DMK Heritage

North Carolina land grants in Tennessee.


Q. Where did the early white settlers in Dyer and Obion County, Tenn. move from in about 1840.


A.  Dyer County was “chiefly settled up by the middle Tennesseans, though not a few of the pioneers came from North Carolina and Virginia,” according to Goodspeed’s History of Tennessee.  The same was said for Obion County.

         Middle Tennessee in 1790 consisted of three counties: Tennessee Co. (Stewart, Montgomery, Robertson, Dickson and a little bit of Houston), Davidson County (Cheatham, Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford) and Sumner (Sumner, Wilson, Macon, Clay, Jackson, Overton [part], Putnam, DeKalb, Smith, Trousdale,

Rutherford).  This area was call a Military Reservation or Military District.

         My suggestion is first check the land records for Obion and Dryer counties, for land deeds that might contain a reference to his previous county (John Smith of Williamson County, Tenn.).  If the information is not found there, I suggest looking up the North Carolina land grants in Tennessee (TN State Archives) to see if John Smith or his father, obtained land through one of these grant.


         I will try to answer this type of question whenever I can.  If you have a question you would like to submit please send it to




Written by Doris Christian — July 21, 2013