SOUTHEAST TENNESSEE GENEALOGY
"A RESEARCH GUIDEPOST"
photos by J.G.Reece, fall 2010, Hiwassee River, Polk Co., TN.
This website was created & designed to act as a research aid for the southeast Tennessee counties of Polk, Bradley, Meigs, McMinn, Monroe & Blount. It will provide you a stepping off point for web sites, historical societies, libraries and other organizations. We hope to make you more familiar with what is available and how to utilize the data. As time goes on we will be adding more so be sure to bookmark this site and visit often.
(PAGE STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION)
CONTACT SITE MANAGER
Tennessee countys present time
Tennessee at the time of statehood
Southeast Tennessee circa 1838
One of the best pieces of advice one can offer someone researching in southeast Tennessee is this... "Forget all about those county lines."
The Cherokee Indians were the original inhabitants of the region. A succession of treaties between the Cherokee and the British, then later the Cherokee and the new American government continually shrank the territory held by these Native Americans. Those continual changes in the treaty lines were the cause of the ever changing county lines and county formations beginning with statehood and continuing on until 1838. With Loudon County forming in 1870.
Another factor lies in the time period prior to statehood. The Watauga Settlements first saw white settlement in the mid to late 1770's. The earliest tax lists are dated during this period. This area was first called Washington District, North Carolina, later it was Washington County, NC. After Tennessee statehood several counties were formed in this region. (You'll see more on this subject below.) This area also saw the formation of the 'State of Franklin". Many of the families who settled in some of these newly formed counties were from the Washington Co./Jonesboro area.
Another factor to be aware of is the mixed marriages that occurred quite often along each successive Cherokee treaty line. These treaty lines did not build a huge brick wall between the whites and Indians. One example could be John Walker. He was a mixed blood Cherokee whose first wife was Kati Kingfisher, daughter of famed Beloved Woman Nancy Ward. John Walker was instrumental in helping form the foundation of McMinn County...even built the first courthouse at Calhoun. In the early 1800's Cherokee Indian Agent Col. Jonathan Return Meigs wrote a letter to the Secretary of War that in his estimation it was likely that 50% of the Cherokee population were mixed bloods....although some disagreed with this number. Some of the families that had mixed blood heritage were: Gann, Adams, Russell, Carter, Cook, Starr, Harlin, McGray/Matoy, Bean, Rider, Phillips, Raper, Shelton, Meigs, Walker, Childers, Clayton, Roach, Thompson, Fields, Hildabrand, Cloud, McNair and many others.
Individual county information.
Any number of web site links can be found by a simple google or bing search so not many links are provided.
MC MINN COUNTY
Loudon County wasn't formed until 1870 so many of that county's earliest records will be found in Monroe or Roane.
ROANE COUNTY (under construction)
This page last edited on 11/22/2011
First created October 1, 2011