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Carter County, Tennessee

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Please add profiles of those who were born, lived or died in Carter County, Tennesee.

Official Website


The area was originally claimed by Britain as part of the Clarendon settlements of the Province of Carolina, although actually populated at the time by the Cherokee.

The county is named for General Landon Carter, the son of John Carter of Virginia, who was "chairman of the court" of the first majority-rule system of American democracy, known as the Watauga Association of 1772. The association was the first permanent settlement established outside the original thirteen American colonies and included the area that is today's Carter County. In 1775, the Association was absorbed into North Carolina by petition, becoming known thereafter as the Washington District.

J. G. M. Ramsey records within his 1853 Annals of Tennessee that the State of Franklin established Wayne County from sections of both Washington County and a part of Wilkes County "lying west of the extreme heights of the Apalachian or Alleghany Mountains, into a separate and distinct county by the name of Wayne... This new county covered the same territory now embraced in the limits of Carter and Johnson counties."

The county seat, Elizabethton, is named for Carter's wife, Elizabeth MacLin Carter.

A railroad bridge at Carter's Depot (modern Watauga) was among those targeted by the East Tennessee bridge-burning conspiracy in November 1861 during the Civil War.

Carter County was served by the narrow gauge East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad (nicknamed "Tweetsie") until the line ceased operations in 1950.

Adjacent Counties

Cities & Communities

  • Big Spring
  • Bitter End
  • Butler
  • Central
  • Elizabethton (County Seat)
  • Fish Springs
  • Hampton
  • Hunter
  • Johnson City (part)
  • Milligan College
  • Pine Crest
  • Roan Mountain
  • Stoney Creek
  • Tiger Valley
  • Valley Forge
  • Watauga (part)



TN Gen Web

National Register of Historic Places

Cherokee National Forest (part)

Appalachian Trail (part)

Genealogy Trails


Carter County History

Hearthstone Legacy