Hancock County, Tennessee Genealogy

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

Hancock County, Tennessee
Boundary map of Hancock County, Tennessee
Map of Tennessee highlighting Hancock County
Location in the state of Tennessee
Map of the U.S. highlighting Tennessee
Location of Tennessee in the U.S.
Founded: January 7, 1844
County Seat Sneedville
Website: www.hancockcountytn.com
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Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for the Revolutionary War patriot John Hancock. The County is located in the northeast area of the state. [1]

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

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
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.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Hancock County Tennessee courthouse.jpg

Hancock County Courthouse, Sneedville, Tenn.

Hancock County Courthouse
 PO Box 347
Sneedville, TN 37869
Phone: 423.733.4341

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

Hancock County Courthouse
1237 Main St.
Sneedville, TN 37869
Phone: 1-423-733-4341

Hancock County Clerk
Marriage and Probate records
418 Harrison St.
P.O. Box 201
Sneedville, TN 37869
Phone: 1-423-733-2519

Hancock County Register of Deeds
Land records
1237 Main St.
P.O. Box 347
Sneedville, TN 37869
Phone: 1-423-733-4545

Hancock County Circuit Court Clerk
Court records
1237 Main St.
P.O. Box 347
Sneedville, TN 37869
Phone: 1-423-733-2954

Mon.,Tues., Thurs., Fri. 8:30 a,m,-4 p,m,
Wed,. and Sat. 8:30 a,m,-noon

History[edit | edit source]

John Hancock (1737-1793)

East Tennessee county.

The county is named after Founding Father John Hancock (1737-1793).[4]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1844--Hancock County was created 7 January 1844 from Hawkins and Claiborne Counties.
County seat: Sneedville[5]

County Pronunciation[edit | edit source]

  1. Hear it spoken[6] (female)
  2. Hear it spoken[7] (male)

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

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

Record Loss[edit | edit source]


1885 and 1930 Fires damaged courthouse records.[8]

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

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

Places/Localities[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]

Unincorporated communities

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

African American[edit | edit source]

United States African Americans Gotoarrow.png Tennessee African Americans

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.

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county
Findagrave.com Family History Library Findagrave.com
TNGenWeb WorldCat BillionGraves
TNGenWeb Archives Linkpendium
Tombstone Project Gravestones
TNGenWeb Cemeteries
See Tennessee Cemeteries for more information.

Additional Cemetery Resources

Census[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®

1810 - 1891


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[edit | edit source]


  • 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[edit | edit source]

Family Histories[edit | edit source]

This bibliography will eventually identify all known family histories published about residents of this county. Use this list to:

  • Locate publications about direct ancestors
  • Find the most updated accounts of an ancestor's family
  • Identify publications, to quote Elizabeth Shown Mills, about an ancestor's "FAN Club" (Friends, Associates, and Neighbors)


As of August 2010, a query for persons born in Hancock, Tennessee at World Connect, results in more than 25,000 entries.

  • Hancock County Historical and Genealogical Society (Tennessee). Hancock County, Tennessee and Its People. 3 vols. n.p.: Walsworth Pub. Co., 1990-2004. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8946 H2h ff.


Land[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.

Law and Legislation[edit | edit source]

  • 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.

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[edit | edit source]

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

Military[edit | edit source]

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Online Records

Regiments. Civil War service men from Hancock County served in various regiments. Men often joined a regiment or a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are the military units that were formed in or had many men from Hancock County:

Confederate Soldiers

Union Soldiers

Additional sources for Civil War soldiers from Hancock County:

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:

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Tap into the minds of local experts. Editors of genealogical periodicals publish unique sources that researchers who are new to their area would not likely discover. This type of material may be found in local, regional, or statewide genealogical society journals. The following periodicals cover this county:

Ansearchin' News
Genealogical articles with abstracts of records of Hancock County, Tennessee have been published in Ansearchin' News, the quarterly magazine of the Tennessee Genealogical Society. To view a list of these articles, visit their county index. To read digitized versions of the first 36 years of articles (Vols. 1-36), browse their archive or conduct a surname search. The Family History Library has a complete collection of the Ansearchin' News quarterly FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 B2a.
East Tennessee Roots
Genealogical articles with abstracts of Hancock County, Tennessee records have been published in East Tennessee Roots (10 vols.). A subject index to these articles is available online. Surname indexes to Volumes 9 and 10 are also available online. The Family History Library has collected most issues of East Tennessee Roots FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 D25e.
Our Mountain Heritage
Primary emphasis of the quarterly news-letter is on the "publication of local records that are not available elsewhere."(website: www.overhomesneedville.com) Indexed in the PERiodical Source Index (PERSI). 1989-1994 available at FamilySearch.
Watauga Association of Genealogists Bulletin
Genealogical articles with abstracts of Hancock County, Tennessee records have been published in the Watauga Association of Genealogists Bulletin (39+ vols., 1972-present), the journal of the Watauga Association of Genealogists. The organization has posted tables of contents for most volumes on their website. Back issues are available for purchase. The Family History Library has a complete collection FHL US/CAN Books 976.897 B2w, including Margaret W. Hougland and Betty Jane Hylton's Bulletin Subject Index: The First Thirty Years, 1972-2001 (Johnson City, Tenn.: Watauga Association of Genealogists, 2002) FHL US/CAN Book 976.897 B2w index 1972-2001.

Prisons[edit | edit source]

Learn if your Hancock County, Tennessee Genealogy ancestors went to prison!

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Online Records

Taxation[edit | edit source]

The following Hancock County tax lists have been abstracted:[11]

  • 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 Periodicals.
  • 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).

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

See also How to order Tennessee Vital Records or order electronically online.

Birth[edit | edit source]
Death[edit | edit source]
  • 1914 - 1925 - Wiefering, Edna and Cleveland Public Library. Hancock County, Tennessee, Vital Statistics, 1914 through 1925. Cleveland, Tenn.: Cleveland Public Library, 199-?. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8946 V2w.

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

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]

See also a List of Tennessee Archives, Libraries, Publications, Historical & Genealogical Societies

Hancock County Tennessee Historical & Genealogical Society
P O Box 307
Sneedville, TN 37869
Phone: 1-423-733-0140 or 1-423-733-4541

East Tennessee Historical Society
601 S. Gay St.
P.O. Box 1629
Knoxville, TN 37901-1629
Phone: 1-865-215-8824
E-mail: eths@east-tennessee-history.org

Hancock County Public Library
138 Willow St.
Sneedville, TN 37869
Phone: 1-423-733-2020
Hours: 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
The Hancock Public Library has a genealogy and local history section.

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.

Websites[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Hancock County, Tennessee

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Hancock, Tennessee" in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hancock_County,_Tennessee accessed 21 Dec 2018
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Hancock County, Tennessee. Page 638-645 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 637-640.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Hancock County, Tennessee page 640, At various libr40ries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. "List of counties in Tennessee," Wikipedia.
  5. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002), 640. (FHL Book 973 D27e 2002). WorldCat entry.
  6. Voice of Lynnae Weller, Kingsport, Tenn. (2010).
  7. Voice of Gene Black, FamilySearch employee, former resident of Bristol, Tenn. (2010).
  8. Lost Records: Courthouse Fires and Disasters in Tennessee in Tennessee State Library and Archives in Tennessee Secretary of State (accessed 31 March 2014).
  9. Wikipedia contributors, "Hancock County, Tennessee," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hancock_County,_Tennessee, accessed 16 November 2019.
  10. Dobbie E. Lambert, 25th Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1994). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 106.
  11. The Heritage Quest Online version of PERSI aided in the compilation of this list.