Tennessee County, Tennessee Genealogy
Tennessee County was organized in 1788 on land in the modern state of Tennessee, but which at the time was part of North Carolina. It was formed from part of the old Davidson County. In 1789 when North Carolina ratified the new Constitution and entered the union, North Carolina ceded its western area, now Tennessee, to the federal government.
"Rotating Formation Tennessee County Boundary Maps" (1777-1985) may be viewed for free at the MapofUs.org website. They rely on AniMap 3.0 software.
In 1796 the modern state of Tennessee was admitted to the union. That was when Tennessee County gave up its name for use by the new state. Tennessee County was then divided into Montgomery and Robertson counties. The land of the extinct Tennessee County now forms the modern Humphreys, Montgomery, and Robertson counties and portions of Stewart, Dickson, Cheatham, and Houston counties.
1790 Census- Lost, only statistics survive, but substitutes are available:
- Eakle, Arlene. Tennessee Research. 2010. Purchase information at Arlene Eakle's Tennessee Genealogy Blog. [Includes a reconstructed 1790 census, sources: "Contemporary lists–tax lists, militia rolls, land grants and deeds, claims for pre-emption lands, names recorded in diaries and journals. And numerous histories compiled by local historians from records that we have not seen or read ourselves."]
- Fulcher, Richard Carlton, comp. 1770-1790 Census of the Cumberland Settlements: Davidson, Sumner and Tennessee Counties (In what is now Tennessee). Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1987. Available at FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 X2f; digital version at World Vital Records ($).
- McGhee, Lucy Kate. Partial Census of 1787 to 1791 of Tennessee as Taken from the North Carolina Land Grants. 3 Parts. Microfilmed in 1990. FHL US/CAN Films 1728882 Item 4 and 1683130 Item 3.
The following book identifies residents of Tennessee County:
- East Tennessee Historical Society. First Families of Tennessee: A Register of Early Settlers and Their Present-day Descendants. Knoxville, Tenn.: East Tennessee Historical Society, 2000. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 H2ff. [Identifies families that had settled in Tennessee before it achieved statehood in 1796.]
Local Land Entries Issued by North Carolina
The original Tennessee County land entries issued by North Carolina are kept at the North Carolina State Archives in Raleigh. On their website, users can bring up a list of land entries issued in Tennessee County, both before and after its land became a part of the state of Tennessee. Years covered: 1780-1819.
- Follow this link to conduct a "Call Number Search" using the MARS Catalog on their site.
- Using the pull down window, change "Call Numbers starting" to "A MarsID matching."
- Type 12.14.19 (Windows Vista users may need to include a period after the last digit, for example 12.14.19.) and click Search. This is the specific MarsID for Tennessee County.
- Click on the entry that is returned: "Tennessee, Tennessee County."
- In the window that pops up, click Show List of Child Records and a list of Tennessee County land entries will be produced. Browse to find abstracts of the original records.
N.B. You can also search by name through the Basic Search, but it lacks soundex capabilities.
- "Tennessee County" in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tennessee_County (accessed 25 May 2010).
- "History of Tennessee" in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Tennessee (accessed 25 May 2010).
- Robert M. McBride, "Lost Counties of Tennessee," East Tennessee Historical Society's Publications 38 (1966): 6.
- Alice Eichholz, Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, 3rd ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004) [FHL Book 973 D27rb 2004], 639.
- Arlene Eakle, "Reconstructing the 1790 Census of Tennessee," Arlene Eakle's Tennessee Genealogy Blog, 20 May 2010.
- J. Mark Lowe, "The Land Grant Processes of North Carolina and Tennessee," Lecture, Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference, Knoxville, Tenn., August 21, 2010.