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Genealogy Resources

Available at the Library

Historic Leach Cemetery Anderson County Tennessee (Ref. 929.500) is a record of tombstone inscriptions from this historic burial ground, mainly noted as the memorial site for the 184 coal miners killed in the Fraterville Coal Mine Explosion on May 19, 1902.

Anderson County historian Mary S. Harris recorded over 27,000 grave markers in 310 cemeteries in Anderson County, Tennessee Cemetery Records (Ref. 976.800). This volume is indexed and gives each cemetery’s location.

When the United States Government bought land for the Manhattan Project, many small cemeteries were on the properties. Inscriptions from Old Cemeteries on the Oak Ridge (Manhattan Project) Area (Ref. 976.880) by Margorie P. Parsly is a compilation of approximately 1,700 gravestones.

In addition to the above, records from Norris, Fort Loudon and Watts Bar Reservoir, Union, Campbell and Watts Bar can be found in the Library’s collection.

Family Search is a nonprofit online genealogy database provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The online database is connected to a network of physical locations for Family History Centers and Family Search Affiliate Libraries. Through these physical locations, additional digital content is accessible online and physical resources, like microfilm, are available to be sent and viewed.

Oak Ridge Public Library is a Family Search Affiliate Library, so you can access additional resources from Family Search though ORPL. Online records include birth, marriage, death, census, military, immigration and more. Search and create family trees. Images of records are available on Family Search and can be printed and saved or added to your family tree. Create a free account to utilize this resource.

This collection documents and inventories all standing structures and property in the pre-Oak Ridge area at the time of government acquisition. Photographs and maps from the Kingston Demolition Range collection can provide illustrative and informative glimpses into life of pre-Oak Ridge and during the Manhattan Project.

The Kingston Demolition Range collection can be viewed and accessed on site at the library. Photographs are digital and accessed from a computer and maps can be viewed from our physical archival collection.

Many Oak Ridger’s have taken the time to write about their life and work here. The Library is fortunate to have copies of their works. Bill Wilcox, George Jasny, Walcot Watson, John Googin, Alvin Weinberg, Sam Sapirie and William Pollard all have contributed their writings and personal recollections to the Library. The Library offers biographical information on each of these and many other Oak Ridgers.

In addition to these accountings, The Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation Association and the local chapter of the American Association of University Women each have undertaken oral history projects.  The Library has received some of their tapes and others will be forthcoming. These tapes offer a wealth of information about life here and are a valuable part of the Library’s historical collection.

We have copies of some East Tennessee census records ranging from the 1800s to the early 1900s available in book form. Marriage records and other enumeration records are available for Anderson, Roane, and Knox counties.

Available Online

The United States Government bought the land for the Manhattan Project in Anderson and Roane Counties in Tennessee during the 1940’s. On this land there were many small cemeteries from family farms and churches. The Department of Energy and the City of Oak Ridge still maintain many of these cemeteries. Some of the cemeteries are on private property and still exist, while others may have disappeared completely.

The Oak Ridge Public Library hosts links to individual cemeteries, along with their location, GPS coordinates, a photo and burial records (if available).

Some of the information was taken from Inscriptions from Old Cemeteries on the Oak Ridge (Manhattan Project) Area by Marjorie Parsly and Margaret Terrell, with the permission of the Parsly family and Ms. Terrell. The GPS coordinates and photos were furnished as part of an Eagle Scout project in 2008 by Hunter Ripley.

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers offers a wide variety of digital newspaper access through the endeavors of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress to create a searchable and accessible database of historic newspapers.

No account is required to search this resource or access records.

The Oak Ridge Public Library is home to a rich archive of physical and digital collections including oral histories from the Center for Oak Ridge Oral History, photograph collections, The Oak Ridge Journal, and documents and records from the Oak Ridge Room. All of these collections preserve and document the unique history of the communities pre-dating Oak Ridge and the establishment of the “Secret City” of Oak Ridge during the World War II to present date.

FindAGrave.com is an online, openly accessible resource for cemetery records. This crowdsourced database contains millions of records and is searchable by name, date, and location. Cemeteries can also be perused by all internments to aid in locating kinship relationships. Some entries include familial relationships and additional genealogical information including photographs of both the grave marker and of the person.

No account is required to search this resource or access records.

HeritageQuest, now under the Ancestry.com umbrella, has records that include U.S. and Canadian census records, city directories, mortality schedules, U.S. Indian census rolls, U.S. Freedman’s Bank records, Revolutionary War pensions, obituaries, and books. Many records include images of the original documents that can be saved or printed. Transcriptions provide a helpful tool for any difficult to read historical document.

Tennessee residency is the only requirement for HeritageQuest, it is provided through the Tennessee Electronic Library.

The largest and most comprehensive collection of newspaper obituaries and death notices.

Extensive editorial review of all newspaper sections ensures thorough selection of obituaries for easy access. An easy-to-use interface allows searching by name, date range, or text such as institutional name, social affiliation(s), geographic location(s), philanthropic activities, etc.

The Library’s Obituary Index is a record of obituaries that appeared in two local newspapers, The Oak Ridge Journal and The Oak Ridger from 1943 to the present.The product of dedicated library volunteers, our Obituary Index is an online resource accessible from our website. Entries contain name, date of death, publication date and page number.

With this index record, you can then locate the obituary in our microfilm archive or for obituaries after 1997, digitally online from NewsBank.

For other a national database of obituaries and death notices since 1704, check out Heritage Hub

The Tennessee Electronic Library offers access to genealogy records for all Tennessee residents. Records include historical births, deaths, wills, and tax lists in Tennessee. Don’t have an Ancestry.com account? Create a free guest account to be able to view these records. Collections include:

    • Tennessee, Delayed Birth Records, 1869-1909
    • Tennessee, Death Records, 1908-1965
    • Tennessee, City Birth Records, 1881-1915
    • North Carolina and Tennessee, Early Land Records, 1753-1931
    • Tennessee, Early Tax List Records, 1783-1895
    • Tennessee, Enumeration of Male Voters, 1891
    • North Carolina and Tennessee, Revolutionary War Land Warrants, 1783-1843
    • Tennessee, Early Land Registers, 1778-1927
    • Tennessee, City Death Records, 1872-1923
    • Tennessee, Wills and Probate Records, 1779-2008
    • Web: Tennessee, Supreme Court Case Index, 1809-1950