Georgia History

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Online Resources[edit | edit source]

Timeline =[edit | edit source]

The following important events in the history of Georgia affected political boundaries, record-keeping, and family movements.

  • 1732: King George II of England granted a charter to James Oglethorpe for the colony of Georgia as a place of refuge.
  • 1732: James Oglethorpe as governor, settles town of Sunbury. Early settlers mainly German protestants and Highlanders from Scotland.
  • 1733: James Oglethorpe founded the city of Savannah, as a refuge for English debtors.
  • 1733: Indian land ceded
  • 1734: German-speaking Salzburgers began to settle at Ebenezer, in present-day Effingham County.
  • 1742: A new Government established.
  • 1752: The charter was surrendered and Georgia became a crown colony.
  • 1755: A general court judicial system is established.
  • 1757: Group of 160 Germans arrive at Fort Ebenezer, Effingham County, near Bethany, under leadership of William DeBrahm.
  • 10 February 1763: The French and Indian War came to an end with the signing of the Treaty of Paris 1763.
  • 1763: Indian lands ceded
  • 1763: The country between the Alatamaha and St. Mary's rivers annexed to Georgia.
  • 1773 and 1783: Indian lands ceded
  • 1777: Georgia is divided into nine counties, parish system is abolished.
  • 1784-1820: Thousands of Americans moved to Georgia seeking inexpensive land. The first land lottery was held in 1805.
  • 1788: Georgia became a state.
  • 1790: Indian lands ceded
  • 1802: Indian lands ceded
  • 1802: Georgia relinquished its claims to lands west of the Chattahoochee River. These lands became part of Mississippi and Alabama.
  • 1804, 1817, 1818, 1819, 1821, 1826 and 1833: Indian lands ceded
  • 1805, 1807, 1820, 1821, 1827 and 1832: Georgia Land Lotteries
  • 1828: The discovery of gold on Cherokee land prompted the Georgia state legislature to declare that all Cherokee land would be open to white settlement.
  • 1832: Ralph Waldo Emerson, the poet and essayist, wrote to President Van Buren appealing against the removal of the Cherokee tribe beyond the Mississippi.
  • 1835: Treaty of New Echota: the Cherokee Nation ceded all its remaining land.
  • 25 May 1838: Removal of the Cherokee Indians began under the command of General Winfield Scott. General Charles Floyd was in command of field operations.
  • December 1838: The remaining Cherokee Indians were forcibly removed from Georgia by Federal Troops to Indian territory west of the Mississippi River. (Trail of Tears and White River Trace) The survivors reached northeastern Oklahoma in March 1839.
  • 1861: Georgia seceded from the Union. It was readmitted in 1870.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Some of the most valuable sources for family history research are local histories. Published histories of towns, counties, and states usually contain accounts of families. They describe the settlement of the area and the founding of churches, schools, and businesses. You can also find lists of pioneers, soldiers, and civil officials. Even if your ancestor is not listed, information on other relatives may be included that will provide important clues for locating your ancestor. A local history may also suggest other records to search. Local histories are extensively collected by the Family History Library, public and university libraries, and state and local historical societies.

  • Bartram, William. Travels through North and South Carolina, Georgia, East and West Florida, the Cherokee Country, the Extensive Territories of the Muscogulges or Creek Confederacy, and the Country of the Choctaws. Philadelphia and London, 1791-1792. Digital version at Google Books.In the 1770s, American naturalist William Bartram kept an interesting account of his travels through South Carolina.

State Histories Useful to Genealogists[edit | edit source]

Good genealogists strive to understand the life and times of their ancestors. In this sense, any history is useful. But certain kinds of state, county, and local histories, especially older histories published between 1845 and 1945, often include biographical sketches of prominent individuals. The sketches usually tend toward the lauditory, but may include some genealogical details. If these histories are indexed or alphabetical, check for an ancestor's name.

  • George Gillman Smith, The Story of Georgia and the Georgia People, 1732-1860, Second Edition 1901, (Macon, Georgia: G.G. Smith, 1901) FHL film 908502 item 1, book 975.8 H2sgA detailed history of Georgia's counties and early settlers. Digitized version available through FamilySearch Catalog entry.
  • To find more books and articles about Georgia 's history, use the Internet Google search for phases such as "Georgia history."

United States History[edit | edit source]

The following are only a few of the many sources that are available:

  • Schlesinger, Jr., Arthur M. The Almanac of American History. (Greenwich, Conn.: Bison Books, 1983.) At various libraries (WorldCat), FHL book 973 H2almThis book provides brief historical essays and chronological descriptions of thousands of key events in United States history.
  • Dictionary of American History, Revised ed., 8 vols. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1976.) At various libraries (WorldCat), FHL book 973 H2adIncludes historical sketches on various topics in U.S. history, such as wars, people, laws, and organizations.
  • Van Doren, Charles Lincoln; Robert McHenry, Webster's Guide to American History: A Chronological, Geographical, and Biographical Survey and Compendium. (Springfield, Mass.: G and C Merriam, 1971.) At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL book 973 H2v Includes a history, some maps, tables, and other historical information.

Draper Manuscript Collection. Look for Georgia ancestors 1740-1830 in the Draper Manuscript Collection. These manuscripts cover the history of the "trans-Allegheny West," a region including the west Carolinas and Virginia, all the Ohio River Valley, and part of the upper Mississippi Valley. There are 491 volumes of partially-indexed manuscripts, papers, and books.

Family History Library[edit | edit source]

To access histories available through the FamilySearch Catalog, use the Place-name Search for:


Websites[edit | edit source]