Tennessee – Washington County


Washington County, TN

File:State of Franklin.PNG

The county was named after George Washington (1732-1799) who became the First President of the United States in 1789.

In 1776 settlers in what would eventually become Tennessee successfully petitioned North Carolina to recognize the Washington District. The District included all of modern Tennessee except two small settlements (North-of-Holston, Fincastle County, and Pendleton, Washington County) in the far northeast that were considered part of Virginia at the time. From the Washington District North Carolina created Washington County in 1777 as the western county of North Carolina.

In August 1784 delegates from Washington and two other western North Carolina counties which had split off from Washington (all now in Tennessee), declared their Independence from North Carolina because of perceived neglect, and misuse by North Carolina’s legislature. By May 1785 they had petitioned to be admitted to the United States as the new State of Franklin. The Franklin statehood request was denied. By 1789 the hopes for a State of Franklin faded. North Carolina refused to recognize several counties created by Franklin out of Washington County.

North Carolina became a state in 1789 and ceded her westernmost counties to the United States. The ceded counties, including most of Washington County, became the Southwest Territory.

In 1792 North Carolina annexed back some land from Washington County that would later become AlleghanyAshe, and Watauga counties in North Carolina and attached it to Wilkes County, North Carolina.  In 1796 the remainder of Washington County and the rest of the Southwest Territory became the new State of Tennessee.

East Tennessee county established in 1777. Originally part of the pioneer Watauga Settlements, from 1784 to 1788, this land was also claimed by the abortive, short-lived State of Franklin.

See also Washington (old) County, North Carolina, originally called Washington District, North Carolina, for further information about Washington County, Tennessee.

Parent County

1777–Washington County was created 15 November 1777 from Washington district.
County seat: Jonesborough [8]

Record Loss

1839 Fire damaged courthouse records.[11]

Lost censuses: 1790, 1800, 1810, 1820

Washington Co, TN:

FamilySearch Wiki site: https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Washington_County,_Tennessee_Genealogy

FamilySearch Catalogue site: https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/results?count=20&query=%2Bsubject%3ATennessee%20%2Bsubject%3AWashington


WASHINGTON Co, TN Minute Books 1778-1809

1784 Nov 1 – Thomas Going is appointed constable in Washington Co, TN p. 257, WASHINGTON Co, TN Minute Books 1778-1809 https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS4Y-L3Z4-R?i=180&cat=304772

1787 Aug 6 – Matthew Bass and William Bass. review – dispute re ownership of a slave it appears.  William Bass p. 289 WASHINGTON Co, TN Minute Books 1778-1809

1788 Feb – Alex Moffett Esq v Thomas Goan – The following Jury viz. 1) John Trotter, 2) Jesse Humphries . . . 12) etc. Found for Plt. pg 315, WASHINGTON Co, TN Minute Books 1778-1809

1788 May 12 – Thomas Goan to Charles Young bill of sale. p. 323, WASHINGTON Co, TN Minute Books 1778-1809

1788 May 12 – a deed of mortgage from Thomas Goan to Charles Young. 324, WASHINGTON Co, TN Minute Books 1778-1809

1788 Aug – State v Thomas Goan – Petit larceny – jury finds Deft Not Guilty. p. 337, WASHINGTON Co, TN Minute Books 1778-1809

1789 Feb – Jeremiah Bass is appt on jury p. 366 WASHINGTON Co, TN Minute Books 1778-1809 https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS4Y-L3CY-H?i=235&cat=304772

1789 May – John Hannah v. William Nelson, has Thomas Goin as juror no. 4 in that case. Mistrial both sides to pay their own costs. p. 404 WASHINGTON Co, TN Minute Books 1778-1809. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS4Y-L3ZZ-N?i=254&cat=304772

1789 May – James Lewis v. John Tipton Esq, case – not guilty … Thomas Going was juror no. 9, found for the Deft. p. 406 WASHINGTON Co, TN Minute Books 1778-1809. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS4Y-L3C1-3?i=255&cat=304772

1789 May – The State v John Trotter – Thomas Goan is appt on jury p. 386, WASHINGTON Co, TN Minute Books 1778-1809 https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS4Y-L3C1-8?i=245&cat=304772

1789 May – William Dale v Francis Baker, case no. 14, Thomas Goan is on the jury. p. 387, WASHINGTON Co, TN Minute Books 1778-1809

1789 May – Thomas Goar – is juror – p. 388 WASHINGTON Co, TN Minute Books 1778-1809

1789 May – Jeremiah Bass is on a jury to mark out a waggon road from Carters Mill the nearest and best way that may be into the Waggon Road in Gap Creek near Richard Shiles. p. 401, WASHINGTON Co, TN Minute Books 1778-1809 https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS4Y-L3Z9-Y?i=252&cat=304772

1789 Aug – Thomas Goan is a juror in State v Samuel Tate – found not guilty of assault and battery. p. 401. WASHINGTON Co, TN Minute Books 1778-1809

1789 Nov – Ordered that Brittain Esquire bring forward all the papers related to an appeal between the following persons viz. James Lee Esq, John Beverley, William Armstrong Going. p. 416 WASHINGTON Co, TN Minute Books 1778-1809 https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS4Y-L3Z9-2?i=260&cat=304772

1790 May – Thomas Goan is a juror in Robert Palmer v. William J Hall. Found for Plt 5 pounds plus costs. p. 445. WASHINGTON Co, TN Minute Books 1778-1809

1790 Aug – Thomas Goan v John Cassady – jury trial – found for Deft. p. 458. WASHINGTON Co, TN Minute Books 1778-1809

1790 Aug – Ordered that there be a public road laid out from the publick road just below the Sycamore Shoales the nearest and best way to Landon Carters Esq Mill thence to Godfrey Ganeger’s Mill from thence over the Iron Mountain unto the public road running up Roans Creek at the Lowes Settlement and that the following persons view and mark off the same viz … Jeremiah Bass … (others listed). p. 463, WASHINGTON Co, TN Minute Books 1778-1809

1790 Aug – Ordered that a road be laid out from the mouth of little do up said doe to a place called Hammerge Meadow and that (several people named including): … James Guin Sr, Champ Guins, John Gains … be a jury to view and lay out the same… p.473 WASHINGTON Co, TN Minute Books 1778-1809

1790 Aug – A deed of Conveyance from Clandon Carter to Jeremiah Bass for 280 acres of land acknowledged in open court let it be registered. p. 476, WASHINGTON Co, TN Minute Books 1778-1809

1794 Aug 25 – John Carter Esq v. Jeremiah Bass. Case and Inquiry … p. 507 WASHINGTON Co, TN Minute Books 1778-1809

1794 Nov 17 – James Gowin is a juror in John M Peters v John Arnold – find for Plaintiff. p. 516. WASHINGTON Co, TN Minute Books 1778-1809


Deed page for FamilySearch:  https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/276692?availability=Family%20History%20Library

Index for G’s starts here:  https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS4Y-DSG7-J?i=249&cat=276692

Deed Book Index Gs: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS4Y-DSG7-J?i=249&cat=276692

1786 Oct 26 – Thomas Goin fr State of North Carolina bk 4, p 48

NC Land Grants:

1779 entered, 1786 issued, Thomas Goin recd warrant No. 1468, TN Washington Co, TN. 225 acres joining Tipton’s line upon the waters of Cherokee Cr file 657.

From Gowen Manuscript:  http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~gowenrf/Gowenms116.htm


In 1781 the British were overrunning the Carolinas. Washington County volunteers had long been involved in protecting the south, and now they participated in the Battle of Kings Mountain, what has since been looked upon as a major turning point in the Revolutionary War. Among the volunteers in the campaign were six men who had been purchasers at the first sale of lots in Jonesborough: Nathaniel Evans, Charles, Holloway, David Hughes, Robert Sevier, Christopher Taylor, and Jesse Walton. Robert Sevier, brother of Col. John Sevier, was mortally wounded in the battle and never had a chance to claim his property in the town of Jonesborough.

According to the 1834 “Tennessee Gazetteer,” in 1833 Jonesborough “contained a population of about 500 inhabitants; eleven lawyers, four physicians, two clergymen, two churches, two academies, four schools, one printing office, four carpenters, three cabinet makers, two bricklayers, one blacksmith, four taverns, two hatters, four tailors, four shoemakers, one silversmith, two wagonmakers and one mill.”

The town experienced a boom during the early 1840s when many of the existing Federal style brick structures were built.

The first local post office was established in 1796 with John Waddell as postmaster. Around 1800 a post route was started and mail was carried by horseback twice a week. Increasing demands of passenger travel and mail delivery resulted in more stage lines which increased from once a week in 1825 to three times a week in 1834.

Jonesborough is the oldest town in Tennessee, established in 1779 by the General Assembly of North Carolina as county seat of Washington County, first county west of the mountains. In 1784 the State of Franklin was organized here, with Jonesborough as its first capital.

In 1775 the settlers on both the Watauga and Nolichucky Rivers purchased great acreages of land from the Cherokee Indians, comprising almost all the six upper counties of the present Tennessee [then within North Carolina]. Desiring their own government, these settlers petitioned the Provincial Council of North Carolina to be annexed as an official entity. In 1777 the “County of Washington” was formed.

The first meeting to decide the location of the new courthouse was at the home of Charles Robertson, and it was decided that John Carter, Andrew Greer, William Cobb, Jacob Womack, George Russell, John Sevier and James Stuart would lay out the plans and location of the new courthouse.

One hundred acres was purchased from David Hughes and laid out into lots for the Town of Jonesborough, named after Willie Jones of Halifax, North Carolina. The lots were offered in lottery.
“Rebekah Gain, widow,” had a real estate transaction August 5 1734, with James Boreing, according to Washington County Deed Book 3BA, page 52.
John Gain/Goin was married to Dorcas Boreing about 1784 in Maryland. They removed to Washington County, Tennessee

Children born to John Gain/Goin and Dorcas Boreing Goin include:

Thomas Goin born about 1786
Joshua Gain/Goin born about 1787

Thomas Goin, son of John Gain/Goin and Dorcas Boreing Goin, was born about 1786 in Maryland. He accompanied his parents to Washington County, Tennessee. He was killed in the War of 1812.

Joshua Gain/Goin, son of John Gain/Goin and Dorcas Boreing Goin, was born about 1787 in Maryland. He accompanied his parents to Washington County, Tennessee. After marriage, wife’s name unknown, he removed to Monroe County, Tennessee and Taladega County, Alabama. He was enumerated there in the 1850 census.
Orville R. Goan, Company B, Ninth Tennessee Cavalry Regiment, was buried in Mountain Home National Cemetery, Jonesboro, Tennessee, according to “Washington County Tombstone Inscriptions” by Charles M. Bennett.
“Henery Goens, one pole” was entered in “A inverty of the taxable property of Capt. John Hendricks District tacken by me Joshue Killey for the yeare 1788.” This document was included in the 1788 tax list of Washington County, [North Carolina.]
G. Goin was married to Miss S. Kincheloe March 12, 1840, according to “Washington County, Tennessee Marriage Records.” Of G. Goin and Mrs. S. Kincheloe Goin nothing more is known.
Mary Goin was married to George W. Gibson August 2, 1833, according to “Washington County, Tennessee Marriages, 1780-1840.”
Thomas Goin, a North Carolina Revolutionary soldier, received a land grant of 225 acres in Washington County, in 1786, “on the waters of the Nolachucky passing a bank of rocks” according to “North Carolina Land Grants in Tennessee, 1778-1791”, page 18, by Lillian Johnson Gardiner and Betty Goff Cartwright. He was a petitioner there in 1786.

On August 18, 1786 an election was held “at the house of Mr. John Rennos where Charles Robeson formerly lived” to elect a “Senator and a Commoner.” “Thomas Goings” was recorded as voting in the election.

Washington County at one time included the whole state of Tennessee. At that time it still included most of the state.

Pvt Thomas Goins assigned his land warrant, No. 756, to Lardner Clark, an attorney who later practiced in Nashville. The grant was located on Cherokee Creek.

“Thomas Going” was recorded as “one white poll” in the “List of Taxable Property in the District of Capt. Joseph Young’s Miltitia” taken by H. Nelson, J.P. “Thomas Going” reappeared in 1779 as “one white poll” in Capt. John Reno’s District.

Miss Arabella Goins was married to Jesse Duncan November 7, 1839, according to “Washington County, Tennessee Marriage Records.”
Alice Goins “shot and killed Elbert Brown in Bell’s Store October 10, 1905” at Potlicker Flats, Tennessee.
Elizabeth Goins was married to William Delaney [Dulaney] August 27, 1812, according to “Washington County, Tennessee Marriage Records” by Norma Rutledge Grammer and Marion Day Mullins. Elizabeth Goins was born in Maryland in 1796, according to Brenda Gaines Gulick, a descendant.

The entry was carried in Washington County Marriage Book O, page 141, according to “Washington County, Tennessee Marriages & Wills,” Volume I, by Ethel Wheeler Smith. Joseph Young, J.P. performed the ceremony, according to Washington County Marriage Book O, page 6..

William Dulaney was born about 1789. He paid a poll tax in 1819, but had no land. His father later gave him a tract. He died in 1825.

“Elizabeth Dulaney, widow” was recorded in the 1850 census of Washington County as the head of a household of three people, including her son William Dulaney and Theodosia Dulaney, unidentified.

Elizabeth Goins Dulaney, age 76 was enumerated with her son Milton Dulaney in 1870.

Children born to William Dulaney and Elizabeth Goins Dulaney include:

Milton Dulaney born about 1814
Louvina Dulaney born about 1817
Eliza Dulaney born about 1821
Josiah Dulaney born about 1823
William Dulaney born about 1825

Milton Dulaney, son of William Dulaney and Elizabeth Goins Dulaney, was born about 1814 in Washington County. He was married there December 4, 1837 to Orpha Fine who was born in 1819. Eight children were born to them.

Louvina Dulaney, daughter of William Dulaney and Elizabeth Goins Dulaney, was born about 1817 in Washington County. She was married about 1833 to David Fine, regarded as a brother to Orpha Fine. They appeared in the 1850 census of Washington County with six children.

Eliza Dulaney, daughter of William Dulaney and Elizabeth Goins Dulaney, was born in Washington County in 1821

Josiah Dulaney, son of William Dulaney and Elizabeth Goins Dulaney, was born in Washington County about 1823 He was married there to Ellenor “Ellen” Maloney. They were enumer-ated in the 1860 census of Blount County, but returned to Washington County by 1880. Six children were born to them.

William Dulaney, son of William Dulaney and Elizabeth Goins Dulaney, was born in Washington County about 1825. He was enumerated with his mother in the 1850 census of Washington County at age 25.
Ephriam Goins was married to Elizabeth Parker September 11, 1823, according to “Washington County, Tennessee Mar­riage Records.”

They appeared in the 1830 census of Washington County, page 226, as the head of a household. The family was listed as:

“Goins, Ephriam white male 30-40
white female 20-30
white male 5-10
white female 0-5
white male 0-5”

The household of Ephriam Goins and Elizabeth Parker Goins did not reappear in the 1840 or 1850 census of Tennessee.
N. Goins was married December 14, 1839 to Miss M. C. Price, according to “Washington County, Tennessee Marriage Records, 1787-1840.” Children born to N. Goins and Mrs. M. C. Price Goins are unknown.
Charles Guinn, a three-year-old mulatto, was apprenticed by his parents Champion Guinn and Dorcas Guinn to Richard Callaway and Rebekah Hutson May 16, 1791 in Washington County, according to “Burke County, North Carolina Apprentice Bonds and Records, 1784-1873” as published in the May 1997 issue of “North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal.” The contract read:

“This Indenture made the Sixteenth Day of may in the year of our Lord, one thousand Seven hundred and Ninty one Between Champaon Guinn of the Western Teritory and County of Washington farmer of the one Part, and Richard Callaway and Rebekah Hutson of the other Part Witnesseth the Said Champaon Guinn and Darcas his Wife Do Put their Son Charles Guinn melato Boy, an apprintice to Serve the Said Richard Callaway and Rebeka Hutson untill he Shall be of the age of Twenty one years the Said Charles was Born ye 15th Day of Febuary 1788 therefor he, his master and mistres Shall faithfully Serve for the Term of Eighteen years Which Will End ye 15th Day of Febuary 1809 During Which Time, the Said Charles his master and mistres Shall obay their Councels Observe and keep as a faithfull aPrintice aught to Do ‑ he Shall not Embazell his master Good nor Contract marrag Without their Consent and the Said Richard Callaway Shall find the Sd Boy Charles meet Drink Cloathing Washing and Lodging and Every other thing Needfull for an apprintice, and the Richard Callaway Shall Give the Said apprintice one year Scooling; and Larne him the art of Aggriculter and When the Said Boy Come to the age of 21 years the Said Richard Callaway Shall Give him a Good Sute of Cloath (to Wit) a Coat Jacot and Britches Two Shirt a Par of Shoes and Stockins and a hat, a horse Bridle and Sadle In Witness Whereof the Parties to these Present have hereunto Set their their [sic] hand and fixed their Seals the Dat and Day first above Writen ‑‑”
Signers: Champaon [~] Guinn, Dorcas [x] Guinn, Richard [x] Calaway, Rebekah [x] Hutson
Witnesses: William [+] Baird, Ezekiel Baird [Jurat]


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