Tennessee Supreme Court Cases

About the Supreme Court Cases

The files located in the Tennessee Supreme Court Cases represent an especially valuable resource for historical and genealogical research at the Tennessee State Library and Archives.  The volume of cases is extraordinary, with well over 10,000 boxes of material in storage.  Chronologically, the cases encompass the period from about 1809 to approximately 1950.  The scope of subjects discussed in the cases is equally impressive, comprising the full range of criminal cases as well as land issues, debt,  slavery and estate disputes, among many others.  The content of the case files range from very brief records to a complete summary of all the proceedings, sometimes involving hundreds of pages.  Transcriptions of trial testimony from the lower courts, when they exist, usually appear in cases beginning in the late nineteenth century.  Within the cases, one can discover details that throw light on personal data, community life and family relationships, making the Supreme Court cases an inestimable tool for genealogists.


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