Tipton County

Tipton County

Tipton County was formed in 1823 from Indian lands

(Acts of Tennessee 1823, Chapter 126)

The county seat is Covington.


Selected Published County Histories
  • Early History of Mason (Marshall, 1985) [name index]
  • History of Tennessee From the Earliest Time to the Present: Together with a Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Lauderdale, Tipton, Haywood and Crockett  (Goodspeed, 1978)*
  • Illustrated History of the People and Towns of Northeast Shelby County and South Central Tipton County: Salem, Portersville, Idaville, Kerrville, Armourtown, Bethel, Tipton, Mudville, Macedonia, Gratitude, Barretville, and Rosemark, Tennessee (McCalla, 2010)
  • Mason: A Glimpse into the Past (Marshall, 1991)
  • Tipton County, Tennessee: A Place of Memories: A People Moving Forward (Wortham, 1994) [name index]*
  • True Tales of Tipton: Historical Accounts of Tipton County, Tennessee (Beasley, 1981) [name index]*
  • True Tales of Tipton County Tennessee (Beasley, 2007)

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


Published Local Records
  • 1836 Tipton County, Tennessee Civil Districts and Tax List (Douthat,  2001) [name index]*
  • 1880 Census, Tipton County, Tennessee (Sistler,  1992) [alphabetical by surname]*
  • Covington, TN Polk City Directory  (2015 - 2019)
  • Historic Randolph Cemetery (2007) [name index]
  • Seventh Census of the United States, 1850: Tipton County, Tennessee, Free Population Schedules  (Carpenter,  1971) [surname index]
  • Tipton County, Tennessee Deeds [vol. 1 1824-1831; vol. 2 1831-1833] (Crumpton, 2004) [name index]
  • Tipton County, Tennessee, Direct and Reverse Index to Deeds 1824-1878  [vol. 1 A-L;   vol. 2. M-Y] (WPA,  1940)*
  • Tipton County, Tennessee Family Histories & Cemetery Records  (Hayes,  199?)*
  • Tipton County, Tennessee, Index to Marriage Licenses, 1864-1950  (Genealogical Society of Utah, 1997) [alphabetical listings]*
  • Tipton County, Tennessee, Marriage Records, Book B, 1840-1860  (WPA, 1936) [name index]
  • Tipton County, Tennessee Marriages, 1840-1860 (Hays, 1987) [surname index]*
  • Tipton County, Tennessee, Minute Book   [vol. 1  1823-1831;   vol. 2 1831-1833;  vol. 3 1834-1845;   vol. 4 (in 2 pts.) 1846-1853]  (WPA,  1937-1941) [name index]
  • Tipton County, TN Marriages, 1840-1874 (Sistler,  1987) [alphabetical listings]*


Local Records on Microfilm 

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

Earliest records include:

  • marriages from 1840
  • wills from 1840
  • deed index from 1824
  • chancery court minutes from 1854
  • county court minutes from 1823
  • circuit court minutes from 1832
  • tax books from 1929


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

  • *Administrators Bonds & Letters  1824 - 1918 (#40,  1 reel)*
  • *Deed Index  1840 - 1900  (#44,  1 reel)*
  • *Marriages  1840 - 1889 (#36,  1 reel)*
  • *Wills 1824 - 1918 (#41, 1 reel)*
  • WPA Records, Tipton County  (Record Group #107, Roll 82,  1 reel). Roll includes Direct & Reverse Index to Deeds (1824-1878), County Court Minute Books (1823-1853), and Marriage Records (1840-1860)*


Newspapers on Microfilm 

Newspapers were published in Covington, Munford and Randolph. Scattered early issues are available from 1961, and a complete run begins in 1937.   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
  • Bethel Cumberland Presbyterian Church Records. Tipton County, 1932-1978  (Microfilm Manuscript #680, 1 reel)*
  • Georgia Wren Bishop Knight Scrapbooks, 1926-1980 (Microfilm Manuscript #1332, 6 reels)*
  • Owen Family Papers, 1835-1983 (Microfilm Manuscript #1267,  1 reel)*
  • Tipton County Miscellaneous Records (Microfilm Manuscript #951, 1 reel)*
  • Trinity-in-the-Fields Church, Episcopal Records. Tipton County, 1837-1973 (Microfilm Manuscript #606, 1 reel)*

Search for Manuscripts Material in our Catalog 


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


Additional Research Aids for Tipton County


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


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Tipton County Formation Act


"An Act to establish Tipton County."

SECTION 1. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE, That a new county, to be called and known by the name of Tipton County, in memory of Captain Jacob Tipton, who fell at St. Clair's defeat, be, and the same is hereby, established, to be bounded as follows, viz: beginning on the line separating the eleventh and thirteenth districts, at a point two miles west of the first rage [sic] line in the eleventh district, running west on said dividing line, to the middle of the Mississippi River; thence down the main channel of the same, to [the] north-west corner of Shelby County; thence east with the northern boundary line of Shelby County, to the north-east corner thereof; thence north with the western boundary line of territorial country east of Shelby County, to the north-west corner of said territorial country; thence east with [the] northern boundary of the same, to a point three miles east of the second range line in the eleventh district; and thence north, parallel with the said line, to the beginning.

SECTION 2. BE IT ENACTED, That for the due administration of justice, said county shall be, and compose, a part of the fourteenth solicitorial district, and of the eighth judicial circuit; and the county and circuit courts shall be held at the house where Nathan Hartfield now lives, the county courts on the first Mondays of March, June, September, and December, of each and every year, and the circuit courts on the second Mondays of April, and October, in each and every year, until otherwise provided for by law.

SECTION 3. BE IT ENACTED, That the militia of said county shall compose the __ regiment, and shall be attached to the __ brigade; and it shall be the duty of the sheriff of said county, to open and hold an election for field officers of said regiment, at the place appointed for holding courts, on the second Thursday, and Friday following, in the month of January, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-four, under the same rules and regulations as in similar cases.

SECTION 4. BE IT ENACTED, That the tax due and owing from said county for the present year, shall be collected by the sheriff of said county, in all cases where the same may remain due and unpaid; and so much of said tax as may be collected by the sheriff of Shelby County, shall be paid over by him to the sheriff of Tipton County, who shall be liable for the same to the state and county.

SECTION 5. BE IT ENACTED, That such justices of the peace as have been commissioned for Shelby County, as shall fall into Tipton County, as now established, shall continue to hold their commissions and exercise their authority in the same manner that they would be authorized to do, had they been originally commissioned for Tipton County; and any one of said justices of the peace, or any other justice of the peace, from any other county of this state, attending at the time and place appointed for the first county court in said county, shall be authorized to administer all oaths necessary for the organization of the same.

SECTION 6. BE IT ENACTED, That it shall be the duty of the clerk of Shelby County, to furnish to the sheriff of Tipton County, when appointed, a list of the taxable property in said county, for the year one thousand eight hundred and twenty-three; and it shall also be the duty of the principal surveyor of the eleventh district, to furnish to said sheriff, a list of all lands liable to taxation for the year one thousand eight hundred and twenty-three, from which said severally lists the said sheriff shall collect as soon after his election as practicable, and account for and pay over the same as other sheriffs in this state.


Passed on October 29, 1823

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Tipton 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! webpage 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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Tipton County in General
  • Beasley, Gaylon N. True tales of Tipton: historical accounts of Tipton County, TN. Covington, Tipton County Hist. Soc., 1981. 197 pp.
  • Biographical directory, TN General Assembly, 1796-1969 (Tipton County, Preliminary # 45-A). Nashville, TSLA, 1974. 32 pp.
  • Flood insurance study: Tipton County, TN & unincorporated areas. Washington, D.C., FEMA, 1991. 11 pp.
  • Goodspeed's history of TN (Tipton County, pp. 808-818, 885-921). Goodspeed, 1887.
  • Gwinn, David A. "A historical sketch of Tipton County, TN, 1823-1876, by Col. R.H. Munford."WTHSP 45 (1991), pp. 95-115.
  • Johnson, Magnus B. Cotton loan program in Tipton County, TN. Knoxville, TN Ag. Exp. Sta., 1943. 42 pp. (its Rural research series monograph #149)
  • Lornell, Kip. "Sod Rogers: Tipton County herbalist." TN Folklore Soc. Bull. 48 (1982), pp. 61-65.
  • Memphis MSA, 1980-1987: an economic analysis. Nashville, TN Dept. Emp. Sec., 1988. 19 pp.
  • Memphis State University. Institute for Criminal Justice. Comprehensive plan 1975 for Fayette-Lauderdale-Tipton counties. Memphis, the institute, 1975. 139 pp.
  • Preliminary feasibility study of resource recovery opportunities for Tipton County, TN. Atlanta, GA, US EPA, region 4, 1980. 28 pp.
  • Soil survey of Tipton County, TN. Washington, D.C., US GPO, 1993. 102 pp.
  • TN Dept. Education. Tipton County school survey. Nashville, the department, 1958. 157 pp.
  • TN Dept. Emp. Sec. Occupational survey Tipton County. Nashville, the department, 1964. 10 pp.
  • TN Dept. Transportation [county maps] issued periodically.
  • TN Taxpayers Assn. A report with recommendations covering a survey of the finances & administrative methods of the government of Tipton County, TN. Nashville, the association, 1940. 195 pp. (its Research report # 45)
  • Tipton County Frazier Alumni Association presents: "The Frazier Epic, 1889- 1970": an exhibit & historical narrative of Frazier School. Covington, the association, 1986. 6 pp.
  • Turner, Glaldys B. Memories of Island 35: Tipton County, TN. Memphis, Castle Books, 1987. 132 pp.
  • US Geol. Survey [topographic maps] issued periodically. Quadrangles: Millington NW, Millington NE, Brighton, Mason, Stanton, Turnpike.
  • Warrington, Sarah J. A survey of the vascular plants of Tipton County, TN. MSU thesis, 1970. 85 pp.
  • Williams, Joseph S. Old times in west TN: reminiscences--semihistoric--of pioneer life & the early emigrant settlers in the Big Hatchie country. Memphis, W.G. Cheeney, 1873. 295 pp. (various reprints available)
  • Wingfield, Marshall. "Tipton County, TN." WTHSP 3 (1949), pp. 5-26.
  • Woods, Gayle. Kelley's Chapel: a historical survey. N.p., the author, 1988. 28 pp.
  • Wortham, Mildred O. Tipton County, TN: a place of memories: a people moving forward. Virginia Beach, VA, the Donning Co., 1994. 208 pp.


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  • Welcome home Atoka! A history of our town. Tim Forbess, ed. Atoka, the editor, 1986. 92 pp.

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  • Community information, Covington, TN. Prepared by Covington-Tipton County Chamber of Commerce & West TN Ind. Assoc. Jackson, the association,, 1987. 38 pp.
  • Emergency operations plan, Covington-Tipton County, TN. Nashville, TEMA, 1987. 1 vol.
  • Flood insurance study: city of Covington, TN, Tipton County. Washington, D.C., FEMA, 1987. 7 pp.

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Devils Elbow
  • Moore, Joanne C. "The Devil's Elbow." WTHSP 35 (1981), pp. 5-24.

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  • Marshall, John W. The early history of Mason. N.p., the author, 1985. 147 pp.
  • Marshall, John W. Mason: a glimpse into the past. Mason, the author, 1991. 75 pp.

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  • Wade, William J. Notes on Randolph, TN. Memphis, n.p., 1949. 7 pp. 

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