News & Events


There are 8,384 court case files now processed and available for research in the records of Johnson City Law Court. Law Court was established as a division of Washington County Circuit Court in 1891 to hear civil cases in Johnson City rather than at the courthouse in Jonesborough. Civil cases not originating in Johnson City and criminal court cases continued to be heard by Circuit Court in Jonesborough.

Records in this collection cover the period 1891-1960. Among the types of cases found are damages, debt, divorce, property disputes, road condemnation, and workmen’s compensation, as well as other causes. Document types include correspondence, plaintiff and defendant answers, exhibits, notes, notices, pleas, receipts, summons, and transcripts.

A guide listing all cases is found on the archives’ website.



The just completed fiscal year was eventful for the archives in many ways. Most notable, perhaps, was the return of the county’s original deed book (Deed Book A) on June 1st, 2021. The year also saw the final two paintings by artist Peggy Root completed and installed in the archives. This multi-year project was commissioned and funded by the Friends of the Washington County Archives.

Staff and volunteers were busy processing various court records during the year. The long-term project of processing Circuit Court case files from 1808-1950 was completed, and great progress was also made in processing files for County Court judicial records and Johnson City Law Court. Nearly 50,000 court cases are now available to researchers, and processing continues.

Reference service expanded during the year, along with expanded public hours for researchers. Over 1,600 inquiries were handled. Queries came from 36 states and the District of Columbia. Over 75,000 views were made of the department’s website. More than 7,000 individuals from 36 countries used our website.

The complete written annual report can be viewed on the archives’ website at the following url:



2021 News Articles

June 21, 2021              Six County Documents Returned By Two Institutions

June 1, 2021               Deed Book’s Return, Tennessee’s Statehood Celebration

May 3, 2021              Earliest Land Records Returning to Washington County

April 30, 2021            Processing of Circuit Court Cases Completed

April 13, 2021            Paintings Installed in Archives Reading Room


Archived News Articles from Past Years

  2020 News & Events Archive

2019 News & Events Archive

2018 News & Events Archive

2017 News & Events Archive