photo copyright joyce gaston reece, web site host
Memorial at the site of Cherokee City of Peace, Chota, now under Tellico Lake, Monroe Co., TN.
Monroe Co. has one thing that no other county in the state will ever have...claim to the ancestral home of the Overhill Cherokee Indians, the magnificent history of this largest group of Native American people has its deepest pockets here. Fort Loudon was the western most fort for the British built near Vonore on the Little Tennessee River in 1756 to be overtaken in 1760. This one location has a history all its own. Not to mention the recently discovered Fort Armistead on the eastern side of the county, south of Tellico Plains. The first principal Cherokee city of Telliquah is just north of Tellico Plains. Oconostota and Old Hop were just two of the war chiefs who resided there.
Monroe County is one of the few counties in the state fortunate enough to have a part-time archivist and a small group of people supporting those archives. Their county has one of the best genealogy/history based web sites at www.tngenweb.org/monroe. Joy Locke is hostess of this site and is also constantly offering advice and helping people in their searches. The archivist is Mrs. Nelle Jo Stakely. She has made Monroe County's archives something to be proud of and an invaluable tool to researchers. The website at www.rootsweb.com/~tnmonroe has some of the archives resources. Others are at the archives website at http://www.monroetnarchives.org/archives_records_info/default.php The library has some genealogical material on their shelves but no one is on staff to help visitors. Most of what is in the library will also be found at the archives. The archives are located in the basement of the courthouse.
The archives as a total of apx 950 surname files for apx 850 different surnames. On the shelf there are the County Court, Circuit Court Minute Books, Chancery Court Records, Marriages, some of the deeds and a host of other records. The archivist will copy records on request with a small fee as allowed by the state archives. This fee schedule is on two of the sites above as well as how to request copies. The hours are Monday-Thursday 9-12.
The deeds office is one of the few in the area that will allow electronic printing of deeds. All the older deeds have been scanned into a system that allows the staff to access & print digital copies of deeds. The fees are very nominal. They do not do this by request...one must be present in order to obtain deeds.
County Court records prior to circa 1854 are missing. Volunteers are now getting many of the loose court records in folders and accessible. Almost all other records are intact but space is a confining factor in getting everything made available.
Military data for county residents from the
Revolution-1812 War to World War II is available through the various sources
If you're researching in Monroe County you are in luck. The resources and people there are the best.