As one of Tennessee’s major cities, Chattanooga began keeping vital records earlier than some other parts of the state. Chattanooga began recording births in 1879 and deaths in 1872. Indexes and/or scanned images of this data are available in two Ancestry.com databases, Tennessee, City Birth Records, 1881-1915 and Tennessee, City Death Records, 1872-1923. These databases are available to Tennessee residents through TEL.
Marriage records as early as 1857 are available for Hamilton County. The Hamilton County Clerk’s office has a searchable database of these records.
Chattanooga first published a City Directory in 1871. City directories from 1871-1960 are available at Ancestry.com. Hardcopies of the directories from 1871-2018 are available at Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) and the Chattanooga Public Library holdings contain many years as well.
More information about Chattanooga/Hamilton County history and genealogy research can be found through the Hamilton County Tennessee Genealogy Society, the Chattanooga Area Historical Association, the Hamilton County TSLA Fact Sheet, the FamilySearch wiki, Chattanooga History and the East Tennessee Historical Society.