Benton County, Tennessee Genealogy

Public Records

Public Records Benton County's bound public records are housed at the courthouse.
Benton County Courthouse
Court Square
Camden, TN 38320

Most records have mostly survived from 1836. Early loose records however, estate settlements, marriage licenses, etc., are kept at the Benton County Archives located on the lower floor of the Benton County Library and are available for research.

Benton County Public Library
121 South Forrest Ave., Camden, TN 38320
Hours: Monday - Wednesday - Friday - Saturday 8:00 A.M. - 6:00 P.M.
             Tuesday - Thursday 8:00 A.M. - 8:00 P.M.
Closed Sunday

The Benton County Genealogical Society maintains records pertinent to the heritage of the county.

President: Mike Stockdale
Benton County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 775
Camden, TN 38320


1. Minute Books: Records from 1836 to present. The first 161 pages of Minute Book B contain the merchant's account book of N. Morrison of Reynoldsburg, TN and contain the individual accounts of customers for the years 1831-1833.
2. Loose Papers: Almost complete from 1836 and were kept in the storage room of the Clerks's Office.


1. Chancery Cases: Cases between 1838-1854 are held at Huntington, Carroll County, TN, and are recorded in Minute Books, 1836-1840, 1840-1842 and 1844-1855.
2. Bound Volumes: Volumes include Chamber Minutes, Enrollment Books, and Minute Books. Some loose papers go back to 1836.


1. Administrators and Executors Bonds & Letters: August 1874 forward.
2. Administrators Settlement Books: August 1860 forward.
3. Guardian Bonds & Letters: August 1874 forward.
4. Guardian Settlements & Account Books: August 1860 to May 1956.
5. Minutes of Insanity Records: 1919 to 1944, but are sealed.
6. Insolvent Estates: July 1852 to December 1942.
7. Marriage Records: 1838 forward. Note: All Bonds & Licenses were issued to the groom in the county of the bride's residence. The performing minister initialized the licenses, and was to return it to the County Clerk within six months (maybe). Bound books were not required before 1838, so loose papers exist before that and were kept at the Tennessee Room of the Benton County Library. The marriage records for 1859 are missing. Records up to 1969 are not indexed.
8. Quarterly Court Minutes: July 1842 forward.
9. Miscellaneous Records: Two volumes (1836 to 1855) cover early wills, estate records, etc.
10. Road Records: 1889 to 1907.
11. Wills: September 1855 forward. Note: Wills before 1855 are contained in item 9 above.
12. Vital Records: March 1881 to January 1882 & January 1900 to March 1901. The Tennessee Department of Public Health kept records from 1914.


1. Land Entry Taker Books: Two volumes, December 1820 to 1849.
2. Survey Books A & B: 1821 to 1848.
3. Deed Books:

  • Deed Book A (1836 to 1843) pages 1-327 contain land entries from 1848 to 1902

  • Deed Book B (1836 to 1843 & 1842 to 1849)

  • Deed Book C (1849 forward & continuing Arabic numerals)

4. Trust Deeds: November 1874 forward.


1926 forward. Prior to 1926, tax records are scattered. The original tax book, 1836-1842, is kept at the Benton County Archives.


There was no official statewide registration of births and deaths in Tennessee before 1908. Four cities did keep some earlier birth and death records, which are available through the Tennessee State Library & Archives. Deaths: Memphis from 1848; Nashville from 1874; Knoxville from 1881; Chattanooga from 1872. Births: Nashville from 1881; Chattanooga from 1879; Knoxville from 1881.

Microfilmed and available at the Tennessee State Library & Archives are:

Death records statewide from 1908-1912 and 1914-1947
Birth records statewide are from 1908-1912 only

Some of the above information was summarized from Jonathan K.T. Smith's "Benton County
volume of the Tennessee County History Series"
by Memphis State University Press (1979).

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Graphics are courtesy of Cherished Memories