Jefferson County, Tennessee Genealogy

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


County Facts
County seat: Dandridge
Organized: June 11, 1792
Parent County(s): Greene, Hawkins[1]
Neighboring Counties
Cocke  • Grainger  • Hamblen  • Knox  • Sevier
See County Maps
Courthouse
Jefferson County, Tennessee Courthouse.JPG
Location Map
Location of Jefferson County, Tennessee.PNG
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Thomas Jefferson. The County is located in the northeast area of the state. [2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Jefferson County Courthouse
202 W Main Street;
Dandridge, TN 37725-0710
County Courthouse Phone: 865-397-2935
County Clerk Phone: 865-397-2935
Circuit Court Clerk Phone: 865-397-2786
County Register of Deeds Phone: 865-397-2918
County Chancery Court Phone: 865-397-2404

County Clerk has marriage and probate records from 1792
Clerk and Master have divorce records
Clerk Circuit Court has court records
Register of Deeds has land records. [3]

County Pronunciation

  1. Hear it spoken[4] (female)
  2. Hear it spoken[5] (male)

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

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[6]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1908 1792 1908 1792 1792 1792 1810
Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1914. General compliance by 1927.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

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

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

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

  • 1792- Jefferson County was created 11 June 1792 from Greene and Hawkins Counties.
  • County seat: Dandridge[7]

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.

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:[8]

Cities
Towns
Unincorporated communities


History Timeline[edit | edit source]

  • 1784-1788 - The land of Jefferson County was first organized by the State of Franklin Genealogy in March 1786 from part of Greene County under the name Caswell[9] However, the Franklin statehood effort faded by 1789. Caswell county existed only briefly, its legality is questionable, and little trace remains. The records of lost Caswell County are now found at ???[10]
    In the 1780s, this county's land fell within the bounds of the State of Franklin Genealogy
  • 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 Caswell County or Sevier County.
  • 1789 - Residents South of the French Broad (which included Jefferson County) petitioned North Carolina for relief from the Indian problems. This petition contains names of some Jefferson County residents.
  • 1792 - Southwest Territory using land from its Greene and Hawkins counties erected a new county on much of the old Caswell County land, and named it Jefferson County.[11]
  • 1794 - Sevier County was reconstituted by the Southwest Territory from part of Jefferson County.
  • 1796 - All these lands became part of the new State of Tennessee
  • 1797 - Tennessee divided off Cocke County from the southeast part of Jefferson County. In 1870 Tennessee used part of Jefferson County to form part of Hamblen County.[10]

Additional Information

President Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

Jefferson County was named after Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) who became President in 1797.

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

  • Caldwell Family Bible Records, 1764-1886, Typed transcript, microfilmed 1963. FHL US/CAN Film 317309.

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

  • Miller, Alan N. East Tennessee's Forgotten Children: Apprentices from 1778 to 1911. Baltimore, Md.: Printed for Clearfield Company, Inc., by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 2000. FHL US/CAN 976.8 U2m. Digital version at World Vital Records ($). Purchase at Genealogical.com. Includes Jefferson County.

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Jefferson County, Tennessee online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Tennessee Cemeteries for more information.

 

Additional Cemetery Resources

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1810 7,309
1820 8,953 22.5%
1830 11,801 31.8%
1840 12,076 2.3%
1850 13,204 9.3%
1860 16,043 21.5%
1870 19,476 21.4%
1880 15,846 −18.6%
1890 16,478 4.0%
1900 18,590 12.8%
1910 17,755 −4.5%
1920 17,677 −0.4%
1930 17,914 1.3%
1940 18,621 3.9%
1950 19,667 5.6%
1960 21,493 9.3%
1970 24,940 16.0%
1980 31,284 25.4%
1990 33,016 5.5%
2000 44,294 34.2%
2010 51,407 16.1%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, and 1940 federal population censuses of Jefferson 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 Jefferson County, TN census assignments, including links to transcribed files. The USGenWeb Census Project®

1800 Lost, but a substitute is available, see Jefferson.

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.

1810-1891

1820 Lost[12]

1830

1840 Revolutionary War Pensioners

1850

  • Underwood, Burl H. Population Schedule of the United States Census of 1850 for Jefferson County, Tennessee. Knoxville, Tenn.: B.H. Underwood, 1977. FHL US/CAN Film 1036807 Item 5.
  • Underwood, Burl H. Population Schedule of the United States Census of 1850 for Jefferson County, Tennessee. 1977; reprint, Jefferson City, Tenn.: Jefferson County Genealogical Society, 1996. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8924 X2p 1850.

1880

1891 Male Voters

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Baptist

Presbyterian

Court Records[edit | edit source]

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. 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.

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

During the War of 1812, American officials reported finding 12 British aliens, many of whom had families, living in Jefferson County. Ancestry ($)[13]

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

  • More than 70 genealogies have been published about Jefferson County, Tennessee families. For more information visit Jefferson County, Tennessee Compiled Genealogies.
  • 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. (NOTE: The surname for the first card in a sequence is listed on the site. Search through the cards for your ancestor's surname.)[14]

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

Deeds

The original Jefferson County Deed Books are held at the County Archives. In the 1970s, TSLA microfilmed Deed Books A to 18 (1792-1889), Deed Indexes (1792-1929), and Trust Deed Books 1 to 4 (1868-1892). FHL copies: FHL US/CAN Films 968316-968334.

Local Land Entries Issued by North Carolina

The original Jefferson 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 Jefferson County, both before and after it became a part of the state of Tennessee. Years covered: 1778-1796.

Instructions:

  1. Follow this link to conduct a "Call Number Search" using the MARS Catalog on their site.
  2. Using the pull down window, change "Call Numbers starting" to "A MarsID matching."
  3. Type 12.14.10 (Windows Vista users may need to include a period after the last digit, for example 12.14.10.) and click Search. This is the specific MarsID for Jefferson County.
  4. Click on the entry that is returned: "Tennessee, Jefferson County."
  5. In the window that pops up, click Show List of Child Records and a list of Jefferson County land entries will be produced. Browse to find abstracts of the original records.[15]

N.B. You can also search by name through the Basic Search, but it lacks soundex capabilities.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

  • Heritage Jefferson County. Restore Our County, Inc., 1976. Indexed by Billie R. McNamara, 1994. Free online index, courtesy: Jefferson County, Tennessee Genealogy & History website.

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Grainger CountyHamblen CountyCocke CountySevier CountyKnox CountyTN JEFFERSON.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources
  • 1776-1976 - Bauman, George A. and Patti Ann Bauman. Bicentennial Map, Jefferson County, Tennessee, 1776-1976: Compiled from Research and Data Obtained from the Old Map Section of the Tennessee State Archives Located at Nashville, Tennessee. (Tenn.: n.p.), 1976. FHL US/CAN Map Case 976.8924 E7b.
  • 1792 Reeves, Charles A. Knox & Jefferson Counties (Tennessee) - Created June 11, 1792 from Greene & Hawkins Counties. Published 2000. Purchase at ReevesMaps.com; website includes a scaled-down version of the map.
  • 1888 - Map of 1888 Jefferson County, Tennessee with numerous small settlements. (My Genealogy Hound)

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

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

Additional resources include:

  • Rejected or Suspended Applications for Revolutionary War Pensions. Washington, D.C., 1852. Reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1969, and 1991. Reprints include "an Added Index to States." Digital version at Ancestry ($). Tennessee entries abstracted online at Tennesseans in the Revolutionary War, courtesy: TNGenWeb. Includes veterans from this county; Tennessee section begins on page 381.
  • Rankin, Roy M. (compiled by) Dandridge Revolutionary War Cemetery May, 1996. Courtesy TNGenWeb

War of 1812

Civil War

Online Records

Regiments. Men in Jefferson County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (part of a large regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed in Jefferson County:

Confederate Soldiers

Union Soldiers

Additional sources for Civil War soldiers from Jefferson County:

Civil War Battle
The following Civil War Battles were fought in Jefferson County:

Map showing Civil War battles in Tennessee.

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

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 Jefferson County click on the following cities or towns:

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Prisons[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Genealogical periodicals can contain unique sources and can be local, regional, or statewide. The following periodicals cover this county:

  • Jefferson County Genealogical Society Journal: The Family History Library has Volume 10, no. 2- 4 (1994) FHL US/CAN Book 976.8924 B2n
    Index available at PERiodical Source Index (1986-2007)

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

The original Jefferson County Will Books are held at the County Archives. In the 1970s, TSLA microfilmed Will Books 1 to 10 (1792-1921) and Index to Wills and Probate (1792-1921). FHL copies: FHL Films 968311-968315.

Online Records and Indexes

Book Abstracts and Indexes

  • 1792-1826 - Douthat, James L. Jefferson County, Tennessee Will Book ... Will Books 1 and 2 (1792-1826). 2 vols. Signal Mountain, Tenn.: J.L. Douthat, (198-?). FHL Books 976.8924 P2d.
  • 1792-1861 - Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Index to Tennessee Wills & Administrations 1779-1861. Nashville, Tenn. Byron Sistler & Associates, Inc., 1990. FHL Book 976.8 P22s. Includes an index to this county's probate records. Free Lookups Available!
  • 1792-1971 - Hinchey, Lura B., Pat McMurtery and Jefferson County Archives. Jefferson County, Tennessee http://www.digginbones.com/free-lookups.php Will Index 1792-1971. Dandridge, Tenn.: Jefferson County Archives, 1999. FHL Book 976.8924 P22j.
  • 1804-1851 - Bell, Annie W.B. Jefferson County, Tennessee Wills: pt. 1, 1804-1851; pt. 2, 1808-1848. 1935. FHL Book 976.8924 P2b.
  • 1826-1840 - Prevost, Toni Jollay. Jefferson County, Tennessee, Will Books and Sale Books Will Books 3 and 4 (1826-1840). 2 vols. Signal Mountain, Tenn.: Mountain Press, 1989. FHL Book 976.8924 P2p.

School Records[edit | edit source]

Schools & Education
For information about local schools & education, including student records, visit the Jefferson County, Tennessee Genealogy & History site.

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

The original Jefferson County Tax Books 1822-1888 are held at the County Archives. In the 1970s, TSLA microfilmed these records. FHL copies: FHL US/CAN Films 968340-968342.

Book Abstracts and Indexes

  • 1800 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 1800 tax list.
  • 1800, 1822 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 1800, 1822 tax lists.
  • 1800, 1822 Curtis, Mary Barnett. Early East Tennessee Tax Lists. Fort Worth, Texas: Arrow Printing Company, 1964. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 R4c. Includes 1800 and 1822 tax lists.
  • 1800 Jefferson County, Tennessee, 1800 Tax List. n.p.: n.p., n.d. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8924 R4j.
  • 1801 "Tax Payers, 1801," East Tennessee Historical Society Publications, Issue 28 (1956).
  • 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 Jefferson. Includes Jefferson 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 Jefferson. Includes Jefferson County.
  • 1822-1830 - Historical Records Project. Tax List, 1822-1830, Jefferson County, Tennessee. Typescript, TSLA, Nashville, Tenn. FHL US/CAN Film 24710 Item 3.
  • 1836 Douthat, James L. Jefferson County, Tennessee, 1836 Tennessee Civil Districts and Tax List. Signal Mountain, Tenn.: Mountain Press, 1993. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8924 R4d; online: index and purchase details.
  • 1836 Tax List, 1836, Jefferson County Genealogical Society Journal, Vol. 9, No. 2 (Summer 1993); Vol. 9, No. 3 (Fall 1993).
  • 1836 - Paessler, Frank and Jane Paessler. "Jefferson County Map" and "Jefferson County Tax List, 1836," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 42, No. 4 (Winter 1995):156-164. For possible FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Jefferson.
  • 1859-1860 - Tax List, 1859, 1860, Hamblen Heritage, Vol. 10, No. 2 (Spring 1995).
  • 1861 "Tax Delinquents, 1861," Jefferson County Genealogical Society Journal, Vol. 16, No. 3 (Fall 2000).
  • 1861 McNamara, Billie R. Jefferson County, Tennessee, List of Free White Males, January 1, 1861. Knoxville, Tenn.: B.R. McNamara, 1995. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8924 N48m.
  • 1861 - "Jefferson County, TN, Free White Males in 1861,"index by Billie R. McNamara available online, courtesy: Jefferson County, Tennessee Genealogy & History. Source: record book of voters in County Courthouse.
  • c1861-1867 - "Poll Tax Document, c. 1861-1867," Jefferson County Genealogical Society Journal, Vol. 21, No. 2 (Aug. 2005).
  • 1865 "List of Persons Not Home for Tax, 1865," Jefferson County Genealogical Society Journal, Vol. 18, No. 1 (Spring 2002).
  • 1867-1869 - "Constable Report of Poll Taxpayers in Arrears, District 8, 1867, 1868, 1869," Jefferson County Genealogical Society Journal, Vol. 20, No. 1 (Apr. 2004).
  • 1878-1879 - "Poll Tax Exempts, 1878-79, Minute Book 19," Jefferson County Genealogical Society Journal, Vol. 4, No. 4 (1989).
  • 1879 Released from Poll Tax, 1879, Jefferson County Genealogical Society Journal, Vol. 4, No. 2 (Jun. 1989).
  • 1885 Tax Collection Places, 1885, Jefferson County Genealogical Society Journal, Vol. 14, No. 2 (Summer 1998).

For missing years, alternative resource to consider is "Tennessee Legislative Petitions".

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Birth[edit | edit source]

For births of illegitimate children, try searching the following records:

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Online indexes and Records

Book Abstracts and Indexes

  • 1792-1836 - Marriages of Jefferson County, Tennessee, 1792-1836 FHL Book 976.8924 V2w. Abstracts names of brides, grooms, a date associated with the marriage.
  • 1792-1848 - Jefferson County, Tennessee Marriages, 1792-1848 FHL Film 908351 Item 3.
  • 1792-1870 - Jefferson County, Tennessee Marriage Records, 1792-1870 FHL Book 976.8924 V2d.
  • 1792-1870 - Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Early East Tennessee Marriages. FHL US/CAN 976.8 V2s v. 1. Indexes names of brides, grooms, and marriage dates for weddings in this county for specified years. Free Lookups Available!
  • 1792-1900 - Jefferson County, Tennessee Marriage Records. (1792-1900) 2 vols. FHL Book 976.8924 V22j 1792-1860. Abstracts, brides, grooms, bondsmen, officiators, as well as dates of bond, license, and marriage.

Death[edit | edit source]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Listed below are archives in Jefferson County. For state-wide archival repositories, see Tennessee Archives and Libraries.

  • Jefferson County Museum and Archives
    202 West Main Street
    PO Box 1194
    Dandridge, TN 37725
    Phone: 865-397-4904
    website
    Located in the courthouse Room 203.

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Libraries

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Listed below are libraries in Jefferson County. For state-wide library facilities, see Tennessee Archives and Libraries.

Jefferson City Public Library
1427 Russell Avenue
Jefferson City, TN 37760-2527
Phone: 865-475-1253
Fax: 865-475-1253
Website

Museums[edit | edit source]

Jefferson County Museum and Archives
202 West Main St.
Dandridge, TN 37725
Phone: 865-397-4904
Located in the courthouse
Website

Societies[edit | edit source]

Listed below are societies in Jefferson County. For state-wide genealogical societies, see Tennessee Societies.
Jefferson County Genealogical Society
P. O. Box 874
Jefferson City, TN 38562
website

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

Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Tennessee.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Jefferson, Tennessee" in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_County,_Tennessee accessed 24 Dec 2018
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Tennessee.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. Voice of Lynnae Weller, Kingsport, Tenn. (2010).
  5. Voice of Gene Black, FamilySearch employee, former resident of Bristol, Tenn. (2010).
  6. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Tennessee.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  7. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Tennessee.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  8. Wikipedia contributors, "Jefferson County, Tennessee," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_County,_Tennessee, accessed 24 November 2019.
  9. “State of Franklin” in The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Robert M. McBride, "Lost Counties of Tennessee," East Tennessee Historical Society's Publications 38 (1966): 4-5.
  11. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Tennessee.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  12. 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].
  13. 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 ($)
  14. "Original Virginia Records Imaged and Indexed Online," Arlene Eakle's Virginia Genealogy Blog, 12 October 2008.
  15. J. Mark Lowe, "The Land Grant Processes of North Carolina and Tennessee," Lecture, Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference, Knoxville, Tenn., August 21, 2010.
  16. Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State
  17. Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State
  18. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/d/d3/Igitennesseef.pdf.