Tennessee Poorhouse
the Poorhouse Story


By the Beginning of June 2003 we had accumulated so much poorhouse information for Tennessee that it became necessary to present the material in a different format -- by using a table (scroll down) of separate pages for each county.  Where previously we could see at a glance what had become known about poorhouses all over the state ... now it is necessary to enter the specific county pages to learn what is available. We have retained on this state page several features which will be of interest to researchers seeking information from anywhere in the state; but we would encourage you to occasionally browse the links on the table below ... just to see what folks in your neighboring counties have discovered. And we sincerely thank all of you whose suggestions and submissions have made it possible for our knowledge of poorhouses in Tennessee to grow so comprehensive! But the work is not yet complete. Please know how welcome your future contributions will be! PHL
the Poorhouse Story


Anderson < Look! Bedford Benton Bledsoe Blount
Bradley Campbell Cannon Carroll Carter
Cheatham Chester Claiborne Clay Cocke
Coffee Crockett Cumberland Davidson Decatur
DeKalb Dickson Dyer Fayette Fentress
Franklin Gibson Giles Grainger Greene
Grundy Hamblen Hamilton Hancock Hardeman
Hardin Hawkins Haywood Henderson Henry
Hickman Houston Humphreys Jackson James
Jefferson Johnson Knox Lake Lauderdale
Lawrence Lewis Lincoln Loudon Macon
Madison Marion Marshall Maury McMinn
McNairy Meigs Monroe Montgomery Moore
Morgan Obion Overton Perry Pickett
Polk Putnam Rhea Roane Robertson
Rutherford Scott Sequatchie Sevier Shelby
Smith Stewart Sullivan Sumner < Look! Tipton
Trousdale Unicoi Union VanBuren Warren
Washington Wayne Weakley White Williamson
Note: Counties which are not underlined and linked to a separate page are counties for which we currently have no information.
the Poorhouse Story


"Now let's turn our attention to the County Court Clerk's or County Clerk's office...(where one can find) ...(in the) County Court minutes...applications for admission to the poor farm"


"Some counties may also have the Poor Farm Commission and Poor Farm records. These can be especially valuable to those whose ancestors for whatever reason, petitioned the court for admission to the poor farm, were accepted and lived and died there. These records would normally be found in the County Court Clerk office if they still exist. In most counties, these records do not survive."

Both of the above come from an excellent article
"Researching in Tennessee Courthouses" by Ed Byler, III at

the Poorhouse Story
We are hoping to build this base of information about poorhouses in TENNESSEE through the helpful participation of  readers. All are requested to submit items of interest by sending e-mail to The Poorhouse Lady.


Poorhouse HISTORY CEMETERIES by State RECORDS by State