Our recent ancestors enjoyed life for the most part in
Sullivan County and Carter County, Tennessee. They took pleasure in the rich, fertile soil of the valleys, the
abundance of streams, rivers, lakes and forests along with the majesty of the Appalachian mountains.
SULLIVAN COUNTY, TN
lies on the Virginia border immediately
west of Johnson County and is separated
by Holston Mountain.
It was established in 1779 (then still NC), primarily from
Washington Co., TN (then NC), although part of Sullivan Co., including the "North of Holston"
and Carter Valley Settlements, was considered part of Virginia and Tennesseans were taxed by Fincastle, Montgomery and Washington
Counties, VA rather than by NC. In 1784, the ill-fated State of Franklin was created (records now mostly lost and/or duplicated
in TN county records) and, in 1787, Hawkins County was created from the majority of Sullivan's
territory (and, then some). In 1790, NC ceded it's "western lands" and TN became part of the "Territory South of the
Ohio River" which it remained until 1796 and statehood. Sullivan Co. remained generally the
same land from 1787 to the present time. Sullivan County
is due west of Johnson Co. and is Tennessee's
sixth largest county in population created in 1779 from Washington Country with it's county seat located in Blountville.
The county is named in honor of John Sullivan (1740 - 1795) who was a Revolutionary War Officer, member of the Continental
Congress, attorney general, legislator, U.S. district judge and governor
of New Hampshire. The ridgeline of Holston Mountain
is defined as the border between Sullivan County and Carter County.
CARTER COUNTY, TN
is located in the Northeastern area of the state it is bound on the north by
Sullivan Co., on the east by Johnson Co., on the south by Unicoi
Co. & the North Carolina state line and on the
west by Washington Co., TN. Washington Co. originally came under the
jurisdiction of North Carolina. In 1772, settlers living south of the Holston
River on the Watauga & Nolichucky Rivers within the boundaries of the North Carolina colony organized the Watauga Association giving America it's first written constitutional majority rule system. In 1775, the Wataugan's changed their name to "Washington District".
The main settlements in the Washington District were Watauga, Carter's Valley and Nolichucky. The settlers petitioned for annexation with North
Carolina. In 1777, the North Carolina
legislature changed the name of Washington District to Washington Co.,
NC. Included within the boundaries of the county, was most of present-day Tennessee. Carter Co. was formed from Washington Co. In January 1796, delegates met at Knoxville
for a constitutional convention. The Tennessee General Assembly organized Carter
Co. from Washington Co.
on April 9, 1796, before Tennessee was officially
a state. On June 1, 1796, President George Washington signed the bill admitting Tennessee
to the Union as the sixteenth state. Carter
Co. was named for Landon Carter, Chairman of the Court as defined by
the articles of the Petition of the Watauga Association. Elizabethton, the county seat, was named for Elizabeth McLin
Carter, wife of Landon Carter. Carter
Co. is the parent county of two other Tennessee
counties. Johnson Co. was created from the northeastern
section in 1836. In 1875, Unicoi Co. was created by the separation of the southern area of
Carter Co. and the southeastern area of