Tennessee Maps & Data
Three widely available county-wide population data sets cover the decade from 1830 to 1840 for Hawkins County, Tennessee: the federal census enumerations from 1830 and 1840, which bracket this time period, and a county tax list from 1836 that clips the middle part of the decade. Although there are a few exceptions for a small number of widows, free blacks and a smattering of elderly Revolutionary War pensioners, for the most part, the names in these data sets represent white, male heads of household. Despite such obvious limitations, these population data sets provide an immense amount of valuable information for the family researcher.
To facilitate research efforts, the names from all of these lists were combined into a single, searchable file, which was then converted into several widely available formats (.pdf, .xls and .xlsx). This element of the project rests heavily upon the shoulders of previous researchers. Access to transcribed federal census records would not have been possible without the census indexing efforts of Ancestry.com Inc. Furthermore, in order to connect the names to ground locations, the population data needs to be referenced to a map, and the best available source for that has been a map from a 1993 publication by James Douthat for the 1836 tax districts of Hawkins County. His research efforts also made the names of the tax lists for that year available to the general public. This genealogical product is intended to build upon this foundational work.
The first part of this project constitutes a list of names. As noted above, a chronological and alphabetically arranged file was produced containing all of the names from these three population data sets. The first and last names, along with the inclusion of a common surname category, that reduced the effect of spelling variants, allows individuals and family groups to be easily traced through this ten year time period. The second element is the map. If there's one thing that creates understanding for data it's the visualization power of a map.
As concisely outlined in Douthat's publication, the legal authority for the establishment of civil tax districts was established by the Tennessee General Assembly in 1835, which also provided detailed instructions for defining the tax district boundaries. The assembly directed the county commissioners, whom they charged with this responsibility, to use county lines, rivers, creeks, mountain ridges, roads and any other natural or artificial marks in this effort. For the most part, these "other" marks constituted the use of existing property boundaries of individual landowners. While the ground location of these properties are not known with certainty at the present time, reference to modern day 1:24,000 scale USGS quads has allowed many of the ridges, streams, fords and road locations to be positively indentified. This report produces an update to Douthat's tax district map based on a direct comparison of the published district boundary descriptions to the geographic elements reflected on modern day maps. Consequently, some parts of the boundaries were established with a high degree of certainty, while other parts remains uncertain. The map files are made available here in a GoogleEarth readable format (a .kmz file).
Ancestry.com. 1830 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.
Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: Fifth Census of the United States, 1830. (NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.
Hawkins County 1836 Tennessee Civil Districts and Tax Lists, James L. Douthat, Mountain Press, PO Box 400, Signal Mountain, Tennessee, 1993
Ancestry.com. 1840 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.
Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: Sixth Census of the United States, 1840. (NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.
1836 Civil Tax District Map
Map GoogleEarth Data 1836 Tax District KMZ Files Combined List of Names: 1830 & 1840 Census & 1836 Tax List (.xls) XLS Combined List of Names: 1830 & 1840 Census & 1836 Tax List (.xlsx) XLSX Combined List of Names: 1830 & 1840 Census & 1836 Tax List (.pdf)
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Last Revised: 11/23/2014