Cocke County, Tennessee Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
Revision as of 00:18, 19 July 2014 by Murphynw (talk | contribs) (Text replace - "Family History Library Catalog" to "FamilySearch Catalog")

Jump to: navigation, search

United States Gotoarrow.png Tennessee Gotoarrow.png Cocke County

Cocke County, Tennessee genealogy and family history research page. Guide to Cocke County (established 1797) genealogy, history, and courthouse sources including birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, wills, deeds and land records, Civil War records, Revolutionary War records, family histories, cemeteries, churches, tax records, newspapers, and obituaries.

Hand and keyboard.jpg Tennessee
Online Records

Cocke County, Tennessee
Boundary map of Cocke County, Tennessee
Map of Tennessee highlighting Cocke County
Location in the state of Tennessee
Map of the U.S. highlighting Tennessee
Location of Tennessee in the U.S.
Founded: October 9, 1797
County Seat Newport
Adopt-a-wiki page
TGW 45x45.jpg This page adopted by:
TNGenWeb Project
who welcome you to contribute.
Adopt a page today

Cocke County Tennessee Quick Dates

Cocke County's civil records start the following years:[1]

Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1908  1877 1908  1830 1865 1876

Cocke County Tennessee Courthouse

Cocke County Courthouse
111 Court Avenue
Newport, TN 37821
Phone: 423.623.6176 

County Clerk has birth and death records 1909-1911and 1928-1930 and marriage records.
Clerk and Master has divorce and probate records from 1877.
Clerk Circuit Court has court records.
Register of Deeds has land records.
Stokely Memorial Library has a genealogical section. [2]

Cocke County Courthouse, Newport, Tenn.
Cocke County Courthouse
111 Court Ave.
Newport, Tennessee 37821
Phone: 1-423-623-6176

Cocke County Clerk
Marriage records
Birth and Death records 1909-1911 and 1928 - 1930
Phone: 1-423-623-3321

Cocke County Clerk and Master
Probate records
360 East Main St.
Courthouse Annex
Newport, TN 37821
Phone: 1-423-623-3321

Cocke County Register of Deeds
Land records
Phone: 1-423-623-7540

Cocke County Circuit Court Clerk
Court records
Phone: 1-423-623-6124

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

Sm-raogk.gif Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness has found volunteers available to do lookups at this courthouse. Request guidelines.

Cocke County Tennessee History

Sen. William Cocke (1747-1828)
In the 1780s, this county's land fell within the bounds of the State of Franklin.

Cocke County is named after Senator William Cocke (1747-1828) of Tennessee.[3]

North Carolina first organized the land that would eventually become Cocke County as part of Washington District in 1776, then as part of Washington County in 1777, and then as part of Greene County in 1783.

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. 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.[4]

In 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. In 1792 the Southwest Territory using land from its Greene and Hawkins counties erected a new county named Jefferson County.[5][6]

In 1796 all these lands became part of the new State of Tennessee. In 1797 Tennessee divided off most of the old Greene County portion of the newer Jefferson County to form the new Cocke County.[5]

East Tennessee county in the Great Smoky Mountains region. Established 1797. From 1784 to 1788, this land was claimed by the abortive, short-lived State of Franklin.

Parent County

1797--Cocke County was created 9 October 1797 from Jefferson County. Early records may be found in Jefferson County.
County seat: Newport [5]

County Pronunciation

  1. Hear it spoken[7] (female)
  2. Hear it spoken[8] (male)

Boundary Changes

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

Record Loss

For a list of record loss in Tennessee counties see: Tennessee Counties with Burned Courthouses


1876 -- Courthouse burned and many records were damaged.[9]

  • Lost censuses: 1800, 1810, 1820, 1890
  • 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:

Cocke County Tennessee Places / Localities

Populated Places

Allen Grove Cosby Jaybird Padgett Mill
Bailey Town Del Rio Jenkins Mill Parrottsville
Baltimore Denton Jimtown Pleasant Grove
Blue Mill Eastport Lanceville Point Pleasant
Bluffton Edgemont Leadvale Rankin
Boomer Edwina Liberty Hill Raven Branch
Briar Thicket English Creek Licklog Redwine
Bridgeport Finney Patch London Salem
Brookside Mill Fowler Grove Long Creek Sardis
Browns French Broad Maple Spring Tom Town
Bruner Grove Grassy Fork Midway Wasp
Bybee Gum Spring Newport West End
Carson Springs Harmony Grove Northport West Myers
Castle Heights Hartford Nough Wilsonville
Catons Grove High Point Oak Hill Wilton Springs
Clevenger Holttown Oldtown Wolf Creek
Click Mill Irish Cut Ottinger

Neighboring Counties

Cocke County Tennessee Genealogy Resources


Getting Started

Use the free Search for Surnames at Mountain Press's website to quickly search a variety of published Cocke County biography, census, and tax records. To determine which books are being searched, or to search each publication's index individually, click here. You are now equipped with a checklist of books to pull off the shelves at a genealogy library, or a wish list for your personal book collection.

Research Guides

African American

United States African Americans Gotoarrow.png Tennessee African Americans


Tennessee cemetery records often identify birth, death, relationship, and military information, as well as religious affiliation.

The Tennessee Cemeteries page provides explanations of the following online resources:

Bibliographies Online Gravestone Transcriptions Cemetery Gazetteers
FamilySearch Catalog Find A Grave | national search | county list ePodunk
WorldCat TNGenWeb Cemetery Database  
  USGenWeb Tombstone Transcription Project  
  Cocke Co., TNGenWeb Project  

Published Cocke County cemetery records:


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%
Source: "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau.
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®]

1800 - Lost, statistics reported with Jefferson County

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[10]

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. A free online index, provided by Lineages, will help researchers determine if this resource can be of assistance:

These records have also been abstracted:

  • 1820 Census of Manufactures: Cocke County, East Tennessee Roots, Vol. 5, No. 4 ():180. For availability, see Periodicals.



  • 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.

1840 Revolutionary War Pensioners


  • 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.




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 and  the United States Church Records\United States Church Records.

The following church records for Cocke County are filmed:

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



More than 10 genealogies have been published about Cocke County, Tennessee Genealogy families. To view a list, visit Cocke County, Tennessee Genealogy.

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.[11]


During the War of 1812, American officials reported finding 2 British aliens living in Cocke County.[12]


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.

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.] 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 TSLA; another version is available at World Vital Records. Bruce Price's "Cocke County, Tennessee Acts of Tennessee Index," which isolates the entries specifically for this county, is available online, courtesy: TNGenWeb.

Local Histories


  • 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; 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; website includes a scaled-down version of the map.


Old Forts

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

Revolutionary War

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

  1. 1835 Pension Roll
  2. 1852 Rejected or Suspended Pensions
  3. Abstracts of select Pensions

Additional resources include:

War of 1812

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

Civil War

Civil War service men from Cocke 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 Cocke County.

Confederate Soldiers 

Union Soldiers

Additional sources for Civil War soldiers from Cocke County:


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:


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 Cocke County, Tennessee Genealogy records 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 Book 976.8 B2a.

East Tennessee Roots
Several genealogical articles with abstracts of Cocke County, Tennessee Genealogy 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 Book 976.8 D25e.

Smoky Mountain Historical Society Newsletter
Genealogical articles with abstracts of Cocke County, Tennessee records were published in the Smoky Mountain Historical Society Newsletter (33 vols., 1977-2007), the journal of the Smoky Mountain Historical Society. Tables of contents for most issues are available online. Back issues are available for purchase. The Family History Library has acquired a complete collection FHL US/CAN Book 976.889 B2s, as well as Journal Contents and Index of Names: 1977 thru 1996 FHL US/CAN Book 976.889 B2s index. Indexed in the PERiodical Source Index (PERSI).


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


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.

FamilySearch has placed scans of the following records online in the Tennessee, Probate Court Books, 1795-1927 collection. These are browse-only collections. Handwritten indexes may be found at the front or back of some volumes:

  • Wills, 1876-1913
  • Insolvent estate records, 1879-1920
  • Inventories, 1875-1922
  • Minutes, 1877-1898 (15 vols.)

FamilySearch has scanned and made avaiable the following records:


TSLA microfilmed the original Cocke County Tax Books 1876-1894 (gaps). FHL copies: FHL US/CAN Films 956205-956206.

The following Cocke County tax records have been abstracted:[13]

  • [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 Periodicals; 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 Periodicals. [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 Periodicals. [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: free surname 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.
  • [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

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


For deaths of Methodists in Cocke County between the 1830s and the 1920s, try:

Cocke County Tennessee Genealogy Societies and Libraries

The Smoky Mountain Historical Society
P.O. Box 5078
Sevierville, TN 37864-5078

East Tennessee Historical Society
601 S. Gay Street
P.O. Box 1629
Knoxville, Tennessee 37901-1629
Phone: 1-865-215-8824

Stokely Memorial Library
383 East Broadway
Newport, TN 37821
Phone: 1-423-623-3832
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.

Family History Centers

Cocke County Tennessee Genealogy Websites

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Cocke County, Tennessee

Various RootsWeb Mailing Lists include messages about Cocke County genealogy. Local expert Joyce Gaston Reece states, at present, the following lists "carry the communications for Cocke" (7/15/2010):

Additional lists, that receive less traffic are:

Cocke County Tennessee Genealogy References

  1. "Earliest County Records," Tennessee State Library and Archives.
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Cocke County, Tennessee page 639, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. "List of Counties in Tennessee," Wikipedia.
  4. “State of Franklin” in North Carolina History Project at (accessed 27 June 2010).
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Publ., 2002), 639, 641. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Handybook" defined multiple times with different content
  6. Robert M. McBride, "Lost Counties of Tennessee," East Tennessee Historical Society's Publications 38 (1966): 4.
  7. Voice of Lynnae Weller, Kingsport, Tenn. (2010).
  8. Voice of Louise Lynch, Archivist, Williamson County, Tennessee Archives (2010).
  9. Lost Records: Courthouse Fires and Disasters in Tennessee in Tennessee State Library and Archives in Tennessee Secretary of State (accessed 31 March 2014).
  10. 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.
  11. "Original Virginia Records Imaged and Indexed Online," Arlene Eakle's Virginia Genealogy Blog, 12 October 2008.
  12. 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 ($).
  13. The Heritage Quest Online version of PERSI aided in the compilation of this list.
  14. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at