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 Birth Records In GA

 Requests for Birth & Death Records

  An attempt was made in Georgia to require registration of births, marriages, and deaths on a county level in 1875, but the law was repealed in 1876. Some vital records for fourteen Georgia counties for 1875 have been microfilmed and are available at the Georgia Department of Archives and History.

 Births and Deaths

In 1919 Georgia law required the registration of all births and deaths in the state. As in many other states, Georgia's county governments were slow to respond to the new law and most did not comply until 1928.


 Divorce Records

From 1793 to 1832 - divorces in Georgia were subject to legislative approval after they had been approved by the county superior court. The divorce files continue to be in the custody of the county Superior Courts. Divorces, name changes, and decrees of feme-sole granted by the Georgia legislature are abstracted in Robert S. Davis, Jr., The Georgia Black Book II (Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1987).

You may request Birth and death records in Georgia from the Georgia Department of Human Resources, Vital Records Unit, Room 217-H, Health Building, 47 Trinity Avenue, S.W., Atlanta, Georgia 30334. For urgent requests call and charge to a Visa or MasterCard. There is an additional fee for card service.

 Marriage Records

Marriage records in Georgia are created at the county level. Some Georgia counties kept early marriage bonds before 1805; however, Georgia law did not require marriage licenses to be recorded until 1805. Officials were careless in adhering to the law and some marriages were consequently not recorded. Some records were also lost in various courthouse fires. All recorded Georgia marriages to 1900 are available on microfilm at the Georgia Department of Archives and History and the FHL. The former also has some loose, original county marriage records. Heritage Papers' periodical Georgia Genealogist contains published marriages to 1810. Mary B. Warren's Georgia Marriages 1811 Through 1820 (Danielsville, Ga.: Heritage Papers, 1988) continued publishing the marriages. There may be more resources not listed herein.
Estate Records  are produced by courts with jurisdiction at the county level beginning in 1777 and with the creation of the county ordinary courts. Prior to that date, most estate matters were handled at the colonial capitol in Savannah. <Index to Probate Records of Colonial Georgia, 1733–1778 (Atlanta, Ga.: R. J. Taylor, Jr. Foundation, 1983> and <Ted O. Brooke, In the Name of God, Amen, Georgia Wills 1733–1860: An Index to Testator Wills (Atlanta, Ga.: Pilgrim Press, 1976> for published probate indexes. Most all of Georgia's colonial estate, colonial deed, mortgage, and deed of gift records survive at the Georgia Department of Archives and History.

Probate Records
County ordinary courts kept probate records from 1777–98 and began keeping them again in 1852. County inferior courts were responsible for probate matters from 1798–1852. Almost all pre-1900 county probate records are on microfilm at the Georgia Department of Archives and History and the FHL. The Archives also has many loose, original Georgia county records. After 1900, probate records are in the county's ordinary court. <I will say that some are probably missing due to court houses burning.> Unfortunately, no colonial Georgia court records survive. Georgia's state constitution provided for two county level courts to be created in 1777. Superior courts were established at the county level to hear cases dealing with divorce, civil and criminal charges, naturalization, military discharges, homesteads, prisons, and slaves. Simultaneously, courts of ordinary were created to hear and record cases involving probate matters. It also dealt with indentures, paupers, licenses, voting, and marriage. Each court kept minutes, which are useful in our research.
 Changes in Georgia county boundaries:
-William Thorndale and William Dollarhide, Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790–1920 (Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1987)
-Pat Bryant and Ingrid Shields, Georgia Counties: Their Changing Boundaries (Atlanta, Ga.: Georgia Surveyor General Department, 1983).

 Population Schedules - GA


About the Population Schedules:
Indexed—1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1890 (fragmented)

Soundex—1880, 1900, 1910, 1920
Industry—1820, 1880
Agriculture—1850, 1860, 1870, 1880
Slave Schedules - 1850, 1860

he 1820 census is the earliest enumeration of Georgia's population to have survived, thus making it necessary to substitute other lists for the missing censuses. The 1820 census of Georgia is lost for Franklin, Rabun, and Twiggs counties. The Land lottery, military and tax lists and other records can be used as census substitutes and supplements for the 1820 and earlier censuses.

Ruth Blair, Some Early Tax Digests of Georgia
(1926; reprint, Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1971); Virginia S. Wood and Ralph V. Wood, The 1805 Land Lottery of Georgia (Cambridge, Mass.: Greenwood Press, 1964), which lists nearly every Georgia head of household in 1802–03, this could be used as an 1800 census substitute.

 State Census Schedules for Georgia

were conducted for various years from 1787 to 1866. Only a relatively few of these returns survived, and they are only lists of (HOH) heads of households with some minor statistical information. The returns prior to 1852 have been published in various sources. Later census returns, where they survived, are almost all on microfilm at the Georgia Department of Archives and History.

Reconstructive Histories -

Coleman, Kenneth, ed. A History of Georgia. 2d ed. Athens, Ga.: University of Georgia Press, 1991.

-Coulter, E. Merton.
Georgia: A Short History. Chapell Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1964.

 Land Lottery - 1832

Sixth or 1832 Land Lottery
Authority: Act of December 21, 1830, Act of December 24, 1831
Year of Drawing: 1832
Counties: Cass (Bartow), Cherokee, Cobb, Floyd, Forsyth, Gilmer, Lumpkin, Murray, Paulding, Union. The Act of December 3, 1832 divided original Cherokee County into the 10 counties listed; but in the drawing of the Lottery and in the granting of the land and gold lots, they were treated only as in Cherokee.

Sections & Districts:
1st: 5 districts (1-5 & 11-15) 40 acre gold. 5 districts (6-10 & 16-19) 160 acre land.
2nd: 3 districts (1-3), 5 districts (15-19) 1 district (21) 40 acre gold. 11 districts (4-14), 1 district (20) 6 districts (22-27) 160 acre land.
3rd: 4 districts (1-4), 5 districts (17-21) 40 acre gold. 12 districts (5-16), 7 districts (22-28) 160 acre land.
4th: 3 districts (1-3), 2 districts (16-17) 40 acre gold. 12 districts (4-15), 2 districts (18-19) 160 acre land.
93 districts (60 land; 33 gold)

Grant fee: $18 per lot, either size.

Persons entitled to Draw 160 acre land lots:
Bachelor, 18 years or over, 3 yr. residence in GA, citizen of U.S. - 1 draw
Married man with wife and/or minor son under 18 and/or unmarried daughter, 3 year residence in GA, citizen of U.S. - 2 draws
Widow, 3 yr. residence in GA - 1 draw
Wife and/or child, 3 yr. residence in GA, of husband and/or father absent from State for 3 yrs. - 1 draw
Family (one or two) of minor orphans, residence since birth in State - 1 draw
Family (3 or more) of minor orphans, residence since birth in State - 2 draws
Widow, husband killed or died in Revolutionary War, War of 1812 or Indian Wars, 3 yr. residence in GA - 2 draws
Orphan, father killed in Revolutionary War, War of 1812, or Indian Wars - 2 draws
Wounded or disabled veteran of War of 1812 or Indian Wars, unable to work - 2 draws
Veteran of Revolutionary War - 2 draws
Veteran of REvolutionary War, who had been a fortunate drawer in any previous lottery - 1 draw
Child or children of a convict, 3 yr. residence in GA - 1 draw
Male idiots, lunatics or insane, deaf, dumb or blind, over 10 years and under 18 years, 3 yr. residence in GA - 1 draw
Female idiots, insance or lunatics or deaf, dumb or blind, over 10 years, 3 yr. residence in GA - 1 draw
Family (1 or 2) of minor illegitimates, residence since birth in GA - 1 draw
Family (3 or more) of minor illegitimates, residence since birth in GA - 2 draws

Persons entitled to draw 40 acre Gold lots:
Bachelor, 18 years or over, 3 yr. residence in GA, citizen of U.S. - 1 draw
Widow, 3 yr. residence in GA - 1 draw
Family of orphans, 3 yr. residence in GA, citizen of U.S. - 2 draws
Married man, headc of family, 3 yr. residence in GA, citizen of U.S. - 2 draws

Persons excluded:
Any fortunate drawer in any previous land lottery who has taken out a grant of said land lot; any person who mined, or caused to be mined, gold or other metal in the Cherokee Territory; any person who has taken up residence in said Cherokee Territory; any person who is a member of or concerned with "a horde of thieves known as the Pony Club."

The method of distributing GA's newly acquired territories by lottery was not used by any other state. Simply, it was thus: After the lottery was authorized by Act of the Legislature, citizens of GA would register in their respective counties of residence, and the lot and district numbers submitted by the surveyors were sent to the State Capital (then Milledgeville) and commissioners appointed by the Governor drew the names and numbers from two separate wheels or drums. Subsequently the fortunate drawer would take out a grant to the lot he drew, paying the grant fee specified above. If he did not take out a grant, the lot reverted to the State. There were no requirements for cultivation or residence of any lot drawn and granted in the lotteries.

Some persons drew a blank ticket. If there were, for example, 1000 land lots and 2000 persons registered to draw, there would be 1000 blank tickets added so that the tickets would be equal the number of persons drawing. With the exception of the 1805 land lottery, the State has no record of those who drew blank tickets.

Information Provided by: Linda S. Sanders
GA Tombstone Project Manager
Source: Copy of Georgia Surveyor General Department Publication

Aside Note: Where Georgians sold lots won in the lotteries, researchers will find that deeds may be valuable sources of genealogical information. Those deeds should have been recorded in the counties where the land was located, but in some cases references may be found in the counties where the owner resided. Land transaction between private individuals are recorded with the clerk of superior court in the appropriate county.

Immigration Records - Savannah, Georgia, served as one of the nation's southern immigration ports. Passenger lists of immigrants arriving at Savannah (sketchy though they are available on federal microfilm M575, Passengers Arriving at Miscellaneous Ports on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, at the National Archives and the FHL.


PRISON RECORDS - State prison and asylum records are housed at the Georgia Department of Archives and History. These records are open to researchers when 75 years has passed from the date of their creation. You can also read the earliest Georgia prison and asylum records are used in Robert S. Davis, Jr.'s two volume, Georgia Black Book (Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1982).

CEMETERY RECORDS - The (DAR) and many County Historical Societies have compiled and published volumes of cemetery records, DAR publications include Bible, court, and probate records in addition to cemetery inscriptions. Also many individuals have also completed cemetery inscriptions. Our USGenweb project and GAGenweb Project has many cemetery transcriptions online at county websites and in the archives and also check the Tombstone Project.

Indian Land Passports
- were issued by Georgia governors for good character for families passing through the Indian lands for the West prior to 1820. These passports are abstracted in Dorothy Williams Potter, Passports of Southeastern Pioneers, 1770–1823 (Baltimore, Md.: Gateway Press, 1982). See also Marion R. Hemperley “Savannah Federal Naturalization Oaths, 1790–1860.” Georgia Historical Quarterly 51 (1967).

 Land and Property Records with Tax Digests

Surviving colonial and state land grant records of Georgia, including loose, original records not available on microfilm, are in the Georgia Surveyor General Department, Floor 2V, Georgia Department of Archives and History.
See also Marion R. Hemperley, The Georgia Surveyor General Department (Atlanta, Ga.: Georgia Surveyor General Department, 1982), and Pat Bryant, Entry of Claims for Georgia Landholders, 1733–1755 (Atlanta, Ga.: State Printing Office, 1975).
Book of Titles - 1733-1755
The latter is a book of titles given to Georgians in 1755 for their lands under the trustees between 1733 and 1755.

The most complete record of colonial Georgia land grants between 1758 and 1776 is Mary B. Warren, Georgia Land Owners' Memorials, 1758–1776 (Danielsville, Ga.: Heritage Papers, 1988). The most extensive information on colonial Georgia land grantees is in Allen D. Candler, The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, 39 vols. (Atlanta, Ga.: various printers, 1906–40).

The first effective legislation, dated 17 February 1783, concerning land grants after Georgia became a state provided for headrights and bounty-land grants. The law allowed each head of household 200 acres free as his own headright and fifty additional acres for each member of his family and each slave at a cost of from one to four shillings per acre. Grants were limited to 1,000 acres, and the grantee was responsible for paying survey and grant fees. Those who had received grants under colonial jurisdiction were entitled to the lands they occupied when the law went into effect.The 1783 act also provided for establishing a land court in each county. A land grant applicant would appear before five justices to swear under oath concerning the size of his family and the number of slaves he owned to obtain a warrant of survey. Once the county surveyor completed his layout of the applicant's land, a copy of the plat of survey was forwarded to the surveyor general, and the original was filed in the county. The applicant was required to live on the land for a year and cultivate 3% of the total acreage. After meeting those requirements, the applicant could apply to the governor's office for his grant and pay all fees. At that point the grant would be issued and recorded. Headright grants were made in Bryan, Burke, Bullock, Camden, Clarke, Chatham, Columbia, Elbert, Effingham, Emanuel, Franklin, Glascock, Glynn, Greene, Liberty,Hancock, Hart, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Laurens, Lincoln, Madison, McDuffie, Montgomery, McIntosh, Oconee, Oglethorpe, Richmond, Screven, Taliaferro, Tattnall, Warren, Washington & Wilkes counties.



 The Georgia Newspaper Project of the UGA Libraries has microfilmed over 8,000 reels of Georgia newspapers. This collection is not available on interlibrary loan, but copies can be purchased. The Georgia Historical Society in Savannah and the University of Georgia Libraries in Athens have every-name indexes to the Savannah newspapers from 1763 to 1845. The Georgia Department of Archives and History has this index to 1830 and parts of it for 1835–45. Indexes have also been published for early Augusta and Milledgeville newspapers. Many other Georgia newspapers have published and indexed abstracts to marriage and death notices. A statewide reference is Mary B. Warren, Marriages and Deaths from Extant Georgia Newspapers, 2 vols. (Danielsville, Ga.: Heritage Papers, 1968 and 1972), covering 1763 to 1829.
Georgia Department of Archives and History
330 Capitol Avenue, S.E.
Atlanta, GA 30334

Georgia Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 38066
Atlanta, GA 30334

Georgia Historical Society & Library
501 Whittaker Street
Savannah, GA 31499

Atlanta Historical Society
3101 Andrews Drive, N.W.
Atlanta, GA 30366

 Atlanta Public Library
1 Margaret Mitchell Square
Atlanta, GA 30303