Fentress County, Tennessee Genealogy

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

Fentress County, Tennessee
Boundary map of Fentress County, Tennessee
Map of Tennessee highlighting Fentress County
Location in the state of Tennessee
Map of the U.S. highlighting Tennessee
Location of Tennessee in the U.S.
Founded: November 28, 1823
County Seat Jamestown
Website: www.fentresscountytn.com
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Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for James Fentress (1763–1843), who served as speaker of the state house, chairman of Montgomery County Court. The County is located in the north central area of the state. [1]

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

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1914 1905 1914 1842 1820 1905 1810
Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1914. General compliance by 1927.

Fentress County Tennessee Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Fentress County, Tennessee Courthouse.JPG

Fentress County Courthouse, Jamestown, Tenn.

Fentress County Courthouse
101 S Main Street
Jamestown, TN 38556
Phone: 931.879.8615

County Clerk has marriage records
Phone: 1-931-879-8014

Register of Deeds has land records
Phone: 1-931-879-7818

Circuit Court Clerk has court records
Phone: 1-931-879-7919

Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Sat. 8 a.m.-noon

Fentress County Tennessee History[edit | edit source]

Middle Tennessee county.

The county is named after "Tennessee state legislator James Fentress."[3]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1823--Fentress County was created 28 November 1823 from Overton and Morgan Counties.
County seat: Jamestown[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]


1905 Courthouse burned and many records were damaged.[7]

  • Lost marriage records: 1823 and 1904
  • Lost probate records: 1823 to 1904

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

Fentress 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
Census-designated places

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Fentress County Tennessee Genealogy 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 Fentress County census, court, land, 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 American[edit | edit source]

United States African Americans Gotoarrow.png Tennessee African Americans

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
See Tennessee Cemeteries for more information.

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

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1830 2,748
1840 3,550 29.2%
1850 4,454 25.5%
1860 5,054 13.5%
1870 4,717 −6.7%
1880 5,941 25.9%
1890 5,226 −12.0%
1900 6,106 16.8%
1910 7,446 21.9%
1920 10,435 40.1%
1930 11,036 5.8%
1940 14,262 29.2%
1950 14,917 4.6%
1960 13,288 −10.9%
1970 12,593 −5.2%
1980 14,826 17.7%
1990 14,669 −1.1%
2000 16,625 13.3%
2010 17,958 8.0%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, and 1940 federal population censuses of Fentress 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.

1810 - 1891

Male Voters

See Tennessee Population Schedule Indexes: Fiche, Film, or Book for more information about statewide printed indexes.


  • Hatfield, Wanda S. Early Records, Fentress County, Tennessee: 1830, 1840, 1850 Census; 1833 Enumeration. Signal Mountain, Tennessee: Mountain Press, 1988. FHL 976.869 X2h


  • Hatfield, Wanda S. Early Records, Fentress County, Tennessee: 1830, 1840, 1850 Census; 1833 Enunmeration. Signal Mountain, Tennessee: Mountain Press, 1988. FHL 976.869 X2h


  • Hatfield, Wanda S. Early Records, Fentress County, Tennessee: 1830, 1840, 1850 Census; 1833 Enunmeration. Signal Mountain, Tennessee: Mountain Press, 1988. FHL 976.869 X2h

1840 Pensioners


  • Carpenter, V.K.Seventh Census of the United States, 1850, Fentress County, Tennessee. Huntsville, Arkansas: Century Enterprises, Genealogical Service, 1969. FHL 976.869 X2p 1850
  • Hatfield, Wanda S. Early Records, Fentress County, Tennessee: 1830, 1840, 1850 Census; 1833 Enunmeration. Signal Mountain, Tennessee: Mountain Press, 1988. FHL 976.869 X2h
  • Peden, Eva C. 1850 Census of Fentress County, Tennessee.Glasgow, Kentucky, Gorin Genealogical Publishing, 1992. FHL 976.869 X2pe 1850
  • Robbins, Kathleen W.1850 Fentress County Census. Huntsville, Tennessee: Scott County Historical Society, 19-?. FHL 976.869 X2s 1850


  • Robbins, Kathleen W.1860 Fentress County Census. Huntsville, Tennessee: Scott County Historical Society, 198-?. FHL 976.869 X2s 1860


  • Hatfield, Wanda S. 1870 Federal Census Fentress County, Tennessee. Pall Mall, Tennessee: W.S. Hatfield, 1992. FHL 976.869 X2h 1870


  • Hatfield, Wanda S. 1880 Federal Census Fentress County, Tennessee. S.I.:s.n., 1986? FHL 976.869 X2f
  • Sistler, Byron H. and Barbara Sistler. 1880 Census Fentress County, Tennessee. Nashville, Tennessee: B. Sistler and Associates, 1993. FHL 976.869 X22s 1880

1890 - Lost, but 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. 5 1891. Fentress County is included in Vol. 5.
  • 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.


  • Hatfield, Wanda S. 1900 Federal Census of Fentress County, Tennessee. Pall Mall, Tennessee: W.S. Hatfield, 1991 FHL 976.869 X2h 1900
  • Minton, Vestina L.Fentress County Census, Tennessee,1900.Harrogate, Tennessee: T. and V. Minton, 1990. FHL 976.869 X2m 1900


  • Hatfield, Wanda S. 1910 Federal Census of Fentress County, Tennessee. Signal Mountain, Tennessee: Mountain Press, 1989 FHL 976.869 X2h 1910


  • Ramsey, Gerald R.1920 Census of Fentress County, Tennessee.Signal Mountain, Tennessee: Mountain Press, 1994. FHL 976.869 X29f 1920

Church[edit | edit source]

Court[edit | edit source]

Court records began in 1842

Genealogy[edit | edit source]

More than a dozen genealogies have been published about Fentress County, Tennessee Genealogy families. To view a list, visit Fentress County, Tennessee Genealogy.

"This Personal Ancestral File database contains genealogies of nearly every family to live in Fentress County from its foundation." (Info file):

Land[edit | edit source]

  • Fentress County Register of Deeds has Land Records from 1820 and is located at Courthouse, Main St., Jamestown, TN 38556; (931) 879-8615. Land and property records include transfer of real estate or personal property, mortgages, leases, surveys, and entries.
  • The organization Strictly By Name provides free online indexes to early Fentress County land records. They offer a research service to photocopy and transcribe microfilm copies of the original documents for a small fee. Available indexes:
  • The Family History Library has microfilm copies of deeds 1820-1901 with indexes 1820-1904; land entry books 1824-1901.

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]

  • Hogue, Albert Ross. History of Fentress County, Tennessee: The Old Home of Mark Twain's Ancestors. Nashville, Tenn.: Press of Williams Printing Co., 1916. Digital version at Google Books. 1975 reprint: FHL US/CAN Book 976.869 H2ha.

Maps[edit | edit source]

Scott CountyMorgan CountyCumberland CountyPutnam CountyOverton CountyPickett CountyTN FENTRESS.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War[edit | edit source]

The following Fentress 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 Fentress 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 Fentress County.

Confederate Soldiers

Union Soldiers

Additional sources for Civil War soldiers from Fentress 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 Fentress County click on the following cities:

Occupations[edit | edit source]

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 Fentress County, Tennessee 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 US/CAN Book 976.8 B2a.
Fentress County Historical Society Newsletter
The Fentress County Historical Society was established in 1968. For further information regarding the newsletter and Society, see their website.
The Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy and History
Genealogical articles with abstracts of records of Giles County, Tennessee have been published in The Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy and History, the quarterly of the Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society (23+ Vols.). To view a list of these articles, visit their online Index to Articles (1988-2005). Surname indexes are also available online for Vols. 2-22. The website also offers back issues for sale in paper and on CD. The Family History Library has a complete collection of this quarterly FHL US/CAN Book 976.85 D25m.
Overton County, Tennessee Kin
"This newsletter, although called “Overton County,” covers all the area in Overton, Fentress, and Pickett County, TN along with Monterey in Putnam County, and Clinton, Wayne and Cumberland County in Kentucky”—Vol. 7, no. 4, p. 2.
The Family History Library has vol. 1, issues 1-4; vol. 2, issues 1-4; vol. 3, issues 1-4; vol. 4, issues 1-4; vol. 5, issues 1-4; vol. 6, issue 1; vol. 7 issue 4, vol. 8, issue 2. FHL US/CAN 976.8684 B2n.
Indexed in the PERiodical Source Index (PERSI).
The Pellissippian
Genealogical articles with abstracts of Fentress County, Tennessee records were published in the The Pellissippian (25 vols., 1980-2004), the quarterly of the Pellissippi Genealogical and Historical Society. The society has posted tables of contents for all 25 volumes on their website. They also have back issues available for purchase. The Family History Library has acquired the first 20 volumes FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 D25p.

Prisons[edit | edit source]

Learn if your Fentress County, Tennessee Genealogy ancestors went to prison!

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

The Fentress County Court has responsibility for the probate records, which began in 1905.

Online Records

Taxation[edit | edit source]

The following Fentress County tax records have been abstracted:[9]

  • 1833 - Barham, Eleanor R. and Elizabeth R. Nichols. "1833 Enumeration, Fentress County, Tennessee," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 27, No. 1 (Spring 1980):9-12. For FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Periodicals. (600 names)
  • 1833 - York, Bruce. "1833 Fentress County Tax List," available online, courtesy: TNGenWeb.
  • 1865 - Tax List, 1865, Fentress County Historical Society Newsletter. Jamestown TN: Fall 1992. Vol. 4 Iss. 3.
  • 1872 - Tax Books, 1872, Fentress County Historical Society Newsletter. Jamestown TN: Summer 1989. Vol. 1 Iss. 2; Fall 1989. Vol. 1 Iss. 3; Winter 1989. Vol. 1 Iss. 4; Spring 1990. Vol. 2 Iss. 1; Summer 1990. Vol. 2 Iss. 2; Fall 1990. Vol. 2 Iss. 3; Winter 1990. Vol. 2 Iss. 4; Spring 1991. Vol. 3 Iss. 1.
  • 1872 - Hatfield, Wanda S. 1872 Tax Records, Fentress County, Tennessee. Signal Mountain, Tennessee : Mountain Press, 1991. FHL 976.869 R4h; online: free surname index and purchase details
  • 1875 - Dog Tax, 1875, Fentress County Historical Society Newsletter. Jamestown TN: Spring 1992. Vol. 4 Iss. 1.
  • 1892 - Tax Book, 1892, Fentress County Historical Society Newsletter. Jamestown TN: Spring 1989. Vol. 1 Iss. 1.
  • 1892 - Delinquent Tax List, 1892, Fentress County Historical Society Newsletter. Jamestown TN: Fall 1992. Vol. 4 Iss. 3.

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 Fentress County marriage records are kept at the County Courthouse. Marriages records before 1905 are lost. The following publication, based on early newspapers, helps to alleviate this genealogical obstacle:

The following Fentress County marriage records are microfilmed:

  • 1905 - 1986 - Available at the TSLA. Marriages 1817-1899 are available for interlibrary loan.
  • 1905 - 1963 - Available at the Family History Library. Some volumes are indexed.FHL 978380
Death[edit | edit source]

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

Fentress County Tennessee Genealogy Societies[edit | edit source]

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

Fentress County Historical Society
PO Box 1431
Jamestown, TN 38556
Phone: 1-931-879-7622

Upper Cumberland Genealogical Society
Putnam Library
48 East Broad St.
Cookeville, TN 38501

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

Fentress County Tennessee Genealogy Libraries[edit | edit source]

Fentress County Public Library
306 South Main St.
Jamestown, TN 38556
Phone: 1-931-879-7512
Fax: 1-931-879-6984
E-mail: fcpublib@txlakes.net
Hours: Mon.-Thurs. 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
Fri. 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sat. 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Genealogy Reference Material available

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.

This is not a mailing address. Due to limited staff, Family History Centers are unable to respond to mail inquiries.

Fentress County Tennessee Genealogy Websites[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Fentress County, Tennessee

Fentress County Tennessee Genealogy References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Fentress, Tennessee" in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fentress_County,_Tennessee accessed 18 Dec 2018
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Fentress 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, "Fentress County, Tennessee," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fentress_County,_Tennessee, accessed 13 November 2019.
  9. The Heritage Quest Online version of PERSI aided in the compilation of this list.