Stewart County, Tennessee Archives

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Overview / Inventory | Records Available by Mail | Visiting the Archives | Archives Publications for Sale


The Stewart County Archives, a department of the Stewart County government, is the repository for the county's historical records that are no longer housed in the courthouse.  It is both a research facility for genealogists as well as a resource for the county officials whose records are housed there. 

Despite a courthouse fire on August 25, 1862 during the Civil War, most of the county's records have survived.  Lost in the 1862 fire were the Chancery Court records and the loose records of the County Court.  All other County Court records, plus the entirety of the Circuit Court, Register of Deeds and Trustees offices, survived the 1862 fire.


Inventory of the Archives

The records housed at the Stewart County Archives include:

·         Birth Records (1881-1882, 1911-1912, 1925-1951)

·         Death Records (1925-1937)

·         Minute books (1808-1905, earlier and later books in the courthouse)

·         Settlements, Wills and Bonds books (1866-1914, earlier books in the courthouse)

·         Marriage licenses and bonds, 1960-1970

·         Estate Settlements, 1950s-1970s (surnames G-Q)

·         Administrator's and Executor’s Bonds and Settlements (1883-1973)

·         Guardianship Records (1842-1949, later books in the courthouse)

·         Dockets - Trial, Execution, Appeals (from 1808, various years)

·         Justice of the Peace/Magistrate's Dockets (1842-1937)

·         Probate of Deeds (1894-1947, later books in the courthouse)

·         Minute books (1821-1978, later books in the courthouse)

·         Dockets - Trial, Witness, Jury, Appearance, Magistrate and Execution (1810-1980s)

·         Loose Records from court cases, divorces, citizenship applications, murders (1804-1980s)  - see below

·         Inquests

·         Dockets – Trial & Appearance (1865-1925)

·         Minutes (1848-1872, later books in the courthouse)

·         Tax records (1806-1999, with 1809-1826 records lost)

·         Chattel Mortgages (1932-1963)

·         Deed Book Indexes (1804-1887, actual deed books are in the courthouse)

·         Register’s Filing Books (1871-1993)

·         Trust Deed Indexes (1832-1925)

·         Trust Deed Books (1864-1951)

The records not housed at the Stewart County Archives, but still housed at the Courthouse, include:
  • Deed Books
  • Marriage Books
  • Settlements, Wills and Bonds books (1804-1866)
  • County Court Minute Books (1804-1807, and after 1905)
  • Chancery Court Minute Books after 1872
  • most county records dating 1990s and later

Click here for a complete inventory of the bound books held at the Courthouse and at the Archives.

Besides having many of the original record books from the courthouse, some of which have not been microfilmed, the Stewart County Archives also has the entirety of the Circuit Court's loose papers, dating back to 1809 when Circuit Courts began in Tennessee. These loose papers are being unwrapped, cleaned, organized and indexed by the Archives staff. Not a single paper has been microfilmed yet, but there are at least 200,000 documents to process.

What Are Loose Papers, and Why are they so Genealogically Rich?

In addition to the original materials above, the Stewart County Archives also has a collection of printed research materials to further assist patrons who visit the Archives in person:

Compiled Records and Publications - research copies available at the Archives:

Records Available to Patrons Visiting the Archives, or for Copies by Mail

The Stewart County Archives accepts requests, in person or by mail, for photocopies of the over 8,100 Loose Records case files that have been cleaned and organized to date.  These case files are in the categories of:

Inventory of All Archives Holdings Available for Request  (last updated May 6, 2016)

List of Loose Records case files added May 6, 2016

List of Loose Records case files added January 23, 2016

List of Loose Records case files added December 26, 2015

List of Loose Records case files added October 27, 2015

Extended Name Index of 1804-1819 Loose Records (added May 17, 2015)

The Archives' fee schedule is 25 cents per printed page, plus an additional amount depending on how many files you order (includes postage). The Inventory link above will indicate how many pages are in each case file, so you'll know the total cost before you place your request.  The link above also includes the request form.

Requests for copies, and a check payable to Stewart County Archives, can be mailed to:

Stewart County Archives
P. O. Box 367
Dover, TN 37058

The Archives must charge for these services because it receives no operating budget from the county.  Its staff is all-volunteer.  The proceeds from the sale of record copies and printed materials fund the operating budget for the Archives.

The Archives does not provide research services, and is not staffed to handle general requests like, "Do you have anything on file for my ancestor?" They're only able to accept requests on the documents identified in the Inventory links above. The volunteer staff only works part-time, usually 1 day per week, so please be patient when you mail in your requests. Thanks for supporting us!

Visiting the Archives

The Archives is operated by an all-volunteer staff that works 1 day per week (currently, Tuesdays). If you wish to visit the Archives and do research in person, please contact the Staff ahead of time to confirm their upcoming work schedule, by sending an email to

To make the best use of your research time at the Archives, before you arrive please review the "Inventory of Archives Holdings" link above to make a list of Loose Records you'll want to see upon arrival.  Also familiarize yourself with the records still housed at the Courthouse, in case you need to plan research time there as well.

Patrons visiting the Archives will have access to all of the Archives' holdings, not just the Loose Records listed in the Inventory link above, with the exception of the Loose Records that have not yet been organized, cleaned and filed. A complete inventory of the Archives holdings, including the hundreds of county books on site, is available to patrons visiting the Archives in person.

The Archives does not hold any microfilms. However, we are next door to the Stewart County Public Library, which has a great genealogy room with microfilms of many Stewart County records. Archives visitors needing to research a court book in fragile condition may be asked to view the microfilmed copy at the Library instead.  The Library is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The Archives is located in the Center for Teaching and Learning (former Dover Elementary building), next door to the Stewart County Public Library, on Spring Street about 1/2 mile south of the courthouse. (GPS users can reference 711 Spring Street, Dover).  Parking is available between the Center and the Library.  The building and the Archives are wheelchair-accessible - there are no stairs.

Nearby accommodations include the Paris Landing State Park Inn ( and the Dover Inn Motel (

Archives Publications for Sale – via mail order from the Archives, or from eBay

For those not able to access the original records or microfilmed copies, the Archives proudly offers these publications for sale, which are abstracts and transcriptions of the original records.  Click on the underlined title to see a flyer for the book, which includes a link to an online index for most of the books.
Purchases can be made by check (payable to Stewart County Archives), eBay, or by clicking the PayPal buttons below to purchase from the author, Jim Long (proceeds go to the Archives).

Click the titles below to view/print/mail the flyer for that book, or else click the "Buy Now" button below the title to purchase via PayPal:

Order form for all Archives publications - updated 9 March 2016