Difference between revisions of "Houston County, Tennessee Genealogy"

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===== Death =====
===== Death =====
*'''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 13:32, 25 June 2020

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

Houston County, Tennessee
Boundary map of Houston County, Tennessee
Map of Tennessee highlighting Houston County
Location in the state of Tennessee
Map of the U.S. highlighting Tennessee
Location of Tennessee in the U.S.
Founded: January 23, 1871
County Seat Erin
Website: houstoncochamber.com/goverment/
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Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Sam Houston. The County is located in the northwest area of the state. [1]

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

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1881 1871 1881 1871 1871 1869 1810
Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1914. General compliance by 1927.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]



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

Houston County Courthouse
 PO Box 388;
Erin, TN 37061-0388
Phone: 931.289.3870 

County Clerk has marriage records.
Clerk Circuit Court has divorce and court records.
County Court has probate records.
Register of Deeds has land records. [3]


Old Houston County Courthouse, Arlington


Houston County Courthouse
4725 East Main Street
Erin, TN 37061
Phone: 1-931-289-3141

Houston County Clerk
Marriage,probate and court records
4725 East Main St., Room 100
Erin, TN 37061
Phone: 1-931-289-3141

Houston County Register of Deeds
Land records
4725 East Main St., Room 103
P.O. Box 412
Erin, TN 37061
Phone: 1-931-289-3510

Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

History[edit | edit source]

Gov. Sam Houston (1793-1863)

Middle Tennessee county on the Tennessee River. Established 1871.

The county is named after Sam Houston (1793-1863), Governor of Tennessee and later of Texas.[4]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1871--Houston County was created 23 January 1871 from Dickson, Humphreys, and Stewart Counties. 
County seat: Erin[5]

From 1788 to 1796 people living in what is now part of Houston County were in extinct Tennessee County. Their records for that period are now found in Robertson County, Tennessee.[6]

County Pronunciation[edit | edit source]

  1. Hear it spoken[7] (female)
  2. Hear it spoken[8] (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]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.[9]

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:[10]

Unincorporated communities

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

African American[edit | edit source]

United States African Americans
Tennessee African Americans

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

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

Additional Cemetery Resources

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1880 4,295
1890 5,390 25.5%
1900 6,476 20.1%
1910 6,224 −3.9%
1920 6,212 −0.2%
1930 5,555 −10.6%
1940 6,432 15.8%
1950 5,318 −17.3%
1960 4,794 −9.9%
1970 5,845 21.9%
1980 6,871 17.6%
1990 7,018 2.1%
2000 8,088 15.2%
2010 8,426 4.2%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, and 1940 federal population censuses of Houston 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.

1810 - 1891


  • Finley, Nina. Census of Houston County Area.Erin, Tennessee : Friends of Houston County Library, 19--?. vol.9 FHL 976.836 X2f
  • Sistler, Samuel D. 1880 census - Houston County, Tennessee. Nashville, Tennessee: B. Sistler & Associates, 2000. FHL 976.836 X2s 1880

1890 Lost

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. 2 1891. Houston County is included in Vol. 2.
  • 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


  • Finley, Nina. Census of Houston County Area.Erin, Tennessee : Friends of Houston County Library, 19--?. vol.10 FHL 976.836 X2f


  • Bush, Marisa, ed.. Houston County, Tennessee Census, 1920 (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2000. Available at Ancestry ($)

Church[edit | edit source]

Court[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 Houston, Tennessee at World Connect, results in more than 4,000 entries.


  • Adams - Proctor, Irene Adams. The Adams Family Kith and Kin: From Halifax County, Virginia to Yellow Creek Valley and Grices Creek, Houston County, Tennessee; a Narrative Account: History, Biography, Genealogy and Legend. Baltimore, Md.: Gateway Press, 2000. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 Ad17pi.
  • Beasley - Lockhart, William Thomas. The Beasley Family of Benton, Henry, Hickman, Houston, Humphreys and Stewart Counties of Tennessee. Florissant, Missouri: W. Lockhart, 1985. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 B38Lw.
  • Knight - Garrett, Jill Knight. Knight Cousins. Columbia, TN: Unknown, 1967. Available at FHL US/CAN Film 928090; digital version at Heritage Quest Online ($).

Land[edit | edit source]

  • Houston County Register of Deeds has Land Records from 1871 and is located at the county Courthouse, P.O. Box 388, 100 Main St., Erin, Tennessee 37061; Telephone: (931) 289-3141. 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 1871-1967; probate deed books 1871-1957; trust deed books, 1872-1967; Plat books 1853-1967.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

  • Goodspeed firm Goodspeed history of Tennessee The Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1886 for histories of Montgomery, Robinson, Humphreys, Stewart, Dickson, Cheatham, and Houston Counties of Tennessee.
  • Finley, Nina - compiled from records housed at Houston County Board of Education Houston County School Data Pre-1930. 1991
  • McClain, Iris Hopkins A history of Houston County. 1966 FHL US/CAN book 976.836 H2

Maps[edit | edit source]

Stewart CountyMontgomery CountyDickson CountyHumphreys CountyBenton CountyHenry CountyTN HOUSTON.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military[edit | edit source]

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

Online Records

Other Resources

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 Houston County click on the following city:

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 Houston 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:

The River Counties
Genealogical articles with abstracts of Houston County, Tennessee records were published in The River Counties Quarterly, (14 vols.) edited by Jill K. Garrett. The Family History Library has a complete collection FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 B2rc.

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

The Houston County Court has responsibility for the 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:

  • Inventories, Wills, 1869-1966 (Vols. 1-4)
  • Appropriation records, 1889
  • Bonds, Letters, 1926-1966 (Vol. 2)
  • Settlements, 1914-1953 (Vol. 3)

Taxation[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]

The original Houston County marriage records are kept at the County Courthouse. Marriages are available from the time the county was created in 1871.

The following Houston County marriage records are microfilmed:

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

Houston County is not included in Sistler's Early Middle Tennessee Marriages.

Divorce[edit | edit source]

In 1940 and 1941, W.P.A. workers pinpointed the location of Houston County divorce papers in diverse manuscript collections, see the following resources:

  • 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 Houston County (or what later became Houston County) between the 1830s and the 1920s, try searching the following records:

Societies and Libraries [edit | edit source]

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

Houston County Historical Society
c/o Nina Finley
P.O. Box 401
Erin, TN 37061

Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society
PO Box 330948
Nashville, TN, USA 37203-7507
The society serves the 40 counties of middle Tennessee of which Houston 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

Houston County Public Library
PO Box 183
Erin, TN 37061-0183
Phone: 1-931-289-3858

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.

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.

Websites[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Houston County, Tennessee

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Houston, Tennessee" in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Houston_County,_Tennessee accessed 21 Dec 2018
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Houston 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. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Houston County, Tennessee page 641, At various libr40ries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. "List of counties in Tennessee," Wikipedia.
  5. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002), 641. (FHL Book 973 D27e 2002). WorldCat entry.
  6. "Tennessee County" in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tennessee_County (accessed 25 May 2010), and Alice Eichholz, Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, 3rd ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004) [[FHL Book 973 D27rb 2004 ]], 639.
  7. Voice of Lynnae Weller, Kingsport, Tenn. (2010).
  8. Voice of Gene Black, FamilySearch employee, former resident of Bristol, Tenn. (2010).
  9. Robert M.McBride, Tennessee County Data (Nashville, Tennessee: Tennessee States Library and Archives, 1966), 29.
  10. Wikipedia contributors, "Houston County, Tennessee," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Houston_County,_Tennessee, accessed 22 November 2019.
  11. 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.