Humphreys County

Humphreys County

Humphreys County was formed in 1809 from Stewart County

(Acts of Tennessee 1809, Chapter 31)

The county seat is Waverly.

There were fires at the Humphreys County
courthouse in 1876 and 1898.


Selected Published County Histories
  • Denver, Tennessee Remembered (1986)
  • History of Humphreys County, Tennessee (Garrett, 1963) [name index]*
  • History of Tennessee from the Earliest Time to the Present: Together with a Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Montgomery, Robertson, Humphreys, Stewart  (Goodspeed, 1979)*
  • History of Tumbling Creek, Humphreys County, Tennessee (Ethridge, 1985)*
  • Houston County Area: Excerpts from the Goodspeed Histories of Montgomery, Robertson, Humphreys, Stewart, Dickson, Cheatham and Houston Counties of Tennessee (Friends of the Houston County Library, 19??) [surname index]
  • Humphreys County Heritage: A Collection of Historical Sketches and Family Histories [2 vols.] (Whitfield, 1979 & 1983)
  • Humphreys County: History of Tennessee (Goodspeed, 1988)
  • Humphreys County, Tennessee: A Pictorial History (Humphreys County Historical Society, 1995)*
  • Johnsonville: The Evolution, Defense, and Demise of the Union's Tennessee River Dupply Depot, 1790-1890  (Wooten, 2015)
  • Pie Suppers and Cake Walks: A History of Liberty School Located on Little Blue Creek, McEwen, Tennessee (Bullington, 1994)

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


Published Local Records
  • 1860 Census, Humphreys County, Tennessee (Johnson, 1976) [surname index]
  • 1870 Census of Humphreys County, Tennessee (Clifton, 1979) [surname index]
  • 1880 Census, Humphreys County, Tennessee (Fischer & Burns, 1987) [name index]
  • Bakerville Review: Abstracts (Humphreys County, Tennessee) [vol. 1 1896-1897; *vol. 2 1897-1898; *vol. 3 1898-1899] (Fischer, 1978-) [name indexes]
  • Bible, Family, and Tombstone Records Index (WPA, 1938)
  • Cheatham County, Tennessee, Dickson County, Tennessee, Hickman County, Tennessee, Humphreys County, Tennessee, Lawrence County, Tennessee [1891 enumeration of male voters] (Reed, 1992)
  • Histories of the Churches of Humphreys County (Humphreys County Historical Society, 19??)
  • History of Humphreys County, Tennessee, Surname Index: and a Complete Listing of All Family Histories, to be Used in Conjunction with Volumes I & II, Humphrey (Savage, 1984) [name index]
  • Humphreys County, Tennessee, 1850 Census: and Additional Notes (Garrett, 1962) [name index]
  • Humphreys County, Tennessee, Cemetery Records [2 vols. bound together] (Anderson & Garrett, 1966) [name index for vol. 1 on pg. 187 of vol. 1; name index for vol. 2 on page 317]
  • Humphreys County Tennessee Court Minutes vol. 1, 1842-1850 (WPA, 1936) [name index]
  • Humphreys County Tennessee Deed Book A, 1810-16 (WPA, 1938) [name index]
  • Humphreys County Tennessee Marriage Records, 1861-1888 (Fischer & Burns, 1984) [name index]*
  • Humphreys County Tennessee Marriage Records, vol. A, 1864-1868 (WPA, 1938) [name index]
  • Humphreys County Tennessee Records [Tax Lists, 1837-1843; Marriages, 1888-1900] (Fischer & Burns, 1987) [marriages - alphabetical by groom, with bride index; tax lists alphabetical]*
  • Humphreys County Tennessee Wills and Inventories, 1838-1844 [2 vol.] (WPA, 1938) [name index]
  • Humphreys County, TN deeds [vol. 1. Books A-D, July 1810-June, 1832] (Hutchings, 2003) [name index]*
  • Humphreys County [Tennessee] Burials, 1969-1975 (Anderson, 1976) [name index]
  • Minutes of Sycamore Landing Church of Christ, 1917-1937 (WPA, 1938) [name index]
  • Name Index to History of Tennessee From the Earliest Time to the Present: Together with a Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Montgomery [Humphryes County] (Marsh, 1972)
  • Private Acts of Humphreys County, Tennessee (McIntyre, 1994) [name index]
  • Supplement to 1880 Census, Humphreys County, Tennessee (Fischer & Burns, 1988) [name index]
  • Tennessee Humphreys County Bible, Family, and Tombstone Records [includes Church Minutes Waverly M.E. Church South, History of the Shannon Family, and Minutes of Church of Christ, Bakerville](WPA, 1938) [separate name index]


Local Records on Microfilm

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

Earliest records include:

  • marriages from 1862
  • wills from 1837
  • deed index from 1810
  • chancery court minutes from 1898
  • county court minutes from 1842
  • circuit court minutes from 1898
  • tax books from 1877

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

  • Deed Index -- 1816-1907 (#12, 1 reel)*
  • Wills & Inventories -- 1837-1843; 1889-1904 (#8, 1 reel)*
  • Wills & Inventories -- 1847-1852 (#10, 1 reel)*
  • Wills & Inventories -- 1852-1857; 1868-1878 (#9, 1 reel)*
  • WPA Records, Humphreys County (Record Group #107, Roll 38, 1 reel). Roll includes Deed Book A (1810-1816), Wills & Inventories, pt. 1 (1838-1844), County Court Minute Book 1 (1842-1850), Marriage Records Book A (1864-1868), Minutes of Sycamore Landing Church of Christ (1917-1937), History of the Shannon Family (1822), Minutes of the Church of Christ, Bakersville (undated) and Bible, Family & Tombstone Records (undated).*


Newspapers on Microfilm

Newspapers were published in Bakersville, McEwen and Waverly. Scattered early issues are available from 1875, and a complete run begins in 1957. 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
  • Foresee Family Papers, 1785-1945 *
  • Francis McGavock Papers, 1784-1854 (Microfilm Manuscript #742, 1 reel)*
  • Herbert Family Business Records, 1867-1947
  • Jill Knight Garrett Collection, 1800-1969 (Microfilm Manuscript #1196, 5 reels)*
  • Jonathan K. T. Smith Genealogical Collection, Benton County (Microfilm Manuscript #851, 2 reels)*
  • Liberty Baptist Church Records. Humphreys County, 1880-1985 (Microfilm Manuscript #890, 1 reel)*
  • Willow Springs Primitive Baptist Church Records. Hickman County, 1883-1942 (Microfilm Manuscript #512, 1 reel)*

Search for Manuscripts Material in our Catalog 


Census Records
  • Census on microfilm for Humphreys County:  1820-1880, 1900-1930
  • State-wide census index:  1820-1880
  • State-wide census index on microfilm  (Soundex):  1880,  1900-1930
  • Humphreys County census records in book form:  1850, 1860, 1870, 1880


Additional Research Aids for Humphreys County

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


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Humphreys County Formation Act



"An Act to form a new county south of Stuart and west of Dickson and Hickman."


SECTION 1. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE, That a new county be and is hereby established on the south of Stuart, and adjoining the counties of Dickson and Hickman on the west, to be known by the name of HUMPHREYS; bounded as follows, (towit) Beginning at the mouth of White Oak Creek, on the bank of the Tennessee River, thence east to the dividing ridge between the waters of Tennessee and Cumberland rivers, thence with the said dividing ridge to Dickson County line, thence with said line to the line of Hickman, and thence with said line of Hickman to Duck River, thence south and west for compliment.

SECTION 2. And for the due administration of justice,  BE IT ENACTED, That the first court, and all subsequent courts, of said county of Humphreys, shall be held at the house of Samuel Parker, Junior, until otherwise altered or provided for by law.  And all courts held in and for said county of Humphreys shall be held by commissions to the said justices in the same manner and under the same rules and restrictions, and shall have and exercise the same powers and jurisdiction as are or shall be prescribed for the courts of the several counties in this state.

SECTION 3. BE IT ENACTED, That the first court of pleas and quarter sessions held for the county of Humphreys, shall commence and be held on the first Monday of February, May, August and November, in each and every year, and may be held six judicial days if necessary.

SECTION 4. BE IT ENACTED, That it shall be the duty of the sheriff of the said county of Humphreys to hold an election at the place of holding courts in the same, on the second Thursday and succeeding day in February next, for the purpose of electing one colonel and two majors for the said county of Humphreys, under the same rules, regulations and restrictions as are prescribed by law in similar cases; and that the militia of the said county of Humphreys shall compose the thirty eighth regiment of this state, and shall be a part of the fifth brigade.

SECTION 5. BE IT ENACTED, That the elections for company officers for the county Humphreys, shall be held at such places as the commandant of said county may think proper to appoint, which said elections shall be held on the third Saturday in March next, under the same rules, regulations and restrictions as are prescribed in like cases; and elections of members of the General Assembly, Governor and members of Congress, and electors to elect a President and Vice-President of the United States, shall be held at the place of holding courts in said county of Humphreys, on the same days on which elections for the same purpose are authorized to be held; and the sheriff of said county of Humphreys shall meet the sheriff of Stuart County, on the succeeding day at Rostin, or place of holding a separate election in Stuart County, and with him the sheriff of Stuart County shall examine the respective polls of election for both counties, and the said sheriff of Stuart County shall make the returns of both counties as he is bound by law to make, to the sheriff of Montgomery.

SECTION 6. BE IT ENACTED, That the county of Humphreys shall in all cases be considered as a part of the district of Robertson.

SECTION 7. BE IT ENACTED, That it shall and may be lawful for any judge of the superior court, or any justice of the peace in this state, to attend at the place of holding court in said county of Humphreys, when said county is about to be organized, and administer the oaths of office to the officers thereof.

SECTION 8. BE IT ENACTED, That nothing herein contained shall be so construed as to prevent the sheriff of Stuart County from collecting the taxes that have been already laid in said county, and he is hereby authorized to collect the same, and all arrearages of taxes in the same manner as if said county of Humphreys had not been laid off, any law to the contrary notwithstanding.

Passed on October 19, 1809

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Humphreys 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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Humphreys County in General
  • Alexander, Charles C. Four score & four: life in TN. Columbia, the author, 1994. 58 pp.
  • Biographical directory, TN General Assembly, 1796-1969 (Humphreys County, Preliminary #35). Nashville, TSLA, 1973. 55 pp.
  • Brehm, H.C. The history of the Duck River cache. Knoxville, TN Anthrop. Assoc., 1981. 40 pp.
  • Daughters of the American Revolution, TN. Old Reynoldsburg Chapter, Waverly. Humphreys County physicians, 1800-1975. Waverly, the chapter, 1975. 120 pp.
  • Fox, William D. The development of a volunteer chaplaincy program for the Nautilus Memorial Hospital & the Humphreys County Nursing Home. Southern Baptist Theol. Sem. dissertation, 1981. 106 pp.
  • Garrett, Jill K. A history of Humphreys County, TN. Columbia, n.p., 1963. 376 pp.
  • Goodspeed's history of TN (Humphreys County, pp. 868-894, 1205-1288). Goodspeed, 1886.
  • Humphreys County Hist. Soc. Publication. no. 1, 1978-. (irregular) Humphreys County Hist. Soc.
  • Humphreys County, TN: a compilation of community histories. N.p., L.G. Young, 1992. 40 pp.
  • Humphreys County, TN. Hist. Soc. Histories of the churches of Humphreys County. N.p., n.d. 92 pp.
  • Humphreys County, TN: water use survey, TN-Tombigbee corridor study. Auburn, AL, Auburn Water Resources Institute, 1981. 19 pp.
  • Humphreys County, 1980-1987: an economic analysis. Nashville, TN Dept. Emp. Sec., 1988. 12 pp.
  • Knight, Mabel L. A history of the Halls Creek Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Humphreys County, TN 1849-1990. N.p., the author, 199-. 1 vol.
  • Kruth, M.A. Creating a countrywide solid waste management system: the case study of Humphreys County, TN. Washington, D.C., US EPA, 1972. 15 pp.
  • Little, Inc. The opportunity for industrial development in Humphreys [& other] counties, TN; report to the Area Redevelopment Admin., C65063. Cambridge, MA, n.p., 1964. 135 pp.
  • Luebke, B.H. Factors affecting price of farm land, Humphreys County, TN, 1941-1944. Knoxville, TN Ag. Exp. Sta., 1945. 30 pp. (its Rural research series monograph #189)
  • Luebke, B.H. Farm real estate situation in five areas of TN, 1941-1944. Knoxville, TN Ag. Exp. Sta., 1945. 52 pp. (its Rural research series monograph #185)
  • Moore, Wayne C. Farm communities & economic growth in the lower TN Valley, Humphreys County, TN, 1785-1980. U. Rochester dissertation, 1990. 511 pp.
  • Peacock, Charles K. Duck River cache: TN's greatest archaeological find. Nashville, Mini-Histories, 1954. 33 pp. (reprinted 1984)
  • Seeber, R. Clifford. A manual of public service agencies in Humphreys [& other] counties. Murray, KY, TVA, 1942. 118 pp.
  • Sims, Ernest J. "The Big Bottom site." TN Arch. 27 (1971), pp. 50-91.
  • Soil survey, Humphreys County, TN. Washington, D.C., US GPO, 1936, 1946.
  • TN Dept. Transportation [county maps] issued periodically.
  • Thorp, Raymond W. Jesse James, rabbit man of Humphreys County. Nashville, Mini-Histories, 1982. 16 pp.
  • US Geol. Survey [topographic maps] issued periodically. Quadrangles: Harmon Creek, Halls Creek, Woolworth, Ruskin, Camden, Johnsonville, Waverly, McEwen, TN City, Rockport, Hustburg, Hurricane Mills, Bucksnort, Spot, Sugar Tree, Daniels Landing, Lobelville, Coble.
  • Whitfield, Margaret, ed. Humphreys County heritage: a collection of historical sketches & family histories. Waverly, Humphreys County Hist. Soc., 1979. 1 vol.

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  • Fisher, Marjorie H. Bakerville Review: abstracts, Humphreys County. Vista, CA, the author, 1978. 1 vol.

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  • Pamplin, Lily M. The scamps of Bucksnort: memories of a nineteenth-century childhood in rural TN. NY, Exposition Press, 1962. 119 pp.

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  • TN Valley Authority. Social & Ec. Research Div. Analysis of the readjustment problem in the Hustburg-Plant community. Knoxville, TVA, 1939. 32 pp.

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Johnsonville / New Johnsonville
  • A feasibility study & master plan for a new public port at New Johnsonville, Humphreys County, TN. Memphis, Allen & Hoshall, 1977. 1 vol.
  • A feasibility study for the expansion of the Johnsonville State Historic Area. Prepared for the State of TN Dept. Conservation by Lose & Assoc., Inc. Nashville, the department, 1990. 75 pp.
  • Lowry, Audrey B. A study of the battle of Johnsonville. George Peabody College dissertation, 1956. pp.
  • Steenburn, Donald H. Silent echoes of Johnsonville: rebel cavalry & Yankee gunboats. Rogersville, the author, 1994. 143 pp.
  • TN Valley Authority. The Johnsonville Steam Plant; a comprehensive report on the planning, design, construction, costs, & first power operations of the initial six-unit plant. Knoxville, TVA, 1958. 678 pp. (its Technical report #31)
  • Williams, Edward F. III & H.K. Humphreys, eds. Gunboats & cavalry, the story of Forrest's 1864 Johnsonville campaign, as told to J.P. Pryor & Thomas Jordan. Memphis, N.B. Forrest Trail Commission, 1965. 24 pp.
  • Williams, Edward F. III. "The Johnsonville raid & Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park." THQ 28 (1969), pp. 225-251.

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  • Bullington, Joyce E. Pie suppers & cake walks: a history of Liberty School located on Little Blue Creek, McEwen, TN. McEwen, the author, 1994. 83 pp.

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Tumbling Creek
  • Ethridge, W.L. A history of Tumbling Creek, Humphreys County, TN. McEwen, the author, 1985. 1 vol.
  • Gunn, Richard ("Pek"). Keep on laughing, it's good for what ails you: TN folklore. Nashville, Pek Gunn Productions, Inc., 1975. 104 pp. (poems & stories of the Tumbling Creek area by TN's former poet laureate)
  • Gunn, Richard ("Pek"). Tumblin' Creek tales: southern folklore in humorous verse (3d ed.) Nashville, Tumblin' Creek Enterprises, 1963. Unp. (poems & stories of the Tumbling Creek area by TN's former poet laureate)

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  • Explosion in Waverly: Waverly propane disaster. Waverly, Dave Turner & Assoc., 1982. 88 pp.
  • Flood insurance study, city of Waverly, TN, Humphreys County. Washington, D.C., FEMA, 1986. 14 pp.
  • Guild, Josephus C. Address delivered by the Hon. Jo C. Guild, at Waverly, TN, on July 4, 1877, on the occasion of laying the cornerstone of a new courthouse. Gallatin, A.A. Lewis & Son, 1877. 8 pp.
  • Slayden, Van H. The war that came to Waverly. Waverly, the Print Shop, 1991. 1 vol. (a series of articles about the Civil War in Humphreys County, published in the News-Democrat, 1990-1991)


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