Humphreys County, Tennessee Genealogy

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

Humphreys County, Tennessee
Boundary map of Humphreys County, Tennessee
Map of Tennessee highlighting Humphreys County
Location in the state of Tennessee
Map of the U.S. highlighting Tennessee
Location of Tennessee in the U.S.
Founded: October 19, 1809
County Seat Waverly
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Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Judge (and future Congressman) Parry Wayne Humphreys. The County is located in the northwest area of the state. [1]

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

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1908 1861 1908 1842 1809 1838 1810
Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1914. General compliance by 1927.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]


Humphreys County, Tennessee Courthouse.JPG

Humphreys County Courthouse, Waverly, Tenn.]]

Humphreys County Courthouse
 102 Thompson Street
Waverly, TN 37185
Phone: 931.296.7671 

County Clerk has land records from 1809,
marriage records from 1861 and probate records from 1838. [3]

Humphreys County Clerk
Marriage, land and probate records
Room 2, Courthouse Annex
102 Thompson St.
Waverly, TN 37185
Phone: 1-931-296-7671

Courthouse burned in 1876 and 1898. Only the land records are complete.

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

History[edit | edit source]

Middle Tennessee county on the Tennessee River. Established 1809.

The county is named after "U.S. Representative from Tennessee Parry Wayne Humphreys (1778–1839)."[4]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1809--Humphreys County was created 19 October 1809 from Stewart County. 
County seat: Waverly[5]

From 1788 to 1796 people living in what is now Humphreys 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 website.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]


1876 and 1898 Fires damaged courthouse records.[9]

  • Lost census: 1810
  • Lost marriage records: 1809 to 1861
  • Lost probate records: 1809 to 1836

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

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]

Getting Started[edit | edit source]

Use the free Search for Surnames at Mountain Press's website to quickly search a variety of published Humphreys County biography and cemetery 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

Census takers found no free African Americans living in Humphreys County, Tennessee in 1820.[11]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

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

Additional Cemetery Resources

  • Tennessee Cemeteries - Hometown Locator
  • Charles A. Reeves Jr. has created a detailed map showing the locations of Humphreys County cemeteries. It may be purchased for a small fee through his Cemetery Maps Catalog$

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1810 1,511
1820 4,067 169.2%
1830 6,187 52.1%
1840 5,195 −16.0%
1850 6,422 23.6%
1860 9,096 41.6%
1870 9,326 2.5%
1880 11,379 22.0%
1890 11,720 3.0%
1900 13,398 14.3%
1910 13,908 3.8%
1920 13,482 −3.1%
1930 12,039 −10.7%
1940 12,421 3.2%
1950 11,030 −11.2%
1960 11,511 4.4%
1970 13,560 17.8%
1980 15,957 17.7%
1990 15,795 −1.0%
2000 17,929 13.5%
2010 18,538 3.4%
Source: "".

1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, and 1940 federal population censuses of Humphreys 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 Humphreys County, TN census assignments, including links to transcribed files. The USGenWeb Census Project®

1810 - 1891

1810 - Lost, but a substitute is available:

  • Sherrill, Charles A. The Reconstructed 1810 Census of Tennessee: 33,000 Long-lost Records from Tax Lists, Court Minutes, Church Records, Wills, Deeds and Other Sources. Mt. Juliet, Tenn.: C.A. Sherrill, 2001. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 X2s 1810.


  • Bentley, Elizabeth P. Index to the 1820 Census of Tennessee. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1981. FHL 976.8 X22b 1820

1840 Revolutionary War Pensioners


  • Garrett, Jill. Humphreys County, Tennessee 1850 Census Additional Notes.Columbia, Tennessee: J. K. Garrett, 1962. FHL 976.837 X2p
  • Finley, Nina. Census of the Houston County Area.Erin, Tennessee: Friends of Houston County Library, 19-? FHL 976.836 X2f Vol. 6, Northern Humphreys County.


  • Finley, Nina. Census of the Houston County Area.Erin, Tennessee: Friends of Houston County Library, 19-? FHL 976.836 X2f Vol. 7, Northern Humphreys County.


  • Clifton, Betty F.1870 Census of Humphreys County, Tennessee.Taylorsville, California: B.F. Clifton, 1979. FHL 976.837 X2c 1870
  • Finley, Nina. Census of the Houston County Area.Erin, Tennessee: Friends of Houston County Library, 19-? FHL 976.836 X2f Vol. 8, Northern Humphreys County.


  • Fischer, Marjorie Hood and Ruth B. Burns. 1880 Census, Humphreys County, Tennessee. Vista, California: Ram Press, 1987. FHL 976.837 X2f 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. 8 1891. Humphreys County is included in Vol. 8.
  • 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.

1891 Male Voters

Church[edit | edit source]

Court[edit | edit source]

Family Histories[edit | edit source]

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 Humphreys, Tennessee at World Connect, results in more than 20,000 entries.


  • Adams - Hampton, Estelline Adams. John Adams, Esquire (III): Ancestors and Descendants. Unknown: unknown, 1976. Available at FHL US/CAN Film 982157 Item 7; digital versions available at: FamilySearch Digital Library, Ancestry ($, Heritage Quest Online ($).
  • 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.
  • Hamilton - Hamilton, Thomas. Autobiography of Thomas Hamilton. Typescript, microfilmed 1972. FHL US/CAN Film 896607 Item 2.
  • Knight - Garrett, Jill Knight. Knight Cousins. [Columbia, TN: Unknown, 1967. Available at FHL US/CAN Film 928090; digital version at Heritage Quest Online ($).
  • McMurtry - McMurtry, Otis D. Chronology of the Life of John McMurtry, Esq., Soldier, Privateer of the American Revolution: Progentior of the McMurtry Clan of Tennessee. Typescript, TSLA. FHL US/CAN Film 570838 Item 2.
  • McMurtry - McMurtry, Brian L. The West Tennessee McMurtry Family: A Synopsis of the Lives and Historical Background that Surrounded the McMurtry Family of Humphreys, Benton, and Henry County, TN. Newburgh, Ind.: B.L. McMurtry, 2006. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 M229mb.
  • Whitfield - Whitfield, Vallie Jo Fox. Whitfield History and Genealogy of Tennessee. [Walnut Creek, CA: Unknown,, 1964. Available at FHL US/CAN Film 879642 Item 1; digital version available at Heritage Quest Online ($).

Land[edit | edit source]

  • Humphreys County Register of Deeds has Land Records from 1810 and is located at Room 3 - Court House Annex, 102 Thompson, Waverly, Tennessee 37185; 931-296-7681. 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 deeds 1810-1897 with indeses 1810-1907; land sales frm the late 1800s to the early 1900s; tax books 1898-1916.
  • Free lookups available for Tennessee Land Grants C-CZ, H-Hz, S-Sz, N-O, P-

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]

  • Smith, H. K. Some Encounters with General Forrest. McKenzie, Tenn.?: unknown, 1959. Available at Heritage Quest Online ($).

Maps[edit | edit source]

Houston CountyDickson CountyHickman CountyPerry CountyBenton CountyTN HUMPHREYS.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War[edit | edit source]

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

Additional resources include:

War of 1812[edit | edit source]
  • Embry, Hermione D. "War of 1812 - Tennessee Pensioners on List - January 2, 1883," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 7, No. 3 (Jul. 1960):65-68; Vol. 7, No. 4 (Oct. 1960):90-93. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 B2a v. 7 (1960); digital version at journal website. Includes Humphreys County pensioners 7(3):68, 7(4):90.
Civil War[edit | edit source]

Online Records

Regiments. Civil War service men from Humphreys 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 Humphreys County.
Confederate Soldiers

Additional sources for Civil War soldiers from Humphreys County:

Spanish American War[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Random Acts Of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK) volunteer is willing to do obituary lookups in Humphreys County newspapers covering the years 1931 to 2003. RAOGK Lookups

Many Tennessee newspapers are filmed and available at [1]. 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 Humphreys County click on the following cities or towns:

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 Includes Humphreys 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 records of Humphreys County, Tennessee 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.
Humphreys County Historical Society
Family History Library has no. 1 - 36 (1978 - 2005) FHL US/CAN book 976.837 B2h
Indexed a PERiodical Source Index (PERSI)
The Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy and History
Genealogical articles with abstracts of records of Humphreys 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.
The River Counties
Genealogical articles with abstracts of Humphreys 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.

Prisons[edit | edit source]

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

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

The Humphreys 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, 1837-1906 (4 vols.)
  • Bonds, 1882-1913
  • Bonds, Letters, 1886-1974
  • Claims again estates, 1870-1902
  • Conveyance abstracts, 1898-1899
  • Insolvent estate records, 1886-1962
  • Inventories, 1852-1857 (Vol. H), 1868-1878 (Vol. K)
  • Juvenile records, 1941-1964
  • Letters, 1907-1956 (2 vols.)
  • Minutes, 1842-1850, 1883-1887, 1894-1900 (5 vols.)
  • Settlements, 1856-1880, 1886-1924 (3 vols.)

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

  • 1837 - 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.
  • 1838 - 1844 - Works Progress Administration. Wills and Inventories, 1838-1844. Nashville, Tennessee: Works Progress Administration, 1938. Typescript of the original records.

Taxation[edit | edit source]

The following Humphreys County tax records have been abstracted:[12]

  • 1812 - Taxable Inhabitants, 1812, Ansearchin' News, Vol. 11, No. 4 (Oct. 1964). For possible FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Periodicals.
  • 1812 - Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Index to Early Tennessee Tax Lists. Evanston, Ill.: B. B. Sistler, 1977. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 R4s. Includes 1812 tax list.
  • 1812 - Free Taxable Inhabitants, 1812, Benton County Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 6, No. 2 (Apr. 1994).
  • 1817 - "U.S. Holds 1817 Public Sale of Federal Tax-Delinquent Properties in Tennessee," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 43, No. 2 (Summer 1996):63-68. For possible FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Periodicals. Includes Humphreys County.
  • 1836 - Nichols, Elizabeth Riggins. "Humphreys County, Tennessee 1836 Tax List," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 35, No. 3 (Fall 1988):111-114. For FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Periodicals.
  • 1837 - Nazor, Mary Louise Graham. "Humphreys County, Tennessee 1837 Tax List," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 35, No. 4 (Winter 1988):165-170. For FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Periodicals.
  • 1837 - 1843 - Fischer, Marjorie and Ruth B. Burns. Humphreys County, Tennessee, Records: Tax Lists, 1837-1843; Marriages, 1888-1900.Vista, California : Ran Press, 1987. FHL 976.837 R4f
  • 1839 - Tax List, 1839, River Counties, Vol. 2, No. 3 (Jul. 1973).
  • 1852 - Tax List, 1852, District 1, River Counties, Vol. 10, Nos. 1-4 (1981).
  • 1869 - "Humphreys County Land Sold for Unpaid 1869 Taxes," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 46, No. 2 (Summer 1999):39. For possible FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Periodicals.

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 Humphreys County marriage records are kept at the County Courthouse. Due to fire, all marriage records prior to 1864 are lost. The following publication, based on early newspapers, helps to alleviate this genealogical obstacle:

The following Humphreys County marriage records are microfilmed:

  • 1864 - 1993 - Available at the TSLA.
  • 1864 - 1959 - Available at the Family History Library. Volumes are indexed.FHL 979381

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

  • 1861 - 1888 - Fischer, Marjorie H. and Ruth Blake Burns. Humphreys County, Tennessee Marriage Records, 1861-1888. Vista, California: Ram Press, 1984. FHL 976.837 V2f Information abstracted from marriage books A, C, D, F, and G.
  • 1864 - 1868 - Marriage Records, 1864-1868, Humphreys County, Tennessee. Nashville: TSLA, Historical Records Project, 1939. Typescript. FHL 24705 Item 2
  • 1888 - 1900 - Fischer, Marjorie H. and Ruth B. Burns. Humphreys County, Tennessee, Records: Tax Lists, 1837-1843; Marriages, 1888-1900. Vista, California: Ran Press, 1987. FHL 976.837 R4f
  • 1780 - 2002 - Many county marriage records are indexed with images at's Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002. $ Be aware that this index is not complete for many counties.

Humphreys County is not indexed in Sistler's Early Middle Tennessee Marriages.

Divorce[edit | edit source]

In 1940 and 1941, W.P.A. workers pinpointed the location of Humphreys 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 Humphreys 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

Humphreys County Historical Society
105 1/2 Carroll Ave
Waverly, TN 37185

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

Humphreys County Public Library
201 Pavo Avenue
Waverly, TN 37185
Phone: 1-931-296-2143

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, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Libraries

Websites[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Humphreys County, Tennessee

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Humphreys, Tennessee" in,_Tennessee accessed 21 Dec 2018
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Humphreys 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), Humphreys 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 (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. Lost Records: Courthouse Fires and Disasters in Tennessee in Tennessee State Library and Archives in Tennessee Secretary of State (accessed 13 March 2016).
  10. Wikipedia contributors, "Humphreys County, Tennessee," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Tennessee#Communities, accessed 24 November 2019.
  11. *Waldrep, G.C. "'Free Colored' Heads of Household in the 1820 Tennessee Census," available online, courtesy: Free African Americans website.
  12. The Heritage Quest Online version of PERSI aided in the compilation of this list.
  13. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at