TNGenWeb Cemetery Database Update

Have you visited our TNGenWeb Cemetery Database lately? If so, you may have noticed that the site has been redesigned and has a few new features included.

The TNGenWeb Cemetery Database, coordinated by Jerry Butler, is a great collection of burial records from across the state.  As of this writing, the database includes more than 350,000 records from 15,000 cemeteries.   


In the database, you can

  • search for individuals across the state
  • restrict your search to specific counties
  • search on a first name, middle name, and/or surname
  • search cemeteries by name and/or by GPS coordinates – can even generate a map of your results

There is a page for each county that allows you to see, at-a-glance, which cemeteries have records available. In some instances, you’ll find these records also on our individual county sites; in other instances, the records will only be available here.  Additionally, each county has a link to a great map of cemeteries in the county and links back to each county website. 

If you’ve not used the database before, this is a good time to explore! If it’s been awhile, do some new searching – you just may find some information that was not there last time you checked!


County Spotlight: Haywood County

Today for our weekly County Spotlight series we are visiting Haywood County.

Coordinator:  Your coordinator for Haywood County is Jim Ackerman, who has been with the TNGenWeb Project since late 2007.   Jim actively updates the Haywood County website – if you have family from this area, you’d do well to make sure you spend some time to keep up with all that Jim posts.  The What’s New page on the Haywood site is particularly helpful as you can, at-a-glance, see what has been added since the last time you visited.

Records Highlight:  As a user of the Haywood County site, there are three record collections that you will quickly come to find to be great sources of information.  

  • Cemetery Burials –  Jim has a great collection of burial records on the site from cemeteries all across the county.  The Cemeteries page has links to many, many cemeteries and combined there are more than 20,000 burial records.  20,000!!!  
  • Marriages – check out the collection of marriage records from 1859-1908. 
  • Obituary Index –  many obits indexed alphabetically by last name, at least 3,000 of them. Most come from the Brownsville States-Graphic newspaper.

Trivia:  Nutbush, TN.  Sound familiar? Haywood County is the home of Anna Mae Bullock (aka Tina Turner).  The West TN Delta Heritage Center even hosts an annual Tina Turner Heritage Days event!  In doing a little research on Tina’s family tree, I was able to quickly find on the Haywood County site the marriage information for her paternal grandparents, Alex and Roxanna (Whitelaw) Bullock. They married January 17, 1878.   


young Anna Mae Bullock in the 1940 census with parents Richard and Zelma

Many thanks to Jim for doing such a great job with the Haywood County website, and thanks to those that have donated information.  Let’s keep up the good work — remember, donate your family history information and others may benefit!

County Spotlight: Dekalb County

Today for our weekly County Spotlight series we are visiting Dekalb County.

Coordinator:  David Johnson is the coordinator for Dekalb County, first joining the project in October 2008.  After former coordinator, Athol Foster, retired the county, David took interest since his mother’s family is rooted in Dekalb County and the surrounding areas.  David had been researching his family’s genealogy and benefited from much of work he found on the USGenWeb sites. He found special value in queries that were posted as a way to connect with others researching his family lines.  Additionally, David had been sharing genealogy records he collected with others freely online via websites he personally created, so the goals of the TNGenWeb Project were very much aligned with his approach to genealogy. More recently, David also became our coordinator for Grundy County. 

smithville clockRecords Highlight: Without pinpointing any one particular record collection, David shared that he is quite proud in general that there has been much interest shown by Dekalb County researchers in their willingness to donate material to the site and offer corrections when errors are found.  The site has a collection of more than 2,000 obituaries donated by Earl France, as well as a good collection of abstracts from the Liberty Herald Newspaper 1886-1900 that were donated by Athol. Over time, thousands of pages of information have been added – mostly donations from others.  How fabulous!

Ideal Record Contribution: Bible records are of particular interest as these types of records are not easily available to the public in archives until the owner donates them.

Upcoming Projects:  Currently, there is a photo and biography project for Mount Holly Cemetery that is ongoing and in the future, David plans to add records of wills and estate settlements.  Possibly, even court minutes will be added. 

If you have research interests in Dekalb County then you will definitely want to stay tuned to the great work that David is doing! 

Photo credit: Smithville clock – by Brent Moore


County Spotlight: Moore County

Today for our Weekly County Spotlight Series, let’s visit the bottom center of the state over to Moore County.

Coordinator:  John Parkes is the host for the Moore County TNGenWeb pageHe joined the TNGenWeb in August of 1997. He has been with us almost the entire time of the TNGenWeb!  John took on the county because his ancestors were involved in the county’s formation and compiled many family histories of local families in the 192o’s. How great for him to have such a strong personal connection.

Records Highlight:  One of the more interesting records on the Moore County site is a detailed drawing of the city of Lynchburg from 1920.  The drawing outlines who owned each property around the town square. I’m sure many researchers have appreciated having that level of detail.


Ideal Record Contribution:  What kinds of records would John like to see more contributions for? John shares that he would love to get more researched family histories with proven sources. Additionally, photos of anyone from Moore County before 1930 with identification of who they are.  I agree that these would be valuable records.  If any of our researchers have records that could be of help, let John know!

Trivia:  John shares that Jasper Newton Daniel, better known as Jack, put Lynchburg on the map back in the 1860′s when he bought the distillery from Daniel Call. In 1866, Jack Daniel applied for and received the first license to operate a distillery. Being first led the United States Department of the Interior to place the business on the National Register of Historic Places. How interesting! I’m going to remember this now every time I pass by the distillery when we are on our way visiting family in Alabama.  

Thanks John for sharing this information! We are all appreciative of the work you do for the county website.

 Photo credit: Lynchburg TN Hardware and General Store on the Town Square – by Brent Moore


County Spotlight: Lauderdale County

Hello 2014! We at the TNGenWeb Project are happy to see another year arrive, another year of helping you find more about your family history.  As we continue to think of ways to help make the project even more relevant for our researchers’ needs, one idea that arose was a county highlight series. Thus, let us introduce you to our new blog series. Each week, we will post about one of our TNGenWeb counties and share information about our county coordinators and the resources we have available on each site. Additionally, we hope you will consider contributing records and sharing more about the kind of records may best help you in your research.

Our first county to be highlighted is Lauderdale County.  

Coordinator:  Connie Burkett has been the Lauderdale County coordinator since 2005.  She was recruited to the TNGenWeb by former State Coordinator Fred Smoot after he enlisted her help with the TNGenWeb election. After looking over the counties available for adoption, Connie chose Lauderdale because several of her Swiss (lateral) ancestors had stayed there several years before continuing on west.

Records Highlight:  On the Lauderdale County site, the Cemetery Index stands out as a particularly high-valued resource for researchers. There are transcription records for more than 80 cemeteries.

Ideal Record Contribution: Bible records are a personal favorite of Connie’s. She finds them a greate record type since they were created by family members and births, deaths, and marriages were often recorded at the time they happened. Connie would love to see more contributed so if you have any bible records relevant to Lauderdale County, just let her know!

HenningMuralTrivia: Recently, Connie received an email from a researcher in Hanover, Germany about one of the tombstone photos on the Halls Cemetery page.  In follow-up email correspondence, Connie mentioned that one set of her great-grandparents immigrated from Germany in 1867 and the 1880 census revealed they were born in Hanover. The researcher replied with details about the area, providing an explanation that present-day Hanover is not the same as where her ancestors were likely from and ultimately, in their back-and-forth exchanges, Connie ended learning the names and birth/death dates of her great-grandfather’s — parents, grand-parents, and great-grandfather all born/died in Bohmte, Germany.  What a great outcome!!

Many thanks to Connie for her work with the county.  If you have Lauderdale County connections, please consider contributing.

Photo credit: Welcome to Henning mural by Brent Moore.




Cumberland County TNGenWeb Site Updated

We are pleased to share the news that we have another TNGenWeb county site that’s been updated and freshened up with a new design — Cumberland County


Now that the site has been updated, there is a new option to receive site updates directly by email. If you do research in this county, you’ll want to be sure to check that out. To sign up, look for the the “Subscribe by Email” option on the right sidebar.  Alternatively, you can subscribe to the RSS feed and get updates in your favorite feed reader. 

Do you have any material to share for this county? Remember, the TNGenWeb is an all-volunteer project and our sites rely heavily on your contributions. Please do let Mike and Jill, the county coordinators, know if you have anything to contribute

Biography Updates Can Come Directly To You

In August, we were pleased to announce the availability of our Who’s Who in Tennessee portal for hundreds of biographies of Tennessee individuals. Most recently, we’ve made it easier for you to subscribe and get biographies from the counties you are interested coming directly to you!

We have a newSubscribe by Countypage for a list of subscription options.  You can choose to sign up for the RSS feed, or choose to have an email sent to you each day biographies for your counties are added. Just click the icon for your choice.  You can sign up for as many counties as you’d like. 


We would love to have you staying up-to-date as we continually add new biographies.  We have many more before we finish this specific book and then we have plans for even further expansion.  Come check us out!

Have Ancestors from Washington County?

Then perhaps you can contribute to the Early Settlers of Washington County project currently being organized by the Jonesborough Genealogical Society? The Society is compiling records of individuals that lived in the county prior to 1799.  This is your opportunity to share your history and research about the early settlers. 

In addition to this project, the society is also offering certificates for ancestors that settled prior to 1840. 

More information on the flyer below and the Jonesborough Genealogical Society website at

Early Settlers Project of the Jonesborough Genealogical Society (Tennessee) by tngenweb

If you are reading this in a feed reader, or via email, and cannot see the embedded document, you can find it online here

TNGenWeb Featured in Major Genealogy Magazine


We are so pleased to share the news that the TNGenWeb has been featured in the cover article of a major genealogical magazine!  Our special project, Who’s Who in Tennessee, is featured in the latest issue of FGS Forum, the publication of the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS).  The article in the magazine comes from an interview I did with Thomas MacEntee for his Hack Genealogy site.

In the article, I talk about the development and implementation of the Who’s Who project and how I’ve leveraged WordPress to build the database of more than 1,700 biographical profiles (current count) of Tennessee-affiliated people and it’s emphasis to organize profiles by county.  We have a great group of transcribers who are busy typing away to add the information to the website and we have been so pleased with how the site is developing.  And, I’m so honored that we were chosen as the cover story for the magazine! The magazine illustrator did a beautiful job with the graphics too. I like the use of the Tennessee State Flag in the background behind the individual pictures.

FGS is a great organization that aids hundreds genealogical societies and organizations, so perhaps this project can serve as a model for any group interested in creative ways to guild online database collections.  If you’ve not yet had a chance to explore the Who’s Who site, please visit it at  Many thanks to FGS for sharing our project!

Members of the United States Colored Troops to be Commemorated in Dedication Ceremony

The African American Heritage Society of Maury County announced that a dedication ceremony to commemorate the placement of the names of 54 members of the United States Colored Troops (U.S.C.T.) from Maury County and 4 white Maury Countians who fought and died for the union in the Civil War will be conducted on Oct 19th, 2013 at 10 AM at the Maury County War Memorial Monument located outside the Maury County Court House. 

The program includes an honor guard from the black Civil War re-enactors of the 13th U.S.C. T. Regiment who will present and post arms to honor these men, as their names are read into Maury County’s place of history.  

The Key Note speakers include, Mr. Patrick McIntyre, Director of the Tennessee Historical commission; Mr. John Seigenthaler, founder of the First Amendment Foundation, and Dr. Bobby Lovett.  Ms. Dorothy Oliver will sing the Battle Hymn of the Republic and Oh Freedom, followed by a prayer and taps to honor these brave men.  

A luncheon will be served following the ceremony at 11:30 am in the Parish Hall at St. Peters Episcopal Church on 7th St.  Dr. Bobby Lovett of TSU will speak. Luncheon reservations are available until October 10, at $25 per person. 

The history of the 13th U.S.C.T. where most of these Maury County men served can be found at  The regiment was formed on Sept. 24, 1863 at Murfreesboro, Tn.  The 13th USCT Regiment was presented with its Regimental flag by the colored ladies ofMurfreesboro, TN on Nov. 19, 1863.  The 13th USCT was initially stationed in defense of Nashville and railroad facilities in Middle Tennessee.  The unit repelled the forces of General Nathan Bedford Forrest on several occasions and was engaged in battles at Johnsonville and Nashville.  In Dec. 1864 the 13th USCT Regiment was consolidated with the 12th USCT and 100th USCT under Colonel Thompson into the 2nd Brigade.  The Second Brigade, including the 13th USCT participated in the fierce assault on the right wing of General Hoods Army of Tennessee in the Battle of Nashville on Dec. 15- 16th,1864 at Overton Hill (Peach Orchard Hill).  The battle site can be seen today just west of I-65 at the Harding Place exit, where a historical marker has been placed.  The 13th USCT was mustered out of service on July 7th, 1865 in St. Louis. 

For further information on the event or luncheon call : Jo Ann McClellan  – 931-682-3755   or   931-698-4765