Inferior Court | Probate/Wills | Superior Court | GA Supreme Court | Vital Records | Delayed Birthcertificates Passport Records |Legal Terms |Name Changes by Legislation
Death Certificates Georgia Virtual Vault 1919-1927
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 RECORDSBirth (from 1917) - State Record
Marriage(from 1852- June 9, 1952) - County Probate Judge Record
Death Certificates Georgia Virtual Vault
Divorce (from 1852-1952) County Superior Court
Vital Records Office P.O. Box 148 Butler, GA 31006 (478) 862-3357State 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
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.
Marriage Records: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:
Navigate the website:
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.
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
The Inferior Court's Duties included:
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
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
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
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
Many helpful links to learn about using courthouse records and the kinds of records that exist.
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
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.
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
August 1852 - Jurors for Inferior Court
Mullins, Seborn J
Watson, James C
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.