Claiborne County, Tennessee

The American History & Genealogy Project

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Claiborne County is located in the northeastern region of Tennessee.  It is bordered by the following Tennessee counties: Campbell, Grainger, Hancock and Union.  It is also adjacent to Bell and Whitley counties in Kentucky and Lee County, Virginia.

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My name is Donna Sims Conner and I am pleased to be the Coordinator for Claiborne County.  The purpose of AHGP is to provide free genealogical and historical data for researchers.  Individual state and county websites are updated frequently with new content.  If you have questions or need assistance, I would be happy to help.  Thank you for visiting!

HISTORY

Claiborne County was formed in 1801 and was named in honor of W. C. C. Claiborne.  Powell's Valley was the scene of the first settlements.  The court of pleas and quarter sessions was organized at the house of John Owens, December 7, 1801, with the following magistratess: Isaac Lane, Joseph Webster, William Trent, James Chisum, Abraham Lenham, John Wallen, Matthew Sims, John Vanbibber, William Rogers, George Read, C. Newport, John Casey, Joseph Nations and James Renfro.  A small frame courthouse was erected in 1804.  The first resident attorney is thought to have been Lew or Luke Bowyer, who is mentioned in the discussion of the first settlements in East Tennessee.  He was a magistrate when the county was organized, and was serving about 1815.  In 1833, the lawyers of Tazewell were: John M. Brabson, James B. Robinson and Gray Garrett.  The first house in Tazewell was erected in 1803.  The first merchant was William Graham, who erected the first church.  As early as Oct. 15, 1802, Bishop Asbury preached "at Hunt's at Claiborne Courthouse."  Source: Will T. Hale and Dixon L. Merritt,  A History of Tennessee and Tennesseans: The Leaders and Representative Men in Commerce, Industry, and Modern Activities (Chicago, Illinois, Lewis Publishing Company, 1913), 781-782.  



Pioneer Home of the Grahams, Tazewell, Tennessee

Image Source: Will T. Hale and Dixon L. Merritt,  A History of Tennessee and Tennesseans: The Leaders and Representative Men in Commerce, Industry, and Modern Activities (Chicago, Illinois, Lewis Publishing Company, 1913), 781.

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