Vital records, as their name suggests, are connected with central life events: birth, marriage, and death. Maintained by civil authorities, they are prime sources of genealogical information; but, unfortunately, official vital records are available only for relatively recent periods. These records, despite their recent creation in the United States, are critically important in genealogical research, often supplying details on family members well back into the nineteenth century. The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy, by Loretto Szucs and Sandra Luebking.
Ancestry.com Tennessee Marriages to 1825
This database of Tennessee marriages to 1825 contains over 45,000 names. Each entry includes groom, bride, marriage date, county, and state. Every name is indexed so you can search for one name, or two names that are linked.
The marriage date is usually the date of marriage as given in the original entry. However, when no marriage date is given (e.g., the “marriage return” was not provided to the record keeper), the date of the license is used. In a few cases, a marriage will be listed twice, but in two different counties. This most often happened when a couple obtained a license in one county, but were actually married in another. (Free Database.)
Ancestry.com Tennessee Marriages, 1851-1900
Tennessee, which became the sixteenth state in 1796, was home to more than a million residents before the Civil War. This database is a collection of marriage records from the state, between 1851 and 1900. This update adds marriages from Carter, Morgan, White, and Williamson counties to those of Wayne, McMinn, Madison, Haywood, Claiborne, Dekalb, Franklin, Giles, Henry, Humphreys, Lawrence, Lincoln, Montgomery, Roane, Scott, Sequatchie, Shelby, Smith, Stewart, Sumner, Union, Warren, Wilson, Hickman, Lauderdale, Monroe, Hawkins, Weakley, and Rutherford counties. Researchers will find the names of both bride and groom, the marriage date, and the county where the ceremony was performed. (Requires Ancestry.com Membership) Get 14 Days Free Access!!!
Tennessee Department of Health
Tennessee Vital Records
Central Services Building
421 5th Avenue North
Phone (615) 741-1763
Beginning with January 1914
A certified photocopy of the original record may be obtained at a fee of $10.00 for the first copy and $2.00 for each additional copy.
Records of some births that occurred in the major cities from 1881-1913 are also available.
Available for the past 50 years (beginning with January 1, 1952, deaths). The fee is $5.00 per certified copy. The cause of death is not normally included on a certified copy unless specifically requested and then is available only to certain family members or legal representatives.
Marriage and Divorce $10.00
Marriage and divorce records are available for the past 50 years (beginning with January 1, 1952), at a fee of $10.00 for the first copy and $2.00 for each additional copy of the same record requested at the same time.
Some earlier birth and death records are available at the Tennessee State Library and Archives. Early Tennessee county records including marriages can also be obtained from the Tennessee State Library and Archives.