Cocke County, Tennessee Genealogy

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


County Facts
County seat: Newport
Organized: October 9, 1797
Parent County(s): Jefferson[1]
Neighboring Counties
Greene  • Hamblen  • Haywood (NC)  • Jefferson  • Madison (NC)  • Sevier
See County Maps
Courthouse
Cocke County Tennessee Courthouse.jpg
Location Map
Location of Cocke County, Tennessee.PNG
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for William Cocke, one of the state's first United States Senators. The County is located in the northeast area of the state. [2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Cocke County Courthouse
111 Court Avenue Ste 112
Newport, TN 37821
Phone: 423-623-7531
County Clerk Phone: 423-623-6176
Clerk and Master Phone: 423-623-3321
Circuit Court Clerk Phone: 423-623-6124
Register of Deeds Phone: 423-623-7540
Cocke County Website

County Clerk has birth and death records 1909-1911 and 1928-1930 and marriage records
Clerk and Master have divorce and probate records from 1877 Court records
Register of Deeds has land records. Stokely Memorial Library has a genealogical section. [3]

County Pronunciation

  1. Hear it spoken[4] (female)
  2. Hear it spoken[5] (male)

Cocke 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[6]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1908 1877 1908 1877 1856 1877 1810
Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1914. General compliance by 1927.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

1876 Courthouse burned and many records were damaged.[7]

  • Lost censuses: 1800, 1810, 1820
  • Antebellum deed books are lost
  • Pre-1876 wills were destroyed
  • Pre-1877 marriages

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:[9]

Cities
Towns
Unincorporated communities
Historic communities

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

In the 1780s, this county's land fell within the bounds of the State of Franklin
  • 1776 - First organized as part of the land that would eventually become Cocke County as part of Washington District
  • 1777 - Became part of Washington County
  • 1783 - Became part of Greene County
  • 1784 - In August 1784 delegates of three western North Carolina counties, Washington, Sullivan, and Greene (all now in Tennessee), declared their Independence from North Carolina because of perceived neglect, and misuse by North Carolina’s legislature.
  • 1785 - By May 1785 they had petitioned to be admitted to the United States as the new State of Franklin. The Franklin statehood request was denied.[10]
  • 1789 - North Carolina ceded its westernmost counties to the United States which used them to form the Southwest Territory. North Carolina and the Southwest Territory did not recognize Franklin's claims.
  • 1792 - The Southwest Territory using land from its Greene and Hawkins counties erected a new county named Jefferson County.[11][12]
  • 1796 - All these lands became part of the new State of Tennessee.
  • 1797 - Tennessee divided off most of the old Greene County portion of the newer Jefferson County to form the new Cocke County.[13]


Additional Information

Sen. William Cocke (1747-1828)

Cocke County is named after Senator William Cocke (1747-1828) of Tennessee.[14]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

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

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Cocke 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 5,154
1820 4,892 −5.1%
1830 6,017 23.0%
1840 6,992 16.2%
1850 8,300 18.7%
1860 10,408 25.4%
1870 12,458 19.7%
1880 14,808 18.9%
1890 16,523 11.6%
1900 19,153 15.9%
1910 19,399 1.3%
1920 20,782 7.1%
1930 21,775 4.8%
1940 24,083 10.6%
1950 22,991 −4.5%
1960 23,390 1.7%
1970 25,283 8.1%
1980 28,792 13.9%
1990 29,141 1.2%
2000 33,565 15.2%
2010 35,662 6.2%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, and 1940 federal population censuses of Cocke 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 Cocke County, TN census assignments, including links to transcribed files. The USGenWeb Census Project®

1810-1891

1800-1820 Lost

  • 1800 Lost, statistics reported with Jefferson
  • 1810 Lost, but a 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[15]
  • 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. The following book is a useful aid for finding the original records. Aonline index, provided by Lineages, will help researchers determine if this resource can be of assistance: National Archives. Indexes to Manufactures Census of 1820. 1920; reprint, Knightstown, Ind.: Bookmark, 1977. FHL US/CAN Book 973 X2m 1820; indexed at Lineages. Covers this county. These records have also been abstracted: 1820 Census of Manufactures: Cocke County, East Tennessee Roots, Vol. 5, No. 4:180. For availability, see Cocke.

1830

1840

1850

  • Templin, David H. and Cherel Bolin Henderson. Population Schedule of the United States Census of 1850 for Cocke County, Tennessee. Signal Mountain, Tenn.: Mountain Press, 1983. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8895 X2t 1850.

1860

  • Bishop, Brenda C. 1860 Census of Cocke County, Tennessee. n.p.: B.C. Bishop, 1986. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8895 X2b.
  • Templin, David H. and Cherel Bolin Henderson. Population Schedule of the United States Census of 1860 for Cocke County, Tennessee. Maryville, Tenn.: n.p., 1983. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8895 X2t 1860.

1880

Male Voters 1891

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Church records can include birth/baptism, marriage, and death/burial information. Traditionally, Tennessee churches did not keep as much vital record information as found in other regions. For the existing records, some original church records are still at the local church. Others are gathered into a church archives or state archives or deposited with a local historical or genealogical society. For more information about church records see Tennessee Church Records andthe United States Church Records.

The following church records for Cocke County are filmed:

  • 1812-1876 - Minutes, Slate Creek Baptist Church available at TSLA Reel #205 FHL 570854 Item 1

The following church records are abstracted or indexed:

  • 1812-1876 - Minutes, Slate Creek Baptist Church Nashville: TSLA, Historical Records Project, 1939. Typescript. Available at TSLA FHL 24622
  • 1812-1876 - Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Vital Statistics from 19th Century Tennessee Church Records. Nashville: Sitler and Associates, 1979. FHL 976.8 K29s vol.1 Index to original records.
  • 1838-1860 - Minutes, Pleasant Grove Baptist Church Nashville: TSLA, Historical Records Project, 1939. Typescript. Available at TSLA, FHL 24622
  • 1841-1872 - Minutes, East Tennessee Association of Baptists Nashville: TSLA, Historical Records Project, 1939. Typescript. Available at TSLA, FHL 24622

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. To read more about this valuable resource Click here. The searchable index is available at the TSLA; another version is available at World Vital Records.

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

During the War of 1812, American officials reported finding 2 British aliens living in Cocke County. Ancestry ($) [16]

Because so many early Ray County, Missouri settlers came from Cocke, Tennessee, Cocke was often considered the the "mother county" of Ray County, Missouri.

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

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

More than 10 genealogies have been published about Bedford County, Tennessee families. For more information visit Cocke County, Tennessee Compiled Genealogies.

  • Gordon Aronhime (1911-1983) collected information on hundreds of Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee pioneers. His note cards, which reference more than 4,000 early settlers of the Holston-Clinch River area and East Tennessee (1770s-1790s), are held at the Library of Virginia. The cards have been digitized and made available online.[17]

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

Cocke County's early deed books were destroyed in the Civil War. TSLA microfilmed surviving Deed Books 1 to 20 (1865-1867, 1872-1902), General Index to Deeds (1872-1902), Trust Deed Books 1 to 3 and 10 (1877-1889, 1899-1902) and Trust Deed Index (1877-1902). FHL copies: FHL US/CAN Films 956189-956203.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Sevier CountyJefferson CountyHamblen CountyGreene CountyMadison CountyHaywood CountyTN COCKE.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources
  • 1777-1985 - Maps of Tennessee (1777-1985)
  • 1832 Creekmore, Pollyanna. Early East Tennessee Taxpayers. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1980. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 R4cp and Silas Emmett Lucas's Revised Index FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 R4cp index. Includes 1832 map of the county.
  • 1926 U.S. Geological Survey. Proposed Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Originally published 1926. Purchase at ReevesMaps.com; website includes a scaled-down version of the map.
  • 1934 U.S. Park Service. Preliminary Base Map, Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Originally published 1934. Purchase at ReevesMaps.com; website includes a scaled-down version of the map.

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

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

Additional resources include:

War of 1812

The following Cocke County War of 1812 records are available online through TNGenWeb:

Civil War

Online Records

Regiments. Men in Cocke 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 Cocke County:

Confederate Soldiers

Union Soldiers


Additional sources for Civil War soldiers from Cocke County:

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Many Tennessee newspapers are filmed and available at 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 Cocke County click on the following city:

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Old Forts

  • Old Cocke County Fort, Smoky Mountain Historical Society Newsletter, Vol. 3, No. 2 (May 1977). For access, see Periodicals.

Prisons

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

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

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Cocke County's early will books were destroyed. TSLA microfilmed surviving wills covering the date range 1876 to 1913. FHL copy: FHL US/CAN Film 956185.

Online Records

School Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

Book Abstracts and Indexes

  • 1803 - Unpaid Taxes -- 1803 (Blount, Cocke, Sevier Cos.), Smoky Mountain Historical Society Newsletter, Vol. 10, No. 3 (1984). For FHL access, or to purchase back issues, see Sevier; digital version by Duay O'Neil, at Sevier County, Tennessee, Genealogy & History. Abstract of The Knoxville Gazette, Aug. 8, 1803.
  • 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 Cocke. Includes Cocke 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 Cocke. Includes Cocke County.
  • 1821, 1827 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 1821 and 1827 tax lists.
  • 1836 Douthat, James L. Cocke County, Tennessee, 1836 Tennessee, Civil Districts and Tax Lists. Signal Mountain, Tenn.: Mountain Press, 1993. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8895 R4d; online: index and purchase details.
  • 1839 Taxpayers, 1839, East Tennessee Historical Society Publications. Knoxville TN: 1965. Vol. - Iss. 37.
  • 1839 Creekmore, Pollyanna. Early East Tennessee Taxpayers. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1980. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 R4cp and Silas Emmett Lucas's Revised Index FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 R4cp index. Includes 1839 tax list.
  • 1839 - Fox, George and Juanita Fox. Cocke County, Tennessee Early Lists: 1839 Tax List, 1830-1840 Federal Census. n.p.: G. and J. Fox, 2009. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8895 X2g.
  • 1839 Price, Bruce. "Cocke County, Tennessee 1839 Tax List, All Districts," available online, courtesy: TNGenWeb.
  • 1876-1894 Cocke County Tax Books 1876-1894 (gaps). Info at TSLA FHL copies: FHL US/CAN Films 956205-956206.
  • 1883 Release from Delinquent Taxes, 1883, Tennessee Ancestors. Knoxville TN: Apr 2001. Vol. 17 Iss. 1.
  • 1889 - Price, Bruce. "Cocke County, Tennessee 1889 Tax List, Dist 12," available online, courtesy: TNGenWeb. Source: Cocke Co., TN Tax Books 1889-1890 (1894), TSLA Microfilm #38.
  • 1890 - Price, Bruce. "Cocke County, Tennessee 1890 Tax List, Dist 12," available online, courtesy: TNGenWeb. Source: Cocke Co., TN Tax Books 1889-1890 (1894), TSLA Microfilm #38.
  • 1891 - Price, Bruce. "Cocke County, Tennessee 1891 Tax List, Dist 12," available online, courtesy: TNGenWeb. Source: Cocke Co., TN Tax Books 1889-1890 (1894), TSLA Microfilm #38.
  • 1892 - Price, Bruce. "Cocke County, Tennessee 1892 Tax List, Dist 12," available online, courtesy: TNGenWeb. Source: Cocke Co., TN Tax Books 1889-1890 (1894), TSLA Microfilm #38.
  • 1893 - Price, Bruce. "Cocke County, Tennessee 1893 Tax List, Dist 12," available online, courtesy: TNGenWeb. Source: Cocke Co., TN Tax Books 1889-1890 (1894), TSLA Microfilm #38.
  • 1894 - Price, Bruce. "Cocke County, Tennessee 1894 Tax List, Dist 12," available online, courtesy: TNGenWeb. Source: Cocke Co., TN Tax Books 1889-1890 (1894), TSLA Microfilm #38.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Death[edit | edit source]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

  • 1800-1965 - Tennessee. Tennessee Divorce and Other Records, 1800-1965. Nashville, Tennessee: Tennessee State Library and Archives. Available at Ancestry ($)
  • W.P.A. Guide to Public Vital Statistics in Tennessee. Nashville, Tenn.: The Tennessee Historical Records Survey, 1941. FamilySearch Books Online; FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 A3gp - Inventory stating where divorce records are housed.

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes.

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Stokely Memorial Library
383 East Broadway
Newport, TN 37821
423-623-3832
Website

Genealogical Resources: Newspapers, census, vital records, deeds, court records, funeral home records, land, church, tax lists, historical books, cemetery records and more. To see a list of microfilmed material click here.

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

The Smoky Mountain Historical Society
P.O. Box 5078
Sevierville, TN 37864-5078
Email: smhs@SmokyKin.com
Website

East Tennessee Historical Society
601 S. Gay Street
P.O. Box 1629
Knoxville, Tennessee 37901-1629
865-215-8824
Email: eths@east-tennessee-history.org
Website

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, "Cocke, Tennessee" in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cocke_County,_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. Voice of Lynnae Weller, Kingsport, Tenn. (2010).
  5. Voice of Louise Lynch, Archivist, Williamson County, Tennessee Archives (2010).
  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. Lost Records: Courthouse Fires and Disasters in Tennessee in Tennessee State Library and Archives in Tennessee Secretary of State (accessed 13 March 2016).
  8. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Tennessee.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  9. Wikipedia contributors, "Cocke County, Tennessee," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cocke_County,_Tennessee#Communities, accessed 10 November 2019.
  10. “State of Franklin” in North Carolina History Project at http://www.northcarolinahistory.org/encyclopedia/99/entry (accessed 27 June 2010).
  11. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Tennessee.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  12. Robert M. McBride, "Lost Counties of Tennessee," East Tennessee Historical Society's Publications 38 (1966): 4.
  13. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Tennessee.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  14. "List of Counties in Tennessee," Wikipedia.
  15. 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 Book 976.8 R4c].
  16. 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 ($).
  17. "Original Virginia Records Imaged and Indexed Online," Arlene Eakle's Virginia Genealogy Blog, 12 October 2008.
  18. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/6/60/Igitennesseea.pdf.