Registrations of deaths began in 1908 in Tennessee.
This index covers nearly 98,000 deaths occurring in Tennessee and recorded between 1908 and 1912. Although deaths were not registered as carefully and regularly as they were beginning in 1914, the index includes all extant records.
The index includes the name of the deceased, county, year of death and certificate number. This information can be used to order a copy of the death certificate from the Tennessee State Library and Archives. If no year of death was given on the certificate, it is noted in this index as "1908-12". Children with no given name are listed under "infant".
Death records in this time period do not give parents' names. They do include the individual's age, occupation, place of birth and cause of death. Names have been transcribed as found on the original record, and may include spelling errors. There may also have been typographical errors made in preparing this index. If you see an error of this type, please notify us by email.
A sample death certificate is available for viewing on our web site.
PLEASE NOTE: Ancestry.com, in partnership with the Tennessee State Library and Archives, has added an index to and scanned images of Tennessee death records for the years 1908-1951. The indexes to these records at Ancestry.com's Tennessee State Library and Archives web page can be viewed by all. RESIDENTS OF TENNESSEE who are not members of Ancestry.com can view the scanned copies of the records by first going to the Tennessee Electronic Library, clicking on the Genealogy tab, and then clicking on Tennessee Records; the scans of the delayed birth records can then be viewed after a free log-in on the Ancestry site. The indexes and images are free to Tennessee residents. Individuals who subscribe to Ancestry.com can also view the scanned records.
The Statewide Index to Tennessee Death Records (1914 - 1933) is also available on our web site. There are no statewide birth or death records in Tennessee for 1913. A new law was passed at that time, to be effective in 1914, and consequently vital statistics were not recorded in 1913.
Please see our web page for instructions on ordering a copy of a death certificate from the Tennessee State Library and Archives.