Haywood County, Tennessee Genealogy

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United States Genealogy Gotoarrow.png Tennessee, United States Genealogy Gotoarrow.png Haywood County

Haywood County, Tennessee genealogy and family history research page. Guide to Haywood County (established 1823) genealogy, history, and courthouse sources including birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, wills, deeds and land records, Civil War records, Revolutionary War records, family histories, cemeteries, churches, tax records, newspapers, and obituaries.


Haywood County, Tennessee
Boundary map of Haywood County, Tennessee
Map of Tennessee highlighting Haywood County
Location in the state of Tennessee, United States Genealogy
Map of the U.S. highlighting Tennessee
Location of Tennessee in the U.S.
Founded: November 3, 1823
County Seat Brownsville
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Quick Dates[edit | edit source]

Haywood County's civil records start the following years:[1]

Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1908 1859  1908  1830  1823  1826 

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Haywood County Courthouse
 1 N Washington Street
Brownsville, TN 38012
Phone: 731.772.2362 

County Clerk has marriage records from 1859,
divorce records 1941-1965 and probate records from 1826.
Register of Deeds has land records. [2]



Haywood County Courthouse, Brownsville, Tenn. Courtesy: Collection: County Court Houses, Flickr by Jimmy Emerson. Used by permission.]]

Haywood County Courthouse
1 North Washington Street
Brownsville, TN 38012-2561
Phone: 1-731-772-2362

  • County Clerk has marriage and probate records
    Phone: 1-731-772-2362
  • Register of Deeds has Land records
    Phone: 1-731-772-0332
  • Circuit Court Clerk has Court records
    Phone: 1-731-772-1112

Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Template:RAOGKcourthouse

History[edit | edit source]

West Tennessee county. Established 1823.

The county is named after "Judge John Haywood (1762-1826), called 'the father of Tennessee history.'"[3]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1823--Haywood County was created 3 November 1823 from Chickasaw Indian Lands.
County seat: Brownsville[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]

For a list of record loss in Tennessee counties see: Tennessee Counties with Burned Courthouses

  • Lost census: 1890
  • Lost marriages: 1823 to 1858

Although these records are not lost due to burning, the same strategies for researching in burned counties can apply to record loss for other reasons. For further information on researching in burned counties, see the following:

Places/Localities[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

Allens Eurekaton Nutbush Sunnyhill
Antioch Forked Deer Oakview Tibbs
Asbury Fredonia Owl City Toulon
Belle Eagle Hickory Point Poplar Corner Union
Bethel Hillville Prospect Wellwood
Birds Bower Holly Grove Rudolph Wilkinson Corner
Bradford Jones Saint John Willis
Brownsville Ko Ko Saint Peters Willow Grove
Christmasville Lebanon Shaw Woodland
Dancyville Macedonia Shepp Woodville
Edward Grove Meux Corner Spring Hill
Estanaula (hist.) Morton Hill Stanton

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

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 Haywood County biography, court, 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 Americans[edit | edit source]

United States African Americans Gotoarrow.png Tennessee African Americans

[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

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

The following websites may contain Haywood County cemetery records:

  • 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.
  • For free lookups of Haywood county cemeteries, obituaries and Bells/Brownsville Funeral Home records (1940's-1970's) click here.

Census[edit | edit source]

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

1840 Pensioners


  • Carpenter, Mrs. V.K. Seventh Census of the United States, 1850, Haywood County, Tennessee : free population schedules Huntsville, Arkansas : Century Enterprises, c1970 FHL US/CAN book 976.8223 X2


  • Sistler, Barbara 1880 census Haywood County, Tennessee Nashville, Tennessee : Byron Sistler and Associates, 2001 FHL US/CAN book 976.8223 X2

Church[edit | edit source]

Court[edit | edit source]

Directories[edit | edit source]

Family Histories[edit | edit source]

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]


As of August 2010, a query for persons born in Haywood, Tennessee at World Connect, results in more than 10,000 entries.


Land[edit | edit source]

  • Haywood County Register of Deeds has Land Records from 1820 and is located at the Courthouse, 1 N. Washington St., Brownsville, TN 38012-2561; Telephone: (731) 772-2362. Land and property records include transfer of real estate or personal property, mortgages, leases, surveys, and entries.
  • The Family History Library has microfilmed copies of deeds 1823-1893 with indexes 1823-1905; and land grants and land entries 1793-1834

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]

Military[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War

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

  1. 1835 Pension Roll
  2. 1852 Rejected or Suspended Pensions

Additional resources include:

War of 1812

Civil War

Civil War service men from Haywood 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 Haywood County.

Confederate Soldiers

Union Soldiers

Additional sources for Civil War soldiers from Haywood County:

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

 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 Haywood County click on the following city:

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 Haywood 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 Haywood 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 Haywood 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 Haywood County, Tennessee Genealogy ancestors went to prison!

Probate[edit | edit source]

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

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, 1826-1918 (5 vols.)
  • Bonds, Letters, 1852-1908 (6 vols.)
  • Guardian records, 1875-1912
  • Insolvent estate records, 1870-1962 (Vols. 1-3)
  • Settlements, 1870-1896
  • Widows and orphans records, 1873-1925

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

  1. Will Book 1: 1826-1839
  2. Will Book 2: 1839-1841

The following Haywood County probate records have been abstracted, indexed, or both:

  • [1826-1861] 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.] Free lookups available!
  • [1845-1852] Smith, Jonathan Kennon Thompson. A Genealogical Quandary, Will Book D, 1845-1852, Haywood County, Tennessee. [N.p.: n.p.], 2003. Will book D no longer exists. The compiler located the related wills. A surname index is included. (FHL book 976.8223 P2s.)
  • [1826-1841] Strictly By Name (see above).

Taxation[edit | edit source]

The original Haywood County Tax Books 1834-1888 are kept at the County Courthouse. In 1976, TSLA microfilmed these records. FHL copies: FHL US/CAN Films 1007525-1007529.

The following Haywood County tax records have been abstracted:[7]

  • [1836] Haywood Co., Tenn., Tax List 1836, District #1, Family Findings, Vol. 3, No. 4 (Oct. 1971). For access, see Periodicals.
  • [1836] "Haywood County, Tennessee - 1836 Civil Districts," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 37, No. 4 (Winter 1990):164. For access, see Periodicals.
  • [1836] Douthat, James L. 1836 Haywood County, Tennessee Civil Districts & Tax List. Signal Mountain, Tenn.: Mountain Press, 2003. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8223 R4d; online: free surname index and purchase details.

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 Haywood County during the first few years of its existence. In 1838, a law was passed mandating the practice.[9] 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 976.8 V2L.

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

  • 1859-1896 - Haywood County Marriage Index 1859-1896 in International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch - free.[8]
  • 1859-1878 - 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.]
  • 1859-1866 - Historical Records Project Marriage records, 1859-1866, Haywood County, Tennessee Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1939. FHL US/CAN Film 24690 items 5-6
  • 1859-1878 - Fischer, Marjorie Hood Haywood County, Tennessee, marriage records 1859-1878, books 1-8 Vista, California : Fischer, 1987. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8332 V2f
  • 1859-1959 - Haywood County (Tennessee) County Court Clerk Marriage records (Haywood County, Tennessee), 1859-1959. FHL US/CAN Film 1006850-59, 1928708-16
  • Tennessee County Marriages, 1790-1950 - covers all counties in Tennessee.
  • Many county marriage records are indexed with images at Ancestry's Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002 ($).  Be aware that this index is not complete for all counties.
Divorce[edit | edit source]

In 1940 and 1941, W.P.A. workers pinpointed the location of Haywood 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 Haywood County between the 1830s and the 1920s, try:

Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]

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

Elma Ross Public Library
1011 E Main St
Brownsville, TN 38012
Phone: 1-731-772-9534
E-mail: elmarosslibrary@bellsouth.net
Hours: Mon. 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Tues.-Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sat. 1-5 p.m.
Genealogical Resources are available in the Reese J. Moses-Scallions Genealogy Room.
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: 1-901-475-6608
E-mail: efrank@memphis.edu

Tennessee State Library and Archives
403 7th Avenue North
Nashville, TN 37243

Genealogical "Fact Sheets" About Tennessee Counties - Haywood County, (accessed 29 Jan 2012).  Selected published county histories, published local records, local records on microfilm, newspapers on microfilm, Selected manuscripts material, census records, and additional resources for Haywood County.  Interlibrary Loan available on some items.


Family History Centers
[edit | edit source]

Web Sites[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Haywood County, Tennessee

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Guide to Public Vital Statistics in Tennessee. Nashville, Tenn.: The Tennessee Historical Records Survey (W.P.A.), 1941; "Earliest County Records," Tennessee State Library and Archives.
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Haywood County, Tennessee page 640, At various libr40ries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. "List of counties in Tennessee," Wikipedia.
  4. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002), 640. (FHL Collection Ref 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. The Heritage Quest Online version of PERSI aided in the compilation of this list.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/d/d3/Igitennesseef.pdf.
  9. Gale Williams Bamman, C.G., "Research in Tennessee," National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 81, No. 2 (June 1993):105. FHL 973 B2ng v. 81