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Washington County, Tennessee

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  • John Spears (1764 - 1826)
    John Spears Birth 1764 - Cherokee, Washington, Tennessee, United States Death 29 May 1826 - Cherokee, Washington, Tennessee, United States Mother Unavailable Father Unavailable Parents Unavailable Una...
  • Wilson Crockett (c.1784 - 1831)
  • John Crockett (aft.1753 - 1834)
    edit 9/3/2022 until locked location field changed. Doubtful that John Crockett was born in Ireland. See comments halfway down below says "John was born c. 1753 in Frederick County, Virginia." t...
  • Capt. Richard D. Weathers (1784 - 1869)
    Second wife of Capt. Richard Weathers was Christina W. Cooper Alspaugh. Christina Cooper was born June 1794 and died November 22, 1884 in Marengo, Liberty Township, Crawford, Indiana. Co. H 18th Ind...
  • Jane Jincy Seaton (1792 - c.1850)

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

Official Website

Washington County is Tennessee's oldest county, having been established in 1777 when the state was still part of North Carolina.

Watauga and the Washington District

Washington County is rooted in the Watauga settlements, which were established in the early 1770s in the vicinity of what is now Elizabethton, in adjacent Carter County. At the outbreak of the Revolutionary War in 1776, the Wataugans organized the "Washington District," which was governed by a committee of safety. North Carolina initially refused to recognize the settlements as legal, but finally agreed to annex the district after the settlers thwarted an invasion by hostile Cherokees. The settlements were governed as the Washington District, which originally included all of what is now Tennessee. The district was reorganized as Washington County in 1777.

Washington County, North Carolina and Franklin

From 1777 until 1784, North Carolina held nominal control over the county, but did little for the residents, at least in their eyes. So the area citizens formed, in 1784, the State of Franklin to meet their needs. Franklin was an early attempt to create a fourteenth state prior to Kentucky and Vermont's admissions into the union. The county reverted to North Carolina control, however, following the failure of the Franklin state government in 1788.

Part of Tennessee

In 1790 the area became part of Southwest Territory, and afterward it was admitted to the Union in 1796 as the 16th state. Jonesboro, the county seat of Washington County, is Tennessee's oldest town. With many buildings restored, it comprises one of the nation's most authentic historic districts of the period 1790–1870.

Washington County was divided between pro-Union and pro-secession sentiments at the outset of the Civil War. In Tennessee's Ordinance of Secession referendum on June 8, 1861, Washington Countians voted 1,445 to 1,022 in favor of remaining in the Union.[6] One of the bridges targeted by the East Tennessee bridge-burners in November 1861 was located in what is now Watauga near the Washington-Carter county line. Landon Carter Haynes, a Confederate senator, hailed from Washington County.

Johnson City, originally known as Johnson's Depot, was a major railway center for the southeastern states, connecting the region for freight transportation and passengers. It was the headquarters for both the standard-gauge Carolina, Clinchfield, and Ohio (Clinchfield Railroad), which required the excavation and blasting of 17 tunnels during its construction; and the narrow-gauge East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad (Tweetsie). Significant restoration is underway, as well as publicizing the railroad heritage of the Johnson's Depot Historic District. Other historic properties are being restored as representative of Johnson City's late nineteenth and early twentieth-century era as a railway center.

Adjacent Counties

Cities, Towns & Communities

  • Austin Springs
  • Boone
  • Boones Creek
  • Bowmantown
  • Bumpus Cove (part)
  • Embreeville
  • Fall Branch (part)
  • February
  • Gray
  • Johnson City (part)
  • Jonesborough (County Seat)
  • Lamar
  • Limestone
  • Midway
  • Mountain Grove
  • Oak Grove
  • South Central
  • Spurgeon (part)
  • Stewart Hill
  • Sulphur Springs
  • Telford
  • Washington College
  • Watauga (part)


Cemeteries of Tennessee


TN Gen Web

National Register of Historic Places

Cherokee National Forest (part)

Jonesborough Genealogical Society

Genealogy Trails

Washington County, Archives

Roots Web


Genealogy Village

New Horizons Genealogy

Hearthstone Legacy