Cocke County

Cocke County

Cocke County was formed in 1797 from Jefferson County

(Acts of Tennessee 1797, Chapter 8)

The county seat is Newport.

There was a fire at the Cocke County courthouse in 1876.


Selected Published County Histories
  • Cocke County: A Thumbnail Sketch  (Walker,  1976)*
  • Cocke County family tree: the old 12th Civil District [census records] (Price, 2005?) [surname index]
  • Cocke County family tree: the old 13th Civil District [census records] (Price, 2005?) [surname index]
  • Cocke County, Tennessee, and Its People (Cocke County Heritage Book Committee, 1992) [surname index]*
  • Cocke County, Tennessee: Pages from the Past  (Walker,  2007)*
  • Goodspeed's Cocke County History (1990) [name index]
  • Historic Sites in Blount, Cocke, Monroe and Sevier Counties (Carberry, 1973)
  • History of First United Methodist Church: Newport, Tennessee (1983)
  • Over the Misty Blue Hills: The Story of Cocke County, Tennessee (O'Dell, 1951) [name index published separately]*
  • Tales from the Civil War (Walker, 1983) [surname index]

Additional county and community histories can be found at the Bibliography of Tennessee Local History Sources: Cocke County.   The items in the bibliography may not all be available at the Tennessee State Library and Archives.  


Published Local Records
  • 1840 Population Schedule of the United States Census, Cocke County, Tennessee (Templin, 1981) [name index]*
  • 1880 Census, Cocke County, Tennessee (Sistler, 1996) [alphabetical by head of household]*
  • Abstracts from Cocke County Deeds [10 vols.] (Price, 2004-) [name index]*
  • Abstracts from Cocke County Surveys, 1856-1900 (Price, 2007) [name index]
  • Cocke County Chancery Court Records [vol.1 Feb. 1877-Feb. 1900)] (Price, 2002) [name index]*
  • Cocke County Circuit Court Civil Minutes [vol. 1 Mar. 1883-Sept. 1916] (Price, 2003) [name index]
  • Cocke County Circuit Court Records, Genealogical Abstracts [vol. 1 Mar. 1877-Nov. 1899] (Price, 2003) [name index]*
  • Cocke County Court Clerk Records : Loose Papers 1887-1929 Abstracts (Price, 2021)*
  • Cocke County Marriage Register 1881-1883 (Price, 2001) [name index]*
  • Cocke County Marriages [vol.1 Feb 1877-Jan 1901; vol. 2 Jan 1901-July 1912; vol. 3 July 1912-Dec 1920; vol. 4 Dec 1920-May 1928] (Price, 2000) [alphabetical by bride and groom]*
  • Cocke County, Tennessee 1836 Tennessee Civil Districts and Tax Lists (Douthat, 1993)*
  • Cocke County, Tennessee Consolidated Index (court records) [vol. 1 1877-1900 court records] (Price, 2007) [name index]*
  • Cocke County, Tennessee Consolidated Index (deeds) [vol. 2 1877-1900 (Price, 2007) [name index]*
  • Cocke County, Tennessee Early Lists, 1839 Tax List, 1830-1840 Federal Censuses (Fox, 2009) [name index]
  • Cocke County, Tennessee, Entry Book E, 1856-1871 & Surveys, 1856-1860 (WPA, 193?) [name index]
  • Cocke County, Tennessee Land Grants : Abstracts from East Tennessee Land Grants, vols 1-34 (Price, 2013) [name index]
  • Cocke County, Tennessee Land Grants in East Tennessee Land Grants Books 1-10 (Price, 200?)*
  • Cocke County, Tennessee, Minutes of Slate Creek Baptist Church, 1812-1876 (WPA, 1936) [name index]
  • Cocke County, Tennessee, Minutes of the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, 1838-1860 (WPA, 1936) [name index]
  • Cocke County, Tennessee, Minutes of the East Tennessee Association of Baptists, 1841-72 (WPA, 1936) [name index]
  • Cocke County, Tennessee, Vital Statistics, 1914 through 1925 (Wiefering, 1993) [name index]*
  • Genealogical Gleanings from Cocke County Clerk Minutes (Price, 2003) [name index]*
  • New and Improved Census 1930 Cocke County, Tennessee (Price, 2002) [name index]*
  • Over the Misty Blue Hills  [index]  (Walker, 1969) [name index]
  • Population Schedule of the United States Census of 1850 for Cocke County, Tennessee (Templin & Henderson, 1983) [surname index]*
  • Population Schedule of the United States Census of 1860 for Cocke County, Tennessee (Templin & Henderson, 1983) [surname index]*
  • Sacred to the Memory: Cocke County, Tennessee, Cemetery Records [3 vols.] (O'Neil, 1972) [surname index]*


Local Records on Microfilm

An inventory of microfilmed Cocke County records is available on our website.  Individual reels of microfilm may also be purchased.

Earliest records include:

  • marriages from 1877
  • wills from 1876
  • deed index from 1865
  • chancery court minutes from 1877
  • county court minutes from 1877
  • circuit court minutes from 1877
  • tax books from 1876

The following reels are available on interlibrary loan from the Library and Archives:

  • WPA Records, Cocke County (Record Group #107, Roll 13, 1 reel). Roll includes Minutes, Slate Creek Baptist Church (1812-1876),  Minutes, Pleasant Grove Baptist Church (1838-1860),  Minutes, East Tennessee Association of Baptists (1841-1872),  Entry Book E (1856-1871) and Surveys (1856-1860).*


Newspapers on Microfilm 

Newspapers were published in Newport.  Scattered early issues are available from 1886, and a complete run begins in 1944.  Microfilms are loaned to Tennessee libraries.  Individual reels may also be purchased. An Inventory of Newspapers on Microfilm at the Library and Archives is available on our website.


Selected Manuscripts Material
  • Slate Creek Baptist Church Records. Cocke County, 1812-1876   (Microfilm Manuscript #205, 1 reel)*

Search for Manuscripts Material in our Catalog 


Census Records
  • Census on microfilm for Cocke County:  1830-1880, 1900-1930
  • State-wide census index:  1830-1880
  • State-wide census index on microfilm  (Soundex):  1880,  1900-1930
  • Cocke County census records in book form:  1840*, 1850*,  1860*,  1880*, *1930*
Additional Research Aids for Cocke County  

* Indicates this title may be borrowed on interlibrary loan from the Library and Archives.


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Cocke County Formation Act


"An Act to divide the county of Jefferson into two separate and distinct counties."

WHEREAS the citizens of Jefferson County, living on the waters of French Broad and Big Pigeon, above the mouth of Chucky River, are so situated by rivers and mountains, that they cannot with convenience attend courts, general musters or elections in said county; and it being made appear to this General Assembly, that the bounds required by the constitution may be had in each county:

SECTION 1. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE, That from and after the passing of this act, the said county shall be divided by a line to begin on the North Carolina boundary line with this state, on the south side of French Broad River, one mile from said river, thence down said river, one mile distance from the same to where it intersects the Greene County line, thence with said line to Nolichucky River, a small distance below Captain William White's house, thence down the said river to French Broad, leaving all the islands to Jefferson County, thence down the river French Broad, in the same manner, to the bent of said river opposite Colonel Parmenas Taylor's, and from thence a direct line to the top of English's Mountain, within one mile of Sevier County line, thence parallel with that line to the uppermost house on Cozby's Creek, and from thence an easterly line, to a point on the North Carolina boundary line, as to leave six hundred and twenty-five square miles in Jefferson County, and from thence with the said boundary line to the beginning, which bounds, so described, shall, from and after the passing of this act, be a separate and distinct county, known by the name of Cocke.

SECTION 2. BE IT ENACTED, That Henry Ragan, William Job, John Cassee, Peter Fine, John Keeney, Reps Jones, and John M'Glochlen, are hereby appointed commissioners, and authorized to lay off and appoint a place the most convenient in said county, for the purpose of erecting a court house, prison and stocks.

SECTION 3.That the aforesaid commissioners are hereby authorized and required, as soon as may be, after agreeing on the place whereon the court house, prison, and stocks are to be erected in said county of Cocke, to contract and agree with suitable workmen, for erecting and building, at the place aforesaid, a court house, prison, and stocks for the use and benefit of said county. And the better to enable the commissioners aforesaid to carry this act into effect:

SECTION 4. BE IT ENACTED, That a tax not exceeding twelve and a half cents on each hundred acres of land--a tax not exceeding twelve and a half cents on each town lot - a tax not exceeding twenty-five cents on each slave, between the age of twelve and fifty years - a tax not exceeding one dollar on each stud horse - a tax not exceeding twelve and a half cents on each free male, between the age of twenty one and fifty years, shall be collected in the said county of Cocke every year, not exceeding three years, by the sheriff or collector of the same, and accounted for and paid to the said commissioners, at the same time, and in the same manner, and under the like penalties and restrictions, as is or may be directed for collecting, accounting for, and paying public taxes.

SECTION 5. BE IT ENACTED, That before the said commissioners shall take into their hands any of the monies directed to be collected by this act, they shall enter into bond in the sum of fifteen hundred dollars, payable to the governor for the time being, and his successors in office, for the use of the said county of Cocke, conditioned for the faithful discharge of the trust reposed in them.

SECTION 6. BE IT ENACTED, And for the due administration of justice in said county, BE IT ENACTED, That the court for said county of Cocke shall be held constantly by the justices of said county, on the fourth Mondays in February, May, August, and November, in every year; and the justices for the said county of Cocke are hereby authorized and empowered to hold the first court for the same at the house of Daniel Adams, where to commence on the fourth Monday in November next, and all subsequent courts for said county, on the days above mentioned for holding courts therein, at any place to which the said justices shall from court to court adjourn themselves, until a court house shall be built of the said county of Cocke, and then all causes, matters and things depending in the said court, and all manner of process returnable to the same, shall be adjourned to said court house; and all courts held in and for said court of Cocke, shall be held by commission to the said justices, in the same manner, and under the same rules and restrictions, and shall have and exercise the same powers, and jurisdiction, as are, or shall be prescribed for other courts held for the several counties in this state: Provided, That nothing herein contained shall be construed so as to prevent the collection of all arrearages of public and county taxes, due the county of Jefferson, in said county of Cocke.

SECTION 7. BE IT ENACTED, That the sheriff of Jefferson County is hereby authorized to collect all monies due on judgments or executions, entered up in the county of Jefferson, prior to the passing of this act, and that all proceedings now pending in the county of Jefferson shall be proceeded on, and determined in the same manner as if this law had not been passed.

SECTION 8. BE IT ENACTED, That the inhabitants of said county of Cocke shall be entitled to hold an election, at the court house, under the same rules and regulations, as prescribed for elections, in other counties, and shall make returns of the polls in the same manner as pointed out by law, in other cases of separate elections, shall compose a part of the district of Hamilton, and shall send four jurors to the superior court of said district.

Passed on October 9, 1797


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Cocke County Bibliography

PLEASE NOTE that the Tennessee State Library and Archives does not hold copies of all of the items listed in this bibliography. Please check the Tennessee State Library and Archives Online Catalog or visit the Ask Us a Question! web page to contact the Library and Archives and verify we have an item in our collection. We will respond to e-mail requests promptly; response time may vary, depending on the amount of research required to answer your question and the unique nature of your request. If you need immediate assistance you may call the reference desk at (615) 741-2764 or visit us in person.

Subjects :

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Cocke County in General
  • Allred, Charles E. Educational status of rural relief families in TN. Knoxville, TN Ag. Exp. Sta., 1936. 41 pp. (its Report #22)
  • Allred, Charles E. Mobility of rural relief families in TN. Knoxville, TN Ag. Exp. Sta., 1936. 35 pp. (its Report #14)
  • Allred, Charles E. Relation of education to economic & social status of relief clients in TN. Knoxville, TN Ag. Exp. Sta., 1937. 36 pp. (its Report #24)
  • Allred, Charles E. Some problems of rural relief in TN. Knoxville, TN Ag. Exp.Sta., 1935. 17 pp. (its Report #1)
  • Biographical directory, TN General Assembly, 1796-1969 (Cocke County, Preliminary #42). Nashville, TSLA, 1974. 51 pp.
  • Carberry, Michael. Historic sites in Blount, Cocke, Monroe & Sevier counties. N.p., East TN Dev. Dist., 1973. pp.
  • Cavender, Tony. "A contemporary case of witchcraft accusation in the southern mountains." TN Folklore Soc. Bull. 52 (1986), pp. 61-66.
  • Chapman, Joe A. The natural vegetation of English Mountain, TN. UT thesis, 1957. 102 pp.
  • Cocke County, 1980-1987: an economic analysis. Nashville, TN Dept. Emp. Sec., 1988. 12 pp.
  • Clevenger, Jean H. The road to yesterday: a Cocke County scrapbook. Knoxville, the author, 1986. 246 pp.
  • Cocke County Heritage Book Committee. Cocke County, TN, & its people. Waynesville, N.C., Walsworth Pub., 1992. 422 pp.
  • Forsythe, Regina. "Jesse Cole: the murder's other victim." TN Folklore Soc. Bull. 56 (1992), pp. 64-80.
  • Goodspeed's history of east TN (Cocke County, pp. 864-867, 1194-1199). Goodspeed, 1887.
  • Gower, Herschel. "The great west as seen in the ballads of Cocke County." TN Folklore Soc. Bull. 20 (1954), pp. 14-20.
  • Hall, Joseph S. "Some party games of the Great Smoky Mountains." J. Am. Folklore 54 (1941), pp. 68-71.
  • Haun, Mildred. Cocke County ballads & songs. Vanderbilt U. thesis, 1937. 212 pp.
  • Haun, Mildred. The hawk's done gone. NY Bobbs-Merrill, 1940; Vanderbilt University Press, 1968, 290 pp. (fictional account of rural life in Cocke & Hancock counties)
  • Haun, Mildred. "The traditions of Cocke County." TN Folklore Soc. Bull. 33 (1967), pp. 72-79.
  • Haun, Mildred. "For lead." TN Folklore Soc. Bull. 33 (1967), pp. 64-71.
  • Holmes, William H. "Illustrated catalog of a portion of the collections made during the field season of 1881." In Third annual report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1881-1882, pp. 433-507.
  • O'Dell, Ruth W. "Before you call the doctor." TN Folklore Soc. Bull 17 (1951), pp. 29-31.
  • O'Dell, Ruth W. "Dark, deep secrets of the Black Oak's heart." TN Folklore Soc. Bull. 16 (1950), pp. 7-10.
  • O'Dell, Ruth W. Over the misty blue hills: the story of Cocke County. Newport, n.p., 1951. 369 pp.
  • O'Neil, J. Duay. Reflections of our heritage: Cocke County. Newport, Cocke County Museum, 1985. 263 pp.
  • Rakestraw, Isaac K. Negro education in Cocke County. UT thesis, 1956. 96 pp.
  • Sketches of pioneer medical doctors of Cocke County. Unpublished typescript, 1968. 43 pp.
  • Tales from the Civil War. Compiled by Edward R. Walker III. Cosby, Busy Bee Print. Service, 1983. 132 pp.
  • TN Dept. Transportation [county maps] issued periodically.
  • TN Valley Authority. Ind. Div. Agricultural-industrial survey of Cocke County. Knoxville, TVA, 1934. var. pp.
  • Trent, Emma D. East TN's lore of yesteryear. Whitesburg, the author, 1987. 621 pp.
  • Trent, Emma D. Faces, places & things of early east TN. Whitesburg, 1989. 421 pp.
  • US Geol. Survey [topographic maps] issued periodically. Quadrangles: Springvale, White Pine, Rankin, Mohawk, Parrottsville, Cedar Creek, Chestnut Hill, Newport, Neddy Mountain, Paint Rock, Jones Cove, Hartford, Waterville, Lemon Gap, Mount Guyot, Luftee Knob.
  • Walker, E.R. Cocke County: a thumbnail sketch. Newport, Newport-Cocke County Bicentennial Committee, 1976. 12 pp.

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  • Catalist: business & household digest of Newport. Loveland, CO, US West Marketing Resources, 1991- (various eds.).
  • Godshalk, Rolfe F., ed. Newport. Published by the Clifton Club. Newport, Ideal, 1970. 261 pp.
  • The history of First United Methodist Church, Newport, TN. Newport, Busy Bee Print. Service, 1983. 97 pp.
  • Johnson's community directory for Newport, TN. Loveland, CO, Johnson Pub. Co., n.d. (various eds.).
  • Newport transportation study: existing conditions. Prepared by the TN Dept. Transportation, in cooperation with the US Dept. Transportation, FHA, the city of Newport & Office of Local Planning Assistance. Nashville, TN Dept. Transportation, 1989. 5 pp.
  • TN Valley Authority. Div. Water Control Planning. Floods on streams in vicinity of Newport, TN. Knoxville, TVA, 1968. 94 pp.

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  • American Oblique Manufacturing & City Dev. Co. Prospectus of the American Oblique Manufacturing & City Dev. Co. Incorporated June 12, 1893. Washington, D.C., H. L. McQueen, 1894. 117 pp.

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  • Blazer, Bill. A sketch of Parrottsville. Parrottsville, Students of Parrottsville Elementary School, 1976. 49 pp.
  • Ragan, Dan, Ed. A look back at the Parrottsville community: family histories. Parrottsville, Ruritan Club, 1986. 106 pp.
  • Smith, Bogle E. History of Oven Creek Methodist Church, Parrottsville, TN, Riverview Circuit, founded between 1814-1820. N.p., 1984. 6 pp

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