Wayne County was formed in 1817 from Hickman County
(Acts of Tennessee 1817, Chapter 174)
The county seat is Waynesboro.
There was a fire at the Wayne County courthouse in 1973.
Selected Published County Histories
- History of Clifton Tennessee and It's People (Davidson, 1992)
- History of Lutts Community (Lutts Home Demonstration Club, 1986)*
- History of Tennessee from the Earliest Time to the Present: Together with a Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Lawrence, Wayne, Perry, Hickman and Lewis (Goodspeed, 1979)
- Important Events of America: Happenings of Wayne County (Abrams, 1973?)
- Life in the Holler Near Iron City, Tennessee (Marshall, 1996)
- Wayne County, Tennessee History and Families (Wayne County Historical Society, 1995) [surname index]
- Waynesboro Tennessee: A Historical and Pictorial Review (Davidson, 1994) [surname index]
Additional county and community histories can be found at the Bibliography of Tennessee Local History Sources: Wayne County. The items in the bibliography may not all be available at the Tennessee State Library and Archives.
Published Local Records
- 1880 Census, Wayne County, Tennessee (Sistler, 1999) [alphabetical by head of household]*
- 1920 Census Wayne County, Tennessee (Brown, 1992) [surname index]
- Census Records of Wayne County, Tennessee [vol. 1 1820-1840; vol. 2 1850-1860; vol. 3 1870; vol. 4 1880; vol. 5 1900; vol. 6 1910] (Byler & Scott, 1974-1987) [surname index]*
- Deed Book ... Wayne County, Tennessee [vol. 1 1821-1833; vol. 2 1833-1838] (Crumpton, 2004) [name index]*
- Enumeration of Male Inhabitants of Twenty-one Years of Age and Upward, Citizens of Tennessee, January 1, 1891 [Wayne County 1891 enumeration of male voters] (Reed, 1992)
- Facts of Older Settlers in Wayne County, Tennessee (Abrams, 1975)
- Family Bible Records: Wayne County, Tennessee (Wayne County Historical Society, 2002) [name index]*
- Korean War Veterans, Wayne County, Tennessee (Wayne County Historical Society, 2004) [surname index]*
- Marriage Records of Wayne County, Tennessee, 1857-1929 (Plott, 1983) [surname index for grooms and brides]*
- Name Index to History of Tennessee ...: Together with ... Sketch of Lawrence, Wayne, Perry, Hickman, and Lewis counties (Marsh, 1972)
- Newspaper Subject Index of Wayne County, Tennessee, From 1876-1935 (Tennessee Valley Tales, 1990) [alphabetical listings]
- Private Acts of Wayne County, Tennessee (McIntyre, 1995)
- Vietnam Veterans of Wayne County, Tennessee (2008) [surname index]
- War Between the States, Wayne County, Tennessee: In Celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War (Wayne County Historical Society, 2012) [alphabetical]
- Wayne County (TN) Chancery Court Loose records, 1850-1869 (Berry, 1994) [name index]
- Wayne County (TN) Chancery Court Loose Records, 1870-1879 (Berry, 1995) [name index]*
- Wayne County (TN) Chancery Court Loose Records, 1880-1889 (Berry, 1996) [name index]*
- Wayne County (TN) Chancery Court Loose Records, 1890-1899 (Berry, 1997) [name index]*
- Wayne County (TN) Chancery Court Loose Records, 1900-1909 (Berry, 1999) [name index]*
- Wayne County, Tennessee 1850 Census (Porch, 19??) [surname index]*
- Wayne County, Tennessee Abstracts of Deed Records, 1820-1839 (Gray, 1985) [surname index]*
- Wayne County, Tennessee, Abstracts of Deed Records, 1839-1853 (Gray, 1987) [surname index]*
- Wayne County, Tennessee Cemetery and Death Records (Wayne County Historical Society, 1987) [surname index]
- Wayne County, Tennessee Census 1910 (Brown, 1992) [surname index]
- Wayne County, Tennessee, Circuit Court Execution Docket, 1837-1840 (WPA, 1938) [name index]
- Wayne County, Tennessee Deed Books [vol. 1 1820-1838; vol. 2 1838-1850; vol. 3 1850-1856; vol. 4 1856-1866; vol. 5 1865-1872; vol. 6 1872-1881] (Hutchings, 2001-) [name index for each volume]*
- Wayne County, Tennessee Deeds [vol. 1 1821-1833; vol. 2 1833-1838] (Crumpton, 2004) [name index]
- Wayne County, Tennessee: Enumeration of Male Inhabitants of Twenty-one Years of Age and Upward, Citizens of Tennessee ... Approved January 22, 1891 (Bridges, 1994) [name index]
- Wayne County, Tennessee Families: 1817-1899 (Wayne County Historical Society, 1999) [surname index]*
- Wayne County, Tennessee, Marriages, 1857-1898 (WPA, 1938) [name index]
- Wayne County, Tennessee, Wills and Inventories, vol. 0, 1848-1857 (WPA, 1937) [name index]
- Wayne County, Tennessee, Wills & Letters of Administration, 1848-1920 (Berry, 1990) [surname index]*
- Wayne County, Tennessee World War 1 Veterans (Wayne County Historical Society, 2007) [name index]*
- World War II Veterans, Wayne County, Tennessee (2001) [name index]*
Local Records on Microfilm
An inventory of microfilmed Wayne County records is available on our website. Individual reels of microfilm may also be purchased.
Earliest records include:
- marriages from 1857
- wills from 1848
- deed index from 1821
- chancery court minutes from 1861
- county court minutes from 1848
- circuit court minutes from 1851
- tax books from 1873
The following reels are available on interlibrary loan from the Library and Archives:
- Deed Index -- 1821-1937 (#61, 1 reel)*
- Inventories, Wills & Settlements -- 1848-1868 (#33, 1 reel)*
- Marriage records -- 1857-1929 (#38, 1 reel)*
- WPA Records, Wayne County (Record Group #107, Roll 87, 1 reel). Roll includes Circuit Court Execution Dockett (1837-1840), Wills & Inventories, Settlements, vol. O (1848-1857) and Marriages (1857-1898).*
Newspapers on Microfilm
Newspapers were published in Clifton, Collinwood and Waynesboro. Scattered early issues are available from 1819, and a complete run begins in 1943. 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
- Amos T. Hassel Ledgers. Wayne County, 1844-1869 (Microfilm Manuscript #1285, 1 reel)*
- Cumberland Presbyterian Church Records. Wayne County, 1838-1920 (Microfilm Manuscript #21, 1 reel)*
- Dieck Family Papers, 1832-1890 (Microfilm Manuscript #109, 1 reel)*
- First Presbyterian Church Records. Clifton, Wayne County, 1854-1956 (Microfilm Manuscript #1321, 1 reel)*
- Indian Creek Baptist Association Minutes. Wayne County, TN and Lauderdale County, AL, 1867-1911 (Microfilm Manuscript #1012, 1 reel)*
- Indian Creek Baptist Church Minutes. Wayne County, 1908-1924 (Microfilm Manuscript #1015, 1 reel)*
- Martin Mills Charge (Methodist Episcopal Church) Records. Wayne County, 1908-1920 (Microfilm Manuscript #1016, 1 reel)*
- Morrison, Hardin, and Related Families Genealogical Data, 1779-1975 (Microfilm Manuscript #1312, 2 reels)*
- Riverside Methodist Church Records. Wayne County, 1881-1977 (Microfilm Manuscript #677, 1 reel)*
- Salem Primitive Baptist Church Records. Wayne County, 1821-1929 (Microfilm Manuscript #419, 1 reel)*
- Wayne Furnace Ledger. Wayne County, 1867-1898 (Microfilm Manuscript #1286, 1 reel)*
- Waynesboro Cumberland Presbyterian Church Records. Wayne County, 1866-1951 (Microfilm Manuscript #1320, 1 reel)*
- Waynesboro Methodist Episcopal Church Sunday School Book. Wayne County, 1903-1904 (Microfilm Manuscript #1014, 1 reel)*
Search for Manuscripts Material in our Catalog
- Census on microfilm for Wayne County: 1820-1880, 1900-1930
- State-wide census index: 1820-1880
- State-wide census index on microfilm (Soundex): 1880, 1900-1930
- Wayne County census records in book form: 1820*, 1830*, 1840*, 1850*, 1860*, 1870*, 1880*, 1900*, 1910*, 1920
Additional Research Aids for Wayne County
- County Index to Tennessee Confederate Pension Applications
- Early Tennessee Tax Lists at the Tennessee State Library and Archives
- Funeral Home Records at the Tennessee State Library and Archives
- Index to Tennessee Death Records 1908-1912
- Index to Tennessee Death Records 1914-1933
- School Census Records
- Tennessee World War I Veterans
* Indicates this title may be borrowed on Interlibrary Loan from the Library and Archives.
Wayne County Formation Act
ACTS OF TENNESSEE 1817, CHAPTER 174:
"An act to establish a new county west of Lawrence County and south of Hickman and Humphrey’s [sic] counties. "
SECTION 1. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE, That a new county be, and the same is hereby established, west of Lawrence County and south of Hickman and Humphrey's [sic] counties, by the name of Wayne County which shall be bounded as follows, to wit: Beginning at the north west corner of Lawrence County, and running west to the Tennessee river, thence up the same to where the southern boundary line of this state crosses the same; thence east, with said line, to the corner of Lawrence County; thence north, with the western boundary of said county, to the beginning; and all that tract of territory included in the above described lines shall be included within the said county of Wayne.
SECTION 2. BE IT ENACTED, That for the due administration of justice, the first court of pleas and quarter sessions and circuit court and all subsequent courts, until otherwise provided for, shall be holden at the Young Factors old place on the Natchez Trace, or at such other place in said county as the justices of said county may adjourn from the Young Factors to hold their courts after the first term, under the same regulations and restrictions, and shall have and exercise the same powers and jurisdictions as are or shall be prescribed for the several counties in this state.
SECTION 3. BE IT ENACTED, That it shall be the duty of the sheriff of said county of Wayne, to hold an election at the place of holding courts in said county, on the first Thursday of April next, for the purpose of electing one colonel and two majors for said county of Wayne, which shall be conducted under the same rules and regulations as are prescribed by law in similar cases; and the militia of said county shall compose the sixty first regiment and be attached to the sixth brigade.
SECTION 4. BE IT ENACTED, That the elections for company officers for the county of Wayne shall be held at such places as the commandant of the militia of said county may think proper to appoint, which said elections shall be held on the second Monday in June next, under the same rules regulations and restrictions as are prescribed in like cases.
SECTION 5. BE IT ENACTED, That the county of Wayne be a part of the district for electing a Governor, representative or representatives to Congress, electors to elect a president and vice president of the United States, and members to the General Assembly, to which the county of Hickman belongs; and that the elections be held at the place of holding courts in said county at the time and in the manner prescribed by law; and that the sheriff or returning officer of said county make a return of the polls, at the court house in the town of Charlotte in the county of Dickson, at the time directed by law for the sheriffs of Hickman, Dickson and Robertson, to compare the votes in said counties for representative and senator to the state legislature.
SECTION 6. BE IT ENACTED, That it shall be the duty of the clerks of the several counties, from which the counties of Lawrence, Morgan, Marion and Wayne have been principally formed, to receive and receipt for the quantum of acts and journals of the present session allotted to said new counties; and the public printer, upon procuring such receipts, shall be considered as having complied with his contract, and that one month in addition to the time now allowed by law, be given to the public printer within which time to print and deliver the journals.
SECTION 7. BE IT ENACTED, That it shall and may be lawful for any circuit judge, from and after the passage of this act, to take the oaths of office before any justice of the peace in any county in this state.
Passed on November 24, 1817
Wayne 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.
Wayne County in General
- Abrams, Annie H. Facts of older settlers in Wayne County, TN. Waynesboro, the author, 1975. 59 pp. (also published in 1986 as Memories, Collinwood, Byler Press, 55 pp.)
- Allred, Charles E. Rural relief & rehabilitation possibilities in Wayne County, TN. Knoxville, TN Ag. Exp. Sta., 1935. 30 pp. (its Report # 2)
- Amick, Daniel S. Topsy: late archaic biface manufacture on the Buffalo River, Southwestern Highland Rim, TN. Knoxville, UT Dept. Anthrop., 1982. 107 pp.
- Biographical directory, TN General Assembly, 1796-1969 (Wayne County, Preliminary # 2). Nashville, TSLA, 1968. 42 pp.
- Brown, Frank L. Some significant woodland management practices of two selected small-woodland owner groups in Wayne County, TN. UT thesis, 1967. 143 pp.
- Buckley, William B. Forest inventory statistics, Wayne County unit, middle TN. Norris, TVA, 1980. 30 pp.
- Cypress Creek watershed investigation report: Appalachian water resources survey, Lauderdale County, AL & Wayne County, TN. Washington, D.C., US Dept. Ag., 1966. 27 pp.
- Davidson, Russ. History of Philadelphia Baptist Church. N.p., 1990. unp.
- Floods on Green River, Hurricane & Chalk Creeks, & Rocky Mill Branch in the vicinity of Waynesboro, TN. Knoxville, TVA, 1984. var. pp.
- Gallien, Glenn S. Natural neighborhoods & communities of Wayne County, TN. Knoxville, TN Ag. Exp. Sta., 1946. 24 pp. (its Rural research series monograph # 193)
- Gooch, Charles H. A survey of the fishes of Cypress Creek: Wayne County, TN & Lauderdale County, AL. U. North AL thesis, 1971. 30 pp.
- Goodspeed's history of TN (Wayne County, pp. 763-777, 849-889). Goodspeed, 1886.
- Ogden, William H. Forest resources & industries, Wayne County, TN. Norris, TVA, 1954. 74 pp.
- Phase II archaeological investigations at site 40WY57, Wayne County, TN. Memphis, MSU Dept. Anthrop., 1985. 50 pp.
- Reynolds, Charles R. Spawning habitat utilization & nest success of smallmouth bass (Micropterus Dolomieu) in two TN streams. TTU thesis, 1990. 26 pp.
- Riley, Ermadine T. Riverside United Methodist Church & its Christian heritage. N.p., 1981. 89 pp.
- Seeber, R. Clifford. A manual of public service agencies in Wayne [& other] counties. Murray, KY, TVA, 1942. 118 pp.
- TN Dept. Transportation [county maps] issued periodically.
- TN Valley Authority. Ind. Div. Agricultural-industrial survey of Wayne County. Knoxville, TVA, 1934. var. pp.
- TN Valley Authority. Land Acq. Dept. Background appraisal study, KY Reservoir area. Knoxville, TVA, 1939. 12 pp. (vol. 5, Hardin & Wayne counties)
- US Geol. Survey [topographic maps] issued periodically. Quadrangles: Bath Springs, Clifton, Leatherwood, Topsy, Riverside, Olivehill, Eagle Creek, Waynesboro, Negro Hollow, Ovilla, Martins Mills, Three Churches, Collinwood, Westpoint, Ransom Stand, Cypress Inn, Whitten, St. Joseph.
- Warner, A. H. Report of investigations: exploration of the Brown-Iron ores, Churchwell & Robinette tracts, Western Rim districts, Wayne County, TN. Washington, D.C., US Dept. Interior, 1946. 18 pp.
- Wayne County, TN history & families. Paducah, KY, Turner Pub., 1995. 448 pp.
- Wayne County, TN: water use survey, TN-Tombigbee corridor study. Memphis, MSU Dept. Civil Eng., 1981. 15 pp.
- Wayne County, 1980-1987: an economic analysis. Nashville, TN Dept. Emp. Sec., 1988. 12 pp.
- The Wayne County historian: the journal of the Wayne County Historical Society. v.1, 1988-. (quarterly)
- Davidson, Russ. A history of Clifton TN & its people. Waynesboro, Wayne County News, 1992. 146 pp.
- Flood insurance study: city of Clifton, TN, Wayne County. Washington, D.C., FEMA, 1988. 6 pp.
- The history of the Lutts community. Compiled by the 1986 Lutts Home Demonstration Club. Lutts, the club, 1986. 156 pp.
- Davidson, Russ. Waynesboro, TN: a historical & pictorial review. Waynesboro, the author, 1994. 217 pp.
- The First Christian Church of Waynesboro, TN 1891-1991. N.p., 1991. 42 pp.
- Flood insurance study : city of Waynesboro, TN, Wayne County. Washington, D.C., FEMA, 1987. 11 pp.