Many of the death records for the state of Tennessee are available online. Registrations of births and deaths began in 1908 in Tennessee. The Tennessee State Archives and Library web site has created an index that covers nearly 98,000 deaths occurring in Tennessee and recorded between 1908 and 1912. Although deaths were not registered as carefully and regularly as they were beginning in 1914, the index includes all extant records.
The index includes the name of the deceased, county, year of death and certificate number. This information can be used to order a copy of the death certificate from the Tennessee State Library and Archives. If no year of death was given on the certificate, it is noted in this index as "1908-12". Children with no given name are listed under "infant".
Death records in this time period do not give parents' names. They do include the individual's age, occupation, place of birth and cause of death.
The Tennessee death records for 1908-1912 are at http://www.tennessee.gov/tsla/history/vital/death2.htm.
Death records for 1913 were not recorded in Tennessee.
Tennessee deaths from 1914 to 1926 are available at the state government's web site at http://www.tennessee.gov/tsla/history/vital/tndeath.htm. The site states, "The Statewide Index to Tennessee Death Records, now in its beginning stages, is a long-term project to index Tennessee death records for the years 1914 on."
The index lists name of deceased, county of death, and volume and page number of the certificate. When ordering a death record from this index, please include this information. This information should be used when ordering the full death record.
Finally, the Memphis Public Library History and Genealogy Index Web site at http://tempo.memphislibrary.org/dadabik/program_files/sform.php contains the Memphis/Shelby County Death Index (1848-1945). This index to identifiable deaths recorded within Memphis and Shelby County was created from the Memphis Death Register Books beginning in 1848; Memphis Burial Permits, 1902-1913; and Memphis/Shelby County Death Certificate Card Index, 1914-1945. Entries include the name, date of death, age, gender, and race of the deceased, as well the source record. This index also includes people who died in Memphis but were buried elsewhere and those whose bodies were brought back from another location for burial. In addition, there is a list of licenses granted to ship bodies through Memphis.
This same database also contains the Yellow Fever Deaths Index (1878), listing all identified Memphians who died in the 1878 Yellow Fever Epidemic. Entries include the death date, full name, race and address.