Tennessee Periodicals

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Overview[edit | edit source]

A periodical is a regularly published magazine, newsletter, or journal. Several valuable periodicals concerning Tennessee genealogical research exist. Many genealogical and historical societies publish magazines and newsletters. The articles in these periodicals often include the following:

  • Family genealogies and pedigrees
  • Helpful articles on research methodology
  • Transcripts or indexes of biographical sketches, censuses, church records, migration lists, military records, obituaries, wills, vital records, and more
  • Historical background
  • Current and historical maps
  • Information about local and national records, archives, and services
  • Interesting articles about social life and customs
  • Book advertisements and book reviews
  • Advertisements of professional researchers
  • Queries or requests for information about specific ancestors that can help you contact other interested researchers

Periodical Names[edit | edit source]

Major Tennessee periodicals at the Family History Library include:

Ansearchin News 1954–. Published quarterly by the Tennessee Genealogical Society, 9114 Davies Plantation Road, Brunswick, Tennessee 38014-1447. This periodical contains abstracts of Bible, census, probate, court, and tax records from throughout the state. The Family History Library has a complete collection at FHL book 976.8 B2a. 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.

East Tennessee Roots 1984–. Published quarterly by Thomas Edward Roach. Rutledge, Tennessee. This periodical contains abstracts of Bible, cemetery, court, probate, tax, land, and vital records in 10 vols. FHL Book 976.8 D25e. A subject index to these articles is available online. Surname indexes to Volumes 9 and 10 are also available online.

Family Findings 1969–. Published quarterly by the Mid-West Tennessee Genealogical Society, 841 Sanford Street, Henderson, Tennessee 38340-2006. This periodical contains abstracts of Bible, cemetery, marriage, census, military, and probate records, pedigree charts, and family group records. Most volumes have a surname index. The Family History Library has most issues of this quarterly at FHL book 976.8 B2f.

Tables of contents for some volumes are available online, courtesy of: TNGenWeb Project:

The Journal of East Tennessee History: A Publication of the East Tennessee Historical Society 1929–. Published annually by the East Tennessee Historical Society, P.O. Box 1629, Knoxville, Tennessee 37901-1629. FHL Book 976.8 H25j.

Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy and History 1995–. Published quarterly by the Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society, P.O Box 190625, Nashville, Tennessee 37219-0625. This periodical includes Bible records, genealogies, county records, “how-to” articles, and book reviews. The Family History Library has a complete collection of this quarterly at FHL book 976.85 D25m. To view a list of these articles, visit their online Index to Articles (1988-2005). Surname indexes are also available online for Vols. 2-22. The website also offers back issues for sale in paper and on CD.

Tennessee Ancestors 1985–. Published by the East Tennessee Historical Society, P.O. Box 1629, Knoxville, Tennessee 37901-1629. This periodical includes abstracts of church, cemetery, military, and census records; and how-to articles on research. FHL Book 976.88 B2eta. It is indexed.

Tennessee Historical Quarterly 1942–. Published by the Tennessee Historical Society, Ground Floor, War Memorial Building, Nashville, Tennessee 37243-0084. This contains articles on history with indexes and book reviews. Family History Library book 976.8 B2t; and films 840250-840254.

Watauga Association of Genealogists Bulletin 1972-. Published by the Watauga Association of Genealogists. The periodical contains genealogical articles with abstracts of Tennessee records. The Family History Library has a complete collection at book 976.897 B2w; also Margaret W. Hougland and Betty Jane Hylton's Bulletin Subject Index: The First Thirty Years, 1972-2001 (Johnson City, Tenn.: Watauga Association of Genealogists, 2002) at book 976.897 B2w index 1972-2001. The organization has posted tables of contents for most volumes on their website. Back issues are available for purchase.

West Tennessee Historical Society Papers 1947-. Published by the West Tennessee Historical Society. Family History Library has Volumes 1-46 FHL book 976.81 B5w. To view Table of Contents and complete articles from 1947-2005 see Shelby County Register of Deeds

Obtaining Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Copies of periodicals are available from the local societies that publish them. Major archives with genealogical collections will have copies of many periodicals, particularly those representing the area they serve. The Periodical Source Index, or PERSI, is the largest subject index to genealogy and local history periodical articles in the world. PERSI is available online and is especially useful because it refers to countless items published in thousands of family history periodicals worldwide. Learn more at the PERSI wiki page here:

  • Periodical Source Index (PERSI). Ft. Wayne, Indiana: Allen County Public Library Foundation, 1987-. (Family History Library book 973 D25per; 40 fiche 6016863 (1847-1985); 15 fiche 6016864 (1986-1990).) Partially indexes over 5,000 English-language and French-Canadian family history periodicals. The microfiche indexes are cumulative; book indexes since 1986 are year-by-year. For further details see the PERiodical Source Index Resource Guide (34119).
  • Find My Past Researchers can use the Internet edition of this index at Family History Centers via their site.

Once you locate an article in a periodical, check the FamilySearch Catalog and regional or local libraries for available copies. The Family History Library has collected many periodicals, with some available in digital format and accessible online. Tennessee periodicals may be found in the FamilySearch Catalog with a Place and Subject search, as found here: Tennessee-Periodicals. They can also be found by using:

  • Place Search of the country, state/province, and county
  • Title Search of the periodical
  • Keyword Search for the publishing society name.

Also find Periodical resources available at other libraries via WorldCat. As with the FamilySearch Catalog search, search WorldCat using society names, locality names, and periodical title names. Learn more about how to search WorldCat and the Introduction to the FamilySearch Catalog on our Wiki pages.