How Do I Find Probate Records?

A list of extant Tennessee wills dated before 1779-1861 has been published.  Visit the Ask Us a Question! web page to send an e-mail message with the name of the name of the individual, an approximate year for the will, and the county (if known) where the will was probated. Please send only one e-mail search request at a time for a single probate record.  We will check the index by e-mail at no charge, and notify you if a listing for the will is found.   The Library and Archives will respond to e-mail requests promptly; response time may vary, depending on the amount of research required to answer your question and the unique nature of your request. If you need immediate assistance you may call the reference desk at (615) 741-2764 or visit us in person.

Probate records dated after 1861 can be found in the records of each county. There is no state-wide index to probate records during this time period. We can search for a probate record if given the name of the individual, the county where the will was probated, and the date of the will or a 5-year date span. Please go to Ordering Materials - County Records - Probate for instructions on ordering a search for a probate record.

The records at the Tennessee State Library and Archives are open to the public. You are welcome to come in 8:00am - 4:30pm (Central Time) Tuesday through Saturday to search the probate records yourself & make your own copies for research. Please see the Tennessee State Library and Archives Visitors Page for information on directions, parking, and holiday hours.

Please note: Archival materials are available for retrieval between the hours of 8:00 am – 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm. If you know you will need materials between 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm, please call ahead to the Public Services section at 615-741-2764 or visit the Ask Us a Question! web page. We will do our best to accommodate your request.