Welcome to The County Archives
The Montgomery County Department of Preservation of Records, more widely known as the Archives, was created by the County Board of Commissioners in January 1995. The department serves as the official repository for county records and operates under Tennessee State law and the direction of the Montgomery County Public Records Commission. In order to meet the goals of our mission statement, we have two sections within the department. The Archives houses the historic, permanent records of Montgomery County Government and manuscript special collections. The Records Center stores the non-current records of various county government agencies.
Nearly all the pre-1950 records of the county have been transferred to the Archives. With some exceptions, we have both the original and a microfilm copy of these records. Some of our holdings are:
- Marriages, bound (from 1838) and loose (from 1866)
- Probate or will record books (from 1796)
- Deed books (from 1788)
- Loose papers of the County, Circuit, and Chancery Courts
- County Court minute books
- Chancery Court minute books
- Delayed birth certificate orders
In addition, we have several other groups of records for which processing is not complete. Among these are 1930s-1950s tax books, various maps, and loose papers of the Quarterly Court. We also have microfilm of the various federal census schedules from 1820 through 1930 for Montgomery County. These include the population, mortality, manufacturing, slave, and agricultural schedules. The 1940 population schedule, released in April 2012, is available through Ancestry. A complete listing of our microfilmed records is available in the Archives Reference Room and on this website.
Several database indices are available on our in-house system and on this website, including:
- 1891 Voters’ List (substitute for the destroyed 1890 census)
- Chancery Court case papers, Series I, II, and III (plaintiff & defendant index)
- County Court case papers (an every name index is under construction; files beginning with letters A-Di are now indexed and available)
- Circuit Court case papers (plaintiff & defendant index)
- Delayed Birth Certificate orders (every name index)
- Obituary & death notices
- Marriage Books 1 – 38 (1838-1918) and pre-1838 (partial listing)
Available for purchase is Montgomery County Marriage Book I, 1838-1845. Please see Publicatons for more information on this and other items.
We have a small but growing manuscript and special collections section. Recent donations and acquisitions include a group of Lewis Family letters, Bryce Stewart papers, and the Forwood papers.
The Records Center provides storage for county agencies that are required to keep and maintain certain records for specific retention periods but do not need them for day to day use. The retention dates for these records varies from five (5) to 99 years. The department serves as custodian for these records, which remain the property of the creating office.
The Archives features a large, well-lighted reference room where patrons can work using microfilm, original records, and a small basic research library. Microfilm reader-printers are available as well as a public access computer which has our updated databases and free access to Ancestry and Footnote and other internet websites for research. Wi-Fi is also available for patrons who bring their own laptops.
The main parts of the department are areas the public usually doesn’t see. The Archives and Records Center are two very large, secure, and climate-controlled storage rooms for the records. There is a large processing/work area for volunteers and staff in addition to a conservation area, secured microfilm area, and an accessions/projects area.
Purposes of research are as varied as our patrons and include not only family history but researching land titles, land use, historic homes, buildings, and cemeteries, population statistics and demographics, and Tennessee law. The practical application of the knowledge of the court system, county offices, and their records is another reason researchers come to the Archives. Records, especially government records, were created for a particular purpose in a particular office, but in the Archives they take on a new life and become important research tools.
The Archives’ entrance is located on the Crossland Avenue side of Veterans’ Plaza in Clarksville; the physical address is 350 Pageant Lane, Suite 101-D, Clarksville. Our mailing address is Montgomery County Archives, P. O. Box 323, Clarksville, TN 37041-0323. The new e-mail address (as of December 2012) is firstname.lastname@example.org Archives hours are 8:00-4:30, Monday thru Friday, except for designated state and federal holidays. Free on-site parking is available.