James County

Tennessee's Lost County

Goodspeed's History of James County


1890 James County Special Soldiers, Sailors, 
Marines and Widows Census


James County Maps


James County Marriages 1913 - 1919


James County Southern Claims Commission Index


James County Will Book 1887 - 1919


Photo courtesy of Connie Lewallen Roach

    James County was created by an act of the Tennessee Legislature on January 30, 1871. Lands were taken from a small portion of Bradley County and the eastern third of Hamilton County. James county was named in honor of  Rev. Jesse J. James, the father of Elbert Abdiel James who introduced legislation for the formation of the county.  Ooltewah, an Indian name meaning "place of the owl," was selected as the county seat.

    The county went bankrupt in April of 1919 and was annexed into Hamilton County by a vote of its citizens on December 11, 1919. Few records remain of what was once James County due largely in part to courthouse fires in 1890 and 1913. The few remaining James County records are now kept in Hamilton County.




Photos from James County

Second James County Courthouse and County Court c. 1895

Third James County Courthouse 1913

James County High School 1910

James County Court circa 1900 -1900


Copyright 2009 - Hamilton County Tennessee Genealogical Society