JOHN Dell was not the first white man to set foot on the land where Launceston was later built.
But Sammy Cox's claim that he was Tasmania's first European settler and perhaps the state's oldest person is still to be verified.
They are two of more than 230 stories contributed by 75 authors contained in one of Northern Tasmania's first definitive histories for more than 30 years to be officially launched in Launceston tonight.
Launceston historian Anne Bartlett co-ordinated the production of the book.
She also wrote the article for the new book Way Back When, People, Places and Events , which revealed that it wasn't possible for Mr Dell to be the first person from William Paterson's first Northern Tasmanian exploration party to land near the head of the Tamar River.
``He was in New South Wales three days before it happened and boats just didn't move that fast in those days,'' Mrs Bartlett said yesterday.
``He returned to the UK and got back to Sydney in 1818 and actually came to Tasmania in that same year.''
Mrs Bartlett stresses that Mr Dell had never claimed to be the first white Tasmanian to step ashore at the site of Launceston.
``That story came later,'' she said.
The three Northern historical societies who have put together the Way Back When history wanted to make it an accurate account of life in the early days of settlement.
``We wanted to explode the myths.''
During his long life Mr Cox would frequently relate his story to anyone who would listen, according to Ivan Badcock who contributed the article about the Carrick man.
``Sammy would recall that he had been born Samuel Emanuel Jervis at Shenstone Park near Lichfield, England, on November 15, 1773,'' Mr Badcock says.
His story and the others in the book were published first in The Examiner as part of a weekly Way Back When series for four years from 2002.
A working party representing the Launceston Historical, West Tamar Historical and George Town and District Historical societies have spent the past four years putting together the book.
It will be available for sale after tonight's launch from George Town's the Watch House and PDA Surveyors, Brisbane Street, Launceston.