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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Finding Death Records in Tennessee

Connie's Question
Matilda Richardson was the first wife of my great grandfather, Levi Richardson. They had three sons, the youngest born January 8, 1852 or 1855. Matilda had died by the time this son was three years old. They lived in Hawkins County, Tennessee. I would like to know the date of Matilda's death, where she was buried, and what her maiden name was. Thank you very much.

Olive Tree Answer: Dear Connie,

Your first task should be to follow that youngest son and find out exactly when he was born. Finding his marriage and death records (and possibly his obituary) may give you his mother's maiden name. And, if you have his birth date and that "three year old" information is correct, you will have narrowed down the death date for Mathilda.

Look for cemetery records in Hawkins County for Mathilda. If unavailable, look at deeds, and guardianships. And once you have Mathilda' surname, check for wills for men of that surname: someone may have devised property to "my grandson Joe Richardson, son of my late daughter Mathilda."

Next, when was oldest child born - and where? That might give you a Look there for marriage records

You may find your answers at the Hawkins County website. There is also this site for Hawkins County And the Tennessee State Library archives has a resource list for Hawkins county

Tthe LDS have a wealth of microfilms for Hawkins Co TN - cemetery indices, chancery court records, wills 1786-1886. County oaths and bonds (Hawkins County, Tennessee), 1813-1930, deeds from 1700s to 1950....


  1. Connie might look at the 1850 US Census, in Jackson County, there is a Levi and Matilda Richardson that have two sons, aged 2 years and 2 months. It shows Matilda being from Virginia. I used to find this.

    Finn S Hansen

  2. Yeah, you can check out the websites of various genealogy data. Specially, designed software are there, which can help you with the process to follow and to get the accurate information.