The Sumner County Archives was established in December, 1986 under Tennessee Code by the Sumner County Commission. Sumner County was formed in1786 and most records survive from that date. The Archives is the official depository and research facility for county records and operates under Tennessee State law and the direction of the Sumner County Public Records Commission. Almost all early county records are housed at the Archives. In addition to county records, the Archives has an excellent library collection that includes local genealogy and history. "A Brief Overview of the Archives Holdings," as listed below, provides a more detailed accounting of the holdings.
All requests for information are handled by a limited staff. Reply time for a request is usually about two weeks. If you are traveling from out of the area it is advised you call the Archives before starting out to confirm the Archives will be open for your visit.
Public internet access is not available on SCA computers, however SCA is wireless and has electric outlets for personal computers. Scanners, cameras and other forms of imaging equipment belonging to researchers are not allowed in the Archives. All bags, purses and laptop cases are not permitted in the Archives, lockers with locks are available. Cell phone use is not permitted in the research area. Food and drink is not permitted in the research area but is permitted in the conference room.
A conference room is available for patron use for discussion and exchange of research information. Food and drink is permitted in this room.
Overview of the Holdings
The Sumner County Archives is the depository for the official records of Sumner County, Tennessee and is also a genealogical and historical research facility. It occupies over 3,600 square feet which includes a separate Microfilm room and Library/Reading room as well as a Records Preservation Laboratory and storage area. The records of Sumner County are largely intact and date from the county's formation in 1786. Almost all early records are maintained at the Archives. The Archives will provide a list of researchers for in-depth projects or for those who cannot visit in person.
What the Archives has:
LOCAL SUMNER COUNTY RECORDS:
- County, Chancery and Circuit Court Records prior to 2004
- Probate records prior to 2004
- Microfilms of deeds and deed indexes prior to 1965
- Over 250 microfilm reels of Sumner County records
- Marriage index by bride and groom 1787-1995 and most marriage records to 1980
- Tennessee death indexes 1908-1946
- Death records for Sumner County 1908 to 1925 ONLY
- Birth records for Sumner County July 1908 to June 1912 ONLY
- Sumner County census microfilms 1820 to 1930
- Census books for Sumner County 1820 to 1880 in neighborhood format
- Indexed tax lists from 1787-1870.
- Newspapers on Sumner and some surrounding counties
- Maps and photographs
- Civil War compiled service records of Sumner County soldiers
- WW I draft registrations of Sumner County soldiers
- Vertical family files
- Manuscript material
- Genealogical library collection of family histories
- Funeral home collection
- Loose records collection - spans the entire existence of the county, fully indexed and easily accessed. It includes original wills, estate packets, a collection of miscellaneous documents and a vast collection of original transcripts of lawsuits. It has been called a gold mine of genealogical information on Sumner County.
- Geological survey maps (USGS), enhanced with locations of important historical sites
- Church records
- Thomas Photograph Collection
- Allen Haynes Photograph Collection
- Master computerized index to obituaries (also in printed form)
- Special collections such as those relating to African American Research
- 1930 Map of Cumberland River between Nashville and Sumner County line
- 1950’s Corp of Engineers Sumner County acquisition property maps.
- Tennessee census records on microfilm through 1880
- Tennessee census index books through 1880
- Tennessee State death index thru 1946
- Smith County, Tennessee Chancery Court Loose Records 1806-1930
- Genealogical library collection with a focus on Middle Tennessee and surrounding states
- Tennessee statewide vital records (birth and death) were not maintained until 1914
What the Archives does not have:
- Plat maps showing individual tracts of land in Sumner County
- An easy way to locate divorces which can be in any of three courts and are often not indexed
- Sufficient staff to provide in-depth research
- The County's original deed books which are housed at the Recorder of Deeds in the County Administration Building
- Birth records before 1908
- Death records before 1908 or after 1925