Warren County

Warren County

Warren County was formed in 1807 from Jackson,
Smith & White counties and Indian lands

(Acts of Tennessee 1807, Chapter 28)

The county seat is McMinnville.

There was a fire at the Warren County courthouse in 1852.


Selected Published County Histories
  • 175 Years of Progress, 1810-1985: McMinnville, Warren County, Tennessee (1985?)
  • Concise Description of Middle Tennessee (Baker, 1868)
  • Distinguished Personalities of Warren County History, 1800-1996  (Dillon,  1996)*
  • Early History of Warren County  (Hale,  1930)*
  • Geography & History of Rock Island Tennessee  (Jones, 2017)
  • Heritage of Warren County, TN. (Warren County Heritage Book Committee, 2005) [name index]*
  • History of Tennessee from the Earliest Time to the Present: Together with a Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Cannon, Coffee, DeKalb, Warren, White (Goodspeed, 1979)
  • Legacy of the Circuit Riders: The Methodist Churches of Warren County, Tennessee (Boyd, 1984)*
  • Life on a Warren County Farm (Wood, 1993)
  • McMinnville [Images of America] (Wanamaker & Keathley, 2009)
  • McMinnville at a Milestone, 1810-1960 (Womack, 1960)
  • McMinnville-Warren County Sesquicentennial, 1810-1960 (McMinnville-Warren County Tenn. Sesquicentennial Central Committee, 1960)
  • Through Wolf's Eyes (Wolford, 2012)
  • Warren County (Prince and Tanner, 2018)
  • Warren County [Images of America series] (Wanamaker and Chris Keathley, 2007)
  • Warren County, Its Organization, Scenery, Resources and Representative Men  (Killebrew,  1871)
  • Warren County Story  (Wiseman,  1995) [name index]*
  • Warren County, Tennessee, Pictorial History (Jackson, 1997) [surname index]*
  • Warren County, Tennessee. The Region of Health, Wealth and Happiness*
  • Warren County, Tennessee 1807-2007 (Nunley, 2007)

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


Published Local Records
  • 1840 Federal Census of Warren County, Tennessee (Bridgewater, 1985) [name index]
  • 1870 Warren County, Tennessee (Hillis, 1988) [surname index]*
  • 1880 Warren County TN Census (Hillis, 1988) [surname index]*
  • 1900 Warren County TN Census (Hillis, 1988) [surname index]*
  • 1910 Warren County TN Census (Hillis, 1988) [surname index]*
  • Alphabetical Listing of the Marriage Records of Warren County, Tennessee, 1852-1900 (Clark, 19??) [alphabetical]*
  • Death Records, Warren County, TN [vol. 1 1914-1920; vol. 2 1921-1925] (Hillis, 200?) [surname index in each volume]*
  • Deeds / Prepared by the Historical Records Survey [vol. 1 1800-1818; vol 2. 1812-1819 (in 2 pts.); vol. 3 1818-1820; vol. 4 1820-1826] (WPA, 1936-38) [name index in vols. 1, 3 & 4; in vol. 2 pt. 1]
  • Inventories, Sale Bills, Statements, etc., Book 1, 1827-1844 [2 vols.]  (WPA, 1938) [name index in vol. 1]
  • Marriage Records Warren County, Tennessee [1852-1900] (1965) [surname index]
  • Marriage Records, Warren County, Tennessee, 1951-1975 (Hillis, 1988)*
  • Name Index to History of Tennessee ... Together with ... Sketch of the Counties of White, Warren, Coffee, DeKalb and Cannon ... (Marsh, 1972)
  • Obituaries Extracted from the New Era & Southern Standard (1867-1934)  (Reggio,  1999?) [name index]
  • Obituaries Extracted from Southern Standard Newspaper, Warren County ... [vol. 1 1867-1934; *vol .2 1935-1940; vol. 3 1941-1944; vol. 4 1944-1946] (Reggio, 1999-) [name index in each volume]
  • Our Families at Rest in Cherry, Jacksboro, King, Rains Cemeteries (Jones, 1988) [surname index for each cemetery]
  • Polk's McMinnville (Warren County, Tennessee) City Directory [1973-1980, 1982-1984, 1986-1998, 2000-2019]
  • Warren County Tax Lists, 1805, 1812, 1836 (Scribes, 1988) [surname index]
  • Warren County, Tennessee, 1860 Census (Greathouse, 1980) [surname index]
  • Warren County, Tennessee Cemetery Book [4 vols.] (Cunningham & Holt, 1993-1994) [name index in each volume]*
  • Warren County, Tennessee, Census of 1850 (1958) [surname index]*
  • Warren County, Tennessee Deed Book A (1808-1818) (Majors, 1992) [name index]*
  • Warren County, Tennessee, Genealogical Notes from the McMinnville Newspapers, 1880-1914( Martini, 2011) [alphabetical]
  • Warren County, Tennessee Land Grants: Books 1 Through 3, 1824-1827 (Williams, 1999) [name index]*
  • Warren County, Tennessee, Marriage License Record, Vol. A, 1852-64 (WPA, 1937) [name index]
  • Warren County, Tennessee, Plat Book [vol. 1 1824-1827; vol. 2 1827-1835; vol. 3 1835-1839; vol. 4 1839-1894] (Williams, 1997-) [name index in each volume]*
  • Warren County, Tennessee, Research Information & 1830 Census, with Index (Gant, 1994?) [name index]*
  • Warren County, Tennessee, Research Information & 1836 Tax List, with Index (Gant, 1994?) [name index]*
  • Warren County, Tennessee Will Books [vol. 1 1827-1858; vol. 2 1858-1887; vol. 3 1887-1910] (Majors, 1992-1996) [name index in each volume]*
  • Warren County, TN Marriages, 1852-1865 (Sistler, 1986) [alphabetical]*
  • Warren County TN Marriages, 1900-1950 (Hillis, 1988) [surname index]*
  • Warren County, TN, Research Information and 1838 Tax List, with Index (Gant, 1994?) [name index]*


Local Records on Microfilm 

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

Earliest records include:

  • marriages from 1852
  • wills from 1827
  • deeds from 1810  (deed index from 1925)
  • chancery court minutes from 1847
  • county court minutes from 1848
  • circuit court minutes from 1842
  • tax books from 1876


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

  • Marriage records -- 1852-1877 (#47, 1 reel)*
  • Wills, Inventories, sales & settlements -- 1827-1858 (#83, 1 reel)*
  • WPA Records, Warren County  (Record Group #107, Roll 83,  1 reel). Roll includes Deeds, Books A, B, C & E (1808-1820 & 1823-1826),  Inventories, Sale Bills, Statements, etc. Book 1, pts. 1&2 (1827-1844) and Marriage License Records, vol. A (1852-1864).*


Newspapers on Microfilm

Newspapers were published in McMinnville.  Scattered early issues are available from 1816, and a complete run begins in 1933.  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
  • Blanch (Spurlock) Bentley Papers, 1761-1942 (Microfilm Manuscript #1063, 1 reel)*
  • Blue Spring Baptist Church Minutes. Viola, 1807-1858 (Microfilm Manuscript #1043, 1 reel)*
  • Caney Fork Primitive Baptist Church Records. Warren County, 1816-1935 (Microfilm Manuscript #178, 1 reel)*
  • John Custer Account Books, 1861-1885 (Microfilm Manuscript #510, 1 reel)*
  • Liberty Cumberland Presbyterian Church Records. McMinnville, 1831-1869; Friendship Baptist Church Records. Warren County, 1831-1912 (Microfilm Manuscript #259, 1 reel)*
  • Methodist Church Records. Warren and Coffee Counties, 1898-1967 (Microfilm Manuscript #375, 1 reel)*
  • Shellsford Missionary Baptist Church Records. McMinnville, 1855-1960 (Microfilm Manuscript #286, 1 reel)*
  • Thomas Jefferson Barnes Papers, 1812-1956 (Microfilm Manuscript #654, 1 reel)*

Search for Manuscripts Material in our Catalog 


Census Records
  • Census on microfilm for Warren County:  1830-1880, 1900-1930
  • State-wide census index:  1830-1880
  • State-wide census index on microfilm  (Soundex):  1880,  1900-1930
  • Warren County census records in book form:  1830,  1840,  1850,  1860,  1870*,  1880*,  1900*,  1910*


Additional Research Aids for Warren County


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


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Warren County Formation Act


"An Act to divide the county of White into two separate and distinct counties."

SECTION 1. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE, That the county of White shall be divided into two distinct counties, as follows, to wit:  Beginning on the Caney-Fork [sic], where Smith County line crosses the same; running up the channel of said river to the mouth of Rocky river; thence along the top of the dividing ridge between the Caney-Fork [sic] and Rocky River, to the top of Cumberland Mountain; thence along the extreme height of the mountain, eastwardly, until it strikes the wilderness road; then with said road, to the Jackson County line, including Daniel Alexander's dwelling house, in White County; then with the line of Jackson and Smith counties to the beginning.  And all that part of White County, lying within the described bounds, be and remain the county of White; and that the courts in the said county of White, shall hereafter commence on the second Mondays of February, May, August and November, and shall be held at the house where Caleb Friley now lives, until otherwise provided for by law.

SECTION 2. BE IT ENACTED, That there be a new county laid off, by the following boundary, to wit: Beginning on Cumberland Mountain, where the line of White County strikes the same; thence westwardly, with said mountain to the Indian boundary line; then along said line to the most eastwardly branch of Duck River; thence north to the east boundary of Rutherford County; thence with the lines of Rutherford, Wilson, Smith and White, to the beginning. Which last mentioned bounds shall compose a new county, by the name of WARREN.

SECTION 3. BE IT ENACTED, That the courts in said county of Warren, shall be held by commission, to justices of the peace, under the same rules and restrictions as are prescribed for the several counties in this state.  And for the due administration of justice, in said county.

SECTION 4. BE IT ENACTED, That the courts of said county of Warren, shall by held on the first Mondays of February, May, August and November, in each year, at the house of Joseph Westmoreland, on the east side of Barren Fork of Collen's River, near a big spring, where Looney's Trace crosses the said fork, and shall continue to be held at said place, until otherwise provided by law.

SECTION 5. BE IT ENACTED, That the sheriff of said county of Warren, shall on the constitutional days of holding elections in this state, hold an election at the place of holding court in said county, for the purpose of electing a governor, member to congress, members of the General Assembly, and shall on the Monday succeeding said election, meet the sheriff of Jackson County at the court house, and compare the polls so taken; and the sheriff of Jackson shall give a certificate to the person or persons elected, and where it shall be necessary, the sheriff shall hold an election for electors of president and vice president, under the same restrictions as to the other counties in this state, and make return agreeable to law.

SECTION 6. BE IT ENACTED, That the county of Warren shall compose a part of the district of Winchester, and shall send three jurors to the superior courts of said district.

SECTION 7. BE IT ENACTED, That the militia of said county of Warren, shall constitute the twenty ninth regiment, and shall hold regimental musters on the fourth Thursday of September in each year, and the colonel or commanding officer of said regiment, shall issue his writ, and appoint the place where elections shall be held for the election of company officers.

SECTION 8. BE IT ENACTED, That the election for field officers for said county of Warren, be held at the place of holding court of said county, on the first Thursday in March in the succeeding day, one thousand eight hundred and eight.


Passed on November 26, 1807

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Warren 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 e-mail the Library and Archives to 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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Warren County in General
  • Allred, Charles E. Farm housing in TN with regional comparisons. Knoxville, TN Ag. Exp. Sta., 1937. 45 pp. (its Monograph # 26)
  • Allred, Charles E. Home conveniences on TN farms, with regional comparisons. Knoxville, TN Ag. Exp. Sta., 1937. 41 pp. (its Monograph # 30)
  • Baker, William. A concise description of middle TN. By Rev. William Baker. (2d ed., rev.) McMinnville, William Baker & Son, 1868. 11 pp.
  • Barr, Thomas C. The geology of Cumberland Caverns, Warren County, TN. Nashville, TN Acad. Science, 1956. 10 pp.
  • Bass, William W. "A recollected idyll." TN Folklore Soc. Bull. 28 (1962), pp. 85-88.
  • Biographical directory, TN General Assembly, 1796-1969 (Warren County, Preliminary # 30). Nashville, TSLA, 1972. 92 pp.
  • Clark, Carroll H. My grandfather's diary of the war. McMinnville, n.p., 1963. 62 pp.
  • Cotham, Perry C. The Church of Christ in Warren County. McMinnville, n.p., 1982. 74 pp.
  • Davenport, D. Dewayne. The Civil War experiences of Capt. James J. Womack of Warren County, TN: a research project. Martin, UT, 1994. 111 pp. (prepared for history 601, "Independent Study of American History," Lonnie E. Maness, PhD., professor of history)
  • Dillon, James A. Old Philadelphia Church: a history. McMinnville, the author, 1986. 74 pp.
  • 5 county association: Cannon, Dekalb, Van Buren, Warren, White: promoting progress through cooperation. McMinnville, the association, 1974. 19 pp.
  • Flood insurance study: Warren County, TN & unincorporated areas. Washington, D.C., FEMA, 1988. 14 pp.
  • George Peabody College for Teachers. Div. Surveys & Field Services. Vicksburg-Warren County public schools: a survey report. Nashville, the college, 1970. 235 pp.
  • Goodspeed's history of TN (Warren County, pp. 812-827, 884-921). Goodspeed, 1887.
  • Grizzell, Mary F. A historical survey of education in Warren County, TN. TTU thesis, 1964. 82 pp.
  • Grove, J.G. This is my story. Commerce, TX, n.p., 1966. 167 pp.
  • Hale, William T. Early history of Warren County. Edited by J.W. Womack, Jr. McMinnville, Standard, 1930. 60 pp.
  • Hill, David G. Characteristics of Warren County nursery producers, their farm operations, contracts with extension, & their use of selected fertilization practices. UT thesis, 1990. 84 pp.
  • History of Providence Baptist Church, 1856-1981: in celebration of its 125th year. Edited by Larry C. Boyd; researched by the church historical committee; illustrated by Emmett Priest, Rhonda Craddock Ralph. McMinnville, the church, 1981. 118 pp.
  • Jaco, Allen. A collection of material from Wes Dodson's papers. Transcribed & indexed by Allen Jaco. N.p., 1989. 222 pp.
  • Jarvis, Mrs. Dwight. "Wheeler & Ferguson destroy property of General John B. Rogers." TN Folklore Soc. Bull. 14 (1948), pp. 9-12.
  • Jones, Howard S. From the beautiful Ben Lomand to the great southwest. N.p., n.d. 232 pp.
  • Jr. Pioneers: Warren County Junior High School. (school yearbook)
  • Keele, Robert L. "Folklore of the branch line railroad." TN Folklore Soc. Bull. 13 (1947), pp. 8-12.
  • Killebrew, Joseph B. Warren County: its organization, scenery, resources & representative men. Nashville, Union & American Book & Job Print., 1871. 36 pp.
  • Kline, Gerald W. The Ducks Nest site: a small Mississippian site in Warren County, TN. UT thesis, 1978. 206 pp.
  • Kline, Gerald W. & Gary D. Crites. "Paleoethnobotany of the Ducks Nest site: early Mississippi plant utilization in the eastern Highland Rim." TN Anthrop. 4 (1979), pp. 82-100.
  • Legacy of the circuit riders: the Methodist churches of Warren County, TN. Compiled & edited by Larry C. Boyd. McMinnville, L.C. Boyd, 1984. 36 pp.
  • Pioneer: Warren County Junior-Senior High School (school yearbook)
  • Matthews, Larry E. Cumberland Caverns. Huntsville, National Speleological Society, 1989. 317 pp.
  • Potential for resource recovery from municipal solid waste in Warren County, TN. Muscle Shoals, AL, TVA, 1981. 75 pp.
  • Savage, John H. Life of John H. Savage, citizen, soldier, lawyer, congressman, written by himself. Nashville, the author, 1903. 200 pp.
  • Soil survey, Warren County, TN. Washington, D.C., US GPO, 1967. 79 pp.
  • Summers, Marie. "Nicholson Springs Resort Hotel: a 19th century spa." THQ 45 (1986), pp. 244-255.
  • Survey of the Warren County, TN schools. Cookeville, TTU, 1969. 210 pp.
  • TN Dept. Transportation [county maps] issued periodically.
  • US Geol. Survey [topographic maps] issued periodically. Quadrangles: Short Mtn., Dibrell, Campaign, Doyle, Centertown, McMinnville, Cardwell Mtn., Welchland, Morrison, Viola, Irving College, Curtistown.
  • Warren County, 1980-1987: an economic analysis. Nashville, TN Dept. Emp. Sec., 1988. 12 pp.
  • Warren County, TN: the region of health & happiness. McMinnville, Standard, n.d. 16 pp.
  • Wiseman, Eugene M. The Warren County story. Bradenton, FL, the author, 1995. 538 pp.
  • Womack, James J. The Civil War diary of Capt. J.J. Womack, Co. E, 16th regiment, TN volunteers (Confederate). McMinnville, Womack, 1961. 115 pp.
  • Wood, Allen. Life on a Warren County farm, 1906-1923. Corpus Christi, TX, the author, 1993. 66 pp.

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Cumberland Female College
  • Nunley, Joe E. A history of Cumberland Female College, McMinnville, TN. UT dissertation, 1965. 146 pp. (reprinted 1983, UMI)

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  • Crouch, Arthur W. Index to McMinnville at a milestone, 1810-1960, by Walter Womack. Nashville, the author, 1976. 14 pp.
  • Denton, Lila R. History of First United Methodist Church, McMinnville, TN. Compiled & edited by Lila Rose Denton & Alene Boyd. McMinnville, the church, 1984. 175 pp.
  • Flood insurance study: city of McMinnville, TN, Warren County. Washington, D.C., FEMA, 1977. 15 pp.
  • McMinnville-Warren County, TN, Sesquicentennial Central Committee. Official souvenir program, McMinnville-Warren County Sesquicentennial, 1810-1960, August 4, 5, 6, 1960: 150 years of progress. McMinnville, the committee, 1960. 100 pp.
  • Martin, Charles. Swann Street. Crossville, the author, 1982. 134 pp.
  • 175 years of progress, 1810-1985: McMinnville, Warren County, TN. McMinnville, T.D. Ramsey, 1985. 132 pp.
  • Womack, Walter. McMinnville at a milestone, 1810-1960: a momento of the sesquicentennial year of McMinnville, TN, 1960, & Warren County, TN, 1958. McMinnville, Standard, 1960. 327 pp.
  • Woodward, J. Fletch. Fletch Woodard [sic]: his fights with those bad, bad town boys: a drive for the life of a human being!: the accusation, arrest, imprisonment & trials of himself & the Flynns, charged with the murder of Enoch Cooksey. McMinnville, the author, 1878. 77 pp.
  • Woodward, J. Fletcher. K-OS: that Maxwell Momix: it is a sequel to, or, a signal of that long & infamous, & relentless old prologue to that counterfeit Momix & is the gall of that same old blood-sucking, home- wrecking, widow & orphan robbing, gog[g]ele-eyed sot that has infected McMinnville, with all of its relentless, hydrophobia virus from John A. Murrell up to date. McMinnville, the author, 1908. 36 pp.

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Mount Zion
  • Hill, Louise B. History of Mt. Zion Methodist Episcopal Church, South, of Mount Zion, Warren County, TN, 1809-1930. McMinnville, Standard, 1930. 107 pp.


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Uncle Dave Macon
  • Rinzler, Ralph & Norm Cohen. Uncle Dave Macon: a biodiscography. Los Angeles, CA, John Edwards Memorial Foundation, Inc., 1970. 51 pp.


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