Tennessee Goodmans

Tennessee was originally part of western NC. However, due to uncertainties of boundaries, parts of NE Tennessee (Washington County / Watauga area) were thought by some of the earliest settlers to be part of VA. Settlers of early Tennessee came south down the “Great Wagon Road” from PA and VA, and west across NC, as a natural western expansion of that state’s population. The proximity of the Cumberland Gap and development of that route made E. TN a natural staging area for many of the early KY pioneers.

Tennessee County Formation

Partial List, primarily counties Goodmans were found in from 1780s to 1850s.

The first East Tennessee county, in 1772, then part of North Carolina, was Washington, soon followed by Sullivan, then Greene, then Hawkins between 1773 and 1788. The State of Franklin, during its short life, had created several other new counties, but the boundaries were uncertain, and those counties were abolished at the same time as the State of Franklin in 1790, when Tennessee was officially split from North Carolina.

During the same period, the original one county of Middle Tennessee, Davidson, was divided to form Tennessee, Davidson and Sumner.

in 1792, Knox and Jefferson were formed from various western parts of Greene and Hawkins.

In 1794, Sevier was formed from the southern part of Jefferson.

In 1795, the small county of Blount was formed from the southeast corner of Knoxx, just south of Sevier. Also in 1795, Davidson and Sumner were expanded south into what had been Indian Territory.

In 1797, Cocke was formed from the south eastern part of Jefferson.

in 1798, Grainger, Knox and Blount were expanded west and south into what had been Indian Territory.

In 1799, Wilson and Smith were created from parts of Sumner, and Williamson was created from the southern part of Davidson.

In 1801, Jackson was created from the eastern part of Smith.

1803 marked a major expansion into Indian lands, primarily by expansion of counties bordering those lands, plus creation of Rutherford from Wilson.

In 1806, White was created from parts of Jackson and Smith, Campbell from Anderson and Claiborne, Overton from Jackson, and Sevier gained part of eastern Blount.

In 1807, several new counties were created from the counties that had expanded into Indian lands in 1803, including Hickman and Maury.

1819 to 1820 marked another major expansion into the last of the Indian lands.

in 1821, the boundary between Tennessee and Kentucky, which had been in question, was finally resolved, mostly in favor of Tennessee.

While many more Tennessee counties were formed and boundaries adjusted, the only significant changes for tracking most of the Goodman families in Tennessee that I am researching was the creation of Lewis from southwest Maury and southern Hickman in 1843, and various adjustments and losses to the boundaries if White from 1836 through 1755.

Goodman and Related Family Records in East Tennessee

The following links document some Goodman families in various Tennessee regions and counties. In order to better reflect the earliest lines and relationships, the several early E. TN counties of Washington, Greene, Sevier and Blount, are contained in the East Tennessee section. While the ancestry of many these early TN Goodmans is well proven, it is impossible to determine with certainty the origins of some others.

See Also: Nancy Goodman’s pages on Tennessee Goodmans on RootsWeb


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