The purpose of this work is to identify the early inhabitants of the Tennessee Country, something the federal census records fail to do, for the first forty years of settlement in the area are a blank, at least in the official enumerations. This work is a reconstruction of the census of the three Cumberland River counties now in Tennessee.
These counties, originally a part of North Carolina, today are all or part of forty Tennessee counties. As new counties were formed and subdivided, the early settlers were caught in changing jurisdictions, so the researcher has had to search in several jurisdictions for ancestral records, even though the ancestor may never have moved. To rectify this problem, the author has divided this work into three sections, one for each of the three counties so as to place the early inhabitants in the actual area settled. Abstracted from the public records are all references to those living in the jurisdictions between 1770 and 1790. From wills, deeds, court minutes, marriage records, military records, and many related items, the author has put together a carefully documented list of inhabitants–virtually the “first” census of Tennessee.