Clay County was formed in 1870 from
Jackson and Overton counties
(Acts of Tennessee 1870 [2nd Extra Session], Chapter 29).
The county seat is Celina.
SELECTED PUBLISHED COUNTY HISTORIES
- Clay County, Tennessee, Pictorial History (Clay County Museum of History, Inc., 1997) [surname index]*
- Historical Sketches of Clay County, Tennessee (Stone, 1962)*
- History of Clay County, Tennessee (Clay County Homecoming '86 Historical Book Committee, 1986)*
Additional county and community histories can be found at the Bibliography of Tennessee Local History Sources: Clay County. The items in the bibliography may not all be available at the Tennessee State Library and Archives.
PUBLISHED LOCAL RECORDS
- 1880 Census, Clay County, Tennessee (Sistler, 1999) [alphabetical listing]*
- 1880 Federal Census : Clay County, TN (Birdwell, 2002) [name index]*
- 1900 Federal Census, Clay County, Tennessee (Shrum, 2003) [name index]*
- Bible and Tombstone Records of Clay County (2003) [partial name index]
- Campbell County, Tennessee (Commissioner Certificates Only), Clay County, Tennessee, Hancock County, Tennessee, Macon County, Tennessee, Pickett [1891 enumeration of male voters] (Reed, 1990) [name index]
- Clay County, Tennessee, Bible and Tombstone Records (WPA, 1937) [name index]
- Clay County, Tennessee, Marriage Book, also Deeds [marriages & deeds 1871-1873] (WPA, 1938) [name index]
- Clay County, Tennessee, Tombstone Inscriptions (Webb, 1982) [surname index]
- Early Clay County, Tennessee Marriages (Shrum & Birdwell, 2001) [alphabetical by groom; bride name index]*
- Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930 Clay County, Tennessee (Gann, 2003) [name index]*
- Graves Relocated in Pool Area of Dale Hollow Lake (Smith, 19??) [surname index]
LOCAL RECORDS ON MICROFILM
An inventory of microfilmed Clay County records is available on our web site. Individual reels of microfilm may also be purchased.
Earliest records include:
- marriages from 1871
- wills from 1871
- deeds from 1871
- chancery court minutes from 1871
- county court minutes from 1871
- circuit court minutes from 1871
- tax books from 1900
The following reels are available on interlibrary loan from the Library and Archives:
- WPA Records, Clay County (Record Group #107, Roll 13, 1 reel). Roll includes Marriage Records, Book A (1871-1873) and Bible & Tombstone Records (undated).*
NEWSPAPERS ON MICROFILM
Newspapers were published in Celina. Scattered early issues are available from 1899, and a complete run begins in 1969. Microfilms are loaned to Tennessee libraries. Individual reels may also be purchased. An Inventory of Newspapers on Microfilm at the Library and Archives is available on our web site.
- Mary Kirkpatrick Tinsley Diary, 1891-1894 (Microfilm Manuscript #630, 1 reel)*
- Census on microfilm for Clay County: 1870-1880, 1900-1930
- State-wide census index: 1870-1880
- State-wide census index on microfilm (Soundex): 1880, 1900-1930
- Clay County census records in book form: 1880*, 1900*, 1930*
ADDITIONAL RESEARCH AIDS FOR CLAY COUNTY
- County Index to Tennessee Confederate Pension Applications
- Early Tennessee Tax Lists at the Tennessee State Library and Archives
- Funeral Home Records at the Tennessee State Library and Archives
- Index to Tennessee Death Records 1908-1912
- Index to Tennessee Death Records 1914-1933
- School Census Records
- Tennessee World War I Veterans
* Indicates this title may be borrowed on interlibrary loan from the Library and Archives.