Hancock County, Tennessee Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Sneedville
Organized: January 7, 1844
Parent County(s): Hawkins, Claiborne[1]
Neighboring Counties
Claiborne  • Grainger  • Hawkins  • Lee (VA)  • Scott (VA)
See County Maps
Hancock County Tennessee Courthouse.jpg
Location Map
Location of Hancock County, Tennessee.PNG
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Hancock County was named for the Revolutionary War patriot John Hancock. The county is located in the northeastern area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Hancock County Courthouse
1237 Main St.
PO Box 347
Sneedville, TN 37869
County Courthouse Phone: 423-733-4341
Circuit Court Clerk Phone: 423-733-2954

Hancock County Clerk
418 Harrison Street
P.O. Box 575
Sneedville, TN 37869
County Clerk Phone: 423-733-2519

County Clerk has marriage, divorce
Probate and court records from 1930
Land records from 1875 and military records from 1917.[3]

Hancock 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
1914 1930 1914 1879 1875 1930 1810
*Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1914. General compliance by 1927.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

1885 and 1930 Fires damaged courthouse records.[5]

  • Lost marriage records: 1844 to 1930
  • Lost probate records: 1844 to 1924

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

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

  • 1844--Hancock County was created 7 January 1844 from Hawkins and Claiborne Counties.
  • County seat: Sneedville[6]

For animated maps illustrating Tennessee county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Tennessee County Boundary Maps" (1777-1985) may be viewed at the MapofUS.org website.

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

John Hancock (1737-1793)

The county is named after Founding Father John Hancock (1737-1793).[8]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

  • Douthat, James L. Hancock County, Tennessee History and Biographies. 1887; reprint, Signal Mountain, Tenn.: Mountain Press. Free Surname Index and purchase details at Mountain Press website.

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

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Hancock 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.


Additional Cemetery Resources

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1850 5,660
1860 7,020 24.0%
1870 7,148 1.8%
1880 9,098 27.3%
1890 10,342 13.7%
1900 11,147 7.8%
1910 10,778 −3.3%
1920 10,454 −3.0%
1930 9,673 −7.5%
1940 11,231 16.1%
1950 9,116 −18.8%
1960 7,757 −14.9%
1970 6,719 −13.4%
1980 6,887 2.5%
1990 6,739 −2.1%
2000 6,786 0.7%
2010 6,819 0.5%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 federal population schedules of Hancock 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 Hancock County, TN census assignments, including links to transcribed files. The USGenWeb Census Project®



1890 Lost, but substitutes are available:

  • Reed, Sue S. Enumeration of Male Inhabitants of Twenty-one Years of Age and Upward, Citizens of Tennessee, January 1, 1891, as Provided for by an Act of General Assembly of Tennessee, Passed January 15, 1891, and Approved January 22, 1891. 8 vols. Houston, Texas: S.S. Reed, 1989. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 X2r v. 6 1891. Hancock County is included in Vol. 6.
  • Sistler, Byron H. and Barbara Sistler. 1890 Civil War Veterans Census, Tennessee. Evanston, Ill.: Byron Sister and Associates, 1978. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 X2s 1890.

1891 Male Voters


Church Records[edit | edit source]

List of Churches and Church Parishes


  • DeBoard, George Mitchell et al. Personal Records of a Minister: Rev. George Mitchell DeBoard, Grainger County, Tennessee; Includes Many People from Hancock, Hawkins and Hamblen Counties, Tennessee). Dallas, Texas: H.P. Garner, 2001?. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8932 K2d.

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.

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

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

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]


Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

The original Hancock County Deed Books are held at the Hancock County Courthouse. The TSLA microfilmed Deed Books J through Q (1879-1902) and the Index (1879-1968) in the 1970s. Copies of their microfilms are also available at the Family History Library: FHL US/CAN Films 968664-968668.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Hancock County Historical and Genealogical Society (Tennessee) Hancock County, Tennessee and its people United States: Walsworth Pub. Co., c1990-2004 FHL US/CAN book 976.8946 H2h v.1-3 Free lookups available

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Lee CountyScott CountyHawkins CountyGrainger CountyClaiborne CountyTN HANCOCK.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Civil War

Online Records

Regiments. Men in Hancock 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 Hancock County:

Confederate Soldiers

Union Soldiers

Additional sources for Civil War soldiers from Hancock 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 Hancock County click on the following town:

For deaths of Methodists in Hancock County between the 1830s and the 1920s, try the following resources:

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:

  • Our Mountain Heritage: Primary emphasis of the quarterly newsletter is on the "publication of local records that are not available elsewhere."(website: www.overhomesneedville.com) Indexed in the PERiodical Source Index

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Online Records and Indexes

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

Book Abstracts and Indexes

  • 1880-1880 Hancock County Tax List, East Tennessee Roots, Vol. 6, No. 1; Vol. 6, No. 2; Vol. 6, No. 3; Vol. 6, No. 4. For access, see Periodical Section.
  • 1880 Tax Records, 1880. Our Mountain Heritage, Vol. 14, No. 2 (Spring 2002); Vol. 14, No. 3 (Summer 2002); Vol. 14, No. 4 (Fall 2002); Vol. 15, No. 1 (Winter 2003); Vol. 15, No. 2 (Spring 2003); Vol. 15, No. 3 (Summer 2003); Vol. 15, No. 4 (Fall 2003); Vol. 16, No. 1 (Winter 2004); Vol. 16, No. 2 (Spring 2004); Vol. 16, No. 3 (Summer 2004); Vol. 16, No. 4 (Fall 2004); Vol. 17, No. 1 (Winter 2005); Vol. 17, No. 2 (Apr. 2005); Vol. 18, No. 2 (Apr. 2006). For access, see Periodical Section.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Online Indexes and Records

Death[edit | edit source]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

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

Hancock County Public Library
138 Willow St.
Sneedville, TN 37869
Phone: 423-733-2020
Has a genealogy and local history section.

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

Hancock County Tennessee Historical and Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 307
Sneedville, TN 37869
Phone: 423-733-0140
Email: hchs1@att.net

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, "Hancock, Tennessee" in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hancock_County,_Tennessee accessed 21 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 31 March 2014).
  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, "Hancock County, Tennessee," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hancock_County,_Tennessee, accessed 16 November 2019.
  8. "List of counties in Tennessee," Wikipedia.
  9. Dobbie E. Lambert, 25th Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1994). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 106.