Ronald Bremer emphasized the importance of the Tennessee entry-taker every time I heard him speak and in various notes to me over the years. This local government official recorded some of the very earliest mentions of your ancestor and his intentions to settle in Tennessee.
And interestingly enough, these records have often survived courthouse fires which have plagued your Tennessee genealogy research.
George and Juanita Fox have now supplied us with a ton of early entries–
- Surveyor Entry Book: District South of the French Broad and Holston, State of Tennessee, 1807–Blount, Cocke, Jefferson, Knox, Sevier Counties. 2004. Over 2,300 people with surveys between 1806-1812.
- Lists of Lands, District of French Broad and Holston , State of Tennessee, 1806-1812: Blount, Cocke, Jefferson, Knox, Sevier Counties. 2002. Includes 4 early lists, including a Treasurer’s list of installment payments!
These are two of the six books compiled between 2002 and 2005 by George and Juanita Fox on Sevier County and the District South of French Broad and Holston. District records that many genealogists do not know about, nor know how to find!
Each volume includes a newly-drawn map of eastern Tennessee waterways in 1807. With a list of those watercourses that have changed names. With these two pages in hand, you can match the actual locations, where your ancestors located, to a modern-day atlas.
District boundaries are described, so you know which parts of counties are included within the jurisdiction. And a brief history of the whole area is especially useful because it is tied to the records themselves.
Check out the website above, for a great example of how these important works can be used. I’m thinking genealogy research in the area of old Sevier County Tennessee will never be the same.
New and used copies of these books are listed on Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Sevier-County-Tennessee-surveyor-1824-1902/dp/B0006S3D14
Your favorite Tennessee genealogist, Arlene Eakle http://arleneeakle.com