News From Terre Haute, Indiana

October 11, 2008

Genealogy: Tennessee death records are available online

By Tamie Dehler

Death records for the state of Tennessee are available online in three separate indexes. Tennessee began recording death records in 1908. For the first few years, recording was erratic. The Tennessee State Archives and Library features a searchable index to their death records for 1908-1912 at This index contains almost 98,000 listings. The search results give the decedent's name, year of death, county of death, and certificate number. This information can be used to order the complete death record.

Death records for 1913 were not recorded in Tennessee. The second online index lists Tennessee deaths from 1914 to 1924 and is at Search the index by year to get the name of the decedent, county of death, and volume and page number of the death certificate. Again, this information should be used when ordering the full death record.

The Memphis Public Library History and Genealogy Index Web site at allows the visitor to search Memphis/Shelby County deaths (1848-1945) from the Memphis Death Register books and yellow fever deaths recorded during an epidemic in 1878. Also included in the database are the Freedmen's Bureau marriage index of 1863-4.

Announcements, FamilySearch, and the National Association of Government Archive and Records Administrators have jointly announced that the Probate Division of the Summit County, Ohio, Common Pleas Court, headed by Judge Bill Spicer, has been awarded a grant to digitize the county's birth, death, and marriage records.

This project will focus on the marriage records from 1840 to 1980, births recorded prior to 1908, and deaths recorded prior to 1908. The public will have free access to a searchable name index which will be linked to the digital images of the original records at

This is the first time that this national grant has ever been offered. It is administered by NAGARA and sponsored by both and FamilySearch. The proposal states that FamilySearch will be responsible for digitizing the original courthouse documents and will be responsible for creating a searchable electronic index to the digitized images. The project will be completed sometime in 2009.

• The Wabash Valley Genealogy Society will have an “Open Forum” meeting on Monday in the main branch of the Vigo County Public Library, from 6-8 p.m. This forum is open to the public and several members will be present to answer questions on genealogy, help with breaking through brick walls, and assist you in getting started. Laptops and the Internet will be available for conducting searches. There is no registration or cost to attend this session.


The following query ran in September with an incorrect e-mail address. This one contains the correct address: Robert Samuel Jordan was born about 1855 in the Terre Haute area and ran away from home at about 13 years of age.

After traveling with gypsies for a few years he finally moved to Indian Territory, settled down, and raised a family of 11 children. He died in 1927 in Cherokee County, Oklahoma. He has many descendants. I am wondering what became of his siblings from Indiana. Please contact Faye Flournoy, P.O. Box 361, Tahlequah, OK 74465, phone (918) 456-4714 or (918) 207-9659, or e-mail