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Early County Courthouse

 

1910 picture of the Confederate flagpole erected 1861, Blakely, Ga.

Reunion of Confederate veterans at the Early County Courthouse. Blakely, 1940s.

[Photograph Source: Vanishing Georgia Collection, Georgia Division of Archives and History, Office of Secretary of State.]


Welcome

I am Sue Webb, coordinator for this county site. I hope you enjoy your visit. Please email me if you have suggestions, corrections or contributions.

Be sure to check out the Research Tips page especially if you are new to genealogy. I've included a lot of wonderful information I've found during my own family research. Don't miss the How To Order Records page if you need a copy of a vital record.

I hope you find my efforts helpful in your research of your Early County roots.

Unfortunately I am unable to do research on your family. I do not live in Georgia and do not have direct access to county records.

Please check the About This Site page for important information about using this site and about the USGenWeb and GAGenWeb projects.


A Little County History

Originally Early County encompassed all of southwest Georgia, about 3,770 square miles. Ten counties (Baker, Calhoun, Clay, Decatur, Dougherty, Grady, Miller, Mitchell, Seminole, and Thomas) were created in whole or in part from the original boundaries of Early County, reducing its size to its current 511.2 square miles. Today, Early County's boundaries are the Chattahoochee River and Alabama to the west, Clay and Calhoun counties to the north, Baker County to the east, and Miller and Seminole counties to the south.

The earliest known inhabitants of the area were the Lower Creek Indians. The first white settlement was a 100-square-foot fort, Fort Gaines (now in Clay County), named after General Edmund Pendleton Gaines. In 1817 General Andrew Jackson pushed the Native American populations out of Georgia along what is now known as the Three Notch Trail. The following year the Lower Creeks ceded southwest Georgia to the Americans in a treaty that became law on December 15, 1818.

The county was named after Peter Early, who was a former congressman, judge and governor of Georgia from 1813 to 1815.

In 1825 Baker County was cut out of Early County. This development forced Early County residents to establish a new county seat, a town that today is known as Blakely. Blakely was formed in 1826 on land given to the county by Benjamin Collier but wasn't incorporated until 1870, Blakely was named after Captain Johnston Blakeley, who disappeared in October 1814 with the crew of the U.S. sloop Wasp.

During the Civil War (1861-65) the David S. Johnston's Southern Confederate Navy Yard was established at Saffold, on the Chattahoochee River in the southern part of the county. The yard produced one gunboat, the Chattahoochee, delivered on December 8, 1862. Two other boats were under construction when the war ended.

Foremost among Early County's historical attractions is Kolomoki Mounds Historic State Park. The park contains one of the largest Native American temple mounds east of the Mississippi. It and six other mounds in the park were constructed by the Swift Creek and Weeden Island Indians.

More Early County history can be found at Early County Online and the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, at the University of Georgia, has lots of history for the state of Georgia.


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