The Department of Records Management and Archives preserves the oldest public records of Tennessee in the state’s oldest town, Jonesborough. Located at 103 West Main Street in a yellow-brick, former bank built in 1915, the archive houses primary records to aid in researching family, local and regional history.
Records held by the archive reach from the British colonial period when King George III ruled the area through the Watauga Association era and down to the dawn of the 21st century, though the majority of records held end in the mid-20th century. The collection includes documents created under three state governments—North Carolina, Franklin, and Tennessee. The principal records held are for the offices of Circuit Court Clerk, Clerk and Master (Chancery Court), County Clerk, and the extinguished Superior Court of Law and Equity that was replaced by Circuit Court in the early 1800s.
Written guides are available for each office, providing the researcher with detailed information on exactly what records are found in the archive. These guides are updated often and can be found on the archives’ website: www.wctnarchives.org. These guides will help you identify documents that may help you in your research, whether that research is on the history of your family or on the multitude of topics in local and regional history found in the historical events of the past 250 years.
The archive is staffed by archivist, Ned Irwin and assistant, Donna Cox Briggs. For more information, you may contact the office:
Washington County, Tennessee Archives
103 West Main Street
P.O. Box 219
Jonesborough, Tennessee 37659