Lincoln County

Lincoln County

Lincoln County was formed in 1809 from Bedford County

(Acts of Tennessee 1809 [First Session], Chapter 48)

The county seat is Fayetteville.


Selected Published County Histories
  • Carter Hills (Allison, 19??)
  • Heritage of Lincoln County, Tennessee (Lincoln County Heritage Book Committee, 2005)* [name index]
  • In the Beginning: Lincoln County, Tennessee, 1809 (Marsh, 19??)
  • Lincoln County: A Tribute to our Past (Dickey, 1977)* [name index]
  • Pictorial History of Fayetteville & Lincoln County, Tennessee (Lindquist, 1994)
  • Pictorial History of Lincoln County, Tennessee (Bi-centennial Book Committee of Lincoln County, 2009)

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


Published Local Records
  • 1880 Census, Lincoln County, Tennessee (Sistler, 1998)* [alphabetical by head of household]
  • 1880 Census of Fayetteville, Tennessee (Marsh, 1988)* [surname index]
  • Abstracts of Wills, Lincoln County, Tennessee, 1810-1895 (Marsh, 1977) [surname index]
  • Cemetery Records of Lincoln County, Tennessee, and Adjoining Counties [Vol. 1 A-L; Vol. 2 M-Z] (Lincoln County Genealogical Society, 2012) [alphabetical by surname]
  • Cemetery Records of Lincoln - Moore Counties, Tennessee (Marsh, 1996)* [surname index]
  • Cemetery Records of Lincoln County, Tennessee (Marsh, 1972) [surname index]
  • Cemetery Records of Lincoln County, Tennessee, and Adjoining Counties [vol. 1 A-L; vol. 2 M-Z] (Lincoln County Genealogical Society, 2012) [alphabetical]*
  • County Court Minutes of Pleas & Quarter Sessions, 1810 (WPA, 1940)
  • Early Unpublished Court Records of Lincoln County, Tennessee: Guardians, Settlements, Land Deeds, Tax Lists (Marsh, 1993)* [name index]
  • First County Court Minutes of Lincoln County, Tennessee [2 vols.] (Marsh, 1989-)* [surname index in each volume]
  • Index to Lincoln County, Tennessee County Court Minutes, 1830-1832 (Rossman & Sterken, 1985) [alphabetical]
  • Land Deed Genealogy of Lincoln County, Tennessee [vol. 1 1809-1818; vol. 2 1818-1828; vol. 3 1828-1834] (Marsh, 1996)* [name index in each volume]
  • Lincoln County Black History Journal [2 vols.] (St. Paul A.M.E. Church. Lay Organization, 1998-1999)
  • Lincoln County, Tennessee, 1820 Census (Waller, 1973) [name index]
  • Lincoln County, Tennessee, 1840 Census (Waller, 1970) [name index]*
  • Lincoln County, Tennessee, 1850 Census (Porch, 1970) [surname index]*
  • Lincoln County, Tennessee Administrator Settlement Book, 1863-1868 (McGee & O'Neal, 2002?)* [alphabetical]
  • Lincoln County, Tennessee Bible Records [6 vols.] (Tucker & Waller, 1971-) [name index in each volume]
  • Lincoln County, Tennessee Chancery Court Minute Book, 1850-1857 [name index](Clark & O'Neal, 1993) [alphabetical]
  • Lincoln County, Tennessee, Church Records (WPA, 1938) [name index for each church]
  • Lincoln County, Tennessee Circuit Court Enrolling Docket, 1856-1860 (West & O'Neal, 1993)* [alphabetical]
  • Lincoln County, Tennessee County Court Inventory, 1828-1841 (Clark & O'Neal, 1993)* [alphabetical]
  • Lincoln County, Tennessee County Court Minute Book, 1844-1849 (West & O'Neal, 19??)* [alphabetical]
  • Lincoln County, Tennessee County Court Minute Book, 1866-1868 (Clark & O'Neal, 19??)* [alphabetical]
  • Lincoln County, Tennessee, Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, 1814-1817 (WPA, 1940) [name index]
  • Lincoln County, Tennessee, Marriages, 1823-1828, 1838-1860 (WPA, 1938) [name index]
  • Lincoln County, Tennessee, Minute Docket, book 1, 1811-1812 (WPA, 1936) [name index]
  • Lincoln County, Tennessee: Miscellaneous Court House Records (O'Neal, 1986)* [surname index]
  • Lincoln County, Tennessee Official Marriage Records, 1838-1880 (Marsh, 1974) [name index]
  • Lincoln County, Tennessee Tax List, 1829-1832 (Marsh, 1981) [surname index]
  • Lincoln County, Tennessee, Will Book, 1827-1850 (WPA, 1936) [name index]
  • Lincoln County, Tennessee: Wills, Inventories, and Miscellaneous, March 1809-April 1824 (Ingmire, 1984) [name index]
  • Lincoln County, Tennessee, Wills & Inventories, 1810-1824 (WPA, 1936) [name index]
  • Marriage Records of Lincoln County, Tennessee, 1880-1899 (Casey, 1995)* [name index]
  • Marriage Records of Lincoln County, Tennessee, 1900-1910 (Casey, 1996)* [name index]
  • Marriage Records of Lincoln County, Tennessee, January 1, 1911-December 31, 1920 (Casey, 1998) [name index]
  • Mount Moriah and Holman Cemeteries (1991) [name index]
  • Name Index to History of Tennessee ... Together with ... Sketch of Giles, Lincoln, Franklin, and Moore Counties (Marsh, 1971)
  • Records of Lincoln County, Tennessee [wills, marriages, 4 cemeteries](Jones & Gandrud, 1932) [name index]
  • South Central Tennessee Regional Polk City Directory: Including Bedford, Lincoln, Marshall and Moore Counties (R.L. Polk & Co., 1999)
  • Wills & Inventories of Lincoln County, Tennessee, 1810-1921 (Marsh, 1989) [surname index]


Local Records on Microfilm

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

Earliest records include:

  • marriages from 1838
  • wills from 1809
  • deed index from 1810
  • chancery court minutes from 1838
  • county court minutes from 1810
  • circuit court minutes from 1849
  • tax books from 1829


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

  • Deed Index -- 1810-1907 (#134, 1 reel)*
  • Inventories of Estates -- 1840-1854; 1867-1876 (#72, 1 reel)*
  • Inventory of Estates -- 1853-1863 (#A1567, 1 reel)*
  • Marriages -- 1838-1890 (#78, 1 reel)*
  • Settlements Administrator's & Executors -- 1842-1861 (#125, 1 reel)*
  • Settlements of Estates -- 1842-1849 (#A1567, 1 reel)*
  • Wills -- 1809-1861 [gaps] (#131, 1 reel)*
  • WPA Records, Lincoln County (Record Group #107, Roll 51, 1 reel). Roll includes Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions, Minutes (1810, 1814-1817), Minute Docket Book 1 (1811-1812), Marriages (1823-1828, 1838-1866), Wills & Inventories (1810-1824), Will Book (1827-1850) and Church Records (undated).*


Newspapers on Microfilm

Newspapers were published in Fayetteville.  Scattered early issues are available from 1817, and a complete run begins in 1976.  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
  • Bearden Family Papers, 1876-1962 (Microfilm Manuscript #1353, 1 reel)*
  • Buckeye Primitive Baptist Church Records. Lincoln County, 1871-1969 (Microfilm Manuscript #322, 1 reel)*
  • Columbia District Records. Tennessee Conference, Methodist Episcopal Church, 1941-1942  (Microfilm Manuscript #686, 1 reel)*
  • Francis McGavock Papers, 1784-1854 (Microfilm Manuscript #742, 1 reel)*
  • Hannah's Gap Baptist Church of Christ Records. Lincoln County, 1854-1911 (Microfilm Manuscript #396, 1 reel)*
  • Isaac Conger Diary, 1813  (Microfilm Manuscript #5, 1 reel)*
  • John Robert Paysinger Genealogical Collection, 1757-1988 (Microfilm Manuscript #1487, 1 reel)*
  • Lincoln County Miscellaneous Records, 1800-1973 (Microfilm Manuscript #513, 3 reels)*
  • McKenzie and Son, Surveyors Maps. Chattanooga, 1880-1916 (Microfilm Manuscript #1477, 1 reel)*
  • Mount Moriah Primitive Baptist Church Records. Fayetteville, 1833-1904, 1925-1941 (Microfilm Manuscript #331, 1 reel)*
  • Mt. Olivet Primitive Baptist Church Records. Lincoln County, 1826-1963 (Microfilm Manuscript #335, 1 reel)*
  • Prospect Baptist Church Records. Lincoln County, 1871-1989 (Microfilm Manuscript #1103, 1 reel)*
  • Providence Society Records, Fayetteville Circuit, Methodist Church. Lincoln County, 1828-1911  (Microfilm Manuscript #691, 1 reel)*
  • Rhea Family Papers, 1769-1859 (Microfilm Manuscript #792, 1 reel)*
  • Rogers Family Papers, 1827-1862
  • Ruth Baxter Cochran Scrapbook Collection, 1965-1993 (Microfilm Manuscript #2004, 6 reels)
  • Whitaker-Prosser Family Papers, 1848-1976, and Addition, 1908-1944

Search for Manuscripts Material in our Catalog 


Census Records
  • Census on microfilm for Lincoln County:  1820-1880, 1900-1930
  • State-wide census index:  1820-1880
  • State-wide census index on microfilm  (Soundex):  1880,  1900-1930
  • Lincoln County census records in book form:  1840, 1850*, 1880*


Additional Research Aids for Lincoln County   


* Indicates this title may be borrowed on Interlibrary Loan from the Library and Archives.


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Lincoln County Formation Act

ACTS OF TENNESSEE 1809 (First Session), CHAPTER 48:


"An Act to establish a county south of Bedford, to be known by the name of Lincoln."


SECTION 1. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE, That Lincoln County shall be laid off and established within the following bounds (to wit:) Beginning on the north east corner of Giles County, and extending south with the eastern boundary line of the said county of Giles, to the southern boundary line of the state; thence with that line east, to a point due south from the mouth of Cove Spring Creek; thence north to the southern boundary line of Bedford County, and with the said line westwardly to the beginning.

SECTION 2. BE IT ENACTED, That John Whitaker, senr. Wright Williams, Eli Garret, Littleton Duty and Jesse Woodruff, be, and they are hereby appointed Commissioners, with full power to procure by purchase or otherwise, one hundred acres of land, on or near the north bank of Elk River, as near the center of the said county of Lincoln, east and west, as a proper situation will admit of, and all events not more than two miles from the said centre, and the said commissioners shall take a deed of conveyance for the same, to themselves and successors in office, in trust for the said county of Lincoln, and the said deed shall be good and valid in law, and shall vest in the said commissioners and their successors in office, a complete title, for the uses in this act expressed, and if any of the said commissioners should neglect or refuse to act, a majority of the justices of said county may appoint another in his place.

SECTION 3. BE IT ENACTED, That the said commissioners, immediately after procuring the aforesaid quantity of one hundred acres of land, shall cause a town to be laid off thereon, reserving near the centre thereof, a public square of two acres, on which the court-house and stocks shall be built, likewise reserving a lot in any other part of said town, for the purpose of erecting a jail, and the said town, when so laid off, shall be named Fayetteville.

SECTION 4. BE IT ENACTED, That the said commissioners shall sell the lost of the said town, at public sale, on a credit of twelve months, giving notice thereof sixty days, in one of the newspapers printed in Nashville, and taking bonds with sufficient securities from the respective purchasers, payable to themselves and successors in office, and the said commissioners shall execute titles, in FEE SIMPLE, to the purchasers of the said lots.

SECTION 5. BE IT ENACTED, That the said commissioners, immediately after selling the lots as aforesaid, shall let to the lowest bidder, the building of the court-house in the said town of Fayetteville, giving public notice thereof in one of the newspapers printed in Nashville, at least sixty days, and setting forth in the said notice the dimensions of said court-house, and the materials of which it is to be built, and the said commissioners shall take from the person to whom the said building is let, bond with sufficient security, in the sum of ten thousand dollars, for the faithful performance of his contract, and in the same manner the said commissioners, when they think proper, shall let the building of a jail for the use of said county.

SECTION 6. BE IT ENACTED, That the court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, for the county of LINCOLN, shall be held on the fourth Monday in the months of February, May, August and November, annually, at the house of Brice M. Garner, until a place is provided for holding the said court in the town of Fayetteville, and any justice of the peace for the state of Tennessee, may appear at the first term of the said court, and administer the oaths of office to the respective justices of the peace.

SECTION 7. BE IT ENACTED, That the said commissioners, before entering on the duties of their appointment, shall give bond in the sum of five thousand dollars each, payable to the chairman of the said county court, and his successors in office, and conditioned for the faithful performance of the duties by this act assigned him, and shall moreover take an oath to act honestly and truly in the discharge of said duties, and when the said commissioners shall have finished the aforesaid duties, they shall lay a full statement of all their proceedings before the said county court of Lincoln, and shall be allowed by the said court a reasonable compensation for their services: Provided, not less than five of said justices be present when the said allowance is made.

SECTION 8. BE IT ENACTED, That the said county of Lincoln be, and the same is hereby declared a part of Mero District, and shall send three jurors to the superior court of law and equity, held for said district.

SECTION 9. BE IT ENACTED, That nothing herein expressed, shall be so construed as to prevent the sheriff or collector of Bedford County from collecting the taxes within the limits of the said county of LINCOLN, which are now due and remain unpaid.

SECTION 10. BE IT ENACTED, That the said county of Lincoln be a part of the district to which the same has heretofore belonged, for electing a Governor, to elect an elector for electing the President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, Senator of Senators, and Representatives in the General Assembly of this state; the said elections to be held at the place of holding court for said county, and shall be conducted according to the rules and regulations established by law, and the sheriff of said county, on the second Thursday of April, in the year 1810, and on the succeeding day shall hold an election at the said place, for the purpose of electing field officers for the said county of LINCOLN, which election shall be conducted pursuant to the rules and regulations prescribed by law, and now in force; and in all elections in which the said county of Lincoln shall vote with the county of Bedford, the sheriff of Lincoln County shall make a return of said election to the sheriff of Bedford County, by eight o'clock of the day succeeding the day on which the said election shall terminate.

SECTION 11. BE IT ENACTED, That the militia of the county of Lincoln, shall compose the thirty-ninth regiment, and shall be attached to the fifth brigade.

SECTION 12. BE IT ENACTED, That in all cases wherein the commissioners appointed by this act are required to perform any services, a majority of said commissioners shall constitute a quorum to do business.

SECTION 13. BE IT ENACTED, That the territory east of Lincoln, south of Bedford, and north of the state line, shall be a part of the county of Franklin, and by this act is attached to and incorporated with the said county of Franklin.

SECTION 14. BE IT ENACTED, That this act shall be in force from the first day of January, in the year one thousand eight hundred and ten.


Passed on November 14, 1809

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Lincoln 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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Lincoln County in General
  • Beck, Elwood M. Study of school dropouts in Lincoln County, TN. N.p., 1966. 35 pp.
  • Biographical directory, TN General Assembly, 1796-1969 (Lincoln County, Preliminary #21). Nashville, TSLA, 1970. 53 pp.
  • Blue, Keith F. A study of the private preparatory schools in the areas of Maury, Giles & Lincoln counties. N.p., TVA, 1973. 40 pp.
  • Burton, Glynn. "Some folkways of Lincoln County." TN Folklore Soc. Bull. 21 (1955), pp. 3-8.
  • Butler, Brian M. "The Yearood site: a specialized Middle Woodland occupation on the Elk River." TN Anthrop. 2 (1977), pp. 1-15.
  • Crawford, Reuben. Lincoln County: a brief two-hundred year history of Lincoln County, TN. Fayetteville, the author, 1991. 213 pp.
  • Dickey, Elaine O. Lincoln County: a tribute to our past: an early general history. Fayetteville, Dickey Publications, 1977. 169 pp.
  • Garland, Ruth W. "Tales told in Lincoln County, TN." TN Folklore Soc. Bull. 21 (1955), pp. 11-13.
  • Glasgow, Joseph L. Grade A milk producers in Lincoln County, TN (three problems). UT thesis, 1968. 173 pp.
  • Goodspeed's history of TN (Lincoln County, pp. 767-784, 876-924). Goodspeed, 1886.
  • Hardin, Jesse. A consolidation program for the white schools of Lincoln County, TN. U. AL thesis, 1929. 50 pp.
  • Killegrew, Joseph B. Resources of Giles County; resources of Lincoln County. Nashville, Union & American, 1871. 14 pp.
  • Lincoln County, 1980-1987: an economic analysis. Nashville, TN Dept. Emp. Sec., 1988. 12 pp.
  • Lincoln County News supplement: an epitome of progress. Edited, compiled & arranged under the direction of R.H. McKinney. Fayetteville, Lincoln County News, 1904. 60 pp.
  • Lincoln County, TN: Homecoming '86. N.p., 1986. 40 pp.
  • Lindquist, Patricia E.A. The pictorial history of Fayetteville & Lincoln County, TN. VA Beach, Donning Co., 1994. 160 pp.
  • Marsh, Timothy R. & Helen C. Marsh. In the beginning, Lincoln County, TN, 1809. Shelbyville, the authors, 1993. 44 pp.
  • Norman, Everett C. A study of pupil transportation in Lincoln County, TN. MTSU thesis, 1965. 99 pp.
  • Smith, Brent W. "Small site archaeology: investigations at the Stewart Creek site (40LN35), Lincoln County, TN." TN Arch. 32 (1976), pp. 39-50.
  • Soil survey, Lincoln County, TN. Washington, D.C., US GPO, 1937,1946.
  • Sutton, G.W. The Jackson highway, Fayetteville & Camp Blount. Brief prepared by Gen. G.W. Sutton. Fayetteville, Observer Print., 184-?. 11 pp.
  • TN Dept. Transportation [county maps] issued periodically.
  • TN Valley Authority. Ind. Div. Agricultural-industrial survey of Lincoln County, TN. 2 vols. Knoxville, TVA, 1934. var. pp.
  • US Geol. Survey [topographic maps] issued periodically. Quadrangles: Cornersville, Petersburg, Belleville, Booneville, Frankewing, Boonshill, Fayetteville, Mulberry, Lois, Dellrose, Taft, Lincoln, Flintville, Huntland, Ardmore, Toney, Fisk, New Market, Kinglove.
  • Vernon, Walter N. "Thomas Ward Vernon: Elk River pioneer." THQ 33 (1974), pp. 62-69.
  • The volunteer. Vol. l, Spring, 1976-. (semiannual). Lincoln County Hist. Soc.
  • Waller, Jane W. Spanning the years. Conroe, TX, the author, 1987? (vol. 1, 1974-1979; vol. 2, 1980-1985)
  • White, Helen. "Hunting & dog tales from Carpenter Holler, TN." TN Folklore Soc. Bull. 46 (1980), pp. 73-80.

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B'86nshill homecoming: welcome to Boonshill homecoming '86. Fayetteville, n.p., 1986. 165 pp.

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Camp Blount
  • Foster, Austin P. "Camp Blount." THM (2d ser.) 2 (1930-1931), pp. 270-273.

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Carter Hills
  • Allison, B.R. Carter Hills. N.p., CFW Construction Co., n.d. 6 pp.

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  • Roden, Haskell. History of Delina, TN. N.p., the author, 1992. 1 vol.

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  • Drennan, John C., ed. Historical sketch of First Presbyterian Church of Fayetteville, TN. Fayetteville, n.p., 1944. 85 pp.

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  • Sims, Iva, ed. Flintville: a people's history. Flintville, Cunningham Station Pub., 1990. 489 pp.

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  • Crawford, Reuben. Smithland: a history of Smithland, Champ, Shady Grove, Warren Hollow, & the 25th district of Lincoln County, TN. Fayetteville, the author, 1986. 739 pp.

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Vann Town
  • Shepard, Marie. Vann Town precious memories, 1988. N.p., the author, 1988. 66 pp.


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