Hamilton County, Tennessee
Marriages 1857 - 1888


    The original marriage books of Hamilton County were kept in Harrison, the county seat, until 1870. Eighteen volumes of the Hamilton County Register, along with other county books, were seized by Federal troops during the Civil War, at the home of Anthony Moore, where they had been taken for safe keeping and were taken to military headquarters in Chattanooga to await orders for disposal. With the exception of Book I, which has never been found, they were eventually returned to the county. All records prior to 1857 were lost either during the Civil War or disappeared during one of the seven moves and two fires. The marriage licenses from February 24, 1857, to September 9, 1863 are recorded in what is now Book I of the Hamilton County marriage books. The records break off abruptly September 4, 1863 and do not resume until April 4, 1864. Chattanooga was under military occupation from September 1863, and there were no civil officials in the city. Charles W. Vinson, reportedly the only county official serving, filled all county offices vacated by other county officials who had entered the Confederate Army.

  These marriage records have been transcribed from microfilm copies of the original marriage books of Hamilton County Tennessee. The microfilm records are now kept at the Hamilton County Courthouse and the Chattanooga – Hamilton County Bicentennial Library.  The original books give the name of the bride and groom, the date the license was issued, the person who performed the ceremony, and the date the marriage took place. This transcription contains the names of the bride and groom, the date the marriage was performed and the book and page number of the original record.

  Within the margins of the records were often additional notes written in by the person recording the information. The words “Don’t Publish” were often written across the names of the bride and groom to indicate that the clerk was not to publish the license in the local newspaper. The term “colored” was used at this time in history to denote the persons marrying were of color. This is referenced in these transcriptions by ( C ). Frequently the actual date of the marriage was not recorded for what ever reason. The marriage either took place somewhere else, the couples changed their minds and the marriage was not performed, the minister forgot to return the license, or the clerk simply forgot to record the date. In cases where the date of the marriage was not recorded, the date the license was issued has been substituted. This is referenced by (NR). A few license were marked “Returned Not Used”, meaning the marriage was not performed. This is noted by (RU).  Books 3-1/2 and 4 contain several duplicate records. In some cases, the names and dates recorded were not identical. These discrepancies are denoted with an asterisk (*).

  The names contained in these records were transcribed as they appeared on the microfilm copies of the marriage books. No attempt was made to correct names that were obviously misspelled. At times, the transcription was very difficult and every attempt was made to transcribe the records correctly, however with over 18,000 individuals, mistakes may have occurred. If you notice a mistake please let me know. Dennis C. Wilson 2001  

(NR) – Not recorded; Not returned  (RU) – Returned unused  ( C ) - Colored  (*) - Record Discrepancy


A Ba-Bl Bo-By C D E F G Ha-He Hi-Hy I J K
L Ma-Mc Me-My N O P-Q R Sa-Sl Sm-Sy T-U-V W





A Ba-Bo Br-By Ca-Cl Co-Cu    D


F G Ha-He Hi-Hy


Ma-Mc Me-My N O P Q Ra-Ri Ro-Ry Sa-Sl Sm-Sy T U-V


Wi-Wy Y-Z


Request Marriage Records

Transcribed and submitted by Dennis C. Wilson

   The information on these pages  may NOT be reproduced in any format for profit or presentation by any other person or organization
without the written consent of the contributor, or the legal representative of the submitter.