Our Most Frequently Requested Records
Birth Records, 1881-1913:
Birth records for the City of Nashville span from 1881 to 1913, and birth records for Davidson County span from 1908-1912. You may either search the birth index on our website, or you may search onsite with microfilm. Archives staff can assist you in obstaining a copy of the microfilmed record. For birth records after 1913, please contact the Office of Tennessee State Vital Records.
Death Records, 1874-1913:
Death records for the City of Nashville span from 1874 to 1913, and death records for Davidson County span from 1900 to 1913. You may either search the death index on our website*, or you may search onsite with microfilm. Archives staff can assist you in obtaining a copy of the microfilmed record.
Death records for all counties from 1913-1961 are available at the Tennessee State Library and Archives. For death records from all counties within the past 50 years, please contact the Office of Tennessee State Vital Records.
The Shelby County Register of Deeds website also has an index for all Tennessee deaths occurring between 1949 and 2009.
*Our death index currently lists surnames A-B. More records will be added as time permits.
Marriage Records, 1789-2002:
Both the original marriage licenses and bonds and the marriage books for Davidson County are available at the Metro Archives. Archives staff can make scans or photocopies of the records at no charge. Those wishing to obtain a certified copy of a marriage licenses will find instructions here.
The Metro Archives has two published record books that provide indexes to Davidson County marriage records. Marriage Record Book I spans from 1780 to 1837, and Marriage Record Book II spans from 1837 to 1863. Both books are on the shelves in the main area of the Archives and available to the public.
For marriages after May 2002, please contact the Davidson County Clerk.
The Tennessee State Library and Archive houses state-wide marriage records through 1961.
The Metro Archives does not carry or certify divorce records. It is possible to locate a record of a divorce decree in our court records; however, the researcher must know the date of the divorce, as well as the court in which the divorce occurred.
The Tennessee State Library and Archives can certify copies of divorce decrees before 1964 for all counties.
The Shelby County Register of Deeds website also has an index for all Tennessee divorces occurring betweent 1980 and 2009.
Metro Archives has original wills from 1783 to 1992, and will books from 1783 to 1949 (Will Books 1-63). Will books after 1949 are with the Probate Court Clerk.
Our original wills from 1963-1992 are located in our storage facility offsite. In order to locate the file, researchers will need to provide us with a name and docket number and/or date of probate. If you are unsure of the docket number, the Probate Court Clerk should be able to find that information for you.
Our deed indexes span from 1784 to 1924, and can be searched by reverse deed (buyer) or direct deed (seller). Indexes are available on microfilm. The Metro Archives also holds Davidson County deed books from 1784 to 1901. Archives staff can do a search for deed records, but the researcher must provide either the name of the buyer or the seller.
The Davidson County Register of Deeds Office will have later deed records for the county.
We have a published index of naturalizations and declarations of intent that occurred in Nashville between 1803 and 1906. We also carry the original naturalization books containing records from 1853 to 1904. Naturalizations and declarations of intent have also been recorded in Davidson County Circuit, County, and Criminal Courts as well.
City Directories, 1853-2011:
The Metro Archives has Nashville City Directories spanning from 1853 to 2011. While we do have the originals of many of the older directories, we request that researchers view them on microfilm due to the fragile state of the books. Directories are available on microfilm through 1929.
Our cemetery records include an index to Nashville City Cemetery interments from 1846 to 2001, Mt. Olivet Cemetery lot cards from 1851 to 1991, and Spring Hill Cemetery records from 1901 to 1985. Researchers can also find information with the Davidson County Cemetery Survey.
Chancery Court Records:
The Metro Archives has records from Part I (1846-1979), Part II (1895-1979), and Part III (1976-1980). We also have Chancery Court Docket Books from 1846 to 1961, and Chancery Court Plan Books 1, 2, and 3.
For access to Chancery Court Case Files from 1846 to 1935, please ask staff for assistance. A docket number is required to locate the record.
Circuit Court Records:
We have the minute books for the First Circuit Court (1803-1959), Second Circuit Court (1895-1959), and Third Circuit Court (1918-1959) on microfilm.
County Court Records:
Davidson County Court minute books from 1783 to 1960 are on microfilm. Books after 1960 are located on the shelves in the West Reading Room and have never been filmed.
Criminal Court Records:
We have Davidson County Criminal Court (Division I) minute book volumes B-III, which span from July 1844 to November 1899. Minute books after 1899 are with the Criminal Court.
Quarterly Court Records:
We have Davidson County Quarterly Court records from 1868 to 1951 available on microfilm.