermioned D. Embry, "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. [Discussion about Dyer County appears on page 43.]
  11. The Heritage Quest Online version of PERSI aided in the compilation of this list.
  12. Gale Williams Bamman, C.G., "Research in Tennessee," National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 81, No. 2 (June 1993):105. FHL US/CAN Book 973 B2ng v. 81 (1993)
  13. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at