Historical Hancock County

In the midst of the most beautiful countryside of Northeast Tennessee, Hancock County stretches from Clinch Mountain on its southern border to Newman’s Ridge and the Powell Mountains on its north where it lies against the southwestern border of Virginia. Hancock County’s magnificant setting offers its visitors a new experience at every turn of the winding roads leading into this most isolated and tranquil county in the State of Tennessee.

The year of the first settlement of the area is uncertain. Some historians set the date at 1795 while others cite evidence of settlers receiving grants to the land much earlier. Predating all of these, however, were the people known as Melungeons who were encountered by French traders in the mountains of east Tennessee in the late 1600's. All evidence points to the fact that these unique people were long ensconced on Newman’s Ridge when the first settlers made their way to the land now known as Hancock County.

Its relative isolation has preserved both the beauty and rural quality of Hancock County. The population of the county stands at 6,725. There are 1,501 residents of the county seat of Sneedville.

Many residents of the South can trace part of their genealogical heritage to northeast Tennessee and Hancock County provides a wealth of research material. Many descendants of those who first broke ground here are still living in the lush green mountains of Hancock County today. Family histories and connections have been passed down from the earliest to the most recent generations waiting to be shared with those whose ancestors once lived, married, or died in the area.
A comprehensive history and genealogy of Hancock County has been compiled by the Hancock County Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc., entitled Hancock County Tennessee and its People, Volumes I and II, dated 1989 and 1994 and Volume III, 2003 respectively

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