The state of Tennessee did not require the keeping of death records until 1908. This law expired at the end of 1912. In 1913, the Tennessee General Assembly passed a new law that called for the keeping of more detailed death certificates. This law went into effect in 1914.
When the first law expired at the end of 1912, however, no individuals or agencies were charged with the responsibility of keeping death records. For this reason, 1913 is frequently referred to as a "dead year" for death certificates in Tennessee.
(PLEASE NOTE that Davidson County continued to keep a record of deaths in 1913. Please see the index Davidson County Death Records 1900-1913 on the Tennessee State Library and Archives web site.)
Trying to locate information on a 1913 death can be difficult. Funeral homes may have limited information on the deceased and his or her family; Tennessee funeral homes, however, are not required to turn their records over to the state. The Tennessee State Library and Archives has a very limited number of funeral home records, as well as some published indexes to these records. The funeral home materials at the Library and Archives are listed on our web site.
One source of information on deaths in Tennessee is the obituary or death notice that appears in the newspaper published in the community where the individual lived. What we currently know as an obituary did not come into existence until the early 1930s. It was more common for a much simpler "death notice" to appear in the paper. These death notices were extremely brief and did not usually list any information on the family of the deceased. A sample death notice (in its entirety) is shown on this page.
The following index consists of obituaries and death notices that appeared in Nashville newspapers during 1913. PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS INDEX IS NOT A COMPLETE LISTING OF ALL DEATHS LISTED IN THE NEWSPAPER. The names in this index are taken from the columns "Deaths of a Day" in The Nashville Banner and "Death Notices" or "Obituaries" in The Nashville Tennessean. Individuals who were living in cities outside of Nashville are not listed. Newspaper stories on the death of an individual (such as in an automobile accident) are not included in this index.
The following is a sample entry and explanation:
|Last Name||First Name||Date of Obit||Newspaper|
|Park||James B. (Mrs.)||11 July 1913||NB|
The obituary for Mrs. James B. Park appears on July 11, 1913 in The Nashville Banner.
Please see the section on our web site for instructions on ordering an obituary from a newspaper listed on the following pages.