The Gilmer County website joins with the American people in mourning the death of Ronald Reagan.  President Ronald Reagan was a GREAT AMERICAN.  We offer our condolences to Nancy Reagan and all of the members of the Reagan Family.  Mr. President, you will be sadly missed.  You made the world a better place!

Picture from http://www.whitehouse.gov

NEW!  Digging Up Your Indian Heritage by Leslie Barker Thomas! NEW!

NEW!  The Wells Family of Gilmer County!  NEW

Thanks to Lawrence Wells!

NEW!  A chronology of the Gipson/Gibson Family of Gilmer County! NEW!

Thanks to Julia Ingle Schultz

We are Richard and Kathleen Pettys , and we are the persons responsible for the Gilmer County pages.

   We are always looking for persons with information on Gilmer County and/or "lookup volunteers" in Gilmer County.  If you have information on Gilmer County that might help others and are willing to provide lookup services in these sources, please advise us so that we may make this information available to others.  If you have genealogy books that provide information on Gilmer County and have time to look information up, please let us know that we may make your information available to others.  We live in the Metro Atlanta area, about an hour and a half from Gilmer County and will be making trips there for informational purposes.  Please bear with us as we update these pages.

   For those wondering why we would adopt a county so far from home, the answer is quite simple. Richard is the great-great-great grandson of John Daniel Nelson and Comfort Jones Nelson .  J.D. Nelson and Comfort Jones were married at Gilmer County, and it is believed that Comfort may have been raised in Gilmer County, if not born there.  J.D. Nelson was the maker of the Nelson Rifle which was the most accurate rifle of its time and was used extensively by the Confederate armies during the American Civil War.  J.D. Nelson also had a shop at Boardtown in Gilmer County and married his last two wives (whom Richard's side of the family does not recognize) at Cherry Hill in Gilmer County, Georgia.  Further, Richard is descended of the Watkins family, also of Gilmer County.

   Gilmer County is located in the Northwest region of Georgia.  The county was created from original Cherokee County on December 3, 1832, and in 1856, a portion of Union County was added to create the current size of Gilmer County. It was named for George R. Gilmer, an Indian fighter and Georgia's governor during the gold rush.  Early settlements included Mountaintown, Boardtown, Cartecay, Cherry Log, and Talking Rock, to name a few. The Gilmer County Chamber of Commerce may be contacted by mail at 205 Craig Street, East Ellijay, Georgia 30539 or by phone at 706-635-7400 to learn more about Gilmer County. At present, the county is bounded on the north by Fannin County, to the east by Fannin and Dawson Counties, to the west by Murray and Gordon Counties, and on the south by Pickens County.

   The Gilmer County area was originally settled by the Cherokee Indians around 1650.  The county seat is located in the city of Ellijay, which bears the same name as a Cherokee settlement located in the same place, where the Ellijay and Cartecay Rivers come together to form the Coosawattee River.  The word Ellijay means "new ground place" in the Cherokee tongue. 

   It is believed that DeSoto and his followers were the first Europeans in the Gilmer County area, and several missions were sent to build the Catholic faith in what is now Gilmer County, but none were successful.

      When people think of Georgia's agriculture, they think of peaches and peanuts.  However, Gilmer County is the apple capitol of Georgia, thus the background. 

     In addition to Ellijay, and East Ellijay, there are several recognized communities, including Mountaintown, Boardtown, Cherry Log, New Hope, Oakland and Tails Creek.  We hope to add information regarding these areas in the near future, eventually listing the surnames of the people in those towns and cemeteries in the Gilmer County area.  If anyone has this information, please email Richard   or Kathleen .

      We know of one great resource for Gilmer County.  It is called the Annals of Upper Georgia Centered on Gilmer County , and is a great source of information.  It can be found in many libraries (the City of Smyrna Public Library has a copy), and it can likely be ordered and purchased through Barnes and Noble , Borders , Amazon.com or any bookseller.  There are also a couple of great books published by the Gilmer County Genealogical Society that we will be posting information about.
 

     Georgia has 159 counties, second most in the nation for one state, and people often wonder why.  The reason is simple: the early legislature wanted each county seat to be no more than a day's ride from any part of the county.  Prior to the 1970's, there were 161 counties in Georgia until Milton County was dissolved to become the northern part of Fulton County and Campbell County was dissolved to form the southern part of Fulton County.



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You can contact the Gilmer County Genealogical Society at:
The Gilmer County Genealogical Society
c/o Gilmer County Library
15 Dalton Street
Ellijay, Georgia 30540





This page accessed times since March 11, 2002
Last Updated Tuesday, 22-Jun-2004 10:24:40 MDT

Copyright 2002, 2003, 2004 by Kathleen and Richard Pettys