Claiborne County, Tennessee Genealogy

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Guide to Claiborne County, Tennessee ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

County Facts
County seat: Tazewell
Organized: October 29, 1801
Parent County(s): Grainger, Hawkins[1]
Neighboring Counties
Bell (KY)  • Campbell  • Grainger  • Hancock  • Lee (VA)  • Union  • Whitley (KY)
See County Maps
Claiborne County Tennessee courthouse.jpg
Location Map
Location of Claiborne County, Tennessee.PNG
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Claiborne County was named for Virginia tidewater aristocrat William C. C. Claiborne, one of the first judges of the Tennessee Superior Court and one of the first representatives in U.S. Congress from Tennessee. The county is located in the northeastern area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Claiborne County Courthouse
PO Box 180
1740 Main St.
Tazewell, TN 37879
County Website Phone: 423-626-3284
Circuit Court Phone: 423-626-3334
Register of Deeds Phone: 423-626-3325

County Clerk has marriage records
Clerk Circuit Court has divorce and court records.
Register of Deeds has land records.[3]

Claiborne County, Tennessee Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1908 1838 1908 1801 1801 1801 1810
*Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1914. General compliance by 1927.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

1863 and 1931 Courthouse burned and many records were damaged.[5]

  • Lost censuses: 1810, 1820
  • Lack of marriage records: 1801 to 1837
  • Lack of wills: 1801 to 1839

For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[7]

Unincorporated communities

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Additional Information

Gov. William C.C. Claiborne (c1775-1817)

The county is named after Governor of Louisiana and Governor of Mississippi Territory William C. C. Claiborne (c1775-1817).[8]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

  • East Tennessee's Forgotten Children: Apprentices from 1778 to 1911. 2000. By Alan N. Miller. Baltimore, Md.: Clearfield Company. FHL US/CAN 976.8 U2m. Online at MyHeritage ($). Includes Claiborne County.
  • Tennessee Bureau of Agriculture, Statistics and Mines. Coal Mines and Mining--Tennessee. Nashville, Tennessee: A.B. Travel, 1883. Free digital copy.

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Claiborne County, Tennessee online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Tennessee Cemeteries for more information.

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1810 4,798
1820 5,508 14.8%
1830 8,470 53.8%
1840 9,474 11.9%
1850 9,369 −1.1%
1860 9,643 2.9%
1870 9,321 −3.3%
1880 13,373 43.5%
1890 15,103 12.9%
1900 20,696 37.0%
1910 23,504 13.6%
1920 23,286 −0.9%
1930 24,313 4.4%
1940 24,657 1.4%
1950 24,788 0.5%
1960 19,067 −23.1%
1970 19,420 1.9%
1980 24,595 26.6%
1990 26,137 6.3%
2000 29,862 14.3%
2010 32,213 7.9%
Source: "".

1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, and 1940 federal population censuses of Claiborne County are available online. For tips on accessing census records online, see Tennessee Census. If you're having trouble finding your ancestors in online indexes, try checking printed indexes. Created by local experts familiar with the area's families, these indexes are often transcribed more accurately than nationwide online indexes.

See Tennessee Population Schedule Indexes: Fiche, Film, or Book for more information about statewide printed indexes.

See Claiborne County, TN census assignments, including links to transcribed files. The USGenWeb Census Project®

1810 Lost - substitute is available:

  • Sherrill, Charles A. The Reconstructed 1810 Census of Tennessee: 33,000 Long-lost Records from Tax Lists, Court Minutes, Church Records, Wills, Deeds and Other Sources. Mt. Juliet, Tenn.: C.A. Sherrill, 2001. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 X2s 1810.

1820 Lost[9]

1820 Manufactures

The original manufactures schedules for the Eastern and Western Districts of Tennessee are kept at the National Archives, Washington, D.C. FHL copies: FHL US/CAN Films 1024517-1024518.

These records have also been abstracted:

  • National Archives. Indexes to Manufactures Census of 1820. 1920; reprint, Knightstown, Ind.: Bookmark, 1977. FHL US/CAN Book 973 X2m 1820.
  • 1820 Census of Manufactures: Claiborne County, East Tennessee Roots, Vol. 7, No. 1 ():34. For availability, see Claiborne.



1840 Revolutionary War Pensioners





Male Voters


Church Records[edit | edit source]

List of Churches and Church Parishes


  • Big Spring. Church minutes (1795-1948), membership list for 1800 available on microfilm at the Tennessee State Library and Archives.

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Law and Legislation

  • Tennessee State Library and Archives, Acts of Tennessee 1796-1850: Index to Names. January 25, 2005. In addition to creating new laws, legislative acts were often required to obtain a divorce, grant legitimacy to a child, or for appointments to or grant payments for public service. The TSLA has created an index to names that appear in these acts covering the years 1796 to 1850. Online searchable index at TSLA.
  • Online Images of Wills & Estates 1812-1814; 1839-1844; 1844-1850; 1867-1898; 1870-1892. Southeastern Genealogy ($)

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

  • During the War of 1812, American officials reported finding 4 British aliens, some of whom had families, living in Claiborne County. Ancestry ($) [10]

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

More than 45 genealogies have been published about Claiborne County families. For more information visit Claiborne County, Tennessee Compiled Genealogies

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

The original Claiborne County Deed Books are held at the County Courthouse. TSLA microfilmed Deed Books A to Z2 (1801-1895) and the Index (1801-1910). FHL copies: FHL US/CAN Films 898403-898416.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Whitley CountyBell CountyLee CountyHancock CountyGrainger CountyUnion CountyCampbell CountyTN CLAIBORNE.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

  • Stage Book Belonging to Harman Roberts, Sr., Claiborne Co., Tennessee, 1846-1848. MSS.; FHL US/CAN Film 898421.

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War
The following Claiborne County Revolutionary War records are available online through TNGenWeb:

Additional resources include:

War of 1812

Civil War

Online Records

Regiments. Men in Claiborne County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (part of a large regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed in Claiborne County:

Confederate Soldiers

Union Soldiers

Additional sources for Civil War soldiers from Claiborne County:

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Many Tennessee newspapers are filmed and available at the TSLA. Most of these newspapers may be accessed by interlibrary loan to libraries within Tennessee, although there are some newspapers which are not available in or outside of Tennessee. For further information regarding interlibrary loan policies and newspapers not available for interlibrary loan click here. For a list of newspapers available at the archives for Claiborne County click on the following towns:

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Prisons[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Genealogical periodicals can contain unique sources and can be local, regional, or statewide. The following periodicals cover this county:

  • The Pellissippian: Published by the Anderson County Historical Society (formerly called, Pellissippi Genealogical and Historical Society). The table of contents for some issues are available on their website. FHL Book 976.8 D25p.

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Claiborne County's early Will Books have been lost. Surviving records begin in the late 1830s. TSLA microfilmed Claiborne County Wills 1893 to 1932. FHL copy: FHL Film 898402.

Online Records

The organization Strictly By Name provides free online indexes to early Claiborne County probate records. They offer a research service to photocopy and transcribe microfilm copies of the original documents for a small fee. Available indexes:

Book Abstracts and Indexes

  • 1812 - 1814 - Strictly By Name (see above).
  • 1837 - 1846 - Claiborne County, Tennessee, Will Book A, 1837-1846. n.p.: Claiborne County Historical Society, 1992. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8944 P2c.
  • 1837 - 1865 - Historical Records Project (W.P.A.). Will Books, 1837-1865, Claiborne County, Tennessee. Typescript, TSLA. Microfilmed 1939. FHL US/CAN Films 24619-24620, 464088-464089. Will Books A to D.
  • 1839 - 1861 - Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Index to Tennessee Wills & Administrations 1779-1861. Nashville, Tenn. Byron Sistler & Associates, Inc., 1990. FHL US/CAN 976.8 P22s. Includes an index to this county's probate records. Free Lookups Available!
  • 1844 - 1865 - Fletcher, Virginia Billingsley. Index to the Probate Court Records Claiborne County, Tennessee 1844-1865: Estate Settlements, Wills, Inventories, Sales, Guardian Reports; the Records Copied by the Historical Records Survey Transcritpion Unit as Will Books B, C, D. Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.: V.B. Fletcher, 1993. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8944 P2f.

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

The original Claiborne County Tax Books covering the years 1850 to 1900 (gaps) were microfilmed by the TSLA. FHL copy: FHL US/CAN Film 898419.

Book Abstracts and Indexes

  • 1803 Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Index to Early Tennessee Tax Lists. Evanston, Ill.: B. & B. Sistler, 1977. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 R4s. Includes 1803 tax list.
  • 1803 Curtis, Mary Barnett. Early East Tennessee Tax Lists. Fort Worth, Texas: Arrow Printing Company, 1964. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 R4c. Includes 1803 petition.
  • 1814 - "Direct Federal Tax-Delinquent Property Owners Listed for 1814," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 43, No. 3(Fall 1996):115-120. For possible FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Claiborne. Includes Claiborne County.
  • 1817 "U.S. Holds 1817 Public Sale of Federal Tax-Delinquent Properties in Tennessee," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 43, No. 2 (Summer 1996):63-68. For possible FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Claiborne. Includes Claiborne County.
  • 1836 Douthat, James L. Claiborne County, Tennessee, 1836 Tennessee Civil District and Tax List. Signal Mountain, Tenn.: Mountain Press, 1993. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8944 R4d.
  • 1839 Lemasters, Paul W. and Claiborne County Historical Society. Claiborne County, Tennessee, 1839 Tax List. n.p.: Claiborne County Historical Society, 199-?. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8944 R48L.
  • 1857 District No. 10, 1857, Pathways. Maynardville TN: Sep 2002. Vol. 21 Iss. 3.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Online Indexes and Records

Book Abstracts and Indexes

Death[edit | edit source]

Book Abstracts and Indexes

  • Wiefering, Edna and Cleveland Public Library. Claiborne County, Tennessee, Vital Statistics, 1914 through 1925. Cleveland, Tenn.: Cleveland Public Library, 1993. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8944 V2w.

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Online Records

Online Titles

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Listed below are archives in Claiborne County. For state-wide archival repositories, see Tennessee Archives and Libraries.

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

  • Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
  • FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Listed below are libraries in Claiborne County. For state-wide library facilities, see Tennessee Archives and Libraries.

Claiborne County Public Library
1304 Old Knoxville Road
Tazewell, TN 37879
Phone: 423-626-5414

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Listed below are societies in Claiborne County. For state-wide genealogical societies, see Tennessee Societies.

Claiborne County Historical and Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 32
Tazewell, TN 37879
Phone: 423-526-5737

Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Tennessee.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Claiborne, Tennessee" in,_Tennessee accessed 17 Dec 2018
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Tennessee.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Tennessee.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  5. Lost Records: Courthouse Fires and Disasters in Tennessee in Tennessee State Library and Archives in Tennessee Secretary of State (accessed 13 March 2016).
  6. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Tennessee.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  7. Wikipedia contributors, "Claiborne County, Tennessee," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Tennessee, accessed 10 November 2019.
  8. "List of Counties in Tennessee," Wikipedia.
  9. Mary Barnett Curtis, Early East Tennessee Tax Lists: a compiled list of residents of the area covered in 22 east Tennessee counties for which there is (sic) no census records prior to 1830 (Fort Worth, Texas: Arrow Printing, 1964) [FHL 976.8 R4c].
  10. Kenneth Scott. British Aliens in the United States During the War of 1812. Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1979, 372-378 (see East Tennessee). FHL US/CAN 973 W4s; digital version at Ancestry ($).
  11. Dobbie E. Lambert, 25th Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1994). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 106.
  12. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at