Hawkins County

Hawkins County

Hawkins County was formed in 1786 from Sullivan County

(Acts of North Carolina 1786, Chapter 34)

The county seat is Rogersville.

There was a fire at the Hawkins County courthouse in 1863.


Selected Published County Histories
  • Across the Mountain, Over the Clinch: A Folk History (Trent, 2008)
  • Church Hill, Tennessee Area History, 1754-1976 (Reber, 1977) [name index]
  • Ebb and Flow: A Pictorial History of Hawkins County (Addison, 1995)
  • Hawkins County Picture Album ( Hawkins County Bicentennial Committee, 1976)*
  • Hawkins County, Tennessee: A Pictorial History (Price, 1996) [name index]*
  • Historical Sketches of Hawkins County: From its Early Settlement to 1891 (Rogan, 1989) [name index]*
  • Long's Bend and its People (Caldwell & Johnston, 1997) [name index]*
  • Now and Then: Hawkins County, Tennessee (Brice & Caldwell, 1995)
  • Old Rogersville: An Illustrated History of Rogersville, Tennessee (Price, 2002) [name index]
  • Rogersville (Ball, 2011)

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


Published Local Records
  • 1880 Census, Hawkins County, Tennessee (Sistler, 1996) [alphabetical by head of household]*
  • Amis Ledger B (1782-1794): Interpretive Transcription of an East Tennessee Business Record Book (Gump, 1996)
  • Amis Ledger D (1794-1801): Interpretive Transcription of an East Tennessee Business Record Book (Gump, 1997)
  • Blue and Gray from Hawkins County (Includes Hancock County) Tennessee, 1861-1865 [3 vols.]  (Johnston, 1995)  [name index]*
  • Carter County, Tennessee, Greene County, Tennessee, Hawkins County, Tennessee, Johnson County, Tennessee, Sullivan County, Tennessee [1891 enumeration of male voters] (Reed, 1992) [name index]
  • Cherokee Reservoir Grave Removals by T.V.A. (Douthat, 2003) [name index]
  • Circuit Court Minutes 1810-1821 of Hawkins County (WPA, 1941) [name index]
  • Circuit Court Minutes 1822-1825 (WPA, 1939) [name index]
  • County Court Minutes, Nov. 1827-Aug. 1828 (Fragment) (WPA, 1939) [name index]
  • East Tennessee Pensioners, Revolutionary War (McGhee, 195?) [name index]
  • Families of Hawkins County, Tennessee, 1786-1994 (Hawkins County Genealogical and Historical Society, 1994) [surname index]
  • Harrison Funeral Home burial records, 1930-1942 (Alvis, 2002) [surname index]*
  • Hawkins County 1789-1865: Being Transcriptions From the Original Bonds and Licenses at the County Courthouse, Rogersville (Price & Creekmore, 1958) [alphabetical by bride and groom]
  • Hawkins County 1836 Tennessee Civil Districts and Tax Lists (Douthat, 1993) [name index]*
  • Hawkins County, Tennessee, 1830-1850 Censuses (Lawson, 1987-) [surname index]
  • Hawkins County, Tennessee Cemeteries [4 vols.] (Hawkins County Genealogical Society, 1985-) [surname index]*
  • Hawkins County, Tennessee, Cemeteries (Hawkins County Genealogical Society, 1997-) [surname index]
  • Hawkins County, Tennessee Circuit Court Minutes, 1822-1825, and Fragment for the Period November 1827-August 1828 (Lucas, 1983) [name index]
  • Hawkins County, Tennessee, Deed Abstracts [1801-1819] (Murray, 1998) [name index]*
  • Hawkins County Tennessee Deed Book no. 1, 1788-1800 (WPA, 1937) [name index]
  • Hawkins County Tennessee General Index to Deeds vol. 1, 1788-1861 (WPA, 1940) [name index]
  • Hawkins County, Tennessee, Grant Books 1 & 2, 1787-1819 (McNamara, 1997) [name index]*
  • Hawkins County, Tennessee, Marriage Records, 1789-1866: Bride & Groom Index (Cook, 1993) [surname index]
  • Hawkins County Tennessee Marriage Records vol. 1, 1820-46 (WPA, 1938) [name index]
  • Hawkins County, Tennessee, Marriages, 1866-1899 (Hawkins County Genealogical & Historical Society, 1997) [alphabetical listings]*
  • Hawkins County, Tennessee Marriages, 1900-1925 (Hawkins County Genealogical & Historical Society, 1999) [alphabetical listings]*
  • Hawkins County, Tennessee Vital Statistics 1914 Through 1925 (Wiefering, 199?)*
  • Joseph Rogers Papers [2 vols.] (Huskey, 1990, 1995) [name index]
  • Land Warrants & Grants, Hawkins Co., Tennessee (1788-1804)  (Pruitt, 2016)  [name index]
  • Minutes of the Circuit Court of Hawkins County, 1817-1845 (WPA, 1942) [name index]
  • Older Black Families of Rogersville, Tennessee (Rogers, 1976) [name index]
  • Wills of Hawkins County, Tennessee [1786-1864] (Messick, 1992) [name index]*
  • Wills of Hawkins County, Tennessee [1786-1864] (Gardner & Johnston, 1991) [surname index]


Local Records on Microfilm 

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

Earliest records include:

  • marriages from 1820
  • wills from 1797
  • deed index from 1787
  • chancery court minutes from 1825
  • county court minutes from 1827
  • circuit court minutes from 1810
  • tax books from 1877

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

  • Deed Index -- 1788-1906 (#32, 1 reel)*
  • Marriages -- 1820-1880 (#22, 1 reel)*
  • Wills -- 1797-1910 (#31, 1 reel)*
  • WPA Records, Hawkins County (Record Group #107, Roll 33, 1 reel). Roll includes Deed Book 1 (1788-1800), General Index to Deeds, Vol. 1 (1787-1861), Circuit Court Minutes (1810-1821, 1817-1845, 1822-1825), County Court Minutes (Nov. 1827 - Aug. 1828) and Marriage Records, Vol. 1 (1820-1846).*


Newspapers on Microfilm

Newspapers were published in Rogersville.  Scattered early issues are available from 1858, and a complete run begins in 1932.  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
  • Confederate Veterans Association of Upper East Tennessee Records, 1861-ca. 1895 (Microfilm Manuscript #167, 1 reel)*
  • Grigsby Family Records, ca. 1719-1971 (Microfilm Manuscript #85, 5 reels)*
  • Holston Missionary Baptist Association Records, 1884-2005 (Microfilm Manuscript #1799, 5 reels)

Search for Manuscripts Material in our Catalog 


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


Additional Research Aids for Hawkins County

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


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Hawkins County Formation Act



"An Act for dividing the county of Sullivan."


WHEREAS the extent of Sullivan County being one hundred and fifty miles in length, and settlements thereof and different water-courses, render it inconvenient and troublesome to many of the inhabitants thereof  to attend the courts and general elections, and other public meetings appointed therein:

I.  BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF NORTH-CAROLINA, AND IT IS HEREBY ENACTED BY THE AUTHORITY OF THE SAME,  That from and after the passing of this act, the said county of Sullivan be divided in the following manner,  Beginning where the boundary line between the commonwealth of Virginia and the state of North-Carolina crosses the North Fork of Holstein [sic] River, thence down said fork to its junction with the main Holstein [sic] River, thence cross said river due south to the top of Bayes Mountain, thence along the top of said mountain and the top of the dividing ridge between the waters of Holstein [sic] River and French-Broad River to its junction with Holstein [sic] River, thence down said river Holstein [sic] to its junction with the Tennessee River, thence down the same to the Suck where said river runs through Cumberland Mountain, thence along the top of said mountain to the aforesaid boundary line, thence along said line to the beginning:   And that all that part of Sullivan County of the east side of the North Fork of Holstein [sic] River, shall continue and remain a distinct county by the name of Sullivan;  and all that other part which lies west of said North Fork of  Holstein [sic] shall thenceforth be erected into a new and distinct county by the name of Hawkins.

II.  AND for due administration of justice:  BE IT ENACTED BY THE AUTHORITY AFORESAID, That a court for said county of Hawkins shall be held constantly by the justices thereof on the first Mondays of March, June, September and December; and the justices for the said county of Hawkins are hereby authorized and empowered to hold the first court in the same at the house of Thomas Gibbins;  all subsequent courts for said county on the days above appointed for holding courts therein, at any place to which the said justices shall from court to court adjourn themselves, until a court-house, prison and stocks shall be built for said county of Hawkins;  and then all causes,  matters and things depending in said court, and all manner of processes returnable to the same, shall be adjourned to such court-house;  and all courts held in and for said county of Hawkins shall be held by commission to the justices in the same manner, under the same rules and restrictions, and shall have an exercise the same power and jurisdiction, as are or shall be proscribed in other courts held in the several counties of the state.

[The remainder unnecessary to be inserted.]


Taken from The First Laws of the State of North Carolina (Cushing, 1984)

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Hawkins 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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Hawkins 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. Effect of industrial development on agriculture. Knoxville, TN Ag. Exp. Sta., 1939. 50 pp. (its Rural research series monograph #97)
  • Allred, Charles E. Effect of industrial development on population change. Knoxville, TN Ag. Exp. Sta., 1939. 49 pp. (its Rural research series monograph #96)
  • 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)
  • Anderson, Isaac. A sermon, delivered on Sept. 8th, 1813. Rogersville, the author, 1814. 20 pp.
  • Assessment of secondary land use capabilities at TVA's Phipps Bend Nuclear Plant site with conclusions & recommendations. Knoxville, TVA, 1979. 47 pp.
  • Bentley, Barry N. The vegetation types & vascular flora of the Laurel Run Gorge, Hawkins County, TN. ETSU thesis, 1984. 33 pp.
  • Bible, Donahue. The ambush at Flora's Ferry (Rice's Upper Ferry). Mohawk, the author, 1993. Unp.
  • Biographical directory, TN General Assembly, 1796-1969 (Hawkins County, Preliminary #38-A). Nashville, TSLA, 1973. 76 pp.
  • Caldwell, Kay T. David S. Booker: a Confederate soldier from the Cumberland Gap to Vicksburg, 1834-1912. Surgoinsville, the author, 1994. Unp.
  • Davis, James H. A study of seven school communities of Hawkins County, TN. UT thesis, 1937. 135 pp.
  • First TN-VA Development District. Potential industrial areas in Hawkins County, TN. Johnson City, the district in cooperation with the TVA, 1971. Unp., maps.
  • First TN-VA Development District. Water & sewer plan, Hawkins County, TN. N.p., 1970. 53 pp.
  • Flood insurance study: city of Kingsport, TN, Sullivan & Hawkins counties. (Rev. June 4, 1990.) Washington, D.C., FEMA, 1990. 32 pp.
  • Flood insurance study: Hawkins County, TN, unincorporated areas. Washington, D.C., FEMA, 1991. 19 pp.
  • Goodspeed's history of east TN (Hawkins County, pp. 973-980, 1225-1239). Goodspeed, 1887.
  • Hawkins County Bicentennial Committee. 200 years: the bicentennial celebration of the USA, Hawkins County. Rogersville, East TN Print. Co., 1976. 165 pp.
  • Hawkins County picture album. Rogersville, Hawkins County Bicentennial Committee, 1976. 165 pp.
  • Health profile: Hawkins County, TN. Johnson City, ARCHA Health Systems Agency, 1981. 21 pp.
  • Johnson City-Kingsport-Bristol MSA, 1980-1987: an economic analysis. Nashville, TN Dept. Emp. Sec., 1988. 37 pp.
  • Ketron, Louis T. Post office history of Hawkins County. Knoxville, n.p., 1972. 12 pp. (lists of names & occupations from post offices in the county, copied from Polk's TN Gazetteer, 1891)
  • Lane, Patricia. "Birth, marriage & death: past & present customs in east TN." TN Folklore Soc. Bull. 50 (1984), pp. 58-67.
  • Lewis, Richard P. A breeding bird census of two grassland areas on Phipps Bend, Hawkins County, TN. ETSU thesis, 1975. 65 pp.
  • McCollough, Major C.R. Archaeological survey of the Phipps Bend Steam Plant site on the Holston River near Surgoinsville, Hawkins County, TN. Knoxville, UT Dept. Anthrop., 1973. 18 pp.
  • McNutt, Charles H. An archaeological overview & management plan for the Holston Army Ammunition Plant, Hawkins & Sullivan counties, TN. Walnut Creek, CA, Woodward-Clyde Consultants, 1984. 1 vol.
  • Price, Prentiss, ed. "Two petitions to VA of north of Holston men, 1776, 1777." ETHSP 21 (1949), pp. 95-110.
  • Reynolds, Patrick H, III. "I could almost hear the guns": Battle of Big Creek, Hawkins County, TN Nov. 6, 1863. Surgoinsville, Old Stage Print., 1994. 49 pp.
  • Rogan, James W. Historical sketches of Hawkins County: from its early settlement to 1891. Rogersville, n.p., 1949. 31 pp. (reprinted 1989 by Hawkins County Gen. & Hist. Soc., 50 pp.)
  • Smith, Alan B. A census of breeding bird populations in deciduous forest habitat in Hawkins County, TN. ETSU thesis, 1975. 52 pp.
  • Smith, Margaret L. Miss Nan, beloved rebel. Johnson City, Overmountain Press, 1986. 467 pp.
  • Snodgrass, Billy B. Written board of education policies for Hawkins County, TN. ETSU thesis, 1970. 79 pp.
  • Soil survey, Hawkins & Hancock counties, TN. Washington, D.C., US GPO, 1979. 84 pp.
  • TN Dept. Transportation [county maps] issued periodically.
  • TN Taxpayers Association. A report on a survey of the condition of the highway funds of Hawkins County, TN, & the financial administration of such funds by the county highway department, with recommendations. Nashville, the association, 1956. 33 pp.
  • Tolbert, Renne S. A study of farm women in Hawkins County, TN regarding their perception of tasks in home, farm, employment & community activities. UT thesis, 1990. 147 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: a sequel to East TN's lore of yesteryear. Whitesburg, the author, 1989. 421 pp.
  • US Geol. Survey. The Chattanooga shale (Devonian & Mississippian) from the TN Div. of Geology: US Dept. of Energy drill hole #4 & 5, Hawkins County, TN. Morgantown, WV, US Dept. Energy, 1980. 40 pp.
  • US Geol. Survey [topographic maps] issued periodically. Quadrangles: Kyles Ford, Looney's Gap, Plum Grove, Kingsport, Swan Island, Lee Valley, Pressmens Home, Burem, Stony Point, Lovelace, Sullivan Gardens, Bean Station, Russellville, Bulls Gap, McCloud, Baileytown.
  • Vance, Carl T. A study of high schools in Hawkins County, TN. George Peabody College thesis, 1922. pp.
  • Walker, Homer A. Historical sketches of Hawkins County, Rogersville (county seat), TN. Washington, D.C., n.p., 1958. 72 pp.
  • Williams, Bernice C. Cloud's Creek School, 1919-1957. Rogersville, the author, 1987. 59 pp.
  • Williams, Samuel C. Phases of southwest territory history. Johnson City, Watauga Press, 1940. 26 pp. (Hawkins County, pp. 18-20)
  • With the colors from Hawkins County: 1917-1918-1919. Pressmen's Home, Dunwoody & Reed, 1920. 92 pp.
  • Wolfe, Margaret R. An industrial history of Hawkins County, TN. Knoxville, TVA, 1983. 28 pp.

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Church Hill
  • Reber, Clara S. Church Hill, TN area history, 1754-1976. Church Hill, n.p., 1976. 129 pp.

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Hale Springs
  • Hale Springs in the mountains of east TN. Knoxville, Ogden Bros. & Co., 1891. 8 pp.

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  • Schaffer, Daniel. A short history of McCloud, TN & the Weaver Pottery Factory. Norris, TVA, 1981. 4 pp.

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Pressmen's Home
  • Mooney, Jack. Printers in Appalachia: the International Printing Pressmen & Assistants' Union of North America, 1907-1967. Bowling Green, OH, Bowling Green State U. Popular Press, 1993. 193 pp.
  • Mooney, Jack. "The sanitorium of the International Printing Pressmen & Assistants' Union of North America 1910-1961, at Pressmen's Home, TN." THQ 48 (1989), pp. 162-173.

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  • First Baptist Church, Rogersville, TN. Diamond anniversary, 1890-1965. Rogersville, n.p., 1965. pp.
  • Flood insurance study: city of Rogersville, TN, Hawkins County. Washington, D.C., FEMA, 1993. 10 pp.
  • Long, Alton B. An economic & educational survey of Rogersville community. UT thesis, 1940. 166 pp.
  • Lovelace, Robert A. Rogersville annexation study. Knoxville, MTAS, 1956. 22 pp.
  • Park, James. The 50th anniversary of the Rogersville Synodical College. McMinnville, the Standard, 1899. 17 pp.
  • Rogers, Joseph. The Joseph Rogers papers. Compiled & transcribed by Allan Huskey. N.p., the author, 1990. 118 pp.
  • Walker, W.A. Remarks on the statements of Dr. Coffin & the new school elders, as published in the Rev. J.W. Cunningham's pamphlet; together with a statement of the old school elders, in relation to the division of the Presbyterian congregation at Rogersville, east TN. Knoxville, Gifford & Eastman, 1840. 46 pp.
  • Webb, George E. Early printing in Rogersville, TN: with an annotated checklist of Rogersville imprints, 1814-1860. Rogersville, the author, 1978. 41 pp.

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  • Netherland, Frank. A history of Ross Silk Factory & other events of Rotherwood, TN. Rotherwood, the author, 1988. 80 pp.
  • Ross, Charles C. The story of Rotherwood from the autobiography of Rev. Frederick A. Ross. Knoxville, Bean, Warters & Co., 1923. 35 pp.

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St. Clair
  • Bacon, Charles. History of St. Clair, TN. St. Clair, St. Clair Academy, n.d. Unp.
  • Cobb, Pharoh L. The St. Clair Academy, St. Clair-- Hawkins County-- TN. Nashville, n.p., 1956. 26 pp.

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  • Crowe, Ruth A. New Providence Presbyterian Church, Stony Point, Surgoinsville, TN, 1780-1980: a historical collection. Surgoinsville, the church, 1980. 58 pp.
  • Tales of the past: pictorial history of the town of Surgoinsville, TN. Surgoinsville, Old Stage Print., 1993. 40 pp.

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Textbook Controversy
  • Bates, Stephen. Battleground: one mother's crusade, the religious right, & the struggle for control of our classrooms. NY, Poseidon Press, 1993. 365 pp. (reprinted 1994 by Holt)
  • Censorship in our schools, Hawkins County, TN [videocassette]. Washington, D.C., People for the American Way, 1988. 1 videocassette, 18 min.
  • Dellinger, David W. My way or the highway: the Hawkins County textbook controversy. UT thesis, 1991. 368 pp.
  • Foltin, Richard T. Religion & public school curricula: the TN & AL textbook cases. NY, American Jewish Committee, Institute of Human Relations, 1987. 12 pp.

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