Administrative Hearings | Business Services | Charitable Fundraising | Elections | Library & Archives | Publications
Order Materials >State Records

 


Selected materials at TSLA are now available for delivery by e-mail.


 





 

 

Tennessee began keeping birth records statewide in 1908. TSLA has statewide birth records for the years 1908-1912. To find a birth record, we need the following information: name of child, date of birth or approximate date of birth, county of birth (if known) and names of parents (if known).

The larger cities in Tennessee did keep earlier birth records: Nashville (beginning in 1881); Knoxville (beginning in 1881); Chattanooga (beginning in 1879); and Memphis (beginning in 1874). Only the early Nashville birth records are indexed.

  TSLA can search the unindexed records for one year only; you must provide us with the name of child, date of birth, the city, and name of parents (if known).  TSLA has copies of the city birth records for Memphis for 1874-1883; early Memphis birth records for 1884-1907 are held by the Shelby County Archives.

The Metro Archives of Nashville and Davidson County has posted an online index to Nashville city birth records for 1881 - 1913 and an online index to Davidson County birth records for 1908-1912.

An online index to Shelby County birth records for the years 1874-1906 is available on the web site of the Shelby County Register of Deeds.

 


TSLA also has "delayed" birth certificates for persons born 1869 - 1911. These delayed certificates were filed at the request of the individual or that person's representative for legal reasons. To locate a delayed birth certificate, we need the following information: name of child, date of birth or approximate date of birth, county of birth (if known) and names of parents (if known). E-mail TSLA and we can check our index to the "delayed" birth records for a specified name.  Please specify that you are requesting a "delayed" birth certificate. TSLA tries to respond to e-mail questions within ten working days.


For birth records after 1912 or for "delayed" birth certificates filed for persons born after 1911, contact the Office of Vital Records.


ORDERING INFORMATION AND FEES:

  • There is a $20 fee to search for a birth record. If the record is found, we will mail a copy to you. If the record is not found, you will be notified by mail. The $20 fee is not refundable. Payment in advance by check,  money order or credit card is required. Send your request to Tennessee State Library and Archives, Research Department, 403 Seventh Avenue North, Nashville TN 37243-0312.  [GO TO FORM SS-2237 -- Microfilm Copy Order]
  • Please note that we ask that you submit each search request on a separate form. There may be a waiting period of up to 3-4 weeks before you receive a reply.
  • TSLA can, for an additional $5.00 fee, certify a document in our collection.
  • Some printed indexes and microfilmed records are available for delivery via e-mail through TSLA E-Docs.

 

  • RESIDENTS OF TENNESSEE (with a current Tennessee postal address) will pay a $10 fee to search for a birth record. If the record is found, we will mail a copy to you. If the record is not found, you will be notified by mail. The $10 fee is not refundable. Payment in advance by check,  money order or credit card is required. Send your request to Tennessee State Library and Archives, Research Department, 403 Seventh Avenue North, Nashville TN 37243-0312.   [GO TO FORM SS-2237 -- Microfilm Copy Order]
  • Please note that we ask that you submit each search request on a separate form. There may be a waiting period of up to 3-4 weeks before you receive a reply.
  • TSLA can, for an additional $5.00 fee, certify a document in our collection.
  • Some printed indexes and microfilmed records are available for delivery via e-mail through TSLA E-Docs.

 


 

Tennessee began keeping death records statewide in 1908. TSLA has statewide death records for the years 1908-1912 and 1914-1961. To find a death record, we need the following information: name of individual, date of death (or three year range to search), county of death (if known) and name of spouse (if known). Please keep in mind that some deaths were not recorded, due to poor record-keeping by local officials.

The larger cities in Tennessee did keep earlier death records: Nashville (beginning in 1874); Knoxville (beginning in 1881); Chattanooga (beginning in 1872); and Memphis (beginning in 1848). Only the early Nashville and Memphis death records are indexed. TSLA can search the unindexed records for one year only; you must provide us with the name of individual, date of death, the city, and the name of the spouse (if known).

For death records from 1962 to the present, contact the Office of Vital Records.


PLEASE NOTE:

PLEASE NOTE: Ancestry.com, in partnership with the Tennessee State Library and Archives, has added an index to Tennessee death records for the years 1908-1951. The index to these records at Ancestry.com's Tennessee State Library and Archives web page can be viewed by all.   RESIDENTS OF TENNESSEE who are not members of Ancestry.com can view the scanned death certificates by first going to the Tennessee Electronic Library page at http://tntel.tnsos.org/, clicking on the Genealogy tab,  and then clicking on TENNESSEE DEATH RECORDS.  The scans of the death certificates can then be viewed after a free log-in on the Ancestry site.  The indexes and images are free to Tennessee residents.

The Index to Tennessee Death Records 1908 - 1912 is available on our web site. The index gives the individual's name, county of residence, date of death, and the death certificate number.

The Statewide Index to Tennessee Death Records (1914-1933) is a long-term project to index Tennessee death records for the years 1914 on.  The index lists name of deceased, county of death, and volume and page number of the certificate; beginning with death certificates issued in 1926, the certificate number is listed instead of the volume and page. (The index has replaced the Partial Index to Tennessee Death Records 1914-1925, which covered only 38 counties in Tennessee and did not include children under two years of age.)  

The index to Davidson County Death Records 1900-1913 is available on the TSLA web site. The index gives following information on the deceased: last name, first name, race, age, date of death, place of burial, and a citation to the original death certificate.

An online index to Shelby County death records for the years 1848-1956 and a state-wide index to Tennessee death records for the years 1949-2009 is available on the web site of the Shelby County Register of Deeds.


ORDERING INFORMATION AND FEES:

  • There is a $20 fee to search for a death record. If the record is found, we will mail a copy to you. If the record is not found, you will be notified by mail. The $20 fee is not refundable. Payment in advance by check,  money order or credit card is required. Send your request to Tennessee State Library and Archives, Research Department, 403 Seventh Avenue North, Nashville TN 37243-0312.   [GO TO FORM SS-2237 -- Microfilm Copy Order]
  • Please note that we ask that you submit each search request on a separate form. There may be a waiting period of up to 3-4 weeks before you receive a reply.
  • TSLA can, for an additional $5.00 fee, certify a document in our collection.
  • Some printed indexes and microfilmed records are available for delivery via e-mail through TSLA E-Docs.

 

  • RESIDENTS OF TENNESSEE (with a current Tennessee postal address) will pay a $10 fee to search for a death record. If the record is found, we will mail a copy to you. If the record is not found, you will be notified by mail. The $10 fee is not refundable. Payment in advance by check,  money order or credit card is required. Send your request to Tennessee State Library and Archives, Research Department, 403 Seventh Avenue North, Nashville TN 37243-0312.   [GO TO FORM SS-2237 -- Microfilm Copy Order]
  • Please note that we ask that you submit each search request on a separate form. There may be a waiting period of up to 3-4 weeks before you receive a reply.
  • TSLA can, for an additional $5.00 fee, certify a document in our collection.
  • Some printed indexes and microfilmed records are available for delivery via e-mail through TSLA E-Docs.

 


 

TSLA has a printed index which lists the names of individuals who received North Carolina land grants in Tennessee and land grants obtained directly from the state of Tennessee. E-mail TSLA with the name of the individual, and we will check to see if there is a listing in the index. TSLA tries to respond to e-mail questions within ten working days.

A copy of the original land grant document can be purchased, once the index has been used to identify the volume, page and district showing where a grant is recorded.

Those wishing more information on land grants can read Resource Guide Early North Carolina / Tennessee Land Grants @ TSLA .


ORDERING INFORMATION AND FEES:

  • For a $5 fee, TSLA can photocopy and mail a list of all land grants for one specified surname. This fee covers the cost of copying up to ten pages. The $5 fee is not refundable.  Payment in advance by check,  money order or credit card is required.  Send your request to Tennessee State Library and Archives, Research Department, 403 Seventh Avenue North, Nashville TN 37243-0312.   [GO TO FORM SS-2235 -- Printed Index Search Request]
  • Please note that we ask that you submit each search request on a separate form. There may be a waiting period of up to 3-4 weeks before you receive a reply.
  • TSLA can, for an additional $5.00 fee, certify a document in our collection.
  • Some printed indexes and microfilmed records are available for delivery via e-mail through TSLA E-Docs.

 

  • There is a $20 fee to copy a land grant. The $20 fee is not refundable. Payment in advance by check,  money order or credit card is required. Send your request to Tennessee State Library and Archives, Research Department, 403 Seventh Avenue North, Nashville TN 37243-0312.  [GO TO FORM SS-2237 -- Microfilm Copy Order]
  • Please note that we ask that you submit each search request on a separate form. There may be a waiting period of up to 3-4 weeks before you receive a reply.
  • TSLA can, for an additional $5.00 fee, certify a document in our collection.
  • Some printed indexes and microfilmed records are available for delivery via e-mail through TSLA E-Docs.

 

  • RESIDENTS OF TENNESSEE (with a current Tennessee postal address) will pay a $10 fee to copy a land grant. The $10 fee is not refundable. Payment in advance by check,  money order or credit card is required. Send your request to Tennessee State Library and Archives, Research Department, 403 Seventh Avenue North, Nashville TN 37243-0312.   [GO TO FORM SS-2237 -- Microfilm Copy Order]
  • Please note that we ask that you submit each search request on a separate form. There may be a waiting period of up to 3-4 weeks before you receive a reply.
  • TSLA can, for an additional $5.00 fee, certify a document in our collection.
  • Some printed indexes and microfilmed records are available for delivery via e-mail through TSLA E-Docs.

 


 

Original case files of the Tennessee Supreme Court are housed at the State Library and Archives. Card files for East, West and Middle Tennessee provide a partial plaintiff / defendant index. E-mail TSLA and we will check a name by e-mail at no charge, and notify you of the cost of a copy of a case file if found. TSLA tries to respond to e-mail questions within ten working days.


ORDERING INFORMATION AND FEES:

  • There is a $20 basic fee to photocopy items in the Supreme Court case files. This fee covers the cost of copying up to twenty pages. (Some case files may be very large; we will quote a price for the remaining pages in the file.)  The $20 fee is not refundable. Payment in advance by check,  money order or credit card is required. Send your request to Tennessee State Library and Archives, Research Department, 403 Seventh Avenue North, Nashville TN 37243-0312.   [GO TO FORM SS-2237 -- Microfilm Copy Order]
  • Please note that we ask that you submit each search request on a separate form. There may be a waiting period of up to 3-4 weeks before you receive a reply.
  • TSLA can, for an additional $5.00 fee, certify a document in our collection.
  • Some printed indexes and microfilmed records are available for delivery via e-mail through TSLA E-Docs.

 

  • RESIDENTS OF TENNESSEE (with a current Tennessee postal address) will pay a $10 fee to photocopy items in the Supreme Court case files. This fee covers the cost of copying up to twenty pages. (Some case files may be very large; we will quote a price for the remaining pages in the file.)  The $10 fee is not refundable. Payment in advance by check,  money order or credit card is required. Send your request to Tennessee State Library and Archives, Research Department, 403 Seventh Avenue North, Nashville TN 37243-0312.   [GO TO FORM SS-2237 -- Microfilm Copy Order]
  • Please note that we ask that you submit each search request on a separate form. There may be a waiting period of up to 3-4 weeks before you receive a reply.
  • TSLA can, for an additional $5.00 fee, certify a document in our collection.
  • Some printed indexes and microfilmed records are available for delivery via e-mail through TSLA E-Docs.

 


 

Photocopies of items in record groups, including the State Penitentiary records, can be ordered, if the location of the information is provided (volume and page or box and folder number). The Index to Inmates of the Tennessee State Penitentiary 1831-1850 is available on the TSLA web site.

TSLA will search the two published volumes of Tennessee Convicts: Early Records of the State Penitentiary, 1831-1870 for a listing of a name.  The entries in these two volumes are verbatim transcripts of the original records.  If the individual was in the state penitentiary during 1831-1870, e-mail TSLA and we will check to see if there is a listing for the subject in the index. There is no charge to check this published index, and TSLA will notify you of the cost to make a copy of the record if found. TSLA tries to respond to e-mail questions within ten working days.

If the individual was in the state penitentiary after 1870, you will need to submit a written request with the following information:  name of individual and a five year date range.  TSLA does not accept e-mail requests to search prison records dated after 1870.


ORDERING INFORMATION AND FEES:

  • For a $5 fee, TSLA can photocopy and mail the listings for one surname from the published index Tennessee Convicts: Early Records of the State Penitentiary, 1831-1870. This fee covers the cost of copying up to ten pages. The $5 fee is not refundable.  Payment in advance by check,  money order or credit card is required.  Send your request to Tennessee State Library and Archives, Public Services, 403 Seventh Avenue North, Nashville TN 37243-0312.   [GO TO FORM SS-2235 -- Printed Index Search Request]
  • Please note that we ask that you submit each search request on a separate form. There may be a waiting period of up to 3-4 weeks before you receive a reply.
  • TSLA can, for an additional $5.00 fee, certify a document in our collection.
  • Some printed indexes and microfilmed records are available for delivery via e-mail through TSLA E-Docs.

 

  • There is a $20 fee to search for a penitentiary record dated after 1870. If the record is found, we will mail a copy to you. This fee covers the cost of copying up to twenty pages.  If the record is not found, you will be notified by mail. The $20 fee is not refundable. Payment in advance by check,  money order or credit card is required.  Send your request to Tennessee State Library and Archives, Research Department, 403 Seventh Avenue North, Nashville TN 37243-0312.  [GO TO FORM SS-2237 -- Microfilm Copy Order]
  • Please note that we ask that you submit each search request on a separate form. There may be a waiting period of up to 3-4 weeks before you receive a reply.
  • TSLA can, for an additional $5.00 fee, certify a document in our collection.
  • Some printed indexes and microfilmed records are available for delivery via e-mail through TSLA E-Docs.

 

  • RESIDENTS OF TENNESSEE (with a current Tennessee postal address) will pay a $10 fee to search for a penitentiary record dated after 1870. If the record is found, we will mail a copy to you. This fee covers the cost of copying up to twenty pages. The $10 fee is not refundable. Payment in advance by check,  money order or credit card is required. Send your request to Tennessee State Library and Archives, Research Department, 403 Seventh Avenue North, Nashville TN 37243-0312.   [GO TO FORM SS-2237 -- Microfilm Copy Order]
  • Please note that we ask that you submit each search request on a separate form. There may be a waiting period of up to 3-4 weeks before you receive a reply.
  • TSLA can, for an additional $5.00 fee, certify a document in our collection.
  • Some printed indexes and microfilmed records are available for delivery via e-mail through TSLA E-Docs.

 


 

Photocopies of items in the papers of Tennessee's governors can be ordered, if the box and file number are provided. E-mail TSLA and we will check to see if there is a listing for the subject in the index at no charge. We will notify you of the cost to make a copy of the record if found. TSLA tries to respond to e-mail questions within ten working days.

Many of the governors' collections are available on microfilm and can be borrowed on interlibrary loan free of charge.


ORDERING INFORMATION AND FEES:

  • There is a $20 basic fee to photocopy items in the Governors Papers. This fee covers the cost of copying up to twenty pages. (Some files may be very large; we will quote a price for the remaining pages in the file.)  The $20 fee is not refundable. Payment in advance by check,  money order or credit card is required. Send your request to Tennessee State Library and Archives, Research Department, 403 Seventh Avenue North, Nashville TN 37243-0312.   [GO TO FORM SS-2237 -- Microfilm Copy Order]
  • Please note that we ask that you submit each search request on a separate form. There may be a waiting period of up to 3-4 weeks before you receive a reply.
  • TSLA can, for an additional $5.00 fee, certify a document in our collection.
  • Some printed indexes and microfilmed records are available for delivery via e-mail through TSLA E-Docs.

 

  • RESIDENTS OF TENNESSEE (with a current Tennessee postal address)  will pay a $10 fee to photocopy items in the Governors Papers.  This fee covers the cost of copying up to twenty pages. (Some files may be very large; we will quote a price for the remaining pages in the file.)  The $10 fee is not refundable. Payment in advance by check,  money order or credit card is required. Send your request to Tennessee State Library and Archives, Research Department, 403 Seventh Avenue North, Nashville TN 37243-0312.   [GO TO FORM SS-2237 -- Microfilm Copy Order]
  • Please note that we ask that you submit each search request on a separate form. There may be a waiting period of up to 3-4 weeks before you receive a reply.
  • TSLA can, for an additional $5.00 fee, certify a document in our collection.
  • Some printed indexes and microfilmed records are available for delivery via e-mail through TSLA E-Docs.

 

 

Some printed indexes and microfilmed records may be available for delivery through our e-mail service.  Requests to be delivered by e-mail, however, must be submitted in the same manner as our Services by Mail requests:  payment in advance by check, money order or credit card is required.  Send your request to Tennessee State Library and Archives, Research Department,  403  Seventh Avenue North,  Nashville TN  37243-0312.  If you request electronic delivery of a document, you must check the e-mail box under "Delivery Instructions". If no boxes are marked, or if more than one box is marked, the record will be photocopied and sent via US Mail.

  • Records available through this service are scanned and saved as a .pdf file.  Documents can only be saved as .pdfs.  Patrons can download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the files.
  • Records sent via e-mail service cannot be certified. 
  • TSLA will e-mail the record to one e-mail address. 
  • If the file size exceeds 10 pages or 15 megabytes, the .pdf file will be placed on a CD and mailed. 
  • If it is not feasible to scan the record you are requesting, a print copy will be mailed to you.
  • Due to space limitations, digital copies of records will be maintained on TSLA’s server for 30 days.  After 30 days, the digital copies of the records will be deleted from the server.  Once the digital copies of the records have been deleted, they will not be available for e-mail delivery unless another request, along with the required fee, is submitted. 

Digital copies of records will be sent from the e-mail address reference.tsla@tn.gov

 

 

There are situations where a court, insurance company, Social Security Office, nursing home, or genealogical society may require an individual to submit a certified copy of a document. When TSLA certifies a document, the photocopy is marked with a stamp avowing that it is a true and exact copy of a document held at TSLA. The document is signed and dated by a designated TSLA staff member, and an embossed seal is placed over the signature and date.

  • If needed, TSLA can certify a copy of a record held in our collection.  There is a fee of $5.00 to certify one copy of the document, in addition to the initial search fee. If you wish for more than one copy of a record to be certified, each additional certification is $5.00.
  • If you think certification may be needed, please indicate this when the initial copy order is placed, as we cannot certify after-the-fact any copies that have left our facility.  We cannot certify copies of items that we have not copied ourselves.  If you decide at a later date that you need items certified that you have already received, we will have to charge you for the order a second time and re-copy all the materials.
  • TSLA cannot certify electronic copies (scans) of documents.
  • If you pay in advance for a record search and certification and the record is not located, neither the search fee nor the certification fee are refundable.  For this reason, when searching for a record that you wish to have certified, TSLA suggests that you use our downloadable forms and pay by credit card.  If you pay by credit card and a record is not located, then you will not be charged the additional $5.00 certification fee.

 

Updated May 10, 2012