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Bledsoe County, Tennessee
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Facts
Founded: November 6, 1801
County Seat Pikeville
Courthouse
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United States  Gotoarrow.png  Tennessee  Gotoarrow.png  Bledsoe County East Tennessee county in the Sequatchie Valley. Established 1807.

Contents

Quick Dates

Bledsoe County's civil records start the following years:[1]

Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1908 1908 1908 1830 1808 1883

County Courthouse

Bledsoe County Courthouse, Pikeville, Tenn.
Bledsoe County Courthouse
116 Main St.
Pikeville, TN 37367
Phone: 1-423-447-6855


Bledsoe County Clerk
P.O. Box 212
116 Main St.
Pikeville, TN 37367
Phone: 1-423-447-2137
Marriage and probate records from 1908

Bledsoe County Register of Deeds
P.O. Box 385
116 Main St.
Pikeville, TN 37367
Phone: 1-423-447-2020
Land records

Hours:
Mon.-Fri.: 8 a.m.-4 p.m.(Closed Thurs.)
Sat.: 8 a.m. - noon  

History

The county is situated in the Sequatchie Valley

The county is named after early Sumner County, Tennessee settler and Revolutionary War veteran Anthony Bledsoe.[2]

Parent County

1807--Bledsoe County was created 30 November 1807 from Roane County.
County seat: Pikeville [3]

County Pronunciation

  1. Hear it spoken[4] (female)
  2. Hear it spoken[5] (male)

Boundary Changes

"Rotating Formation Tennessee County Boundary Maps" (1777-1985) may be viewed for free at the My Tennessee Genealogy website. They rely on AniMap 3.0 software.

Record Loss

1882, 1895, December 1909 -- Courthouse burned and many records were damaged.

  • Deeds and court records escaped the fires
  • The earliest deed books are lost
  • Pre-1884 wills are lost
  • Marriages recorded between 1807 and 1907 are lost
Fire.png
For further information on researching in burned counties, see the following:

Places / Localities

Populated Places 

For a list of locations in this county and information about each location online, through some helpful websites, please click on Populated Places Table for Bledsoe County

Neighboring Counties

Resources

Getting Started

Use the free Search for Surnames at Mountain Press's website to quickly search a variety of published Bledsoe County Bible, biography, census, church, court, genealogy, and military records. To determine which books are being searched, or to search each publication's index individually, click here. You are now equipped with a checklist of books to pull off the shelves at a genealogy library, or a wish list for your personal book collection.

Research Guides

African American

United States African Americans Gotoarrow.png Tennessee African Americans

Cemeteries

Tennessee cemetery records often identify birth, death, relationship, and military information, as well as religious affiliation. 



The Tennessee Cemeteries page provides explanations of the following Bledsoe County online resources:

Bibliographies Online Gravestone Transcriptions Cemetery Gazetteers
FHLC Find A Grave | national search | county index ePodunk
WorldCat TNGenWeb Cemetery Database  
  USGenWeb Tombstone Transcription Project  
  Interment  

Census

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1810 3,259
1820 4,005 22.9%
1830 4,648 16.1%
1840 5,676 22.1%
1850 5,959 5.0%
1860 4,459 −25.2%
1870 4,870 9.2%
1880 5,617 15.3%
1890 6,134 9.2%
1900 6,626 8.0%
1910 6,329 −4.5%
1920 7,218 14.0%
1930 7,128 −1.2%
1940 8,358 17.3%
1950 8,561 2.4%
1960 7,811 −8.8%
1970 7,643 −2.2%
1980 9,478 24.0%
1990 9,669 2.0%
2000 12,367 27.9%
Source: "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau.
1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 federal population censuses of Bledsoe County are available online. For tips on accessing census records online, see Tennessee Census. If you're having trouble finding your ancestors in online indexes, try checking printed indexes. Created by local experts familiar with the area's families, these indexes are often transcribed more accurately than nationwide online indexes.

See Tennessee Population Schedule Indexes: Fiche, Film, or Book for more information about statewide printed indexes.

See Bledsoe County, TN census assignments, including links to transcribed files. [The USGenWeb Census Project®]

1810 - Lost, but a substitute is available:

  • Sherrill, Charles A. The Reconstructed 1810 Census of Tennessee: 33,000 Long-lost Records from Tax Lists, Court Minutes, Church Records, Wills, Deeds and Other Sources. Mt. Juliet, Tenn.: C.A. Sherrill, 2001. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 X2s 1810.

1820 - Lost[6]

1820 Manufactures

The original manufactures schedules for the Eastern and Western Districts of Tennessee are kept at the NARA, Washington, D.C. FHL copies: FHL US/CAN Films 1024517-1024518.

The following book is a useful aid for finding the original records. A free online index, provided by Lineages, will help researchers determine if this resource can be of assistance:

  • National Archives. Indexes to Manufactures Census of 1820. 1920; reprint, Knightstown, Ind.: Bookmark, 1977. FHL US/CAN Book 973 X2m 1820; digital version at Lineages. [Covers this county.]

1830

1840

1840 Revolutionary War Pensioners

1850

  • Hutcherson, Willis. Population Schedule of the United States Census of 1850 for Bledsoe County, Tennessee. Knoxville, Tenn.: Clinchdale Press, 1963. FHL US/CAN Book 976.876 X2h 1850.
  • Ries, Nancy. "Bledsoe County, TN - 1850 U.S. Census," [9 parts] available online, courtesy: USGenWeb Archives.

1860

  • Hobbs, Norma Dennis and Sara Agee Goins. United States Census Bledsoe County, Tennessee, 1860. Dunlap, Tenn.: N. Hobbs and S. Goins, 1986. FHL US/CAN Book 976.876 X2h 1860.

1870

The 1870 population schedules of Bledsoe County have been abstracted and/or indexed multiple times:

1880

  • Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. 1880 Census - Tennessee: Transcription for Bledsoe County. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 198-?. FHL US/CAN Book 976.876 X2s 1880.

1910

1920

  • Goins, Sara Agee and Norma Dennis Hobbs. United States Census, Bledsoe County, Tennessee, 1920. Dunlap, Tenn.: Goins and Hobbs Geneal. Service, 1994. FHL US/CAN Book 976.876 X2g 1920.

Church

Church records include baptisms, marriages and burials, as well as information about family members and clues about family migration.  For additional information about church records, religions, and religious archives in Tennessee, see Tennessee Church Records.

  • Bledsoe County Church Records
- Family History Library Catalog - Bledsoe County Church Records
  • Church histories tell when a church started in the area, who the early members were, give data about church leaders, etc.
- Family History Library Catalog - Bledsoe County Church History
  • If the records you need are not through the Family History Library, contact the church(es) in the area where your ancestor lived.  Two sites that give information about churches in Bledsoe County are:
- List of Bledsoe County churches with addresses and phone numbers (Yellowbook)
- List of Bledsoe County churches (TN HomeTownLocator)


  • In 1936, a helpful guide to early Bledsoe County church records was published by the Works Project Administration. [7]Use this guide to locate which church records exist and where they were housed in 1936. The Tennessee State Library and Archives has filmed some of these records. To locate which records are available at the TSLA, go to the appropriate "county fact sheet" on the TSLA Web site and scroll down to "selected manuscript material". All filmed church records at the TSLA for Bledsoe county are listed.

Methodist

Court

DNA

DNA Double Helix.png
DNA has been collected from men claiming descent from the following Bledsoe County residents. Attempts have not been made to verify the lineages of those tested.

Family Histories

It is anticipated that this bibliography will eventually identify all known family histories published about residents of this county. Use this list to:

  • Locate publications about direct ancestors
  • Find the most updated accounts of an ancestor's family
  • Identify publications, to quote Elizabeth Shown Mills, about an ancestor's "FAN Club" [Friends, Associates, and Neighbors]

General

As of August 2010, a query for persons born in Bledsoe, Tennessee at World Connect, results in more than 25,000 entries.

  • Compendium of Local Biography, Bledsoe County, TN. Signal Mountain, Tenn.: Mountain Press, 1988?. FHL Collection 976.876 D3c
  • Douthat, James L. Sequatchie Families: Biographical Sketches of the Earlier Settlers of the Sequeatchie Valley of Tennessee. Signal Mountain, Tenn.: J.L. Douthat, 1983. FHL Collection 976.87 D3d

Bibliography

  • [Biard] Smith, Maud Biard. The Biard Family. Paris, Texas: M.B. Smith, 1954. FHL Collection 1033942 Item 8; digital version at Family History Archives.
  • [Blake] Johnson, Chester R. The Blakes of Bibb County, Alabama, 1819-1988. Cullman, Alabama: Gregath, 1988. FHL Collection 929.273 B581j
  • [Boyd] Boyd, R. Vernon. The Boyds of Sequatchie Valley, Tn. Typescript. Microfilmed reproduction: FHL Collection 1750733 Item 37; digital version at Family History Archives.
  • [Boyd] Boyd, R. Vernon. The Descendants of Major Elliot Hodge Boyd, Sr., 1795-1865. Detroit, Mich.: R.V. Boyd, 1976. FHL Collection 982155 Item 7
  • [Fleming] Tuttle, Gertrude Fleming and Fred Miller Robinson. The Flemings of Bransford. Mount Pleasant, South Carolina: F.M. Robinson, 1994. FHL Collection 929.273 F629t; digital version at Family History Archives.
  • [Foster] Fletcher, Pauline Carlton. Ancestors of Ephram Hiram Foster. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: P. Fletcher, 1989. FHL Collection 929.273 F811fo
  • [Hale] Lynch, Muriel Nadine Hale. Spanning the Centures with the Hale Family. 3 vols. Independence, Missouri: M. Lynch, 1990; Kansas City, Missouri: MNL Publishers, 1999. FHL Collection 929.273 H13L v. 1
  • [Lamb] Mohon, James L. Lamb and Allied Famlies of the Sequatchie Valley. Baltimore, Md.: Gateway Press, 1996. FHL Collection 929.273 L 165m; Free lookups available! Other surnames include: Anderson, Carmack, Boyd, Rains and Standifer.
  • [McReynolds] McReynolds, Claud F. A Branch of the McReynolds Clan, Descendants of John McReynolds, Born about the Year 1665 in Scotland. Fredericksburg, Texas: C.F. McReynolds, 1978?. FHL Collection 929.273 M246a
  • [Parker] Stewart, Mildred Beth Wise. Descendants of Hezekiah V. Parker, Sr. and Mary Ann Smith Parker. Fairborn, Ohio: M.B. Stewart, 1988. FHL Collection 929.273 P223s
  • [Rothwell] Fischer, Myra Smith. A Rothwell Book. Memphis, TN: M.S. Fischer, 1964. FHL Collection 929.273 R746f; digital version at Heritage Quest Online ($).
  • [Stone] Smith, Maud Biard. The Biard Family. Paris, Texas: M.B. Smith, 1954. FHL Collection 1033942 Item 8; digital version at Family History Archives.
  • [Swafford] Swofford, Ray C. Swaffords of Sequatchie Valley, Tennessee. Houston, Texas: R.C. Swofford, 1978. FHL Collection 1036306 Item 1
  • [Thomas] Copy of Summary Sheet, Thomas, John, W 876. Typescript. Microfilmed reproduction: FHL Collection 165997
  • [Walker] Bowman, G. Ralph. Some Descendants of Captain George Walker, 1745-1833: of Fauquier, Virginia; Burke County, North Carolina; Knox, Rhea & Bledsoe Counties, Tenn. n.p.: G.R. Bowman, 1978, 2004. FHL Collection 929.273 W152bg; digital version at Family History Archives
  • [Welch] Welch, June Rayfield. A Family History: The Ancestry of Ransom Frank Welch and Susan Curtis Welch. Dallas, Texas: J.R. Welch, 1966. FHL Collection 929.273 W442f

Immigration

During the War of 1812, American officials reported finding 2 British aliens living in Bledsoe County.[8]

Land

The original Bledsoe Deed Books are held at the County Courthouse. In 1969, the TSLA microfilmed Deed Books A to R (1808 to 1885) and indexes. Copies of their microfilms are also available at the Family History Library: FHL US/CAN Films 593009-593015.

The organization Strictly By Name provides free online indexes to early Bledsoe County land records. They offer a record retrieval service to photocopy and transcribe microfilm copies of the original documents for a small fee. Here are the indexes:

  1. Deeds Vol. A: 1808-1811
  2. Deeds Vol. B: 1812-1817
  3. Deeds Vol. C: 1817-1821
  4. Deeds Vol. D: 1821-1826

Law and Legislation

  • Tennessee State Library and Archives, Acts of Tennessee 1796-1850: Index to Names. January 25, 2005. [In addition to creating new laws, legislative acts were often required to obtain a divorce, grant legitimacy to a child, or for appointments to or grant payments for public service.] The TSLA has created an index to names that appear in these acts covering the years 1796 to 1850. To read more about this valuable resource Click here. The searchable index is available at the TSLA; another version is available at World Vital Records.

Local Histories

  • Bledsoe County Historical and Genealogical Society. Bledsoe County, Tennessee: A Pictorial History. Humboldt, Tenn.: Rose Pub., 1998. FHL US/CAN Book 976.876 H2b.
  • Raulston, J. Leonard and James Weston Livingood. Sequatchie: A Story of the Southern Cumberlands. Knoxville, Tenn.: University of Tennessee Press, 1974. FHL US/CAN Book 976.87 H2r.

Maps

Military

Revolutionary War

The following Bledsoe County Revolutionary War records are available online through TNGenWeb:

  1. 1835 Pension Roll
  2. 1852 Rejected or Suspended Pensions

Additional resources include:

War of 1812

  • Embry, Hermione D. "War of 1812 - Tennessee Pensioners on List - January 2, 1883," Ansearchin' News, Vol. 7, No. 1 (Jan. 1960):13-16. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 B2a v. 7 (1960); digital version at journal website. [Includes Bledsoe County pensioners (p. 14).]
  • Regiments of TN Militia, 1808-15, Searcher, Vol. 1, No. 4 (Mar. 1990).

Civil War

Civil War service men from Bledsoe County served in various regiments. Men often joined a regiment or a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are the military units that were formed in or had many men from Bledsoe County.

Confederate Soldiers
Additional sources for Civil War soldiers from Bledsoe County:

Newspapers

Many Tennessee newspapers are filmed and available at the TSLA. Most of these newspapers may be accessed by interlibrary loan to libraries within Tennessee, although there are some newspapers which are not available in or outside of Tennessee. For further information regarding interlibrary loan policies and newspapers not available for interlibrary loan click here. For a list of newspapers available at the archives for Bledsoe County click on the following city:

Occupations

  • Miller, Alan N. East Tennessee's Forgotten Children: Apprentices from 1778 to 1911. Baltimore, Md.: Printed for Clearfield Company, Inc., by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 2000. FHL US/CAN 976.8 U2m. Digital version at World Vital Records ($). Purchase at Genealogical.com. [Includes Bledsoe County.]
  • Tennesse Bureau of Agriculture, Statistics and Mines. Coal Mines and Mining--Tennessee. Nashville, Tennessee: A.B. Travel, 1883. Free digital copy.

Periodicals

Tap into the minds of local experts. Editors of genealogical periodicals publish unique sources that researchers who are new to their area would not likely discover. This type of material may be found in local, regional, or statewide genealogical society journals. The following periodicals cover this county:

Ansearchin' News
Genealogical articles with abstracts of records of Bledsoe County, Tennessee have been published in Ansearchin' News, the quarterly magazine of the Tennessee Genealogical Society. To view a list of these articles, visit their county index. To read digitized versions of the first 36 years of articles (Vols. 1-36), browse their archive or conduct a surname search. The Family History Library has a complete collection of the Ansearchin' News quarterly FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 B2a.

Prisons

Learn if your Bledsoe County ancestors went to prison!

Private Papers

Probate

Most of the original Bledsoe County Will Books were destroyed. Those that survive are held at the County Courthouse. In 1969, the TSLA microfilmed extant wills and inventories covering the years 1884 to 1931. A copy of their microfilm is also available at the Family History Library: FHL US/CAN Film 593008.

Taxation

TSLA microfilmed Bledsoe County Tax Books 1888-1889 (TSLA Roll 104).

The following Bledsoe County tax records have been indexed:[9]

  • [1815] Curtis, Mary Barnett. Early East Tennessee Tax Lists. Fort Worth, Texas: Arrow Printing Company, 1964. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 R4c. [Includes two 1815 petitions.]
  • [1815] Sistler, Byron and Barbara Sistler. Index to Early Tennessee Tax Lists. Evanston, Ill.: B. & B. Sistler, 1977. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 R4s. [Includes 1815 tax list.]
  • [1815] Robnett, Elizabeth Parham. "Bledsoe County, TN 1815 Tax List Alphabetically Arranged," 1989. Available online, courtesy: USGenWeb Archives.
  • [1836] Douthat, James L. Bledsoe County, Tennessee 1836 Tennessee Civil Districts and Tax Lists. Spring Mountain, Tenn.: Mountain Press, 1993. FHL US/CAN Book 976.876 R4d 1836; online: free surname index and publication details.
  • [1862] Tarriff of Fees, 1862, Tennessee Genealogy and History. Signal Mountain TN: Apr 1999. Vol. 3 Iss. 1.

Vital Records

Marriage

Bledsoe County's early marriage records were lost in courthouse fires. The following publication, based on early newspapers that survived such disasters, may serve as a substitute:

  • Lucas, Silas Emmett. Marriages from Early Tennessee Newspapers 1794-1851. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1978. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 V2L.
Divorce

In 1940 and 1941, W.P.A. workers pinpointed the location of Bledsoe County divorce papers in diverse manuscript collections, see:

  • W.P.A. Guide to Public Vital Statistics in Tennessee. Nashville, Tenn.: The Tennessee Historical Records Survey, 1941. FHL US/CAN Book 976.8 A3gp.
Death

For deaths of Methodists in Bledsoe County between the 1830s and the 1920s, try:

Societies and Libraries

Bledsoe County Historical & Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 465
Pikeville, TN 37367
Phone: 1-423-447-2817

East Tennessee Historical Society
601 S. Gay St.
P.O. Box 1629
Knoxville, TN 37901-1629
Phone: 1-865-215-8824
E-mail: eths@east-tennessee-history.org

Bledsoe County Public Library
478 Cumberland Ave/
P.O. Box 465
Pikeville, TN 37367
Phone: 1-423-447-2817
Hours:
Mon., Tues., Wed., Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Thurs. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sat. 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
"The Bledsoe County Public Library is recognized by the TSLA as the Bledsoe County Archives and Historical Records Repository." Genealogical resources include family histories, the Cherokee and Melungeon books and files, the Soldiers’ Pension Lists of 1792-1795, 1812, 1820 and 1890 as well as research materials for the Sequatchie Valley and adjoining counties.(per website) To see the library collection, see the genealogy page of the Bledsoe County Library website. 

Family History Centers

Web Sites

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject: Bledsoe County, Tennessee

References

  1. Guide to Public Vital Statistics in Tennessee. Nashville, Tenn.: The Tennessee Historical Records Survey (W.P.A.), 1941; "Earliest County Records," Tennessee State Library and Archives.
  2. "List of counties in Tennessee," Wikipedia.
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002), 638. (FHL Collection Ref Book 973 D27e 2002). WorldCat entry.
  4. Voice of Lynnae Weller, Kingsport, Tenn. (2010).
  5. Voice of Louise Lynch, Archivist, Williamson County, Tennessee Archives (2010).
  6. Mary Barnett Curtis, Early East Tennessee Tax Lists: a compiled list of residents of the area covered in 22 east Tennessee counties for which there is (sic) no census records prior to 1830 (Fort Worth, Texas: Arrow Printing, 1964) [FHL 976.8 R4c].
  7. WPA. Guide to Church Vital Statistics in Tennessee. Nashville: Tennessee State Planning Commission, 1942. FHL 976.8 K23w
  8. Kenneth Scott. British Aliens in the United States During the War of 1812. Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1979, 372-378 (see East Tennessee). FHL US/CAN 973 W4s; digital version at Ancestry ($).
  9. The Heritage Quest Online version of PERSI aided in the compilation of this list.

 

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