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Davidson County, Tennessee

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Please add profiles of those who were born, lived or died in Davidson County, Tennessee. It contains the state capital of Tennessee, Nashville.

Official Website

Davidson County is the oldest county in the 41-county region of Middle Tennessee. It dates to 1783, shortly after the end of the American Revolution, when the North Carolina legislature created the county and named it in honor of William Lee Davidson, a North Carolina general who was killed opposing the crossing of the Catawba River by General Cornwallis's British forces on February 1, 1781. The county seat, Nashville, is the oldest permanent European settlement in Middle Tennessee, founded by James Robertson and John Donelson during the winter of 1779–80 and the waning days of the Revolutionary War.

The first white settlers established the Cumberland Compact to establish a basic rule of law and to protect their land titles. Through much of the early 1780s, the settlers also faced a hostile response from the Native American tribes, such as the Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), and Shawnee who while not living in the area used is as a hunting ground and resented the newcomers moving into there and competing for its resources. As the county's many known archaeological sites attest, Native American cultures had occupied areas of Davidson County for thousands of years. The first white Americans to enter the area were fur traders. Long hunters came next, having heard about a large salt lick, known as French Lick, where they hunted game and traded with the Native Americans.

In 1765, Timothy Demonbreun, a hunter, trapper, and former Governor of Illinois under the French, and his wife lived in a small cave (now known as Demonbreun's Cave) on the south side of the Cumberland River near present-day downtown Nashville. They were the parents of the first white child to be born in Middle Tennessee. A number of the settlers came from Kentucky and the Upper South. Since the land was fertile, they cultivated hemp and tobacco, using the labor of black slaves, and also raised blooded livestock of high quality, including horses. Generally holding less land than the plantations of Western Tennessee, many Middle Tennessee planters nevertheless became wealthy during this period.

In the June 8, 1861, referendum, the voters of Davidson County voted narrowly in favor of secession: 5,635 in favor, 5,572 against. However, the Union Army occupied the county in February 1862, which caused widespread social disruption as the state's governing institutions broke down.

The Battle of Nashville was a two-day battle in the Franklin-Nashville Campaign that represented the end of large-scale fighting west of the coastal states in the American Civil War. It was fought at Nashville, Tennessee, on December 15–16, 1864, between the Confederate Army of Tennessee under Lieutenant General John Bell Hood and Union Major General George H. Thomas. In one of the largest victories achieved by the Union Army during the war, Thomas attacked and routed Hood's army, largely destroying it as an effective fighting force.

Adjacent Counties

Cities & Communities

  • Antioch
  • Bakertown
  • Belle Meade
  • Bellevue
  • Bellshire
  • Berry Hill
  • Bordeaux
  • Donelson
  • Forest Hills
  • Goodlettsville (part)
  • Hermitage
  • Inglewood
  • Joelton (part)
  • Lakewood
  • Madison
  • Nashville (County Seat)
  • Oak Hill
  • Old Hickory
  • Pasquo
  • Ridgetop (part)
  • Rosebank
  • Smith Springs
  • Una
  • White's Creek
  • Woodbine



National Register of Historic Places

Grand Ole Opry

Genealogy Trails

TN Gen Web

Tennessee Genealogical Society - Davidson County

Tennessee Genealogy - Davidson County

Roots Web


USGW Archives

Nashville Open Data Portal

Down Home Genealogy