Obituaries appearing in the Tennessean Newspaper are indexed back to 1964. The index will provide the first date the obituary appeared in the paper, as well as the page number. Once you have the date and page number, you can look up the obituary in the Tennessean.
The only full-text obituaries available online are for 1999 to the present.
Obituary Requests and Fees
Patrons may visit the library and view an obituary on microfilm. Prints from the microfilm are 25 cents per page.
Obituary requests may also be submited by mail. Requests should be submitted to the Nashville Room:
Attn: Nashville Room
Nashville Public Library
615 Church Street
Nashville, TN 37219
Checks should be made payable to Nashville Public Library. The $15.00 fee should be included with the request. Please include contact information so that staff may call if there is a question about their request or to inform them of the results of their request.
There is a limit of 5 obituaries per request, and patrons must supply the names and date for each. The $15.00 fee includes the cost of copying up to ten pages. If more in-depth research is required, we will provide the requestor with a list of independent researchers.
See Special Collections Fees & Services for more information.
Locating Obituaries in other sources
Death Certificates can provide the last town of residence and the exact date of death. Death records can be found through the Tennessee State Library and Archives or the Office of Vital Records.
Records at the Tennesseee State Library
Tennessee began keeping birth and death records state-wide in 1908. Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga and Memphis kept early death records for residents of those cities. After 1908, births and deaths were recorded by county clerks. The following records are available at TSLA:
- State-wide death records for 1908-1912 and 1914-1956
- City death records for Nashville (1874-1907)
- City death records for Knoxville (1881-1907)
- City death records for Chattanooga (1872-1907)
- City death records for Memphis (1848-1907)
Instructions & forms for ordering a search of these birth records can be found in Genealogical Services Available by Mail - State Records.
The following indexes are available on the TSLA web site:
Records at the Office of Vital Records
State-wide death records for the years 1957-present are held by the Office of Vital Records, Tennessee Department of Health.
Tips for locating obituaries for other states