Watauga Settlers in Early Tennessee

The initial deed executed for and in behalf of the Wataugans was awarded to Charles Robertson as trustee for the whole group of settlers–and we don’t have the full list of names. Not all of them are recorded in entries, patents, and deeds in 1775. Some of the settlers’ names come from depositions of persons who were present at the treaty negotiations with the Cherokees, taken in 1777-78 when the claim of the Transylvania Company was presented to the House of Burgesses of Virginia. Depositions from James and Charles Robertson appear in the Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. I: pp. 286 and 293.

The names of 56 Watauga settlers can be found on pp. 405-06 footnote 9, Samuel Cole Williams, Dawn of Tennessee Valley and Tennessee History. Johnson TN: The Watauga Press, 1937.

What seems interesting to me is the length of time it took from initial forays into the Tennessee country about 1753 through 1775 when the settlers began negotiations for title. Claims to lands were made all during this time. Assignments of actual title came much later–with some of the initial parties gone and their heirs took the ownership.

In these cases, you actually receive a genealogy bonus: relationships to persons entering claims. Your favorite Tennessee genealogist, Arlene Eakle  http://arleneeakle.com

PS I am still compiling a source and records list for early Tennessee settlement, including the names of those settlers who pre-date 1800. Stay tuned as details become available.

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