Hardeman County

Hardeman County

Hardeman County was formed in 1823 from
Hardin County and Indian lands

(Private Acts of Tennessee 1823, Chapter 108)

The county seat is Boliver.

There was a fire at the Hardeman County courthouse in 1864.


Selected Published County Histories
  • Diary of Sally Wendell Fentress of Hardeman County, Tennessee, August 1863 to February 1866 (Kinser, 1995)
  • Goodspeed's Hardeman County History (1988) [name index]
  • Hardeman County (Coleman, 2012)
  • Hardeman County Historical Sketches (Hardeman County Historical Commission, 1979) [surname index]*
  • History of Tennessee From the Earliest Time to the Present: Together with a Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Fayette and Hardeman Counties (Goodspeed, 1973) [name index]
  • Notes from Hardeman County [Vol. 1 taken from newspapers 1829-1870; Vol. 2 taken from newspapers 1871-1877] (Haralson, 2013?) [name index in each volume]

Additional county and community histories can be found at the Bibliography of Tennessee Local History Sources: Hardeman County. The items in the bibliography may not all be available at the Tennessee State Library and Archives.  


Published Local Records
  • 1850 Census, Hardeman County, Tennessee (Cox, 1992) [name index]*
  • 1880 Census Hardeman County, Tennessee (Sistler, 2001) [alphabetical by head of household]
  • 1880 U.S. Census, Hardeman County, Tennessee (Cox, 1994) [name index]*
  • 1900 U.S. Census, Hardeman County, Tennessee (Cox, 1996) [name index]*
  • 1910 U.S. Census, Hardeman County, Tennessee (Cox, 1997) [name index]
  • 1920 U.S. Census, Hardeman County, Tennessee (Cox, 1996) [name index]*
  • Bible Records, Hatchie Chapter, National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, Bolivar, Hardeman County, Tennessee (Owens & Davidson, 1977) [surname index]
  • Cemeteries Near Hickory Valley, Hardeman County, Tennessee (19??) [name index]
  • Cemetery Inscriptions & Notes [3 vols.] (Owens, Davidson & Cox, 1993-) [surname index]*
  • Cemetery Records of Hardeman County, Tennessee [6 vols., 2 pts.] (Owens & Knox, 1970-) [surname index]
  • Extracts of Wills, Estate Settlements and Guardian Bonds of Hardeman County, Tennessee (Davidson, 1993) [name index]*
  • First Baptist Church, Bolivar, Tennessee, 1835-1985 (Hazlegrove, 1985?)
  • General Index to Deeds, Number 1 1822-1876 [2 vols.] (WPA, 1940) [name index]
  • Hardeman County, Tennessee Cemetery Records (Black, 1965)
  • Hardeman County Tennessee Circuit Court Minutes, vol. 1 1823-1829 (WPA, 1941)
  • Hardeman County Tennessee Court Minutes vol. 2 1827-1829 (WPA, 1936) [name index]
  • Hardeman County, Tennessee Deeds [Books D-E, Oct 1834 - Dec 1838] (Hutchings, 2002-) [name index]*
  • Hardeman County Tennessee Marriage Book vol.1 1838-52 (WPA, 1937) [name index]
  • Hardeman County, Tennessee, Marriage Records [vol. 1 Oct 1823 - Feb 1838; vol. 2 Feb 1838 - July 1852; vol. 3 July 1852 - Dec 1859; vol. 4 Dec 1862 - May 1863; vol. 5 Nov 1865 - Dec 1870] (Armour, 1965-66) [name index]
  • Hardeman County Tennessee Marriage Records 1860-1870 (WPA, 1938) [name index]
  • Hardeman County Tennessee Marriage Records Loose 1823-1838 (WPA, 1938) [name index]
  • Hardeman County, Tennessee: Family History (Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities, Hardeman County Chapter, 2001) [surname index]*
  • Hardeman County, TN Marriages, 1823-1861 (Sistler, 1986) [alphabetical by bride and groom]*
  • Hardeman County Vital Records [marriages 1827-1832] (Hays, 1987) [name index]*
  • Hardeman Free Press, 1895-1918, Bolivar, Tennessee (Davidson, Owens & Cox, 1997) [name index]*
  • Private Acts of Hardeman County, Tennessee (McIntyre, 1988)
  • Tennessee DAR Genealogical Records Committee Report. Executors and Administrators Settlement Book 5, Hardeman County, Tennessee (DAR, 200?-) [name index]
  • Wills & Inventories of Hardeman County, 1823-1838 (WPA, 1942)


Local Records on Microfilm 

An inventory of microfilmed Hardeman County records is available on our website.  Individual reels of microfilm may also be purchased.

Earliest records include:

  • marriages from 1823
  • wills from 1824
  • deed index from 1822
  • chancery court minutes from 1852
  • county court minutes from 1827
  • circuit court minutes from 1823
  • tax books from 1824

The following reels are available on interlibrary loan from the Library and Archives:

  • Deed Index -- 1822-1902 (#37, 1 reel)*
  • Executors' & Administrators' Settlements -- 1850-1859 (#16, 1 reel)*
  • Executors' & Administrators' Settlements -- 1859-1872 (#17, 1 reel)*
  • Marriage Records -- 1823-1859 (#29, 1 reel)*
  • Wills -- 1824-1845 (#34, 1 reel)*
  • Wills -- 1845-1901 (#35, 1 reel)*
  • WPA Records, Hardeman County (Record Group #107, Roll 31, 1 reel). Roll includes General Index to Deeds, Vol. 1, pts. 1 & 2 (1822-1876), Minutes, Circuit Court, Vol. 1 (1823-1829), Minutes, County Court, Vol. 2 (1827-1829), Wills & Inventories, Vol. 1, pts. 1 & 2 (1823-1838), Marriage Records [loose] (1823-1838), Marriage Records, Book 1 (1838-1852) and Marriage Records (1860-1870).*


Newspapers on Microfilm 

Newspapers were published in Altamont and Tracy City.  Scattered early issues are available from 1887, and a complete run begins in 1946. 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 website.


Selected Manuscripts Material
  • Antebellum Southern Plantations (Microfilm Manuscript #1370, 20 reels)*
  • Calvin Jones Papers, 1786-1881 (Microfilm Manuscript #149, 1 reel)*
  • Francis McGavock Papers, 1784-1854 (Microfilm Manuscript #742, 1 reel)*
  • Roy Watterson Black Collection, ca. 1820-1970 (Microfilm Manuscript #826, 9 reels)*
  • Walter Wagner Faw Papers  (Microfilm Manuscript #998, 53 reels)*

Search for Manuscripts Material in our Catalog 


Census Records
  • Census on microfilm for Hardeman County:  1830-1880, 1900-1930
  • State-wide census index:  1830-1880
  • State-wide census index on microfilm  (Soundex):  1880,  1900-1930
  • Hardeman County census records in book form:  1850*, 1880*, 1900*, 1910, 1920*


Additional Research Aids for Hardeman County

* Indicates this title may be borrowed on interlibrary loan from the Library and Archives.

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Hardeman County Formation Act



"An Act to establish two new counties west of Tennessee River."


SECTION 1. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE, That a county heretofore laid off south of Madison county, beginning at the south west corner of Madison county, running thence west six miles to a point one mile west of the fourth range line, the tenth district; thence south parallel with said line, to the south boundary of the state; thence east on said boundary, in a point two miles east of the meridian separating the ninth and tenth surveyors' districts; thence north of the Madison County line; thence west with the same to the beginning; be, and the same is hereby, established, to be called and known by the name of Hardeman County.

SECTION 2. BE IT ENACTED, That for the due administration of justice in the said county of Hardeman, the circuit court, and court of Pleas and Quarter-Sessions, for said county, shall be held at the house of Thomas M'Neil, at the following times, to-wit: the court of Pleas and Quarter-Sessions, in said county, on the third Mondays in November, February, May, and August, in each and every year; and the circuit court, in said county, on the first Mondays in May and November in each and every year; at which place and times the said courts shall be holden, until otherwise provided for by law, under the same rules, regulations and restrictions, and shall exercise the same power and jurisdiction, that are now possessed by the said court respectively in other counties of this state.

SECTION 3. BE IT ENACTED, That the sheriff of the said county of Hardeman shall hold an election at the house of Thomas M'Neil, the place of holding courts in said county on the second Thursday and succeeding day in February, for the purpose of electing field officers of the militia for said county, under the same rules, regulations, and restrictions,  as are pointed out by law in similar cases; and the militia of the said county of Hardeman shall compose the eighty-first regiment, and shall be attached to the __ brigade.

SECTION 4. BE IT ENACTED, That it shall be the duty of the commandant of the said eighty-first regiment, having first been commissioned, and sworn according to law, to divide his regiment into such number of companies as he shall think best for the convenience of said companies; and it shall be the duty of said commandant, to issue writs of election for company officers according to law.

SECTION 5. BE IT ENACTED, That this act shall go into effect from and after the passage thereof.

SECTION 6. BE IT ENACTED, That a new county, to be called and known by the name of Dyer County, be and the same is hereby established on the west side of the Tennessee River, and shall be bounded as follows, to wit: beginning at the north-west corner of the first county west of Carroll County, running thence south with the first range line, to the south boundary of the thirteenth district; thence west with the district line, to the western boundary of this state; thence on said western boundary, to the fifth sectional line; thence east with the said line, to the beginning.

SECTION 7. BE IT ENACTED, That for the due administration of justice, the courts of Pleas and Quarter Sessions shall be held at the house of John Warrens, in said county, on the fourth Mondays in December, March, June, and September; the circuit courts shall be held at the same place, on the first Mondays of June and December, until otherwise provided for by law.

SECTION 8. BE IT ENACTED, That it shall be the duty of the sheriff of said county, on the first Thursday and Friday of February next, to open and hold an election for field officers in the regiment of militia in said county, which shall compose the ___ regiment and be attached to the ___ brigade, and said election shall be held under the same rules and regulations as are by law provided in similar cases.


Passed on October 16, 1823

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Hardeman County Bibliography

PLEASE NOTE that the Tennessee State Library and Archives does not hold copies of all of the items listed in this bibliography. Please check the Tennessee State Library and Archives Online Catalog or visit the Ask Us a Question! web page to contact the Library and Archives and verify we have an item in our collection. We 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.

Subjects :

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Hardeman County in General
  • Alexander, Herbert L. "The Armstrong raid including the battles of Bolivar, Medon Station & Britton Lane." THQ 21 (1962), pp. 31-46.
  • Armour, Quinnie. The development of secondary education in Hardeman County, TN. George Peabody College thesis, 1937. pp.
  • Biographical directory, TN General Assembly, 1796-1969 (Hardeman County, Preliminary #46). Nashville, TSLA, 1974. 64 pp.
  • Clifft, Warner W. Early history of Hardeman County, TN. George Peabody College thesis, 1930. 37 pp.
  • Davidson, Faye T. The Hardeman Free Press, Bolivar, TN, 1895-1918. Bolivar, Owens-Davidson-Cox, 1993. 136 pp.
  • Deming, Raymond M. Hardeman County: its origin & economic development. George Peabody College dissertation, 1958. pp.
  • First Baptist Church, Bolivar, TN, 1835-1985. Bolivar, the church, 1985. 76 pp.
  • Flood insurance study: Hardeman County, TN, unincorporated areas. Washington, D.C., FEMA, 1991. 9 pp.
  • Goodspeed's history of TN (Hardeman County, pp. 818-840, 887-963). Goodspeed, 1887.
  • Harde-facts. No. 1, Jan., 1984-. (quarterly) Patricia L. Vincent, Bolivar, TN.
  • Hardeman County historical sketches. Bolivar, Hardeman County Hist. Comm., 1979. 394 pp.
  • Hardeman County, 1980-1987: an economic analysis. Nashville, TN Dept. Emp. Sec., 1988. 12 pp.
  • Haywood, Marshall D. Calvin Jones, physician, soldier & freemason, 1755- 1846, being an account of his career in NC & TN. Oxford, NC, Press of Oxford Orphanage, 1919. 31 pp.
  • Kirksey, Howard G. History & comparative growth of public schools in Hardeman County, 1867-1936. George Peabody College thesis, 1937. pp.
  • McBride, John S. Hill speech in southwestern TN. Columbia U. thesis, 1935. 66 pp.
  • Memphis State University. College of Education. Report of the research committee on the survey of the Hardeman County school system: Hardeman County, TN, 1958-1959. Memphis, n.p., 1959. 132 pp.
  • Owsley, Harriet C. "Westward to TN." THQ 24 (1965), pp. 31-38.
  • Pirtle, James R. The military history of the Hatchie River Valley in Hardeman County, TN. George Peabody College thesis, 1957. 48 pp.
  • Potential contamination of the hydraulic environment from the pesticide waste dump in Hardeman County, TN. Washington, D.C., US Geol. Survey, 1967. 46 pp.
  • Rima, Donald R. Susceptibility of the Memphis water supply to contamination from the pesticide waste disposal site in northeastern Hardeman County, TN. Nashville, US Geol. Survey, 1979. 5 pp.
  • Robinson, James E. A sociological & religious study of forty negro church communities of Hardeman County, TN. Drew U. thesis, 1950. 174 pp.
  • Rowan, W.S. Farm credit agencies in a cotton county, 1940. Knoxville, TN Ag. Exp. Sta., 1940. 19 pp. (its Rural research series monograph #137)
  • Rowan, W.S. Use of credit by cotton farmers, Hardeman County, TN, 1940. Knoxville, TN Ag. Exp. Sta., 1942. 34 pp. (its Rural research series monograph #136)
  • Stewart, James B. As it was: plantation life in west TN beginning 1832. N.p., 1974. 1 vol. (reprinted 1981 by Carlton Press, 144 pp.)
  • TN Dept. Transportation [county maps] issued periodically.
  • US Geol. Survey [topographic maps] issued periodically. Quadrangles: Hillville, Mercer, Teague, Medon, Whiteville, Bolivar West, Bolivar East, Silerton, Hickory Valley, Middleburg, Hebron, Hornsby, Grand Junction, Saulsbury, Middleton, Pocahontas.

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Ames Plantation
  • Barraclough, S. "No plumbing for negroes: Ames Plantation." Atlantic (Sept. 1965), pp. 105-109.
  • Davidson, Faye T. "Ames Plantation, Grand Junction." THQ 38 (1979), pp. 267-276.
  • Ewing, John A. Planning the Ames Plantation. Harvard U. dissertation, 1956. pp.

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Battle of Middleburg
  • Richards, Charles H. "The 'army blanche' in TN: the battle of Middleburg." WTHSP 45 (1991), pp. 68-82.

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  • Community information, Whiteville, TN. Prepared by Whiteville Ind. Board, Hardeman County Chamber of Commerce & West TN Ind. Assoc. Jackson, the association, 1988. 27 pp.
  • Rivers, Ernest L. The history of Allen-White High School, Whiteville, Hardeman County, TN from 1930-1948. TN State A&I thesis, 1954. (reprinted by the author 1957, 58 pp.)

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