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Bradley County, Tennessee History & Genealogy

When was Bradley County, TN Created?

Bradley County was founded on May 2, 1836 from the Ocoee District (which had been part of the Cherokee Nation). This county was named in honor of Tennessee state legislator Edward Bradley. You can read a summary narrative history of the county in The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture.

What is the County Seat of Bradley County, TN?

The County Seat of government is located in Cleveland, and the county government website is

What counties are adjacent to Bradley County, TN?

Bordering counties are Meigs County (north), McMinn County (northeast), Murray County, Georgia (southeast), Whitfield County, Georgia (south) and Hamilton County (west) .

What cities and towns are in Bradley County, TN?

Cities and towns located in the county include Charleston, Cleveland, East Cleveland, Hopewell, South Cleveland, Wildwood Lake and Georgetown.

What historical and genealogical records can I find in the Bradley County Courthouse?

      Bradley County Courthouse

The following indicates what vital, land, probate, and court records are in Bradley county or in the Tennessee State Library & Archives. The dates indicated below are the first known records for each county.

Please get in touch with the clerk's office to affirm hours, mailing address, fees and other specifics before visiting or requesting information because of in some cases changing contact details. The Department Offices DO NOT DO RESEARCH. The records are accessible to interested parties, barring confidential issues. A lot of workers will guide individuals in obtaining the resources, however it's up to the individual to complete the basic research. If you need historical or genealogical research, click HERE.

  • Bradley County Clerk maintains Marriage & Divorce records. It also has jurisdiction over probate cases. Wills, administrations, and all other records pertaining to probate are recorded in the respective county clerk's office. If the will or administration was contested, the records of these actions may be filed in the circuit court or chancery court.
    • Address: PO Box 46, Cleveland, TN 37364
    • Phone: 423-728-7226
    • Marriage Records: 1864
    • Probate Records: 1859
  • Bradley County Register of Deeds has land records beginning with county organization, land records are available from the register of deeds at the Sevier county courthouse. Land and property records include transfer of real estate or personal property, mortgages, leases, surveys, and entries.
    • Address: 155 North Ocoee St., Cleveland, TN 37364-0579
    • Phone: (423-728-8888
    • Land & Deed Records: 1862
  • Bradley County Clerk of Circuit Court has jurisdiction over property disputes, and circuit courts oversee criminal cases, divorces, and adoptions. Early courts included courts of common pleas and quarter sessions.
    • Address: 155 North Ocoee Street, Rm. 205, Cleveland, TN 37311-5068
    • Phone: 423-728-7220
    • Chancery Court Minutes: 1838
    • Circuit Court Minutes: 1838
    • County Court Minutes: 1864
  • Bradley County Property Assessor is responsible for the evaluation of all real property, the cadastral mapping of the county, valuation of all business personal property and maintaining ownership records. The property assessor prepares the tax rolls for the trustee and all the municipalities. Tax lists can be used to locate families, document historic properties and study community history. Early tax lists generally include all white males over 21 and indicate whether they owned land or slaves.
    • Address: P.O. Box 1412, Cleveland, TN 37364-1412
    • Phone: (423) 728-7125
    • Tax Records: 1837-1839, 1865-1876, 1878-1880, 1885-1888, 1890, 1891, 1893-1898 (located at the Tennessee State Library and Archives)
    • Bradley County Health Department, 201 Dooley Street, S.E., Cleveland, TN 37311, (423) 728-7020 , issues birth certificates and death certificates (deaths which occurred in that county within the past three years, and a few county health departments keep death records for longer periods of time).

Where can I find Bradley County Birth, marriage, Divorce and Death Records?

Bradley County vital records can be found at the Tennessee Department of Health (VDH) Office of Vital Records which has copies of birth certificates, marriage licenses and divorce decrees. There is a fee for each copy requested, and privacy restrictions may apply for more recent records unless you are next of kin, or have authorization from an interested party or a court. Generally speaking, death certificates in Tennessee are public fifty years after the date of death, and birth certificates one hundred years after birth date. The earliest statewide birth and death records in Tennessee date from 1908, and systematic statewide vital records date from 1914.

Marriage license records are available from the county clerk who issued the marriage license. Court divorce orders may be obtained from the clerk of the court that granted the divorce.

What genealogical and historical societies, archives, museums, associations and libraries are available for Bradley County, TN?

  • Bradley County Archives and Records Center, P.O. Box 1167, Cleveland , TN 37364; Phone: (423) 728-7201
  • Cleveland History Branch and Archives, 833 North Ocoee Street, Cleveland , TN 37311; Phone: (423) 479-8367
  • Bradley County Genealogical Society, P. O. Box 1384, Cleveland, TN 37364-1384
  • Bradley County Historical Society, 833 North Ocoee St, Cleveland 37311
  • Cleveland State Community College Library, 3535 Adkisson Drive, PO Box 3570, Cleveland, TN 37312 423-478-6209
  • Pentecostal Research Center, 260 11st Street NE, Cleveland, TN 37311 423-614-8576

Where can I find someone to do historical or genealogical research in Bradley County, TN?

Generally the staff of public offices and local libraries and historical and genealogical societies cannot undertake extensive or detailed research for individuals beyond limited index lookups, etc. Each office can advise as to their policy. Scott Searches/Historycatcher is a professional research service that offers historical and genealogical research in Bradley County, TN. Projects can range from searching records & obtaining photocopies or digital scans of documents to more complex topical research and analysis, depending on need. Other services include an on-site photography service if you need photographs of cemetery markers, or other historically significant locations, and interviews with cooperative and knowledgable local persons, including high quality digital audio recordings, verbatim transcripts, or interview summaries.

Scott Searches/Historycatcher can also assist attorneys, estate administrators, professional genealogists, amateur family historians, reunion organizers, and individuals locate living relatives or descendants through specialized forensic genealogical services, and missing persons investigations.

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