Difference between revisions of "Fayette County, Tennessee Genealogy"

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*'''1874 - 1955''' - {{RecordSearch|1681020|Tennessee Deaths and Burials 1874-1955}} at [https://www.familysearch.org/search/ FamilySearch.org] — index
*'''1874 - 1955''' - {{RecordSearch|1681020|Tennessee Deaths and Burials 1874-1955}} at [https://www.familysearch.org/search/ FamilySearch.org] — index
*'''1908-1933''' [https://www.myheritage.com/research/collection-10076/tennessee-deaths-1908-1933?s=275764761 Tennessee Deaths, 1908 - 1933] at MyHeritage ($) — index
*'''1908 - 1958''' - [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2376 Tennessee Death Records 1908 - 1958 ] at [http://home.ancestry.com/ Ancestry.com] — index and images $
*'''1908 - 1958''' - [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2376 Tennessee Death Records 1908 - 1958 ] at [http://home.ancestry.com/ Ancestry.com] — index and images $

Latest revision as of 13:17, 25 June 2020

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

Fayette County, Tennessee
Boundary map of Fayette County, Tennessee
Map of Tennessee highlighting Fayette County
Location in the state of Tennessee
Map of the U.S. highlighting Tennessee
Location of Tennessee in the U.S.
Founded: September 29, 1824
County Seat Somerville
Website: fayettetn.us
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Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Marquis de Lafayette. The County is located in the southwest area of the state. [1]

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

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1814 1838 1814 1824 1821 1836 1810
Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1914. General compliance by 1927.

Fayette County Tennessee Courthouse[edit | edit source]


Fayette County Courthouse, Somerville, Tenn. Courtesy: Collection: County Court Houses, Flickr by Jimmy Emerson. Used by permission.

Fayette County Courthouse
P.O. Box 218
1 Court Square
Somerville, TN 38068-0218
Phone: 901-465-5219

Fayette County Clerk
Birth and Death 1925-1929
Marriage from 1838 except 1918 - 1925 lost in fire
P.O. Box 218
1 Court Square, Room 101
Somerville, TN 38068
Phone 1-901-465-5213

Fayette County Register of Deeds
Land records
P.O. Box 99
1 Court Square
Somerville, TN 38068
Phone: 901-465-5251

Chancery Court - Clerk and Master
Court records
P.O. Box 220
Somerville, TN 38068
Phone: 901-465-5217

Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Fayette County Tennessee History[edit | edit source]

The Marquis de Lafayette

West Tennessee county.

The county is named after Revolutionary War hero, the Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834).[3]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1824--Fayette County was created 29 September 1824 from Hardeman and Shelby Counties.
County seat: Somerville[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 MapofUS.org website.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]


1925 Courthouse burned and many records were damaged.[7]

  • Lack of marriage records: 1824 to 1837
  • Lost probate records: 1824 to 1836

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

Fayette 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]

Fayette County Tennessee Genealogy Resources[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

African American[edit | edit source]

United States African Americans Gotoarrow.png Tennessee African Americans

The Runaway Slave Blog is a free online resource where runaway slaves listed in pre-1865 West Tennessee newspapers are identified. Some of the runaway ads appeared in Fayette County newspapers.

Biographies[edit | edit source]

  • Douthat, James L. Fayette County, Tennessee Biographies. 1887; reprint, Signal Mountain, Tenn.: Mountain Press. Free Surname Index and purchase details at Mountain Press website.
  • All of the family biographies from the History of Fayette County, Tennessee (1887) by Goodspeed are available free online at My Genealogy Hound.

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

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

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1830 8,652
1840 21,501 148.5%
1850 26,719 24.3%
1860 24,327 −9.0%
1870 26,145 7.5%
1880 31,871 21.9%
1890 28,878 −9.4%
1900 29,701 2.8%
1910 30,257 1.9%
1920 31,499 4.1%
1930 28,891 −8.3%
1940 30,322 5.0%
1950 27,535 −9.2%
1960 24,577 −10.7%
1970 22,692 −7.7%
1980 25,305 11.5%
1990 25,559 1.0%
2000 28,806 12.7%
2010 38,413 33.4%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, and 1940 federal population censuses of Fayette 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 Fayette 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 : Fayette County, Tennessee, free population schedules Huntsville, Arkansas : Century Enterprises, 1969 FHL US/CAN book 976.821 X2


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


  • Sistler, Samuel D. 1880 census, Fayette County, Tennessee Nashville, Tennessee : Byron Sistler and Associates, 2003 FHL US/CAN book 976.821 X22

Male Voters

Church[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.

  • Fayette County Church Records
- FamilySearch Catalog - Fayette County Church Records
  • 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 Fayette County are:
- List of Fayette County churches with addresses and phone numbers (Yellowbook)
- List of Fayette County churches (TN HomeTownLocator)
  • In 1936, a helpful guide to early Fayette 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 Fayette County are listed. Many of these filmed records are also available at the Family History Library.


  • 1832 - 1901 - Mt. Pisgah Primitive Baptist Church Records. Fayette County, 1832-1901. Manuscript. TSLA Reel #361
  • 1832 - 1900 - Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Vital Statistics from 19th Century Tennessee Church Records.Nashville: Sitler and Associates, 1979.  FHL 976.8 K29s vol.2   Index to original Mt. Pisgah Primitive Baptist Church Records. Fayette County, 1832-1901.



  • 1890 - 1970 - Moscow Methodist Church Records. Fayette County, 1890-1970. Typescript. TSLA Reel #360
  • 1890 - 1900 - Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Vital Statistics from 19th Century Tennessee Church Records.Nashville: Sitler and Associates, 1979.FHL 976.8 K29s vol.2   Index to original Moscow Methodist Church Records. Fayette County, 1890-1970.
  • Historical Records Project. Immanuel Episcopal Church Minutes, La Grange, Tennessee.Typescript. FHL 24645 Includes index.
  • Historical Records Project. St. Thomas Episcopal Church Minutes and history, Somerville, Tennessee. Typescript. FHL 24645 Item 1


On microfilm:

  • 1847 - 1935 - Church Records 1847-1935. Mount Pleasant Cumberland Presbyterian Church (Fayette County, Tennessee). Manuscript. TSLA Reel #225 FHL 570860 Item 2

Court[edit | edit source]

Genealogy[edit | edit source]

More than a dozen genealogies have been published about Fayette County, Tennessee families. For more information visit Fayette County, Tennessee Compiled Genealogies.

Land[edit | edit source]

Fayette County Register of Deeds has Land Records from 1825 and is located at Courthouse, P. O. Box 99, Somerville, Tennessee 8068-0218; Telephone: (901) 465-5251. Land and property records include transfer of real estate or personal property, mortgages, leases, surveys, and entries.

The Family History has microfilm copies od deed books 1825- 1890 and land entries 1821-1881.

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]

Tipton CountyHaywood CountyHardeman CountyBenton CountyMarshall CountyShelby CountyTN FAYETTE.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War[edit | edit source]

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

Additional resources include:

War of 1812[edit | edit source]
Civil War[edit | edit source]

Online Records

Regiments. Civil War service men from Fayette 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 Fayette County.

Confederate Soldiers

Additional sources for Civil War soldiers from Fayette 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 Fayette County click on the following 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 Genealogical.com. [Includes Fayette 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 Fayette 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 Fayette 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.
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 Fayette County, Tennessee Genealogy ancestors went to prison!

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

The County Court has responsibility for the probate records of Fayette County.

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, 1836-1854 (Vols. A-B)
  • Inventories, 1854-1856
  • Letter, 1891-1965
  • Settlements, 1858-1914 (6 vols.)

The following Fayette County probate records have been indexed:

  • 1836 - 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.

Taxation[edit | edit source]

The following Fayette County tax records have been abstracted:

  • 1836 West, Betsy F. "Fayette County, Tennessee Tax List - 1836," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 22, No. 1 (Spring 1975):30-35; Vol. 22, No. 2 (Summer 1975):90-95; Vol. 22, No. 3 (Fall 1975):140-144; Vol. 22, No. 4 (Winter 1975):188-192. For FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Periodicals.
  • 1874 Taxpayers, 1874, Old Timer Press. Ripley MS: Mar 1982. Vol. 1 Iss. 9.

Traffic Information[edit | edit source]

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 Fayette County until 1838, when a law was passed mandating the practice.[11] The following publication, based on early newspapers, helps to alleviate this genealogical obstacle:

  • Lucas, Silas Emmett. Marriages from Early Tennessee Newspapers 1794-1851. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1978. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 V2L

The following Fayette County Courthouse marriage records have been abstracted and/or indexed:

  • 1838 - 1857 - Historical Records Project Marriage records, 1838-1857, Fayette County, Tennessee Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1939. FHL US/CAN Film 24645 items 3-6
  • 1838 - 1963 - Fayette County (Tennessee) County Court Clerk Marriage records (Fayette County, Tennessee), 1838-1963 Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1976-1997. FHL US/CAN Films
  • 1838 - 1873 - 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.
Divorce[edit | edit source]

In 1940 and 1941, W.P.A. workers pinpointed the location of Fayette 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]
  • 1823 - 1852 - Hays, Tony. West Tennessee Death Records (ca. 1823-1852). 2 vols. n.p.: Kitchen Table Press, 1987. FHL FAM HIST Book 976.8 V2ht v. 1-2. Fayette County is included in Vol. 2]

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

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

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

Fayette County Historical Society
PO Box 304
Somerville, TN 38068
Somerville-Fayette County Library
216 W Market St
Somerville, TN 38068
Phone: 1-901-465-5248
Mon., Wed., Fri., Sat. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Thurs. 12 p.m.-8 p.m.
The Historical Room contains county records, state records, family histories, obituaries, cemetery records, and church records
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
E-mail: efrank@memphis.edu

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

Fayette County Tennessee Genealogy Websites[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Fayette County, Tennessee

Fayette County Tennessee Genealogy References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Fayette, Tennessee" in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fayette_County,_Tennessee accessed 18 Dec 2018
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Fayette 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, "Fayette County, Tennessee," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fayette_County,_Tennessee, accessed 13 November 2019.
  9. WPA. Guide to Church Vital Statistics in Tennessee. Nashville: Tennessee State Planning Commission, 1942. FHL 976.8 K23w
  10. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/d/d3/Igitennesseef.pdf.
  11. 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)
  12. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/d/d3/Igitennesseef.pdf.