The Metro Archives of Nashville and Davidson County are a major repository and source of Nashville records. Located on the third floor of the Nashville Public Library at 615 Church Street in Nashville, the Metro Archives hold a wealth of information about Nashville, including the records for the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, city directories, vital records, cemetery records, wills, court records and manuscript collections. A future blog will discuss the Metro Archives holdings in more detail.
As one of Tennessee’s major cities and the home to state government offices, Nashville began keeping vital records earlier than some other parts of the state. Nashville began recording births in 1881 and deaths in 1874. Indexes and 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 in Davidson County date back to 1789. Many of these can be found at the Metro Archives.
Nashville first published a City Directory in 1853. City directories from 1860-1960 are available at Ancestry.com. Hardcopies of the directories from 1853-1997 are available at Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA). The Metro Archives have directories from 1853-1929 on microfilm, and hardcopies from 1929 to 2002.
More information about Nashville/Davidson County genealogy research can be found through the Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society, the Davidson County TSLA Fact Sheet and the FamilySearch wiki.