Taylor County Courthouse

Inferior Court | Probate/Wills | Superior Court | GA Supreme Court | Vital Records | Delayed Birthcertificates Passport Records |Legal Terms |Name Changes by Legislation


Vital Records Information - United States
Vital Records Information - Georgia
Georgia Vital Records

Death Certificates Georgia Virtual Vault 1919-1927


Courthouse Records:

Taylor County Office employees are very helpful. They cannot do "searches" for you, but if you know the exact date, page, book, they are able to make copies for a small fee.

VITAL RECORDS

Birth (from 1917) - State Record

Marriage(from 1852- June 9, 1952) - County Probate Judge Record


Death (from 1919) - State Record

Death Certificates Georgia Virtual Vault

Divorce (from 1852-1952) County Superior Court

 	Vital Records Office
          P.O. Box 148
          Butler, GA 31006
          (478) 862-3357

 
State Records that are available Where to Write for State Records:
Vital Records
2600 Skyland Drive NE
Atlanta, GA  30319-3640
(404) 679-4701
Fax: (404) 524-4278
Email: GDPHINFO@dhr.state.ga.us

DEATH CERTIFICATES
Non-certified copies of the death certificates at a reduced rate, are usually not available in Georgia Courthouses. Funeral homes sometimes have a copy of the obit and death certificate in their files and will copy them for relatives or descendants for a small fee.

Georgia Secretary of State Records on-line

Marriage Records:

Click

Tax Records:
Click

Navigate the website:
Click

I also reviewed some of the recent projects which the Secretary of State's Office has funded, which pertain to preserving important genealogical & historical records:
http://www.sos.state.ga.us/archives/ghrab/grants/hrgp.htm
The State of Georgia is actively pursuing the preservation of their history, especially at the county level. That is always welcome news for genealogists. If you haven't navigated the Georgia Secretary of State's website recently, I highly recommend it! Plan on spending at least an hour there :-) Shared by: William A. Mills
Digital Library of Georgia
http://www.galileo.usg.edu

Select Digital Library of Georgia. Select Georgia Legislative Documents. Do a word search on the documents from 1799 to the near present. Use either topic word or surname.

Name Changes in Georgia from records of Acts of General Assembly from 1800 - 1856. Many of these for children born out of wedlock, and the name change indicated the father legitimized them.

Georgia Courts


David Paterson discusses the Court Systems of Georgia. Take the time to Click on this link and read his discussion to better understand the responsibilities of each court.

PROBATE COURT:

Birth, Marriage, Death, burial, probate records from 1852 Taylor County Probate Court P.O. Box 536 Butler, GA 31006 Telephone: (478) 862-3357

Judge of Probate Clerk - Ronnie A. Parker

Clerk of Probate - Dianne Renfro

What if there wasn't a will? If the person did not leave a will, their estate was handled by an Administrator, which was approved by the Court of Ordinary. The individual had to apply for "letters of Administration" and post bond and security according to the value of the Estate.
Land Records may hold the key when court minutes/wills are not specific. When someone dies, even if their land is divided among only a few of their children, the children not receiving land usually sign "quit claim deeds" waiving any rights to the land as legal heirs. In some instances this will provide the married names of the girls, and also the grandchildren (of any deceased children).
See Administrator and Guardian Bonds

Justices of the Peace presided over the Justice's Court. These Justices were usually men owning property and leaders of the community. They were elected by each militia district of the county and tried small claims of $30 or less. They did maintain record books, but many of these are lost. Some cases may be found if they were appealed to a higher court.

CLERK OF COUNTY COURT

The term "Clerk of the Court of Ordinary" has since changed to Probate Judge.

The County Court wasn't established until around 1868, and took on many of the duties of the Inferior Court.

Court of the Ordinary Minutes on-line

Using the Minutes of Inferior Court

The Inferior Court existed in Taylor County from 1852 (when the county was formed_ - 1868.

The Court Records are usually not indexed, but provide genealogical gems for the persistent researcher! This court was abolished in 1868 after the Civil War when the Constitution of Georgia was rewritten in 1868 to provide a more democratic county government.

In 1789, the General Assembly provided for an inferior court in each county. Consisting of five justices, the inferior court had jurisdiction in judicial matters not entrusted to the superior court. The inferior court also had some administrative authority (e.g., providing for construction of county courthouse and other public buildings, levying taxes, and overseeing maintenance of county roads). The inferior court had a third function to serve as a "court of ordinary". [In the Roman Empire, the "ordinarius" was the officer who first heard important civil and criminal cases.] The court of ordinary had a variety of functions, including probating wills and estates, determining guardianship of children under 14, and issuing marriage licenses.

An 1851 constitutional amendment transferred the functions of the court of ordinary from the inferior court to a separate court of ordinary to be administered by a new elected county official known as the ordinary. The inferior court continued with responsibility over other county affairs until 1868, when a new state constitution abolished the inferior court.

The 1868 constitution provided that "courts of ordinary shall have such powers in relation to roads, bridges, ferries, public buildings, paupers, county offices, county funds and taxes, and other matters, as shall be conferred on them by law." However, the 1868 constitution also authorized the General Assembly to create county commissioners "in such counties as may require them, and to define their duties." Ref: http://georgiainfo.galileo.usg.edu/countyhistory.htm

Inferior Court Minutes on-line


History of Inferior Court

Taylor County, when it was created in 1852, had an Inferior Court which met twice a year with 5 elected Justices:

1852-Justices

The Inferior Court's Duties included:

They first met Feb. 19, 1852 to organize the county. Inferior Court Minutes indicate the following officials were appointed by the Court.


CLERK OF SUPERIOR COURT:

Role of Superior Court Divorce, Civil Court, Land records from 1852 On-Line Records: http://www.rootsweb.com/~usgenweb/ga/taylor/court.htm#superior Taylor County Clerk of Superior Court P.O. Box 248 Butler, GA 31006 [According to "Georgia Genealogical Workbook" by Ted Brooke and Robert S. Davis, Georgia began allowing divorce in 1793. Petitions for divorce were filed in the Superior Court of the county where the couple resided. Until 1833 couples were also required to obtain the consent of the Georgia legislature. Ga. divorces could be obtained on the county level after 1847, but information on divorces can be found in legislative acts and minutes until 1868.] Proceedings in Equity Minutes (also kept in Superior Court Offices although they dealt with proceedings of the Inferior Court for Ordinary Purposes. They are large ledgers and some of them might even be in the Inferior Court Offices) These were appeals to a higher court from the Ordinary Court, made by individuals and may contain marriage dates, birth dates, relationships. Most of these were not microfilmed, so ask for them when you visit the Courthouse. Superior Court Minutes on-line

Delayed Birth Certificates

The Social Security Administration began in 1934 and benefits were instituted in 1937. In order to receive benefits, you needed to prove your birth.

Sometimes these records are not found in the county of the ACTUAL birth but rather in the county were the BENEFITS WERE APPLIED FOR. These delayed birth records could be for persons who were born as far back as 1840.

These "delayed certificates" are on the Computer in the Butler Office. The computer lists the kind of records used to valilidate the birth However, it does give the date of the record being used.
Example: birth record of child, as it appears in the clerks office Kalamazoo, Mi. and the date
Payroll record from employer dated Dec. 1936
affidavit of sister signed before Notary and the date.

If you can not find a delayed birth record, you can send for the person's original SS application form. I did this for my grandfather after being told in Butler they did not have the record. On the original application, it states where he was born and his parents names. I believe the cost is $7.00 from the SS Adm. in D.C. It took them almost five months to get this record to me! Contributed by: Judy Hice

Learning about County Records

County Resources from Familytreemaker

Many helpful links to learn about using courthouse records and the kinds of records that exist.

Court of the Ordinary


Examples of County Court Minutes

Guardians

Feb Court 1854
Charlton Y. Perry appointed guardian of Vina Robinson

County Officials - 1852

Treasurer - W.A. Skellie
Census Taker - Serreno H. Dwight
Sheriff - John Thompson
Clerk of Superior Court - J.M. McCants
Clerk of Inferior Court - James T. Harmon
Judge of Probate Court - James B. Hamilton
Tax Commissioner - Charles Loyd (Served 1852-1858)
Tax Receiver - Absolem N. Rhodes
Surveyor - Jonathan Stewart

Bridges

Dec 1, 1858
Ordered that Wilburn Jinks be paid $150 for building Jinks Bridge across Patselaga Creek.

Mar 7, 1868. Justices of Inferior Court. John A. Childs, James H. Edwards, J.J. Ruffin presiding
Gilbert Hobbs paid $190 for building bridge across Whitewater at Battle's Mills.

Roads

Note: Maintenance of the roads, bridges and ferries was done by citizens. All male persons (either free or slaves) 16-50 could be required to do road work on at least one road for up to 6 days/year...using their own tools. Failure to do so could result in $1 fine/day. Overseers appointed by the courts kept lists of available workers.

March 1, 1852
Appointed the following reviewers of roads:

Care of Needy

1855 - County paid subsistence money Nancy and Elizabeth Bachelor and Josiah Layfield.

Justices of the Peace

July 13, 1852. Thomas G. Blackman was commissioned a Justice of the Peace

Jury Selection

August 1852 - Jurors for Inferior Court Adams, Sampson Battle, Henry Brewer, S.L. Cason, Henry Cody, Elias Collins, E.T. Cos, James Cureton, James Dias, G.C. Fennell, W.H.N. Gassett, Decalb Kenney, J.C. Lawson, D Lewis, William Mullins, Seborn J Rogers, Stephen Sanders, James Spicer, Daniel Sheredidan, J Walden, Thomas Walker, R.W. Watson, James C Whatley, Willis Williamson, Benjamin

Coroner

Feb 1, 1853
Ordered that P.C. Carr and Edmund Stewart be paid the usual fee for holding justices' inquest on the body Henry Battle, murdered.

Levying and spending taxes

July Term
Ordered that Tax Collector lvey and collect 25% on state tax for county purposes, 25% for poor school purposes and 12 1/2% for paupers.

Health Epidemics

Feb 1-1853
Ordered that the County pay E. Royal $226 for money expended in cases of the smallpox in Butler and the county and for food and nurses.
That McCants & Co. be paid $10.75 for goods furnished
Wright & Hamilton be paid $7.68
Thomas D. Brand be paid $10.80
R.C.Johnes be paid $34.00 for nursing the Morrell family for 17 days.
William Chew be paid $4.00 for making a coffin for William Morrell.


Passports Index On-Line

Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2003 15:10:49 -0400
From: "Lorine McGinnis Schulze" 

(http://NaturalizationRecords.com/usa/ )


Passport applications are often a valuable source of 
genealogical information. NARA has passport applications from 
October 1795-March 1925. The U. S. Department of State has 
passport applications from April 1925 to the present.


Some immigrants applied for passports to return home to visit 
family or friends. These records usually give a place of birth 
or at least the destination (which is often the home town)


The first passport issued in USA was dated July 1796. 


My first new database is an Index to Special Passports 1829-
1887. This is for all states.


http://naturalizationrecords.com/usa/passports1829-87a.shtml


Next is an Index to the Register of Passport Applications 1809-
1817 for all states, found at


http://naturalizationrecords.com/usa/passports1809.shtml


At present 1809 and 1810 are online, the remaining years will 
follow as quickly as Cindy G and I get them transcribed. 


I have also added new surnames beginning with G, H and L to the 
existing Register of Passports 1834-1843 at 
http://naturalizationrecords.com/usa/passports1834_a.shtml  
These are for all states. 


G Surnames are at 
http://naturalizationrecords.com/usa/passports1834_g.shtml


H Surnames are at 
http://naturalizationrecords.com/usa/passports1834_h.shtml


L Surnames are at 
http://naturalizationrecords.com/usa/passports1834_l.shtml


Surnames A to F were already online, and the rest will follow 
as quickly as they are transcribed.


All records on NaturalizationRecords.com are FREE to use, 
please let each page load completely then scroll down to find 
the 
names. 


The index to Passport Records and an explanation of Passport 
Records as a research tool is at


http://naturalizationrecords.com/usa/passports.shtml


Georgia Courthouses Destroyed by Cyclones, Floods, Tornadoes & Storms

State of Georgia, Dept. of Archives & History
County - Dates of occurrences (Not all records involved)
Baker County:  Flood - 1925, 1929.

Baldwin County:  Fire - 1861.

Bartow County:  Originally Cass County.  Courthouse destroyed by enemy fire
                during War Between the States in the 1860's.

Bulloch County:  Fire - 1864.

Burke County:  Fire - 1825, 1856.

Calhoun County:  Fire - 1888, 1920.

Carroll County:  Fire - 1927.

Charlton County:  County site then at Traders Hill.  Destroyed by fire in
                  1877.  Present site fire 19 February 1928.

Cherokee County:  Fire - 1865, 1928.

Clayton County:  Fire - 1864.

Clinch County:  Fire - 1856, 1867.

Cobb County:  Fire - 1864.
extensive  fire in 1864.  There are several
pre-1864 tax digests . Of the after
1864 records, only the deeds, marriages, and tax
records are available to researchers on microfilm at
the GA Archives, but additional records are available
at the courthouse.


Coffee County:  Fire - 1898, 1938.

Colquitt County:  Fire - 1881.

Crawford County:  Fire - 1829.

Dade County:  Fire - 1865, 1895.

DeKalb County:  Fire - 1842, 1898.

Dooly County:  Fire - 1847.

Douglas County:  Fire - 1896, 1957.

Early County:  Fire - 1896.

Echols County:  Fire - 1897.

Emanuel County:  Fire - 1841, 1855, 1857, 1919, 1938.

Forsyth County:  Fire - 1973.
http://www.rootsweb.com/~gaforsyt/records/courthouse.html

Glynn County:  Storm - 1896.

Gordon County:  Storm - 1888.

Greene County:  Town burned by Indians in 1787.

Gwinnett County:  Fire - 1871.

Habersham County:  Fire - 1856.  Blown up in 1898.

Hall County:  Fire - 1851, 1882. Tornado in 1936.

Harris County:  Set fire by Federal Troops in 1865, but quickly extinguished.

Hart County:  Fire - 1900, 1967.  Courthouse burned in 1967.  Clerk &
              Ordinary's Office in adjacent building.

Heard County:  Fire - 1893.

Henry County:  Fire - 1824.  1864 (Some records destroyed by Sherman's men.)

Jenkins County:  Fire - 1919.

Lee County:  Fire - 1856.  County seat then at Starkville.  Fire at Leesburg
             in 1872.

Lowndes County:  Fire - 1858, 1869.

Macon County:  Fire - 1857.

Marion County:  Fire - 1845.

McIntosh County:  Fire - 1864, 1872, 1931.

Meriwether County:  Cyclone - 3 March 1893.  Fire - 1976.

Miller County:  Fire - 1873, 1974.

Mitchell County:  Fire - 1869.

Muscogee County:  Fire - 1838.

Newton County:  Fire - 1883.

Pickens County:  Fire - 1947.

Pierce County:  Fire - 1875.

Quitman County:  Fire - 1920.

Screven County:  Fire - 1860's, 1896.

Stewart County:  Fire - 1922.

Talbot County:  Fire - 1890.

Telfair County:  Fire in the early 1900's.

Thomas County:  Damaged by storm in 1849.

Toombs County:  Fire - 1919.

Troup County:  Mysterious fire 4 November 1936.

Twiggs County:  Fire - 1901.

Union County:  Fire - 1859.

Walker County:  Fire - 1883.

Ware County:  Fire - 1854.

Warren County:  Fire - 1909.

Washington County:  Fire - 1855, 1864 (Sherman).

Webster County:  Fire - 1914.

Wheeler County:  Fire - 1916.

Whitfield County:  Fire - 1864 (Sherman).

Wilkes County:  Fire - 1958.(All records are extant except the first marriage book, from which there is an index)

Wilkinson County:  Fire - 1829, 1854, 1864, 1924.

Worth County:  Fire - 1879, 1893.

Georgia Supreme Court

Georgia Reports are yearly published summaries of cases that appeared before the State Supreme Court. Georgia Court of Appeals Reports are the same for the Appeals Court. Both sets can be found at virtually every law library and courthouse in the State and a number of other libraries, including the Georgia Archives. Each volume is indexed separately, BUT, there is a series called "Georgia and Southeastern Digest"??? or something similar to that; and, all the cases are indexed in the volume titled "Table of Cases Digested"... Now, I think the Digest is in electronic format and available through most law libraries (but, they have restrictions on use).

There is more than what's published. The original case files (in the early years, sometimes just a couple of sheets of paper -- but, always very interesting) are at the Georgia Archives in Atlanta. from GEORGIA-L posted by "Joan Pettengill" Sept 5, 1999.


The Georgia Department of Archives and History has the original Georgia Supreme Court case files from 1846 to the 1990s. The case files from 1846 to 1916 are available here on microfilm. Once you have located the case in the Georgia Reports, we can find the case file for you. You can either put your reference on our Mail Reference Order Form (http://www.sos.state.ga.us/archives/rs/mrform.htm), or visit our facility and we can show you how to locate the file in question. The reference should look like the reference below: 6 GA 21. Martin vs. Broach. (The 6 is the sixth volume, GA means "Georgia Reports", and 21 is page 21). The Archives also have the Georgia Reports here, as well as the Georgia Appeals Reports for appeals.
m: "Earnie Breeding" (ebreeding@worldnet.att.net)Retired attorney
Most Ga cases are also reported in the Southeastern US cases by West Publishing. However, due to the age of the case you are looking for, it was prior to SE cases being published. If you can not get to a law library, contact me directly, @ 770-720-0955. I can go to the local Law Library(Cherokee County) and get you a copy.

Some Legal Terms

fi fa stands for Fieri facias.
A writ of fieri facias commands a sheriff to take and sell enough property from the person who lost the law suit, to pay the debt owed by the judgment.

If you find dead links, please let me know: Virginia Crilley.

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