To search for a deed, you will need to provide us with the name of the individual to be searched, the county and a 5-year date span. When a deed search is requested, we follow these procedures:
We locate the cumulative index (if available), usually in a book separate from the deed books. If there is no cumulative index, we use the index appearing in each volume of deeds.
We check to see if the index indicates the date of the deed. If it does, we search the portion of the index covering the dates requested for the name requested.
If the dates are not shown in the index entries, we determine which deeds books were in use during the dates requested in the search. For example: if the request is for a deed dated 1860-1865, and we find that Deed Book C covered 1856-1861 and Deed Book D covered 1861-1866, we would search that portion of the index that includes entries for Deed Books C and D.
Within the time period requested, we look for deeds matching the name of the person requested. Both grantor (seller) and grantee (buyer) indexes are searched. Deed indexes are not always completely alphabetized, but only grouped under each letter of the alphabet. For example: to locate deeds for Jasper Bates, we scan the entire letter "B" in the index.
If an entry matching the request is found, we copy the deed and mail it to the client.
If more than one matching entry is found, we copy the index pages containing them and mail them to the client, with instructions to select one to be copied at the standard fee.
If no related entry is found, we advise the client that the index was searched, indicating the dates covered by the search.
Deeds are not always recorded in the year they are written, so a deed written in 1865 but not recorded until 1875 will not be located using this search strategy. We have no way of ascertaining whether a deed was recorded when it was written.
Name of grantor is not always the expected name; some properties are sold by power of attorney, sheriff or court clerk to satisfy a legal judgment, so the deed would be indexed under the name of that person.
For more information on deeds, visit our web site for a list of county records that can be loaned to other libraries.
- There is a $10 fee to search a five year date span in one specified county for a deed. RESIDENTS OF TENNESSEE (with a current Tennessee postal address) pay a $5 fee to search a five year date span in one specified county for a deed. If the record is found, a copy will be mailed or e-mailed to you. This fee covers the cost of copying up to 20 pages; each additional copy beyond the initial 20 copies is 50¢. The fee is not refundable. Payment in advance by check, money order or credit card is required. Send your request to Tennessee State Library and Archives, Research Department, 403 Seventh Avenue North, Nashville TN 37243-0312. [GO TO FORM SS-2237 -- Microfilm Copy Order]
- Please submit each search request on a separate form. Orders will be filled promptly and in the order that they are received. Most requests are answered within two weeks of the time they are received by the Library and Archives; however, response times may vary depending on the volume and nature of your request.
- The Library and Archives can, for an additional $5.00 fee, certify a document in our collection.
- Some printed indexes and microfilmed records are available for delivery via e-mail through Tennessee State Library and Archives E-Docs.