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Spencer County, Tennessee Genealogy

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Spencer County was created as part of the abortive, short-lived State of Franklin in March 1786.[1] It was created out of parts of Greene and Sullivan counties, and seems to have included at least the present area of Hawkins County. It was probably named after Samuel Spencer, a judge in North Carolina.[2]The Franklin statehood effort collapsed by 1789. This county existed only briefly, its legality is questionable, and little trace remains.

In 1786 the North Carolina legislature reconstituted a parallel-county of Franklin's Spencer County and called it Hawkins County. It was known by both county names while Frankln's statehood efforts lasted.[2] Now the land on which the lost county of Spencer County was located is known as Hawkins County, Tennessee. By the 1790 census of the Southwest Territory (proto-Tennessee) the County of Hawkins also included parts of modern Clayborne, Hancock, Union, Grainger, Hamblen, Anderson, Knox, Jeffeerson, Roane, and Loudon counties.[3]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

"Map of Tennessee County Formations 1777-1985" may be viewed for free at the Mapgeeks.org website. They rely on AniMap 3.0 software.

In 1796 the land of former Spencer County, then Hawkins County became part of the new State of Tennessee.

8FranklinCounties.png


Sources[edit | edit source]

  1. “State of Franklin” in The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture at http://tennesseeencyclopedia.net/imagegallery.php?EntryID=F061 (accessed 27 June 2010).
  2. 2.0 2.1 Robert M. McBride, "Lost Counties of Tennessee," East Tennessee Historical Society's Publications 38 (1966): 4-6.
  3. William Thorndale, and William Dollarhide, Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790-1920 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publ., 1987), 314.