When it was erected in 1786, Sumner County was still a part of North Carolina. Understandably, its early settlers came mostly from the Watauga region, although many came directly from Virginia. Sumner County was a kind of crossroads in the flow of westward migration, and many families tarried there–or remained indefinitely–leaving behind a wealth of tantalizing records. Some had come only recently from the battles of the Revolution; some even from King’s Mountain.
The work in hand consists of abstracts of Will Books 1 and 2 in the county courthouse in Gallatin, covering the years 1788-1842. Typically, the abstracts, which bear reference to some 3,000 persons, give the name of the testator, date of instrument, names of heirs (usually wives and children), nature of the bequest, names of witnesses and executors, date of probate, and the relevant page number of the original will book. All of the names found in the abstracts are easily accessible via the index at the back of the volume.