Start My Family Tree Welcome to Geni, home of the world's largest family tree.
Join Geni to explore your genealogy and family history in the World's Largest Family Tree.

Knox County, Tennessee

Project Tags

view all


  • John Pugh (1805 - c.1850)
    Reference: FamilySearch Family Tree - SmartCopy : Sep 6 2016, 18:14:29 UTC
  • Hugh Lawson White, U.S. Senator (1773 - 1840)
    Summary Hugh Lawson White, Esq ., son of James White and Mary Lawson, was born 30 Oct 1773 in Rowan (now Iredell) County, Province of North Carolina, and died 10 Apr 1840 at age 66 in Knoxville, Knox, ...
  • Sarah Bell McBee (1802 - 1870)
    wife of Gainum C McBee Sr 67y 8m 16d(birth date, birth & death locations provided by Donnie #491888515) Family links: Parents: Robert Gustavus Adolphus Love (1760 - 1845) Mary Ann Dillard Love (1767 - ...
  • Aaron England (c.1760 - 1839)
    GEDCOM Note ===Source: Robert G. EnglandAaron helped to layout the town of Sparta, TN in 1809; owned land in what is now called Cumberland Cove.Aaron England (eldest son), b., presumably in Burke Co., ...
  • Benjamin P Hardin, II (1780 - 1845)
    Alternate place of birth: Richmond, Henrico county, Virginia. Benjamin II Hardin was born on 28 Feb 1780 to Joseph Hardin Sr. and Jane Gibson. He was named after an older brother (Benjamin Hardin I) w...

Please add profiles of those who were born, lived or died in Knox County, Tennessee.

Official Website


Knox County was created after the American Revolutionary War on June 11, 1792, by Governor William Blount from parts of Greene and Hawkins counties. It was one of the few counties created when this area was still known as the Southwest Territory. It is one of nine United States counties named for American Revolutionary War general Henry Knox, who was appointed as the first United States Secretary of War. As population increased, parts of Knox County were taken out to form Blount (1795), Anderson (1801), Roane (1801), and Union (1850) counties.

In 1783, James White and Francis Alexander Ramsey led an expedition to explore the Upper Tennessee Valley, now within the boundaries of Knox County. White moved to what is now the Riverdale community in the eastern part of the county in 1785, and the following year constructed a fort a few miles to the west. A community developed around the fortified trading post, ultimately becoming the city of Knoxville. Governor Blount designated the fort as the capital of the Southwest Territory in 1790, and gave the new town the name "Knoxville" after his superior, Henry Knox.

Blount began construction of his house, Blount Mansion, in the early 1790s. This is one of a number of late eighteenth-century structures that have been preserved in the county. The house still stands in downtown Knoxville. The Alexander McMillan House, built in the mid-1780s by Alexander McMillan (1749–1837), still stands in eastern Knox County. The Alexander Bishop House, built by Stockley Donelson in 1793, and a log house built in the same year by Nicholas Gibbs both still stand in the northern part of the county. Campbell's Station, a fort and stagecoach stop located in what is now Farragut, was built by Captain David Campbell (1753–1832) in 1787. John Sevier established a plantation, known as Marble Springs, in the southern part of the county in the 1790s. He was active in leading raids against the Cherokee people, who for years resisted with force American settlement in their territory.

Civil War

Important railroad lines passed through Knox County, making it a strategic area both for Union and for Confederate forces throughout the Civil War. Since the mountainous terrain of East Tennessee was mostly unsuitable for plantation crops such as cotton, slavery was not as prevalent as it was in Middle and West Tennessee. The US 1860 census of Knox County showed a population of 20,020 citizens and 2,370 slaves. The lack of slavery combined with the vestiges of a once-strong abolitionist movement were two reasons most residents of Knox County, along with much of East Tennessee, were pro-Union. In February 1861, 89% of Knox Countians voted for the pro-Union ballot in a statewide referendum on secession. On June 8, 1861, the county voted against Tennessee's Ordinance of Secession by a margin of 3,108 to 1,226.

Prior to secession, Unionists from Knox County collaborated with other East Tennessee Unionists in an attempt to secede from Tennessee itself and remain part of the Union. Oliver Perry Temple, a Knoxville lawyer, was named to a three-man commission to appear before the General Assembly in Nashville and request East Tennessee and pro-Union Middle Tennessee counties be allowed to secede from the state. The attempt failed. After the second state referendum for secession passed in 1861, Knox County and the rest of Tennessee joined the Confederacy.

Knox County remained under Confederate control until September 3, 1863, when General Ambrose Burnside and the Union army marched into Knoxville unopposed. Parts of Middle Tennessee had been occupied by Union troops since 1862.

Union Colonel William Harris, son of New York Senator Ira Harris, wrote his father:

'Glory be to God, the Yankees have come! The flag's come back to Tennessee!' Such were the welcomes all along the road, as we entered Knoxville, it was past all description. The people seemed frantic with joy. I never knew what the Love of Liberty was before. The old flag has been hidden in mattresses and under carpets. It now floats to the breeze at every staff in East Tennessee. Ladies wear it – carry it – wave it! Little children clap their hands and kiss it.'

With the success of Burnside's troops in the Knoxville Campaign, and especially during the decisive Battle of Fort Sanders, Knox County remained under Union control for the duration of the Civil War.

Post Civil War

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Knox County was an important venue for the quarrying and finishing of Tennessee marble, a type of limestone used in monument construction across the United States and Canada. Eleven quarries were operating in Knox County in 1882, and within ten years that number had doubled. Notable quarries in Knox included the Bond Quarry in Concord, an Evans Company quarry near Forks-of-the-River, and the Ross-Republic quarries near Island Home Park in South Knoxville. Finishing centers were located in Lonsdale and at the Candoro Marble Works in South Knoxville.

Adjacent Counties

Cities, Towns & Communities

Ball Camp | Bluegrass | Byington | Carter | Concord | Corryton | Farragut | Halls Crossroads | Harbison Crossroads | Hardin Valley | Heiskell | John Sevier | Karns | Kimberlin Heights | Knoxville (County Seat) | Mascot | Midway | Millertown | Mt. Olive | Pedigo | Powell | Ramsey | Ritta | Riverdale | Skaggston | Solway | Strawberry Plains (part) | Thorn Grove



1982 World's Fair

Knoxville Campaign

National Register of Historic Places

TN Gen Web

Genealogy Trails

East Tennessee Historical Society

Roots Web

Genealogy Village

USGW Archives

Hearthstone Legacy