David Crockett was born in what is now Greene County, Tennessee, close to the Nolichucky River and near the community of Limestone. At the time of his birth, however, the surrounding area was part of the autonomous territory known as the State of Franklin. A replica of his birthplace cabin stands in Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park on the Nolichucky River near Limestone. Crockett was of Irish, Scots-Irish, French Huguenot and English descent. Family tradition says that David Crockett's father was born on the voyage to America from Ireland. David Crockett was the fifth of nine children of John and Rebecca (Hawkins) Crockett. He was named after his paternal grandfather, who was killed by Indians led by Dragging Canoe. Crockett's father was one of the Overmountain Men who fought in the Battle of Kings Mountain during the American Revolutionary War. When he was 8 years old, he told his father he wanted to hunt with a rifle. His father said he could not afford to waste ammunition on "a boy's missed shots". Crockett promised to make every shot count, and began hunting with his older brothers. After being sent to school, he dropped out to run away from home to avoid a beating at the hands of his father when he was 13. Crockett spent three years roaming from town to town. He claimed he visited most of the towns and villages in Tennessee and learned his skills as a backwoodsman, hunter and trapper.
Near his 16th birthday, David Crockett returned home. Before Crockett had left, his father had opened a tavern on the road between Knoxville, Tennessee and Abingdon, Virginia. Crockett stopped in for a meal unannounced. The family was delighted and he was welcomed back. His father was in debt, so he hired Davy out to Abraham Wilson to settle a debt of $36. Later, Crockett generously worked off a $40 debt to John Kennedy. In return, John Crockett told his son he was free to leave. Davy went to work again for Kennedy, this time working for himself. On August 16, 1806, one day before his 20th birthday, Crockett married Mary (Polly) Finley in Jefferson County, Tennessee. They had two sons: John Wesley Crockett and William Finley Crockett and Margaret Finley. After his wife Polly's death, Crockett married a widow named Elizabeth Patton in 1815; they had three children: Robert, Rebecca and Matilda.