Macon County, Tennessee Genealogy

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Macon County, Tennessee ancestry, family history, and genealogy research page. Guide to Macon County (established 1842) genealogy, history, and courthouse sources including birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, wills, deeds and land records, Civil War records, Revolutionary War records, family histories, cemeteries, churches, tax records, newspapers, and obituaries.

Macon County, Tennessee
Boundary map of Macon County, Tennessee
Map of Tennessee highlighting Macon County
Location in the state of Tennessee
Map of the U.S. highlighting Tennessee
Location of Tennessee in the U.S.
Founded: January 18, 1842
County Seat Lafayette
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Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named the late Revolutionary War veteran and United States Senator, Nathaniel Macon. The County is located in the north central area of the state. [1]

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

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1908 1901 1925 1843 1901 1900 1810
Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1914. General compliance by 1927.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]



Macon County Courthouse, Lafayette, Tenn. Courtesy: Collection: County Court Houses, Flickr by Jimmy Emerson. Used by permission.


Macon County Courthouse
104 Courthouse, Public Square
Lafayette, TN 37083
Phone: 1-615-666-2000

Macon County; 106 County Courthouse; Lafayette, TN 37083; Ph. 615.666.2000 Details: (Co Clk has b rec 1908-1912, m rec from 1901 & pro rec from 1900; Clk Cir Ct has div & ct rec; Reg of Deeds has land rec)

Macon County Clerk
Marriage and probate records
Birth records 1908-1912
104 County Courthouse
Lafayette, TN 37083
Phone: 1-615-666-2333

Macon County Register of Deeds
Land records
102 County Courthouse
Lafayette, TN 37083
Phone: 1-615-666-2353

Macon County Circuit Court Clerk
Court records
904 Highway 52 Bypass East
Lafayette, TN 37083
Phone: 1-615-666-2354

Because of three courthouse fires, the records stored there prior to 1901 are mostly destroyed. The Macon County Historical Society is working to restore these lost records through several different means. To learn what records are now available, it is worthwhile to contact the Macon County Historical Society at P.O. Box 231, Lafayette, Tennessee 37083-0231.

Courthouse hours:
Mon.-Wed. 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Fri. 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sat. 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Closed Thursday

History[edit | edit source]

Sen. Nathaniel Macon (1758-1837)


Middle Tennessee county established in 1842. Macon County's land belonged to the pioneer Cumberland Settlements.[3]

The county is named after U.S. Senator Nathaniel Macon (1758-1837).[4]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1842--Macon County was created 18 January 1842 from Smith and Sumner Counties.
County seat: Lafayette [5]

County Pronunciation[edit | edit source]

  1. Hear it spoken[6] (female)
  2. Hear it spoken[7] (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]


1860, 1901, and 1932 Most pre-1900 records have been lost in courthouse fires.[8]

  • Lost land records
  • Lost marriage records: 1842 to 1900
  • Lost probate records: 1842 to 1939

Surviving chancery court records act as a substitute to the lost land and probate records.

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:[9]

Unincorporated communities

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

  • Genealogical "Fact Sheets" About Tennessee Counties: Macon County, courtesy: TSLA. (Identifies published county histories, published local records, census records, newspapers and local records on microfilm, and select manuscripts.)
  • "Research in Macon County," The Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy and History, Vol. 6, No. 3 (Winter 1993). For possible FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Periodicals.

African American[edit | edit source]

United States African Americans Gotoarrow.png Tennessee African Americans

Biographies[edit | edit source]

  • Douthat, James L. Macon County, Tennessee Biographies. Signal Mountain, Tenn.: Mountain Press. Free Surname Index and purchase details at Mountain Press website.

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 Interment
See Tennessee Cemeteries for more information.

Additional Cemetery Resources

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1850 6,948
1860 7,290 4.9%
1870 6,633 −9.0%
1880 9,321 40.5%
1890 10,878 16.7%
1900 12,881 18.4%
1910 14,559 13.0%
1920 14,922 2.5%
1930 13,872 −7.0%
1940 14,904 7.4%
1950 13,599 −8.8%
1960 12,197 −10.3%
1970 12,315 1.0%
1980 15,700 27.5%
1990 15,906 1.3%
2000 20,386 28.2%
2010 22,248 9.1%
Source: "".

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

1810 - 1891


  • Cothron, Judy M., ed. Macon County Tennessee, 1850 & 1860 Census. Lafayette, Tennessee: Macon County Historical Society, 1997. FHL 976.8484 X2c
  • Porch, Deane. Macon County, Tennessee, 1850 Census. Franklin, Tennessee: L.G. Lynch, 19-?. FHL 976.8484 X2p 1850


  • Cothron, Judy M., ed. Macon County Tennessee, 1850 & 1860 Census. Lafayette, Tennessee: Macon County Historical Society, 1997. FHL 976.8484 X2c


  • Cothron, Judy M., ed.Macon County, Tennessee, 1870 & 1880 Census.Lafayette, Tennessee : Macon County Historical Society, 1995. FHL 976.8484 X2m 1870-1880


  • Cothron, Judy M., ed.Macon County, Tennessee, 1870 & 1880 Census.Lafayette, Tennessee : Macon County Historical Society, 1995. FHL 976.8484 X2m 1870-1880
  • Sistler, Byron H. and Barbara Sistler. 1880 census, Macon County, Tennessee. Nashville, Tennessee : B. Sistler & Associates, 1993. FHL 976.8484 X2s 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. 6 1891. Macon County is included in Vol. 6.
  • 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.


  • Crumpton, Barbara. 1900 Census, Macon County, Tennessee.Duncan, Oklahoma: Creative Copies, 1988. FHL 976.8484 X2c 1900
  • Pryor, Mary C. Macon County, Tennessee 1900 & 1910 Census. Lafayette, Tennessee: Macon County Historical Society, 2004. FHL 976.8484 X2pm 1900-1910


  • Pryor, Mary C. Macon County, Tennessee 1900 & 1910 Census. Lafayette, Tennessee: Macon County Historical Society, 2004. FHL 976.8484 X2pm 1900-1910


Church[edit | edit source]

Church records include baptisms, marriages and burials, as well as information about family members and clues about family migration. For additional information about church records, religions, and religious archives in Tennessee, see Tennessee Church Records.

  • Macon County Church Records
- FamilySearch Catalog - Bedford County Church Records
  • Church histories tell when a church started in the area, who the early members were, give data about church leaders, etc.
- FamilySearch Catalog - Macon County Church History
  • If the records you need are not through the Family History Library, contact the church(es) in the area where your ancestor lived. Two sites that give information about churches in Macon County are:
- List of Macon County churches with addresses and phone numbers (Yellowbook)
- List of Macon County churches (TN HomeTownLocator)


  • 1831 - 1928 - Hillsdale Baptist Church Records. Macon County, 1831-1928. Manuscript. TSLA Reel #215. FHL 570855 Item 3. Formerly the East Fork of Goose Creek Church.
  • 1831 - 1900 - Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Vital Statistics from 19th Century Tennessee Church Records. Nashville: Sitler and Associates, 1979. vol. 1 FHL 976.8 K29s Index to original Hillsdale Baptist Church Records. Macon County, 1831-1928.
  • 1841 - 1883 Hastings, Patricia G. Into His Marvelous Light: the Minutes of the Siloam Missionary Baptist Church, 1841-1883. Nashville, Tennessee: P.G. Hastings, 1988. FHL 976.8484 K2h

Court[edit | edit source]

DNA[edit | edit source]

DNA Double Helix.png
DNA has been collected from men claiming descent from the following Macon County residents. Attempts have not been made to verify the lineages of those tested.
  • Doss - Descendant of John Doss (1816-1857) of Sumner and Macon counties, Tennessee. Y-DNA 37 Marker Test, FTDNA (Kit 49304). Genetic signature available online (labeled Ju-3), genealogical description available online, courtesy: The Doss DNA Project, World Families. Matches have been found.

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 Macon, Tennessee at World Connect, results in more than 38,000 entries.


  • Ballew - Ballew, David L. Ancestors of Leonard Ballew. West Palm Beach, Fla.: D.L. Ballew, 1987? FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 B212b.
  • Cragon - Cragon, Henry D., Harvey Allen Cragon, Miller Murray Cragon, and James Alexander Cragon. Tennessee Cragons and Their Kinfolk. [Birmingham, Alabama?: H.D. Cragon], 1974. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 C843c.
  • Doss - Murphy, Nathan W. Descendants of Azariah Doss and His Wife Lydia (Ayres) Doss. Hanson, Ky.: David W. Murphy and Associates, 1998. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 D741m

Land[edit | edit source]

  • Land Grants. Free index to 1500+ Pioneer Cumberland Settlements Land Grants, available online, courtesy: Cumberland Pioneer Settlers. The Cumberland Settlements region covered what is now this county. To view the land grants platted on maps, purchase the books described on this site, or access those available at the Family History Library FHL US/CAN Large Q Book 976.8 E7d.

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]

  • Blankenship, Harold G. History of Macon County, Tennessee. n.p.: H.G. Blankenship, 1986. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8484 H2b.
  • Roddy, Vernon On the early story of Red Boiling Springs, Tennesse : with selected supporting materials Hartsville, Tennessee : V.Roddy, 1991 (Murfreesboro, Tennessee : Ambassador Print) FHL US/CAN book 976.8484 H2rv

Maps[edit | edit source]

Allen CountyMonroe CountyClay CountyJackson CountySmith CountyTrousdale CountySumner CountyTN MACON.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military[edit | edit source]

War of 1812[edit | edit source]
  • Embry, Hermione D. "War of 1812 - Tennessee Pensioners on List - January 2, 1883," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 8, No. 1 (Jan. 1961):20-23. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 B2a v. 8 (1961); digital version at journal website. Includes Macon County pensioners (p. 21).
Civil War[edit | edit source]

Online Records

Regiments. Civil War service men from Macon County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed in or came from Macon County:

Confederate Soldiers

Union Soldiers

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

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 Macon County, Tennessee Genealogy 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 Book 976.8 B2a.

Makin' History: Newsletter of the Macon County, Tennessee, Historical Society
The Family History Library has  Volume 1  - present. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8484 B2n 
Indexed in PERiodical Source Index (PERSI)
For further information see their website. (Includes Quarterly Newsletter Index)

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.

Prisons[edit | edit source]

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

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

The Macon County Court and County Clerk have responsibility for 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:

  • Wills, 1946-1977 (Vol. 1)

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

  • Macon County (Tennessee) County Clerk and Tennessee State Library and Archives (Nashville, Tennessee) Macon County, Tennessee wills, ca. 1946-1977 Nashville, Tennessee : Filmed by the Tennessee State Library and Archives, 1988. FHL US/CAN film 1928767 item 6

Taxation[edit | edit source]

The following Macon County tax records have been abstracted:[11]

  • 1789 - Cumberland Settlements, Tax List, 1789, The Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy and History, Vol. 4, No. 2 (Fall 1990). For possible FHL and online access, as well as indexes, seePeriodicals. Includes area that later became Macon County.
  • 1868 - Taxpayers, 3rd District, 1868, Macon County Historical Society Newsletter, Vol. 8, No. 2 (Summer 1992).

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 Macon County marriage records are kept at the County Courthouse. Because of a courthouse fire, no marriage records before 1900 are available. The following publication, based on early newspapers, helps to alleviate this genealogical obstacle:

The following Macon County marriage records are microfilmed:

  • 1901 - 1994 - Available at the TSLA.
  • 1901 - 1954 - Available at the Family History Library. FHL 1928760

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

  • 1901 - 1994 Macon County, Tennessee Bonds and Marriages. Lebanon, Tennessee: Brawner Books, 2001-1002. FHL 976.8484 V2m 2 volumes

State Marriage Records

  • 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.

Macon 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 Macon County divorce papers in diverse County Courthouse records, 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 Macon 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

Macon County, Tennessee Historical and Genealogical Society
Meets at Macon County Court House room 202
Lafayette, TN
Phone: 1-615-688-6247

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

Macon County Public Library
311 Church St.
Lafayette, TN 37083
Phone: 1-615-666-4340
Fax: 1-615-666-8932
Hours: Mon., Tues., Wed., Fri. 9 a.m.-5:45 p.m.
Thurs. 12 noon-8 p.m.
Sat. 8 a.m.-1:45 p.m.

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: Macon County, Tennessee

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Macon, Tennessee" in,_Tennessee accessed 27 Dec 2018
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Macon 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. Founding of the Cumberland Settlements: The First Atlas 1779-1804.
  4. "Nathaniel Macon", 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. Voice of Lynnae Weller, Kingsport, Tenn. (2010).
  7. Voice of Gene Black, FamilySearch employee, former resident of Bristol, Tenn. (2010).
  8. Lost Records: Courthouse Fires and Disasters in Tennessee in Tennessee State Library and Archives in Tennessee Secretary of State.
  9. Wikipedia contributors, "Macon County, Tennessee," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Tennessee, accessed 2 December 2019.
  10. May be used for free at Family History Center. To locate a center near you, click here.
  11. The Heritage Quest Online version of PERSI aided in the compilation of this list.