First Families of Tennessee

Thousands have been inspired to begin their own fascinating journey into the past through the First Families of Tennessee.

Discover Your History

First Families of Tennessee (FFT) was established by the East Tennessee Historical Society (ETHS) in 1993 as a Tennessee Bicentennial project. Membership is open to anyone who can prove direct descent from a person or persons living in any part of what is now Tennessee before or by statehood in 1796.

Members Receive First Families of Tennessee Certificate

A handsomely designed certificate is issued by ETHS to applicants who qualify and are admitted to membership in FFT. The certificate features the state seal, along with the applicant’s name and the name of the applicant’s pioneer ancestor.

Residence and each generation of descent must be proven by acceptable records.

There is a one-time membership fee of $25.00 for each application.

Completed application (available as a download in the sidebar) and proof of lineage should be mailed to:
First Families of Tennessee P.O. Box 1629, Knoxville, TN 37901

For more information, contact ETHS at 865-215-8824 or by e-mail.

First Families of Tennessee Research Collection

With more than 15,000 members, representing every state and eight foreign countries, the FFT applications and proof of lineage comprise the largest collection of information on the state’s early settlers and their families.

The FFT Collection is housed in the Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection at the East Tennessee History Center, where they provide a wealth of research materials for present and future historians and genealogists.