Let's clear up some confusion: Yesterday, I published a brief article at http://goo.gl/95Oee that pointed to a longer and more detailed article by Sarah Wilson, published on the WRCB-TV web site at http://goo.gl/W0Yvb. My article stated, "records are available free to Tennesseans by visiting the Tennessee Electronic Library main web page at http://tntel.tnsos.org/, then clicking on the 'genealogy' tab and then the 'Tennessee Death Records' tab."
Note the words "records are available free to Tennesseans." Newsletter readers published a number of comments at the end of the article, stating that they couldn't access the records on the Tennessee Electronic Library web site. Indeed, anyone outside of Tennessee shouldn't be able to access the free records, as stated in the article. Free access is only available to Tennessee residents. It is my understanding that non-Tennessee residents will soon be able to obtain the records for a fee on Ancestry.com, if they are not already available.
A longer explanation is available on the Chattanoogan.com web site at http://www.chattanoogan.com/articles/article_212120.asp although it also does not provide details about access via Ancestry.com.
A few comments also stated that the same records are available to everyone at no charge on FamilySearch at http://goo.gl/TC6v5 but those comments appear to be misleading. I am no expert in Tennessee records but I do see the FamilySearch database is entitled "Tennessee Deaths and Burials, 1874-1955." I noticed that the announcement from the State Library states, "The State Library and Archives is commencing the relationship by sharing Tennessee death records from 1908 through 1959" and I repeated those words in my original article. Obviously, the same set of records is NOT being offered in both places although I am sure there must be some overlap.
For more details, read the comments at the end of yesterday's article at http://goo.gl/95Oee and then the article in the Chattanoogan.com web site at http://www.chattanoogan.com/articles/article_212120.asp.
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