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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: 28
Latest Activity: Mar 21

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

Finding the Children and Marriages 5 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

Started by Debbie Winchell (Loving Dove). Last reply by Rebekah Williams Cessna Oct 23, 2014.

Wataugan Ancestors 15 Replies

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

Tags: migration, ancestors, Watauga

Started by Heather Isbell Kramer. Last reply by Rebekah Williams Cessna Oct 23, 2014.

Signers of the Watauga Petition to North Carolina (1776) 5 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

Started by Heather Isbell Kramer. Last reply by Rebekah Williams Cessna Sep 27, 2014.

Dalton and Simon Ridge 2 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

Started by Debbie Winchell (Loving Dove). Last reply by Debbie Winchell (Loving Dove) Feb 22, 2012.

Wataugha early settlers

  Have you looked at the "The Wataugh Land Purchses" by Troy R. Keesee?On page 17, there is 'Joseph (his mark) Baler'.  Tis could lead one to believe it is 'misspelled', being only his 'mark'.  He is…Continue

Started by Maureen MacDonald Jan 29, 2012.

Resources for Watauga and early Tennessee Research 1 Reply

Here are some good resources for those pursuing Watauga Association research or those interested in the early Tennessee: Annals of Tennessee. J.G.M. Ramsey (Overmountain Press, 1999).  "Watauga - Its…Continue

Tags: Watauga, Tennessee

Started by Heather Isbell Kramer. Last reply by Debbie Winchell (Loving Dove) Aug 25, 2011.

Comment Wall


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

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!

Comment by Rosemary Taylor on December 7, 2011 at 11:16pm

I am a direct descendant of Womack, Smith, and several lines of Brown, but my Womack was not in Watauga, They were in North Carolina to Tennessee.  I am not sure about Smith and Brown. 

My farthest back Smith was in Clay / Breathitt, Kentucky in 1805.  He married in Kentucky to Telitha Sanders, whose family was in the Watauga area earlier, and descendants were in Missouri, to Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.

One line of Brown went from Virginia to early Kentucky.  One line of Brown was in South Carolina to Tennessee.  I am unsure about other Brown.  I do not know where they might have been at the time of the Watauga Association.

Smith and Brown are hard to research.

I have other lines that were in the Watauga area, including Taylor.  I will have to look up these people and make another comment.

I am interested in knowing more about Smith and Brown in Watauga.

Comment by Margaret Clark on December 4, 2011 at 5:30pm

I am interested in the genealogy of William Bean. Is anyone following this line? I am trying to establish who was the father of Sarah (Sally) Bean who married 16 March 1789, Samuel Wear (not to be confused with his Uncle Col. Sam Wear.) I have seen sources which say her father was William and others who give her father as Jacob. She named her first son William and her second son Jacob. Any proof would be greatly appreciated.

Comment by mudd, larrry on December 4, 2011 at 3:00pm

Hi group i am a descendent of John Waddell 

I also have the name cunningham in my linkage.

Comment by Debbie Winchell (Loving Dove) on August 20, 2011 at 9:37am
Thank you for creating this group.  I just found a family involved with the Watauga Association and it looks like this may shed light on two other families in my mother's background.

Members (28)





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