In the State of Tennessee, a deed that is recorded first for a particular portion of land holds senior rights over one that is recorded later.
If a person has conveyed part of his property to another, he cannot at a later date convey it to someone else, irrespective of his written intent in a new conveyance. The first deed (senior) has a right to all the land that is called for, and the seller (junior) owns the remainder. If a person owns a remainder, no excess or deficiency exists. A remainder does not have a definite size, but it is “more or less” in character until measured. (Brown, Robilard, and Wilson 1981, 35)
Any conveyance recorded properly in the State of Tennessee has precedence over a document recorded later. If I think I have 40 acres and sell you the “north 20 acres” and later sell someone else the “south 20 acres” and a survey later finds I only had 30 acres, the one that recorded their deed first has senior rights to the discrepancy. This is not necessarily the first buyer. If the second purchaser recorded his deed first, his typically takes precedence.
(none of this is to imply how a judge might interpret any case and does not discount the need to employ an attorney in any land dispute situation)