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Welcome to McIntosh County
Picture of McIntosh County Courthouse doors (c) Richard R. Pettys, Jr., 2003    


McIntosh County was created from Liberty County in 1793.  It was named for Clan McIntosh who were among the early pioneers of the area.  In 1721, Fort King George was built on the banks of the Altamaha River to protect the colonies from Spanish attack and invasion.  While Fort King George was well placed from a military standpoint, it is unlikely that it could have been in a worse place from a standpoint of health.  In 1721, there was no electrical power, and refrigerators are an invention of the 19th century.  Thus, the only way to preserve meat was to salt it.  In the humid heat of Georgia, the meat rotted.  Moreover, there was little, if any, knowledge of the importance of fruits and vegetables in the diet.  Thus, the men were often sick, and the mortality rate at Fort King George was extremely high.  A fire in 1725 and haphazzard reconstruction of the barracks caused the garrison to be withdrawn in 1727.  However, until 1732, there were always two Carolina Rangers on duty in the fort to act as lookout for enemy troop movements.   On 19 January 1736, one hundred and seventy-seven Highlanders - mostly MacKays from the Strathnaver region; and members of Clan Chattan - mostly MacIntoshes from Inverness; arrived on the Prince of Wales at the southern outpost of the Georgia Colony. Each Highlander was granted fifty acres for himself and each member of his family. Their primary mission after settling the land was to protect the colony from the French to the west, the Spanish to the south, and fend off attacks from Indians hostile to the British Crown. This new town was originally named "New Inverness," and the name was later changed to "Darien" to recall the Darien Isthmus colony of Panama which came to grief in 1698. Darien was the only Gaelic-speaking community in the Georgia Colony.  The early Scots had a strong sense of family, integrity, and a proud work ethic which contributed greatly to their success. The Scot and other Celts are descended from the legendary fierce Norse-Gael warriors, and they had a well-earned reputation in combat - and were frequently employed as mercenaries. The Highlander's military prowess and reputation in combat was Oglethorpe's prime reason in chosing them to defend "his" colony.
In many ways the Scots were unique - especially from the viewpoint of the Native American. Most Scots did not wear boots  - they wore soft leather footwear similar to a moccasin.  They did not wear pants - they wore a philbeg, or great tartan, they (for the most part) spoke Gaelic, not English  Finally, their family structure was similar to the Native American's - tribal, or clan. The Scots enjoyed the best relationship with Native Americans, especially the Creeks. The Scottish women had rights under the law and were allowed to own property. Women in the Darien community were trained in the "Manual of Arms" for rifles and were capable of manning the battery of cannons at Fort Darien when the men were on patrol or fighting the Spanish.  The town of Darien had been settled by Scots who had left Scotland .  Many were recruited by Lt. Hugh Mackay, himself a Scot. Interestingly, there was nothing against nepotism as the records show that, in a 1741 shipment of Scots, over 46% were known Mackay relatives.   In 1739 the Scots of Darien petitioned the Trustees of Georgia that no slavery be allowed in Darien.  This petition was granted, and it remained so until 1749, when the anti-slavery clause in the Charter was removed despite their strong protests.  These Scottish Highlanders would prove to be the difference in the Battle of Bloody Marsh .  Because of this Scottish heritage and bravery, the State of Georgia adopted its own tartan in 1997 .  Sadly, Darien was burned by Union Soldiers on June 11, 1863, and very few of the records prior to that date are available, unless they happen to be records of Colonial Georgia.

We are Richard R. Pettys, Jr and Kathleen Pettys . We are the County Coordinators for McIntosh County, Georgia.  McIntosh County is located in the Coastal Region of Georgia .  

Richard is also the Regional Coordinator for the Coastal Georgia Region of the GaGenWeb Project .

The State Coordinator is Tim Stowell .

Special Feature:
Mr. J.G. Braddock has
kindly given permission
to publish an excerpt from
his book here
.  This excerpt
is a letter from early settlers
of McIntosh County to
James Oglethorpe




This link will take you to the McIntosh County Archives
They are managed by Virginia Crilley

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McIntosh County
P.O. Box 584
Darien, GA 31305-0584
912-437-6671
 



Navy Wings
In honor of our armed forces
fighting for our freedom
yesterday, today and tomorrow.


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Last Updated April 3, 2003 Tuesday, 22-Jun-2004 10:40:05 MDT