NGS Research in the States Series: Tennessee

Beginning in 1987, the National Genealogical Society began publishing a series of state guides in the organization’s magazine, the Quarterly. These guides were later issues as special publications. The latest version of the series contains revised guides, plus additional states not included in the previous releases. NGS Research in the States Series: Tennessee was originally written by Gale Williams Bamman and updated and revised in 2009 by Charles A. Sherrill.

This guide jumps right to the heart of the matter with the authors making two important statements:

  • “Genealogical research in Tennessee will be most successful if it is based on a working knowledge of the state’s history and its extant records.”
  • “Whether the ancestral family members were brief sojourners or long-term residents, their paper trail probably can be followed most conveniently at the Tennessee State Library and Archives. Yet myriad records and resources also exist elsewhere.”

By these statements you might think the book would focus mostly on state history and the archives. Fortunately, state history information is easy to acquire and, as the author notes, the archive are convenient. Learning what records are available and the other resources are the skills most genealogists need help with. This guide fills that need. Page after page, various record types are discussed and resources outlines.

Throughout the guide, history is part of the discussion on records. For example, the Ethnic Records sections has eight subsection, each offering both an historical accounting plus what to expect of records and where to find them.

Table of Contents

Early History and Settlement

Jurisdictional Changes

Archives, Libraries and Societies

Tennessee Genealogical Society

Tennessee Historical Society

Other Facilities

Major Resources

  • Aids to Research
  • Atlases, Gazetteers and Maps
    • Original Maps
    • Published Maps
    • Gazetteers
  • Biographical Sources
  • Cemetery Records
  • Census Records and Their Substitutes
    • Federal Population Schedules
    • Other Federal Census Records
    • Other Materials
  • Church Records
  • County-Level Records
    • Loose Papers
  • Court Records
    • County Courts
    • Superior Courts
    • Court System, 1809-1834
    • Chancery Courts
    • Circuit Courts
    • Supreme Court
    • Federal Court
  • Directories: City and Suburban
  • Ethnic Records
    • Growth and Dispersal
    • Ethnic Origins
    • African Americans
    • Melungeons
    • Native Americans
    • Cherokee Resources
    • Chickasaw Resources
    • General Information
  • Land Records
    • North Carolina Grants
    • Tennessee Grants
    • Accessing the Grant Records
    • County-Level Land Records
  • Military and Pension Records
    • Colonial Era
    • Revolutionary War
    • Indian Campaigns, 1784-1811
    • State Militia Activity, 1796-1903
    • War of 1812
    • Old Indian Wars
    • Mexican War
    • Civil War
    • Spanish-American War
    • World Wars
  • Naturalization Records
  • Newspapers
  • Probate Records
  • State Records
    • Legislative Records
    • Governors’ Records
  • Tax Records
  • Vital Records
    • Adoption Records
    • Birth and Death Records
    • Marriage and Divorce Records
  • Women



These guides are an excellent resource for state by state research. Available guides, including NGS Research in the States Series: Tennessee are available from Family Roots Publishing; Price: $15.79.

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