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Spring 2003
A Publication of the St. Louis Public Library

Vol. 3   No. 2

THEY CAME FROM… Tennessee!
Dates in Tennessee history of interest to genealogists.
1760 Daniel Boone explores the area which will become Tennessee.
1776 The territory of Tennessee is created from lands belonging to North Carolina.
1784 North Carolina cedes its western territories to the United States, but reserves the right to continue to make land grants to its Revolutionary War veterans in the area that will become the state of Tennessee.
1796 Tennessee is admitted to the Union as the 16th state (population 77,000).
1806 The Act of 1806 establishes the Congressional Reservation in Tennessee (land south of the Duck River, east of the Tennessee River, west of the Winchester military line, and north of Tennessee's southern boundary).
1810 Circuit Courts are established in most Tennessee counties to replace the three existing District Courts.
1813 The first public library in Tennessee is established at Nashville.
1830 Bedford and Dickson County Courthouses are destroyed by tornadoes.
1835 Chancery Courts are established in Tennessee as courts of law and equity.
1848 The City of Memphis begins registration of deaths.
1850 A state law is passed which prevents a husband from selling his wife's land without her permission. First city directory is compiled for Memphis.
1853-1854 First city directory is compiled for Nashville.
1854 Divorce cases are to be handled by the Chancery Courts (divorces prior to this year were granted by the state legislature).
1856 Davidson County Courthouse is destroyed by a fire.
1859-1860 First city directory is compiled for Knoxville.
1861 Tennessee is last state to secede from the Union (June 8th). Despite secession, 42,000 white Tennesseans serve in the Union Army, as do 20,133 black Tennesseans (an additional 3,000 black Tennesseans serve in Home Guard Militia Units).
1868 Tennessee is the first state readmitted to the Union (July 24th).
1871-1872 First city directory is compiled for Chattanooga.
1872 The City of Chattanooga begins registration of deaths (compliance with 19th century Tennessee city vital records acts is neither mandatory nor complete).
1874 The City of Nashville begins registration of deaths.
1879 The City of Chattanooga begins registration of births.
1881 The City of Knoxville begins registration of births and deaths & the City of Nashville begins registration of births.
1885 Hancock County Courthouse is destroyed by a fire.
1890 Tennessee Soldiers' Home for indigent Confederate soldiers opens on the grounds of Andrew Jackson's Hermitage Plantation in Nashville.
1891 Tennessee's land laws are compiled in one volume. A Board of Pension Examiners is formed to review pension applications of Confederate soldiers.
1898 Approximately 4,000 Tennesseans volunteer to serve in the Spanish-American War.
1905 Tennessee authorizes pensions for widows of Confederate soldiers.
1908 Statewide registration of births & deaths begins in this year. The act providing for registration is in force through 1912 (registration during this period is not complete for many Tennessee counties).
1910 Hamilton County Courthouse is destroyed by a fire.
1914 Registration of births & deaths begins again with passage of a Permanent Vital Records Recording Act (registration was allowed to lapse during 1913). Also, a project is begun to have Tennessee Civil War veterans fill out biographical questionnaires.
1917-1919 Approximately 100,000 Tennesseans serve during WWI.
1919-1923 Tennessee State Historical Commission is charged with the task of collecting from Tennessee's World War I veteran's questionnaires on their military experiences. 4,453 questionnaires are collected.

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