Friday, September 25, 2009

Greene County History and Genealogy

The present Greene County, Tennessee, located to the southeast of Hawkins County, was organized in 1783. Eleven years earlier, Jacob Brown, a merchant, with several families from North Carolina, tentatively settled on the banks of the Nolachuckey River. He secured a lease on a large tract of land from the Cherokees. Three years later, in March, 1775, an indenture was signed between Jacob Brown and the Cherokee chiefs which gave Brown title to some of the best lands on both sides of the river.

In 1776, the settlers of Watauga and Nolachucky petitioned the protection of North Carolina. The area then became The District of Washington. A year later, the District became Washington County, essentially the entire state of Tennessee.

In 1778, the first Washington County Court was convened. Between 1778 and 1783, a number of settlers came into the area.

Greene County and Greeneville were named in honor of General Nathanael Greene, a Rhode Islander who was credited with outstanding military ability. He played an important role in the American victory over the British in the South during the Revolutionary War. After the war, in 1785, the state of North Carolina granted General Greene a 25,000 acre land grant which encompassed a part of Greene County. That grant is the first recorded deed in the County.

In 1784, North Carolina ceded western lands to the Federal Government. The State of Franklin was organized, with John Sevier as the Governor, and the following year Greeneville became the capital of this short lived political entity. Four years later, the State of Franklin collapsed, and Greene County once again became a part of North Carolina.

The following year, 1789, North Carolina again ceded western lands, and in 1790 Greene County became a part of the Territory of the United States South of the Ohio River.

To visit Greene County's USGenWeb site: Click Here.

To visit a Greene County genealogical site: Click Here.

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