Blount County, Tennessee County Court Minutes Book 2 1814-1817 is a book that I recently added to my personal collection. I briefly consulted it while researching in the McClung Collection in Knoxville a few weeks ago, but quickly realized that I would be better off buying the book than trying to make copies.
Robert Kendrick, my fourth great-grandfather, led me to this book. He and Franky Rudd were married in Blount County, Tennessee on 20 Jan 1812.1 This is the earliest source I have for Robert Kendrick. Most online trees that I have viewed have identified Robert as being born about 1747 in Hanover County, Virginia (or even Hanover Parish, Jamaica). I have always suspected that the Robert Kendrick born about 1747 is not the same one who married Franky Rudd; she was born about 1790 and that’s quite an age difference. Not impossible, but certainly suspicious. It’s also quite a leap to go from a marriage in Tennessee to a birth in Virginia more than fifty years earlier, with no supporting documentation in between.
So, following the principle of “start with what you know,” I decided to research Blount County records in the 1812 time frame for other references to Robert Kendrick. I was thrilled when I found several transcriptions of Blount County Court records, and this book, in particular. Court minutes can provide details found nowhere else and help solve thorny problems.
This is a published WPA transcription of the Blount County, Tennessee County Court Minutes for the years 1814-1817. As with most WPA transcriptions, there are errors in the body, as well as in the index. Nonetheless, it is an invaluable resource. Page numbers in the index refer to the original page numbers in the minute books. The book is organized in chronological order, starting with the September Term 1814 and runs through the December Term 1817. Since it is a transcription, it is a derivative source. I don’t know yet if the original minute books are available; if so, I will certainly want to access them.
I may need to read through the book page by page, rather than relying on solely on the index. Also, the court dates are often recorded several pages before the relevant entries and I knew there was a good chance I would miss at least one date page. These are two reasons why I decided to buy the book, rather than make copies at the library. Based on the index, I know that there are entries for Kendrick, Rudd, and Lowery. I have hopes that this book will help me identify the families of both Robert Kendrick and Betsy Lowery. I’ve already traced the Rudd family back a few more generations and into Virginia, so the entries for them will flesh out their lives.
Future posts will detail what I learn from this source.
- “Tennessee, County Marriages, 1790-1950,” database and digital images, FamilySearch (http://www.familysearch.org : accessed 19 August 2012), Robert Kindrick and Franky Rudd, 1812, marriage license with no return; citing Marriage Records, FHL microfilm 2,073,748. ↩