A Georgia GenWeb Project Page
Fulton County, Georgia - Land Records
- Last update 5/23/2002
Site Compilation - Brenda Pierce


 LAND RECORDS



Information you should know about researching these records:

 

 LAND RECORDS

Property and land records along with tax digests are keys to successful research in Fulton County. The surviving colonial and state land grant records some in loose content and some original records not in the microfiche state, are housed in the GA Surveyor General dept. on Floor 2V, GA Dept. of Archives and History
Other Sources to Check -
Entry of Claims for GA Landholders, 1733-1755 (Atlanta, GA) book of titles given to Georgians in 1755 for their lands under the trustees between 1733 and 1755. <Pat Bryant's book>.

Land Grants in Georgia between 1758 and 1776 are recorded in (Mary B. Warren's) Georgia Landowners Memorials, 1758-1776) -

Although I have never seen these there are apparently Colonial Records of the State of Georgia written by <A. D. Chandler> on GA land grantees.

For those of you that ask about headright grants - apparently those were given in Laurens, Liberty, Lincoln, Madison, McDuffie, McIntosh, Montgomery, Oconee, Oglethorpe, Richmond, Screven, Taliaferro, Tattnall, Warren, Washington, Wilkes, Bryan, Bullock, Camden, Burke, Chatham, Clarke, Columbia, Effingham, Elbert, Emanuel, Franklin, Glascock, Glynn, Greene, Hancock, Hart, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Laurens, Liberty, Lincoln, Madison, McDuffie, Montgomery, McIntosh, Oconee, Oglethorpe Counties.

 

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 then required to live on the land for a year and cultivate 3 percent 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, Bullock, Burke, Camden, Chatham, Clarke, Columbia, Effingham, Elbert, Emanuel, Franklin, Glascock, Glynn, Greene, Hancock, Hart, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Laurens, Liberty, Lincoln, Madison, McDuffie, McIntosh, Montgomery, Oconee, Oglethorpe, Richmond, Screven, Taliaferro, Tattnall, Warren, Washington, and Wilkes counties.

Bounty-land grants were made to soldiers who served in the Georgia military, civilian residents of 1781–82, and Georgia citizens who went to other states during the Revolution to continue the war. Most of the surviving Georgia Revolutionary War bounty certificates (except for civilian residents) are abstracted (see Hemperley, Military Certificates, cited in Military Records).

A second act of 25 February 1784 created new counties and designated some of the area as bounty lands for Georgia veterans who had served in the Continental Line or Navy. Most of the area that later became Greene County was reserved for bounty-land grants. See Silas Emmett Lucas, Jr., Index to the Headright and Bounty Grants of Georgia, 1756–1909 (Vidalia, Ga.: Georgia Genealogical Reprints, 1970). The Georgia Department of Archives and History and the FHL have microfilm copies of original land grants.

Only Georgia has the distinction of distributing lands by lottery. Lands given to Georgia citizens by lotteries from 1805 to 1833 are in the present western and northern three-quarters of Georgia. Lotteries took place in 1805, 1807, 1820, 1821, 1827, and two in 1832. All Georgia citizens were eligible to qualify for a lottery, although the 1820, 1827, and 1832 lotteries also gave special consideration to war veterans. Published lottery books are excellent sources for pinpointing where a Georgia family lived when a lottery was held. For more information on the Georgia land lotteries, consult the following works:

 

Davis, Robert. The 1830 Land Lottery of Georgia and Other Missing Names of Winners in the Georgia Land Lotteries. Greenville, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1991.

Davis, Robert S., and Silas E. Lucas. The Georgia Land Lottery Papers, 1805–1914. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1979.


Houstun, Martha Lou. Reprint of Official Register of the Land Lottery of Georgia, 1827. Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1967.

Lucas, Silas E. The 1807 Land Lottery of Georgia. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1973.

———. The 1821 Land Lottery of Georgia. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1986.

———. The 1832 Gold Lottery of Georgia: Containing a List of the Fortunate Drawers in Said Lottery. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1986.

Smith, James F. The Cherokee Land Lottery...1838. Reprint. Vidalia, Ga.: Georgia Genealogical Reprints, 1968.

Wood, Virginia S. and Ralph V. Wood. 1805 Land Lottery of Georgia. Cambridge, Mass.: Greenwood Press, 1964.

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.

Most surviving pre-1900 county land records, including deeds and land court minutes, are on microfilm at the Georgia Department of Archives and History and the FHL. Many of the mortgage and county plat books are not included in the FHL's microfilm collection.

In Georgia, 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. See 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.

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.






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