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Genealogical "Fact Sheets" About Tennessee Counties

Shelby County

Shelby County

Shelby County was formed in 1819 from Indian lands
(Private Acts of Tennessee 1819, Chapter 146).

The county seat is Memphis.


SELECTED PUBLISHED COUNTY HISTORIES

  • Along the Old Stage-coach Road : Morning Sun and Brunswick, Shelby County, Tennessee (Davies-Rodgers, 1990) [name index]
  • Biography of a River Town; Memphis: Its Heroic Age (Capers, 1939) [name index]*
  • Brief History of Memphis (Dowdy, 2011) [name index]
  • Builders of the Pyramid; The Story of Shelby County: Its Resources and Developments (Williams, 1897)*
  • Cordova (Sawyer & Hooker, 2013)
  • Early Memphis and its River Rivals (Williams, 1968)*
  • Founding of Memphis, 1818-1820 (Roper, 1970) [name index]*
  • Germantown [Images of America] (Hall, 2003)*
  • Goodspeed's History of Hamilton, Knox, and Shelby Counties of Tennessee (Goodspeed, 1974)*
  • Hidden History of Memphis (Dowdy, 2010)
  • Historic Shelby County: An Illustrated History (Harkins, 2008) [name index]
  • History of the City of Memphis and Shelby County, Tennessee, with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of its Prominent Citizens [2 vols.] (Keating & Vedder, 1888) [name index in vol. 2]*
  • History of the City of Memphis, Being a Compilation of the Most Important Documents and Historical Events ... Also, the "Old Times papers" (Davis, 1972) [name index]*
  • Illustrated History of the People and Towns of Northeast Shelby County and South Central Tipton County : Salem, Portersville, Idaville, Kerrville, Armourtown, Bethel, Tipton, Mudville, Macedonia, Gratitude, Barretville, and Rosemark, Tennessee (McCalla, 2010) [name index]
  • Last Segreated Hour : The Memphis kneel-ins and the Campaign for Southern Church Desegregation (Haynes, 2012) [name index]
  • Memphis, 1800-1900 [3 vols.] (Ornelas-Struve, 1982)*
  • Memphis a Pictorial History (Plunkett, 1976)
  • Memphis and the Super Flood of 1937 : High Water Blues (O'Daniel, 2010)
  • Memphis Down in Dixie (McIlwaine, 1948) [name index]*
  • Memphis in Black and White (Bond and Sherman, 2003) [name index]*
  • Memphis Memoirs (Coppock, 1980) [name index]
  • Metropolis of the American Nile : Memphis and Shelby County (Harkins, 1991) [name index]*
  • Millington [Images of America] (Hall, 2012)
  • Settlers of Shelby County, Tennessee and Adjoining Counties (Cargill & Connelly, 1989) [surname index]
  • Shelby County [Images of America] (Dye, 2005)
  • Standard History of Memphis, Tennessee : From a Study of the Original Sources (Young, 1974) [name index]
  • Tracks to the Past : A Pictorial History of Millington, North Shelby County, and South Tipton County (The Millington Star , 1997)  
  • When the Levee Breaks : Memphis and the Mississippi Valley Flood of 1927 (O'Daniel, 2013) [name index]

 

PUBLISHED LOCAL RECORDS


  • 1837 Shelby County, Tennessee Tax List (Douthat, 2002) [name index]*
  • 1880 Census, Shelby Co. Tennessee (Sistler, 2003) [alphabetical by head of household]*
  • Compilation of Acts of the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee Relating to Shelby County (1960) [subject index]*
  • Court Minutes, [vol. 3 1830-1833 (in 2 pts.); vol. 4 1833-1843 (in 3 pts.); vol. 5 1843-1848 (in 3 pts.); vol. 6 1848-1851 (in 3 pts.)] (WPA, 1941-1942) [case index in vol. 3, pt. 1; name index in vol. 4 pt. 1, vol. 5 pt. 1 and vol. 6 pt. 1]
  • Funeral Home Records, Memphis, Tennessee, 1866-1915 [9 vols.] (Memphis and Shelby County Public Library and Information Center, 1994?) [alphabetical]
  • Gravestone Inscriptions from Shelby County, Tennessee Cemeteries [3 vols.] (Elam & Inabinet, 1971-1974) [name index in vol. 1 and 2; surname index in vol. 3]*
  • Index to Shelby County Marriages, 1820-1865 [vols. 1 & 2 groom; vols. 3 & 4 bride; vols. 5 & 6 groomsman] (Flanary, 1999) [alphabetical]
  • Index to Shelby County Marriages, 1820-1865 : Alternate Spellings for Grooms, Brides and Bondsmen, with a Listing of Officiants (Flanary, 1999) [alphabetical sections for groom, bride and bondsman]*
  • Index to Shelby County Wills, 1820-1900 (Cannon, 2000) [alphabetical]
  • Inscriptions From Tombstones, Winchester Cemetery [bound with vol. 4 of Will Books (1830-1867)] (WPA, 1937)
  • List of Deaths in the City of Memphis, May 1848 - Dec. 1859 (WPA, 1936)
  • Marriage Records, 1820-1863 [vol. 1 1820-1858; vol. 2 1858-1863] (WPA, 1936-1937) [name index in each volume]
  • Marriages of Shelby County, Tennessee, 1820-1858 (Whitley, 1982) [name index]*
  • Memphis Birth Records, 1874-1883 : with Some Shelby County Birth Records, 1881-1882 (Flanary, 1999) [alphabetical]
  • Memphis/Shelby County Birth Records, 1886-1904 : with Some Memphis/Shelby County Birth Records, 1860-1885 (Blaylock, 2000) [alphabetical]
  • Miscellaneous Death Decords, Shelby County, 1881-1882 [and] 1902-1914 : With Some Bodies Shipped in 1942-1944 [vol. 1 A-Durke; vol. 2 Dunn-Lurdy; vol. 3 Lurenzi-Z] (Cannon, 1999) [alphabetical]
  • Miscellaneous Death Records, Shelby County, 1902-1914, With Some Bodies Shipped 1941-1944 [vol. 1 A-C; vol. 2 D-H; vol. 3 I-M; vol. 4 Mo-Si; vol. 5 Sk-Z] (Cannon, 1999) [alphabetical]
  • Occupant Entry, Book B, Volume 1 [Shelby Co., Tenn.] (West, 1985) [surname index]
  • Polk's Memphis (Shelby County, Tenn.) City Directory (2010-2014)
  • Polk's Memphis (Tennessee) City Directory (1928-1932)
  • R. L. Polk & Co.'s Memphis City Directory (1897, 1901, 1910-1911, 1913, 1914-1919, 1922-1927)
  • Shelby Co., Tennessee : Enumeration of Male Inhabitants of Twenty-one Years of Age and Upward, Citizens of Tennessee, January 1, 1891 (Reed, 1989) [name index]
  • Shelby County Death Records : Bodies Shipped Into, Out of, and Through Memphis and Bodies Disinterred, 1883-1902 (Memphis/Shelby County Public Library and Information Center, 1998) [alphabetical]*
  • Shelby County Marriage Records, Book XX, 1870-1886 (Cannon, 1999) [alphabetical sections for bondsman, groom and bride]
  • Shelby County Probate Records [vol. 1 1861-1869; vol. 2 1870-1879; vol. 3 1880-1900] (Memphis and Shelby County Archives, 1995- ) [each volume alphabetical]
  • Shelby County, Tennessee, Alphabetical Index to Probate Papers, 1820-1860 (Memphis and Shelby County Archives, 1993) [alphabetical]
  • Shelby County, Tennessee, Chancery Court Minutes, Book no. 1, 1846-1851 [2 vols.] (WPA, 1938) [name index in vol. 1]
  • Shelby County, Tennessee, Court Minutes, Book 1, 1820-24 (WPA, 1941)
  • Shelby County, Tennessee, Court Minutes vol. 1, 1820-1824 (WPA, 1936) [name index]
  • Shelby County, Tennessee, General Index, Records, Deeds, 1821-[1841] (WPA, 1940) [grouped A-Z by first letter of surname of grantor, then by first letter of of surname of grantee]
  • Shelby County, Tennessee, Marriage Bonds & Licenses, 1850-1865 (Davis, 1983) [alphabetical by groom with bride index]
  • Shelby County Tennessee Marriage Book No. 3 [1864-1865] (WPA, 1937) [name index]
  • Shelby County, Tennessee, Marriage Records, 1819-1850 (Memphis Genealogical Society, 1957) [alphabetical by groom with bride index]
  • Shelby County, Tennessee, Minute Book no.1, 1850-59 (WPA, 1938) [name index]
  • Shelby County, Tennessee, Minutes of Old Circuit Court, no. 2, 1828-36 (WPA, 1937) [surname index]
  • Shelby County, Tennessee Newspaper Abstracts Through 1859 (Rowland, 2002) [name index]*
  • Shelby County, Tennessee, Population Schedules of the United States Census of 1820 (Presley, 1970)
  • Shelby County, Tennessee, Probate Court Minute Book no. 2, 1824-29 (WPA, 1937) [name index]
  • Shelby County, Tennessee, Will Records, C-1, 1830-47 (WPA, 1941) [name index]
  • Shelby County, Tennessee WPA Records [family papers, family bible records, hospital register 1861-1862; etc.] (Douthat, 1993) [name index]*
  • Tennessee, Shelby County, Tombstone Inscriptions, Memphis Memorial Markers (WPA, 1940) [surname index]
  • Tombstone Inscriptions in Bartlett-Ellendale Cemetery, Shelby County, Tennessee (Smith, 2001) [surname index]
  • Tombstone Inscriptions in Older Black Cemeteries, et cetera, in the Bartlett, Tennessee, area (Smith, 2001) [surname index]
  • Will Books [1830-1867] [vol. 1 Jan. 1830-May 1847; vol. 2 June 1847-July 1855; vol. 3 1855-1862; vol. 4 1864-1867 (WPA, 1936-1937) [name index in each volume]

 

LOCAL RECORDS ON MICROFILM 

An inventory of microfilmed Shelby County records is available on our web site.  Individual reels of microfilm may also be purchased.   

Earliest records include:

  • marriages from 1820
  • wills from 1820
  • chancery court minutes from 1881
  • county court quorum minutes from 1870
  • tax books from 1849

 

The following reels are available on interlibrary loan from TSLA:

  • Marriage Index -- 1820-1879 (#99, 1 reel)*
  • Marriage Records -- 1820-1866 (#102, 1 reel)*
  • Probate Record Index -- 1820-1860 (#8, 1 reel)*
  • WPA Records, Shelby County (Record Group #107, Roll 75, 1 reel). Roll includes County Court Minute Book #1 (1820-1824), County Court Minute Book #3, pts. 1 & 2 (1830-1833), County Court Minute Book #4, pts. 1-3 (1833-1843) and County Court Minute Book #5, pts. 1-3 (1843-1848).*
  • WPA Records, Shelby County (Record Group #107, Roll 76, 1 reel). Roll includes County Court Minute Book #6, pts. 1-3 (1848-1851), Old Circuit Court, Minute Book #2 (1828-1836), Probate Court Minute Book #2 (1824-1829) and Shelby County Court Minute Book #1 (1850-1859).*
  • WPA Records, Shelby County (Record Group #107, Roll 77, 1 reel). Roll includes Chancery Court Minute Book #1, pts. 1 & 2 (1846-1851), General Index Records [Deeds] (1821-1870), Will Book #1 (Jan. 1830 - May 1837), Probate Court, Will Record 1-C (1830-1847), Will Book #2D (June 1847 - July 1855), Will Book #3E (1855-1862), List of Deaths in the City of Memphis (May 1858 - Dec. 1859), Marriage Record, Vols. 1-3 (1820-1862, 1864-1865), Will Book #4D [Probate Court] (1864-1867) and Tombstone Inscriptions (undated).*

 

NEWSPAPERS ON MICROFILM 

Newspapers were published in Collierville, Frayser, Germantown, Memphis, Millington, Raleigh and Whitehaven..  A fairly complete run begins in 1843. Microfilms are loaned to Tennessee libraries.  Individual reels may also be purchased.  An Inventory of Newspapers on Microfilm at TSLA is available on our web site. 

 

SELECTED MANUSCRIPTS MATERIAL

 

CENSUS RECORDS

  • Census on microfilm for Shelby County:  1820-1880, 1900-1930
  • State-wide census index:  1820-1880
  • State-wide census index on microfilm  (Soundex):  1880,  1900-1930
  • Shelby County census records in book form:  1820, *1880

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR SHELBY COUNTY

 

* Indicates this title may be borrowed on Interlibrary Loan from TSLA.

 

 

Updated August 27, 2014

 

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