Nestled between the mountain ridges of eastern Tennessee lies a region rich in history. An area visited by explorers, Native Americans, and early pioneer families, a land that speaks of traditions and folklore, stories, and legends. Sullivan County, North Carolina, was the second county located in present-day Tennessee to exist. After establishing Washington County in 1777, Sullivan County began the journey with North Carolina in 1779. The county’s name originated in honor of Major General John Sullivan, who was well-known for his victorious campaigns during 1779. Family historians researching this specific area for records before 1779 need to consider searching the Virginia land grants. The reason for this is due to portions of the Sullivan County boundaries were considered as part of Virginia and not North Carolina. The land in question would only include the area north of Holston River and the years before 1779. The earliest grant in this area, issued by the colony of Virginia in 1756 to Edmond Pendleton, consisted of 3,000 acres along Reedy Creek.
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