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Descendants of the Watauga Association


Descendants of the Watauga Association

This group is dedicated to the descendants of and those with historical interest in the Watauga Association. The association was located in present day Washington, Carter, and Sullivan Counties in Tennessee.

Members: 35
Latest Activity: Jul 31

Watauga Association

The Watauga Association was formed in 1772 and was one of the first autonomous forms of government to exist before the establishment and outgrowth of the Continental Congress in 1776 and certainly a first form of government west of the Alleghenies. The settlement covered a wide area and was located near the Watauga River near present day Elizabethton in Carter County, Tennessee.

Settlers of Watauga originally thought that they were creating a new settlement in Virginia, however they were actually located on Cherokee lands. Since they were outside the boundaries and protection of a governmental body, the Wautugans created the Articles of the Watauga Association in 1772 and elected thirteen commissioners to oversee the settlement's affairs. The names of the original elected thirteen commissioners are:

John Carter, Charles Robertson, James Robertson, Zachariah Isbell, John Sevier, James Smith, Jacob Brown, William Bean, John Jones, George Russell, Jacob Womack, Robert Lucas, and William Latham

What resulted were a series of transactions with the local Cherokee and the leasing of the land that the settlement resided upon. This pact created internal unrest within the Cherokee that resulted in attacks on settlers in the area. During the Revolutionary War, local forts were created to protect settlers and their families from Indian attacks. Womacks Fort was one such fort that was established.

In 1776, the Watauga Settlement could no longer provide adequate protection to the inhabitants of the area and petitioned the North Carolina Provincial Council for annexaction. Soon after the Washington District was created that encompassed much of eastern tip of present day Tennessee and later became Washington County, Tennessee.

Discussion Forum

Wataugan Ancestors

Started by Heather Isbell Kramer. Last reply by brian paul cahill Jul 31. 18 Replies

Please list your Wataugan ancestors and if possible, where their families migrated to!

Tags: migration, ancestors, Watauga

Dalton and Simon Ridge

Started by Debbie Winchell (Loving Dove). Last reply by April Lee Payne Nov 19, 2015. 3 Replies

Is anyone researching the families of Dalton and Simon Ridge?  They signed the State of Franklin petition.  I believe the State of Franklin encompassed the region of the Watauga Association.  I…Continue

Signers of the Watauga Petition to North Carolina (1776)

Started by Heather Isbell Kramer. Last reply by April Lee Payne Nov 19, 2015. 8 Replies

The people below all signed the Watauga Petition to North Carolina for annexation in 1776: John Carter     John Sevier     John Jones     Charles Roberdson     Jas. Smith     George Rusel     James…Continue

Tags: Petition, Tennessee, Watauga

Moved Graves

Started by Kristy Davis Aug 4, 2015. 0 Replies

I've noticed the shortage of info on Watauga also.  I did find something on the internet that can possibly be of use to someone.  It happened I believe, when the TVA was building a dam somewhere in…Continue

Finding the Children and Marriages

Started by Debbie Winchell (Loving Dove). Last reply by April Lee Payne Jun 30, 2015. 6 Replies

I wonder what records exist that would enable us to document the marriages and children of the families. I think my ancestor Joseph Peavler was actually the son of Ulrich Beeler.  I'd like to find…Continue

Tags: peavler, ridge, beeler, marriage, baptism

Discrepancies and Limited History of Fort Watauga? Need Help/Answers, Please

Started by April Lee Payne. Last reply by April Lee Payne May 5, 2015. 3 Replies

I'm posting this here because I have reached yet another stumbling block in my family research. Online resources seem terribly limited and mostly conflicting. I even came across a thesis regarding…Continue

Tags: history, 1776, Siege, Watauga, Ft.

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Descendants of the Watauga Association to add comments!

Comment by Beth Walton on January 5, 2016 at 6:48pm

William Bean, Sr.and Margaret Hatton's son William Bean married Lydia Russell, and he was a commissioner on the 1776 Watauga Petition with my 5th great-grandfather, Jacob Womack.  

William Bean, Sr. and Margaret Hatton's daughter, Elizabeth Bean married George Russell, and their daughter, Lydia Russell married Revolutionary War soldier Col. James Roddye. 

Comment by Maureen MacDonald on January 5, 2016 at 6:24pm

Beth,   Sorry. I goofed.  Lydia is the daughter of George Russell and Elizabeth Bean, daughter of William Bean and his wife, Elisabeth.    Does that match what you have?

Comment by Beth Walton on January 5, 2016 at 5:45pm


Please share more information about your ancestors, Lydia Bean and George Russell.  I have a lot of information on the Beans and Russells, but nothing on this relationship, nor did I find it in any database..  

Comment by Maureen MacDonald on January 5, 2016 at 12:42pm

Descend from William Bean's dau. Lydia, who married George Russell.  Any others with Bean ancestry?  Let us chat and share!


Comment by Rosemary Taylor on January 4, 2016 at 9:20pm

Does anyone have Taylor / Tyler that was in this area?

Comment by Jeffrey Wiser on August 24, 2015 at 3:37pm

My connection to and interest in the Watauga Association relates to my 6th great grandfather, Godfrey Isbell, who served in the company of militia at Womack's Fort in 1776.  Godfrey Isbell is believed to have accompanied or followed his uncle, Zachariah / Zachary Isbell, to the area.

Comment by Beth Walton on June 26, 2014 at 5:33pm


This part of the information I have on my 5th great-grandfather, Maj. Jacob Womack, who was a committeeman on the 1776 Watauga Petition, which includes Christopher Taylor of the Watauga area:

Tennessee Land Grants, Washington County, Book 5, Page 318, Year: 1782 - Grant #2316 - Jacob Wammack (sic, Womack) - 262 acres; 

File No. 63 - Jacob Wamock - 262 acres - Washington Co, NC (later a part of northeast TN),  23 Sept. 1778 - Entry No. 433 " 400 acres to Mjr. Jacob Wamack, on west side of Pains Branch, the waters of Little Lime Stone. Beginning at a white oak at the road that goes from the place where the said Wamack formerly lived (now the property of Christopher Taylor) to Benjamine Gests.

Surveyed 24 March 1779 - 262 acres for Jacob Wamack - on west side of Fain's Branch, adj. W. Carter.  Chain Carriers: Josiah and Francis Hamilton. Grant No. 231 - Issued 23 Oct. 1782. Book 44, page 260. 

In 1786, Washington Co, NC (later TN), Jacob Womack, farmer, Burke Co, NC, sold 262 acres to John Hampton of Camden Dist, SC.

Comment by Jill Choate on May 12, 2012 at 10:09am

Trying to validate the Cherokee link with Emanuel Chote.  Has anyone been able to do this yet?  I found information about his widow (supposedly Cherokee) marrying Ezekiel Smith because he died in an indian skirmish in 1774.  Have since seen that he signed the Wautauga Petition in 1776 so that seems unlikely.  I'm related through his brother Greenberry.  Mary (Choat?) widow of Ezekiel Smith daughter Nancy Jane Smith married Greenberry's son Nicholas Choat my direct descendent.  Any ideas? 

Comment by Debbie Winchell (Loving Dove) on February 22, 2012 at 5:33pm

Heritage Books has for sale History of the Lost State of Franklin by Samuel Cole Williams.  There's a note that he struggled to preserve the names of minor participants.  You can find it on their web site:

Comment by Heather Isbell Kramer on December 12, 2011 at 9:55am

So wonderful to see so many other descendants of the Association!  I will be adding some more resources soon, so check back!


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