Before the 20th century, Tennessee and many other states did not keep comprehensive records of births, marriages, and deaths. Families recorded their own vital records in family Bibles that were passed down through generations. The Tennessee State Library and Archives holds hundreds of family Bible records in several formats and within many collections. The Bible records recently placed online were taken from photocopies in TSLA’s vertical files; additional records will be added as they are donated or discovered in manuscripts collections. The bulk of the records in this collection date between the late 18th and early 20th century. Many prominent Tennessee families are represented here; some records even include the names of families’ slaves.
The Bibles may be found at http://tnsos.net/TSLA/Bibleproject.
My thanks to newsletter reader Noel Kersey for telling me about this great resource.