Johnson County, Tennessee Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Mountain City
Organized: January 2, 1836
Parent County(s): Carter[1]
Neighboring Counties
Ashe (NC)  • Avery (NC)  • Carter  • Grayson (VA)  • Sullivan  • Washington (VA)  • Watauga (NC)
See County Maps
Courthouse
Johnson County, Tennessee Courthouse.JPG
Location Map
Location of Johnson County, Tennessee.PNG
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Thomas Johnson, an early settler. The County is located in the northeast area of the state. [2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Johnson County Courthouse
222 Main St.
Mountain City, TN 37683
Johnson County Courthouse Phone 423-727-7853
County Clerk Phone: 423-727-9633
Register of Deeds Phone: 423-727-7841
Circuit Court Clerk Phone: 423-727-9012
Clerk & Master Phone: 423-727-7853

County Clerk has marriage, land, court and probate records from 1836
Clerk Chancery Court has divorce and court records
Register of Deeds has land records.[3]

County Pronunciation

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

Johnson 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 1836 1908 1836 1836 1836 1810
Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1914. General compliance by 1927.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

  • Lack of marriage records: 1836 to 1837

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

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

  • 1836--Johnson County was created 2 January 1836 from Carter County.
  • County seat: Mountain City[7]

For animated maps illustrating Tennessee county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Tennessee County Boundary Maps" (1777-1985) may be viewed 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]

Towns
Unincorporated communities


History Timeline[edit | edit source]

  • 1784-1788 - Part of the pioneer Watauga Settlements.[9]
  • 1786- The land on which Johnson County was located was part of older Washington County, North Carolina, and Wayne (old) County in the State of Franklin Genealogy in March 1786.[10]. The Franklin statehood effort collapsed by 1789. This county existed only briefly, its legality is questionable, and little trace remains. The records of Wayne (old) County are now found at Family Search and Tennessee County Facts
  • 1796 - The first county created by the new State of Tennessee was the reconstituted Wayne (old) County, only under the name of Carter County.
  • 1836 - The northeast part of Carter County was divided off as Johnson County. The land on which the lost county of Wayne (old) was located is now part of Johnson and Carter counties in Tennessee.


Additional Information

In the 1780s, this county's land fell within the bounds of the State of Franklin Genealogy

The county is named after "Thomas Johnson an early settler of Carter County along the Doe River."[11]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

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 Johnson County.

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Johnson 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.
1840 2,658
1850 3,705 39.4%
1860 5,018 35.4%
1870 5,852 16.6%
1880 7,766 32.7%
1890 8,858 14.1%
1900 10,589 19.5%
1910 13,191 24.6%
1920 12,230 −7.3%
1930 12,209 −0.2%
1940 12,998 6.5%
1950 12,278 −5.5%
1960 10,765 −12.3%
1970 11,569 7.5%
1980 13,745 18.8%
1990 13,766 0.2%
2000 17,499 27.1%
2010 18,244 4.3%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

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

1810-1891

1840

1840 Revolutionary War Pensioners

1850

1860

1870

1880

1890 Lost

Substitutes are available:

  • Reed, Sue S. Enumeration of Male Inhabitants of Twenty-one Years of Age and Upward, Citizens of Tennessee, January 1, 1891, as Provided for by an Act of General Assembly of Tennessee, Passed January 15, 1891, and Approved January 22, 1891. 8 vols. Houston, Texas: S.S. Reed, 1989. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 X2r v. 7 1891. Johnson County is included in Vol. 7.
  • Sistler, Byron H. and Barbara Sistler. 1890 Civil War Veterans Census, Tennessee. Evanston, Ill.: Byron Sister and Associates, 1978. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 X2s 1890.

1891 Male Voters

1900

1910

1920

Church Records[edit | edit source]

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]

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

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

General

As of August 2010, a query for persons born in Johnson County, Tennessee at World Connect, results in more than 45,000 entries.

  • Scott, Samuel W. History of the Thirteenth Regiment, Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry, U.S.A. Philadelphia: P.W. Ziegler, 1903. Available at FHL; digital versions at Heritage Quest Online ($); and Google Books (full view). Includes biographical sketches of some men from Johnson County.

Bibliography

  • Barry - Neal, Carl B. The Donnelly - Barry - Butler Families and Their Kinfolks of Johnson County, Tennessee. Olympia, Wash.: Neal, 1958. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 D718n.
  • Burkett - Treadway, William Eugene. Treadway and Burket Families: A Merger of the Genealogical Histories of the Treadway and Burket Families in America, through the Documented Ancestry of Jonas Robert Treadway. Topeka, KS: Unknown, 1951. Available at FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 T71; digital version at Heritage Quest Online ($).
  • Butler - Neal, Carl B. The Donnelly - Barry - Butler Families and Their Kinfolks of Johnson County, Tennessee. Olympia, Wash.: Neal, 1958. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 D718n.
  • Carter - Henry, John J. and Audrey Duffield Henry. A History of the Carter and Duffield Family of Carter Co. and Johnson Co. in East Tennessee: With Reference to the Virginia Carter Family and the East Tennessee Families of Taylor, Lowe and Stout. Oak Ridge, Tenn.: J.J. Henry, 2000. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 C245hj.
  • Cole - Cole, Redmond Selecman and Mary Cross Cole. The Coles of Johnson County, State of Tennessee: Being a Genealogical Sketch of the Family of Captain Jesse Cole of Shady, Tennessee, with Supplemental Data (in Part ll) Dealing with Kindred Families. Tulsa, Oklahoma: R. S. Cole, 1962. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 C674cr.
  • Donnelly - Neal, Carl B. The Donnelly - Barry - Butler Families and Their Kinfolks of Johnson County, Tennessee. Olympia, Wash.: Neal, 1958. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 D718n.
  • Duffield - Henry, John J. and Audrey Duffield Henry. A History of the Carter and Duffield Family of Carter Co. and Johnson Co. in East Tennessee: With Reference to the Virginia Carter Family and the East Tennessee Families of Taylor, Lowe and Stout. Oak Ridge, Tenn.: J.J. Henry, 2000. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 C245hj.
  • Dugger - Rowan, Frances Dugger. The Dugger Family: Johnson County, Tennessee. Johnson City, Tenn.: F.D. Rowan, 1995. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 D879r.
  • McQueen - Neal, Carl B. The McQueen Family of Johnson Co., Tenn. Olympia, Wash.: C.B. Neal, 1958?. FHL US/CAN Fiche 6019177.
  • Rosenbaum, Rosenbalm - Canfield, Clifford R. The Rosenbaum, Rosenbalm Family of Southwest Virginia. Frankfurt, Germany: C.R. Canfield?, 1963. Available at FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 R723c; digital version at Ancestry ($); and Heritage Quest Online ($).
  • Shoun - Neal, Carl B. Leonard Shoun and His Wife, Barbara Slemp Shoun, of Johnson County, Tennessee, and Their Descendants. Olympia, Wash.: Mrs. D. L. Shultz, 1957. FHL US/CAN Film 1033959 Item 7.
  • Shoun - Neal, Carl B. Leonard Shoun and His Wife Barbara Slemp of Johnson County, Tennessee, and Their Descendants. Johnson City, Tenn.: The Overmountain Press, 1985. 1985 reprint includes index.
  • Stephens - Stephens, Dan V. Peter Stephens and Some of his Descendants, 1690-1935. Fremont, Neb,: Hammond & Stephens Co., 1936. Available at FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 St44; digital version at Heritage Quest Online ($).
  • Treadway - Treadway, William Eugene. Treadway and Burket Families: A Merger of the Genealogical Histories of the Treadway and Burket Families in America, through the Documented Ancestry of Jonas Robert Treadway. Topeka, KS: Unknown, 1951. Available at FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 T71; digital version at Heritage Quest Online ($).
  • Wagner - Foy, Helen Marie Crane and Joe Wagner. David Wagner (1759-1845) of Johnson Co[unty], Tennessee. Typescript. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 W125f.
  • Wagner - Foy, Helen Marie Crane and Joe Wagner. Mathias Wagner (1765-1835) of Johnson Co[unty], Tennessee. Typescript. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 W125fh.
  • Wills - Neal, Carl B. The Wills Family of Johnson County, Tennessee. Olympia, Wash.: [J. Kvatum?], 1960. FHL FAM HIST Book 929.273 W685a.

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

TSLA microfilmed original Johnson County Deed Books 1 to 14, and 19 (1836-1891, 1897-1900) and Index to Deeds (1836-1910). FHL copies: FHL US/CAN Films 944470-944477.

Book Abstracts and Indexes

  • Hougland, Margaret W. Hougland's Index to Johnson County, Tennessee Deeds, 1836-1865. Baltimore, Md.: Gateway Press, 2005. FHL US/CAN Book 976.899 R22h. [Indexes Deed Books 1 to 4.]

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

  • Calhoun, Russ Sr. Lost Heritage. The People of Old Butler, Tennessee and the Watauga Valley. Johnson City TN: Overmountain Press, 1998. A documentation of the community, institutions and families displaced or otherwise affected by the Tennessee Valley Authority Watauga Reservoir.
  • Johnson County Historical Society. History of Johnson County, 1986. Mountain City TN: Johnson County Historical Society, 1985.
  • Johnson County Historical Society. History of Johnson County, 2000, Vol II. Mountain City TN: Johnson County Historical Society, 2000.

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Washington CountyAshe CountyWatauga CountyCarter CountySullivan CountyTN JOHNSON.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Early migration routes to and from Johnson County for European settlers included:[12]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War

War of 1812

Civil War

Online Records

Regiments. Men in Johnson 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 Johnson County:

Union Soldiers

Additional sources for Civil War soldiers from Johnson County:

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 Johnson County click on the following cities or towns:

  • 1794-1851 - Lucas, Silas Emmett. Marriages from Early Tennessee Newspapers 1794-1851. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1978. FHL 976.8 V2L.
  • 1847 - 1851 - Smith, Jonathan K.T. Genealogical Abstracts from Reported Deaths, the Nashville Christian Advocate. [1847-1914] 10 vols. [Jackson, Tenn.]: J.K.T. Smith, 1997-2003. FHL US/CAN Books 976.855/N1 V48s 1847-1851 ff; digital versions at David Donahue Memorial: Tennessee Records Repository. Website expands upon the publications and includes deaths from the 1830s, 1840s, 1910s and 1920s. (Largely Methodist?)

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:

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

The original Johnson County probate records are kept at the County Courthouse. They have been microfilmed twice:

Online Records and Indexes

Book Abstracts and Indexes

  • 1827-1867 - Historical Records Project. Will Books, 1827-1867, Johnson County, Tennessee. Typescript, Tennessee State Library and Archives. Microfilmed in 1940. FHL US/CAN Film 24717 Item 5. Includes administrations.
  • 1827-1860 - Douthat, James L. Johnson County, Tennessee Will Book #1, 1827-1860. Signal Mountain, Tenn.: James L. Douthat, 1982. FHL ;US/CAN Book 976.899 P29d.
  • 1836-1872 - Garland, E.E. Will Book No. One, 1836 to 1872, Johnson County, State of Tennessee. Typescript, 1929. FHL US/CAN Film 944469 Item 4.
  • 1836-1861 - Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Index to Tennessee Wills & Administrations 1779-1861. Nashville, Tenn. Byron Sistler & Associates, Inc., 1990. FHL US/CAN 976.8 P22s. Includes an index to this county's probate records. Free Lookups Available!

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

The TSLA microfilmed the original Johnson County Tax Books 1836-1889. FHL copies: FHL US/CAN Films 944480-944481.

Book Abstracts and Indexes

  • 1798-1798 Tax List, Carter County, East Tennessee Roots, Vol. 9, No. 4. For possible FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Carter. Includes digital images of the original source; includes taxpayers in what later became Johnson County.
  • 1836 Douthat, James L. Johnson County, Tennessee, 1836 Tennessee Civil District and Tax List. Signal Mountain, Tenn.: Mountain Press, 1993. FHL US/CAN Book 976.899 R42d; online: index and purchase details.
  • 1836 - West, Betsy F. "Johnson County, Tennessee Tax List-1836," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 25, No. 4 (Winter 1978):184-189. For FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Johnson.
  • 1836-1839 - Historical Records Project. Tax List, 1836-1839, Johnson County, Tennessee. Typescript, Tennessee State Library, Nashville, Tenn. FHL US/CAN Film 24717 Item 4.
  • 1836-1839 - Douthat, James L. Johnson County, Tennessee Tax List 1836-1839. Signal Mountain, Tenn.: Mountain Press. Free online surname index; purchase details.
  • 1840 See 1888.
  • 1843 "Johnson County Land To Be Sold for Unpaid 1843 Taxes," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 49, No. 4 (Winter 2002):15. For possible FHL and online access, as well as indexes, see Johnson.
  • 1861 - "Jefferson County, TN Voters List-1861," available online, courtesy: The Original Johnson County Tennessee Genealogy Page.
  • 1888 "Johnson Co. 1888 Voters Who Voted in 1840," available online, courtesy: The Original Johnson County Tennessee Genealogy Page.
  • 1891 "Johnson Co., TN List of Voters in 1891," available online, courtesy: The Original Johnson County Tennessee Genealogy Page.
  • 1922 "1922 Voters of Shouns, Tennessee, Johnson County," available online, courtesy: The Original Johnson County Tennessee Genealogy Page.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Online indexes and Records


Book Abstracts and Indexes

Death[edit | edit source]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Listed below are archives in Johnson County. For state-wide archival repositories, see Tennessee Archives and Libraries.
Archives of Appalachia
East Tennessee State University
Sherrod Library, 4th floor
P.O. Box 70295
Johnson City, TN 37614
Phone: 423-439-4338
Website

The Archives of Appalachia is a keeper of memories. Collect, preserve, and share the written words, sounds, and images of the people of Appalachia. House nearly 18 million manuscripts, 56,000 sound recordings, and 250,000 still and moving images.

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 Johnson County. For state-wide library facilities, see Tennessee Archives and Libraries.

Johnson County Public Library
219 North Church St.
P.O. Box 107
Mountain City, TN 37683
Phone: 423-727-6544
E-mail: licenhour1@wrlibrary.org
Website

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Listed below are societies in Johnson County. For state-wide genealogical societies, see Tennessee Societies.
Johnson County Historical Society
P.O. Box 1
Mountain City, TN 37683
Phone: 423-727-5800
Facebook

East Tennessee Historical Society
601 S. Gay Street
P.O. Box 1629
Knoxville, TN 37901-1629
Phone: 865-215-8824
Email: eths@east-tennessee-history.org
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, "Johnson, Tennessee" in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnson_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 Betty Jane Hylton, County Co-coordinator, Washington County, Tennessee TNGenWeb; Editor, Watauga Association of Genealogists Bulletin (2010).
  5. Voice of Lynnae Weller, Kingsport, 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, "Johnson County, Tennessee," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnson_County,_Tennessee, accessed 30 November 2019.
  9. J Mark Lowe, "The Land Grant Processes of North Carolina and Tennessee," Lecture, Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference, Knoxville, Tenn., August 21, 2010.
  10. “State of Franklin” in The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture.
  11. "List of counties in Tennessee," Wikipedia.
  12. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Tennessee.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  13. 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.