Grainger County was formed in 1796 from
Hawkins and Knox counties
(Acts of Tennessee 1796 [1st Session], Chapter 28)
The county seat is Rutledge.
There was a fire at the Grainger County courthouse in 1946.
Selected Published County Histories
- Gleanings From a Scrapbook (Roach, 1983) [name index]
- Grainger County, 1796-1976: The Only Tennessee County Named for a Woman (Grainger County Bicentennial Committee, 1976?)
- Grainger County, Tennessee and its People, 1796-1998 (Grainger County Heritage Book Committee, 1998) [surname index]*
- Langley, Rutledge, Tennessee: A History of a Southern Mansion and its Families (Roach, 1983) [name index]
Additional county and community histories can be found at the Bibliography of Tennessee Local History Sources: Grainger County. The items in the bibliography may not all be available at the Tennessee State Library and Archives.
Published Local Records
- 1860 Grainger County, Tennessee Census and Slave Schedule Indexed (Collins, 2000) [alphabetical by head of household]*
- 1870 Grainger County Tennessee (Collins, 2000) [alphabetical name index]*
- *1880 Census Grainger County, Tennessee (Sistler, 1994) [alphabetical by head of household]*
- 1900 Grainger County Tennessee [Census] (Collins, 2001) [head of household name index]
- Census of Grainger County, Tennessee, 1830 (Houston, n.d.)
- Cherokee Reservoir Grave Removals by T.V.A. (Douthat, 2003) [name index]
- Families of Norris Reservoir Area (Wilson, 1986) [head of household name index]
- Grainger County, Tennessee 1836 Tennessee Civil Districts and Tax Lists (Douthat, 1993)
- Grainger County, Tennessee 1850 Census (Treadway, 1996) [surname index]*
- Grainger County, Tennessee 1910 Federal Census (Collins, 200?)*
- Grainger County, Tennessee 1920 Federal Census (Collins, 200?) [alphabetical index by head of household]*
- Grainger County, Tennessee Bonds and Marriages [1888-1926] (Collins, 200?) [alphabetical listings]*
- Grainger County, Tennessee, Cemetery Records (McGinnis, 1982) [name index]
- Grainger County, Tennessee Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions Record Book no. 3, 1812-1816 (Sheffield, 1983) [name index]
- Grainger County Tennessee Court Minutes vol. 1 1796-1802 (WPA, 193?) [name index]
- Grainger County, Tennessee, Federal Census of 1810: Population Schedule (Third Census) and County Tax Lists for 1810 (1956) [name index]
- Grainger County, Tennessee Guardian Bonds 1796-1835 (WPA, 1938)
- Grainger County Tennessee Inventories of Estates and Wills, Nov., 1833-May, 1852 (Reeves, 1989) [surname index]*
- Grainger County, Tennessee Letters of Administration, 1842-1854 (Sheffield, 1983) [name index]
- Grainger County, Tennessee, Loose Wills (1994?) [name index]*
- Grainger County, Tennessee Marriage Records 1796-1837 (2015) [name index]
- Grainger County Tennessee Marriage Records 1796-1837 (WPA, 1939) [name index]
- Grainger County, Tennessee Marriages, January 1858-October 1870, June 1881-March 1888 (Collins, 200?) [alphabetical listings]*
- Grainger County, Tennessee Marriages 1838-1857 (WPA, 1939) [name index]
- Grainger County Tennessee: Memorandum of Licenses Granted Merchants Since the 1st October A.D. 1809; List Voters Names 1835; Scholastic Population 1848 (WPA, 1939)
- Grainger County Tennessee Minutes Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions no. 3 1812-16 (WPA, 1939) [name index]
- Grainger County, Tennessee Minutes of Court of Pleas [1802-1812] (Tennessee Historical Records Survey, 1992?) [name index]
- Grainger County, Tennessee, Tax List, 1814-1815 (19??) [name index]*
- Grainger County Tennessee Tombstone Records (WPA, 1939)
- Grainger County, Tennessee Vital Statistics, 1914 Through 1925 (Wiefering, 1993) [name index]*
- Grainger County, Tennessee, Vital Statistics, 1926 Through 1935 (Wiefering, 2001) [name index]*
- Grainger County, Tennessee, Vital Statistics 1936 Through 1946 (Wiefering, 2001) [name index]*
- Grainger County Tennessee Wills and Settlements 1833-1841 (WPA, 193?) [name index]
- Liberty Hill Cemetery; Liberty Hill, Grainger County, Tennessee (Nicley & Hendrix, 1981) [name index]*
- Marriages of Grainger County, Tennessee, 1796-1837 (Whitley, 1982)*
- Records of Grainger County Tennessee: Letters of Administration 1842-1854 (WPA, 1937) [name index]
- Records of Grainger County Tennessee: Polls and Taxable Property in Grainger County, 1814-1815 (WPA, 1936) [name index]
- Tennessee, Grainger County Loose Wills Old Index (WPA, 1938) [name index]
- Tennessee, Grainger County Marriage Bonds and Licenses [Book 1, 1796-1837; Book 2, 1838-1866] (Kennerly, 1964-) [name index]
- Tennessee, Records of Grainger County : Minutes of Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions Vol. 2 1802-1812 Part 1 & 2 (WPA, 1939) [name index]*
Local Records on Microfilm
An inventory of microfilmed Grainger County records is available on our website. Individual reels of microfilm may also be purchased.
Earliest records include:
- marriages from 1796
- wills from 1833
- deed index from 1797
- chancery court minutes from 1848
- county court minutes from 1796
- circuit court minutes from 1810
- tax books from 1851
The following reels are available on interlibrary loan from the Library and Archives:
- Index to Deeds -- 1797-1912 (#35, 1 reel)*
- Inventories of Estates & Wills -- 1833-1852 (#33, 1 reel)*
- Inventories of Estates & Wills -- 1852-1892 (#34, 1 reel)*
- Marriage Bonds and Licenses -- 1796-1809 (#20A, 1 reel)*
- Marriage Bonds and Licenses -- 1810-1829 (#20B, 1 reel)*
- Marriage Bonds and Licenses -- 1820-1839 (#20C, 1 reel)*
- Marriage Bonds and Licenses -- 1840-1849 (#20D, 1 reel)*
- Marriage Bonds and Licenses -- 1850-1859 (#20E, 1 reel)*
- WPA Records, Grainger County (Record Group #107, Roll 23, 1 reel). Roll includes County Court Minute Book (1796-1802), Minutes, Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions (1802-1812, 1812-1816), Marriage Records (1796-1857), Polls & Taxable Property (1814-1815), Wills & Administrations (1833-1841), Letter of Administration (1842-1854), Tombstone Records (undated), Merchants, Voters Names, Scholastic Population (1809-1848), Guardian Bonds (1796-1835) and Loose Wills (undated).*
Newspapers on Microfilm
Newspapers were published in Rutledge. Scattered early issues are available from 1911, and a complete run begins in 1937. 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
- Grainger County Records, 1800-1972 (Microfilm Manuscript #505, 1 reel)*
- John Perry Bowen Papers, 1881-1900 (Microfilm Manuscript #1502, 1 reel)*
- Locust Grove Baptist Church Records. Washburn, 1843-1998 (Microfilm Manuscript #1570, 1 reel)*
- Reuel B. Prichett Collection, ca. 1820-1969 (Microfilm Manuscript #544, 1 reel)*
- William Cocke Papers, 1811-1812 (Microfilm Manuscript #737, 1 reel)*
- William Conner Ailor Scrapbook, ca. 1920-ca. 1940 (Microfilm Manuscript #695, 1 reel)*
Search for Manuscripts Material in our Catalog
- Census on microfilm for Grainger County: 1810-1880, 1900-1930
- State-wide census index: 1810-1880
- State-wide census index on microfilm (Soundex): 1880, 1900-1930
- Grainger County census records in book form: 1810, 1830, 1850, 1870*, 1880*, 1910*, 1920*
Additional Research Aids for Grainger County
- County Index to Tennessee Confederate Pension Applications
- Early Tennessee Tax Lists at the Tennessee State Library and Archives
- Funeral Home Records at the Tennessee State Library and Archives
- Index to Tennessee Death Records 1908-1912
- Index to Tennessee Death Records 1914-1933
- School Census Records
- Tennessee World War I Veterans
* Indicates this title may be borrowed on interlibrary loan from the Library and Archives.
Grainger County Formation Act
ACTS OF TENNESSEE 1796 (First Session), CHAPTER 28:
"An act for erecting part of the county of Hawkins, and part of the county of Knox, into a separate and distinct county."
WHEREAS the large extent of the counties of Hawkins and Knox, renders it grevious and burthensome to may of the inhabitants thereof, to attend courts, general musters, elections, and other public meetings therein,
SECTION 1. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE, That the said counties of Hawkins and Knox, be divided by the following lines: Beginning on the main road leading from Bull's Gap to Haines Iron Works, on Mossy Creek, at the house of Felps Reed, leaving said house in the new county, running a direct course to the Kentucky road, on the north side of Holston River, a quarter of a mile above the house of Thomas Henderson; thence north fifty degrees west, to the line that divides this state from the state of Virginia; thence west with said line to a point, northwest of the end of Clinch Mountain; thence in a direct course to the end of Clinch Mountain; thence with the ridge that divides the waters of Richland and Flat Creeks to Holston River, at the upper end of the first bluff above Boyle's old place; thence up the meanders of said river to the mouth of Panther Creek; thence up said creek to the head spring thereof, near the house of John Evans; thence along the main wagon road to the beginning; and all that part of the aforesaid counties of Hawkins and Knox, contained within the lines before described, be erected into a separate and distinct county by the name of Grainger.
SECTION 2. BE IT ENACTED, That David Hayley, Major Lee, Benjamin M'Carty, Bartley Marshall, and James Blair, jun. be, and they are hereby appointed commissioners, and they are authorized to purchase and lay off a place, the most central and convenient in said county of Grainger, for the purpose of erecting a court-house, prison, and stocks.
SECTION 3. BE IT ENACTED, 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 Grainger, 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, [sic]
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 ten and fifty years -- a tax, not exceeding one dollar, on each stud-horse -- and 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 Grainger 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 unto 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 Grainger, conditioned, for the faithful discharge of the trust reposed in them.
SECTION 6. And for the due administration of justice, BE IT ENACTED, That the first court of the said county of Grainger shall be held, by the justices of the same, on the second Mondays in June, September, December, and March, every year; and the justices thereof are hereby authorized and empowered to hold the first court, for the same, at the house of Benjamin M'Carty; 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 for the said county of Grainger; 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 such court-house; And all courts held in and for the said county of Grainger, 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 the courts for the several counties in this state.
SECTION 7. BE IT ENACTED, That the aforesaid county of Grainger shall be, and is hereby declared to compose a part of the district of Hamilton, in the same manner, and for all purposes, civil and military, as other counties in the said district doth: PROVIDED, Nothing in this act contained shall be so construed as to prevent the sheriffs or collectors of the said counties of Hawkins and Knox from collecting all arrearages of public and county tax, within the limits of the said county of Grainger, in the same manner as if this act had not been passed: And the said county of Grainger shall, from and after the passing of this act, furnish four jurors to the superior court of law and equity, for the district of Hamilton aforesaid.
SECTION 8. BE IT ENACTED, That John Cocke and William Payne, be, and are hereby appointed commissioners, who are authorized to run the dividing lines between the aforesaid counties, that is, where they are not already run, or particularly pointed out by natural boundaries; for which services, each of the commissioners shall be allowed two dollars per day, and the marker one dollar per day; the expenses to be paid by the aforesaid county of Grainger.
SECTION 9. BE IT ENACTED, That all proceedings now pending in the county courts of Hawkins and Knox, shall be proceeded on and determined in the same manner as if this law had not been passed: PROVIDED, Nothing herein contained shall be construed, so as to give said county of Grainger separate election for governor and members of the general assembly; but the inhabitants of said county, shall be entitled to suffrage in the county from which they were taken, until the first enumeration shall be made.
Grainger County Bibliography
Grainger 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. 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 (Grainger County, Preliminary #44-A). Nashville, TSLA, 1974. 45 pp.
- Collins, Kevin D. Grainger County map. N.p., n.d. Grainger County Hist. Soc.
- Conference on companionship of agriculture & industry. Knoxville, UT, 1933. 38 pp.
- Dial-a-ride rural transit needs survey for Claiborne & Grainger counties. Knoxville, East TN Dev. Dist., 1979. 40 pp.
- Faulkner, Charles H. "Industrial archaeology of the 'Peavine Railroad': an archaeological & historical study of an abandoned railroad in east TN."
- THQ 44 (1985), pp. 40-58.
- Flood insurance study: Grainger County, TN, unincorporated areas. Washington, D.C., FEMA, 1990. 13 pp.
- The geological history of the Thorn Hill Paleozoic section (Cambrian- Mississippian), eastern TN: SE-GSA 1985, field trip 6. Knoxville, UT
- Dept. Geol. Sciences, 1985. 128 pp.
- Goodspeed's history of east TN (Grainger County, pp. 853-856, 1152-1160). Goodspeed, 1887.
- Grainger County, 1796-1976; the only TN county named for a woman. Grainger County Bicentennial Committee, 1976. 27 pp.
- Grainger County Regional Comm. Comprehensive plan, Grainger County, TN. Rutledge, n.p., 1969. 1 vol.
- Grainger County, TN, its people & events. Morristown, TN, C. McGinnis, 1991. 47 pp. (copies of articles published 1985-1991 in the Grainger Ranger at Rutledge, TN)
- Graves, Mary J. The yesterdays speak again. Rutledge, Shirley Pubs., 1983. 41 pp.
- Hill, William T. The geology, applied geochemistry & drilling results in the Puncheon Camp Creek area, Grainger County, TN. UT thesis, 1971. 106 pp.
- Holt, W.E. History of Grainger County. N.p., the author, 1975. 11 pp.
- Kline, Gerald W. & Charles H. Faullkner. Archaeology of the Richland Creek site. Knoxville, UT Dept. Anthrop., 1981. 77 pp.
- Knoxville MSA, 1980-1987: an economic analysis. Nashville, TN Dept. Emp. Sec., 1988. 49 pp.
- Lane, Patricia. "Birth, marriage & death: past & present customs in east TN." TN Folklore Soc. Bull. 48 (1982), pp. 53-60; 50 (1984), pp. 58-67.
- Moore, Harry. A history of the churches in Grainger County, TN. Rutledge, Grainger County Hist. Soc., 1986. 141 pp.
- Morgan, John & Joy Medford. "Log houses in Grainger County, TN." TN Anthrop. 5 (1980), pp. 137-158.
- Official booklist of Grainger County, TN. Rutledge, Progressive Club, 1926. 16 pp.
- Perkins, Mardell J. A sociological study of a rural church in Grainger County, TN. Carson-Newman College thesis, 1967. 75 pp.
- Polhemus, Richard R. & James H. Polhemus. "The McCullough Bend site." TN Arch. 22 (1966), pp. 13-24.
- Roach, Thomas E. Gleanings from a scrapbook. Rutledge, the author, 1983. 246 pp. (reprinted from newspaper articles previously published in the Grainger County News & the Jefferson County Standard)
- Sanders, John E. Geology of the Pressman's Home area, Hawkins & Grainger counties, TN, 1952. Photocopy of typescript. New Haven, CT, Yale University, 1980? 253 pp.
- Soil survey, Grainger County, TN. Washington, D.C., US GPO, 1948. 203 pp.
- TN Dept. Ed. Grainger County schools survey report. Nashville, TN Dept. Ed., 1965. 144 pp.
- TN Dept. Emp. Sec. Summary report, manpower & other resources. Nashville, the department, 1961. 1 vol.
- TN Dept. Transportation [county maps] issued periodically.
- TN Valley Authority. Ind. Div. Agricultural-industrial survey of Grainger County. Knoxville, TVA, 1934. var. pp.
- TN Valley Authority. Regional Soils Database. Important farmland in Grainger County, TN. Nashville, US Soil Conservation Service, 1980. 1 map.
- TN Valley Authority. Social & Ec. Div. Research Sec. The effects upon local finance of real property purchases by the TVA, survey no. 1: Norris Reservoir counties. Knoxville, TVA, 1936. 53 pp.
- Trent, Emma D. East TN's lore of yesteryear. Whitesburg, the author, 1987. 621 pp.
- US Fed. Emergency Relief Admin. Div. of Research, Statistics & Finance. The Appalachian-Ozark area, Grainger County, TN. N.p., 1934. 4 pp.
- US Geol. Survey [topographic maps] issued periodically. Quadrangles: Tazewell, Howard Quarter, Swan Island, Powder Springs, Dutch Valley, Avondale, Bean Station, Luttrell, Joppa, Talbott, Mascot, New Market.
- Carruthers, Amelia L. "Bean Station." Nat. Hist. Mag. 77 (1943), pp. 31-35.
- Crouch & Adams, Inc. Bean Station revisited: a feasibility & master planning study. Oak Ridge, Crouch & Adams, Inc., 1972. 28 pp.
- TN Valley Authority. Dept. Regional Studies. The Bean Station Tavern restoration project. Prepared by Robert M. Howes. Knoxville, TVA, 1944. 76 pp.
- TN Valley Authority. Reservoir Property Management Dept. Population readjustment studies of Bean Station community, Grainger County, Cherokee area. Knoxville, TVA, 1940. 15 pp.
- Flood insurance study: city of Blaine, TN, Grainger County. Washington, D.C., FEMA, 1990. 10 pp.
- Roach, Thomas E. Langley, Rutledge, TN: a history of a southern mansion & its families. Rutledge, the author, 1983. 39 pp.
- Graves, Mary. Tate Springs, home of Kingswood School. Bean Station, the author, 1982. 32 pp.
- Graves, Mary J. World famous gazebo. Bean Station, the author, 19--. 32 pp.