Tennessee Counties Originally in North Carolina

Map of Tennessee from 1790

District of Washington

On August 22, 1776, the inhabitants living along the Watauga, Holston, and Nolachucky Rivers petitioned the Council of Safety saying that since they “are within the Bounds of this State” they wanted to be officially annexed to North Carolina, and wanted to be allowed to set up courts and to elect their representatives in the General Assembly.  This petition was favorably acted upon and their representatives took their seats in the Provincial Congress at Halifax on November 19, 1776.

North Carolina ceded its western lands to the United States in 1789; Congress accepted the lands in 1790 and created the Territory South of the River Ohio.

In 1796 Tennessee County gave its name to the new state of Tennessee. The new state thereupon divided the territory formerly occupied by Tennessee County into Montgomery and Robertson Counties.

Counties by Date

Year County Name Parent County
1777 Washington District of Washington
1779 Sullivan Washington
1783 Davidson Washington
1783 Greene Washington
1787 Hawkins Sullivan
1787 Sumner Davidson
1788 Tennessee Davidson

 

Looking for records from one of these counties?

Many extant records remain in the custody of the courthouse of the county in which they were created. Records of Tennessee County are filed with Montgomery County. The Tennessee State Library and Archives also holds many county records.

For information on Tennessee records held by the North Carolina Office of Archives and History, see Records Relating to Tennessee in the State Archives of North Carolina (pdf).