DeKalb County, Georgia Genealogy

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Guide to DeKalb County, Georgia ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

County Facts
County seat: Decatur
Organized: December 9, 1822[1]
Parent County(s): Henry, Gwinnett, Fayette, Newton[2]
Neighboring Counties
Clayton  • Fulton  • Gwinnett  • Henry  • Rockdale
See County Maps
DeKalb County Court House Decatur, Georgia.jpg
Location Map
Georgia DeKalb County Map.png

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Johann de Kalb. The County is located in the north central area of the state.[3]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

DeKalb County Courthouse
556 North McDonough Street
Decatur, GA 30030
Phone: 404-371-2836
DeKalb County Website

Clerk Superior Court has divorce, court and land records from 1842.
Probate Court has marriage and probate records from 1842.[4]

DeKalb County, Georgia Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[5]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1919 1842 1919 1842 1842 1842 1820
*Statewide registration of births and death began in 1919. General compliance for births by 1928 and deaths by 1922.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

1842 The DeKalb County Courthouse burned on 9 January and all records were destroyed, except one minute book for the Superior Court, and one minute book for the Inferior Court.[6] [7] A handful of records recorded after the fire for pre-fire events are also available.

1916 The newer DeKalb County Courthouse burned on 13 September, but damage to records was limited thanks to a fire-proof vault.[7]

For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

DeKalb County was created on 9 December 1822 from portions of Fayette, Gwinnett, and Henry Counties. It gained additional land from these counties during the 1820s as well as from Newton County. DeKalb County gave up land to Campbell, Cherokee, Coweta, Fulton, Gwinnett, Milton, and Rockdale Counties throughout the 19th century.[8]

For animated maps illustrating Georgia county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Georgia County Boundary Maps" (1758-1932) may be viewed for free at the website.

For more information see Georgia Counties: Their Changing Boundaries (Georgia Archives)

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[9]

Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places
Ghost towns

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of DeKalb, Georgia online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
TombstoneTranscriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Georgia Cemeteries for more information

The following web site may have additional information on DeKalb County cemeteries.

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1830 10,042
1840 10,467 4.2%
1850 14,328 36.9%
1860 7,806 −45.5%
1870 10,014 28.3%
1880 14,497 44.8%
1890 17,189 18.6%
1900 21,112 22.8%
1910 27,881 32.1%
1920 44,051 58.0%
1930 70,278 59.5%
1940 86,942 23.7%
1950 136,395 56.9%
1960 256,782 88.3%
1970 415,387 61.8%
1980 483,024 16.3%
1990 545,837 13.0%
2000 665,865 22.0%
2010 691,893 3.9%
Source: "".

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Church records and the information they provide vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. For general information about Georgia denominations, see the Georgia Church Records wiki page.
List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

African Americans

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.

See Georgia Land and Property for additional information about early Georgia land grants from the government. After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions (generally buying and selling deeds) were usually recorded at the county courthouse and where records are currently housed.

Deed books and indexes that survived the courthouse fires are available on the ground floor of the DeKalb County Courthouse in the Clerk of the Superior Court, Real Estate Division. Land records found at the courthouse date from approximately 1840 to the present, beginning with Deed Book L.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for DeKalb County, Georgia Genealogy. County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories, see the wiki page section Georgia Local Histories.

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Gwinnett CountyRockdale CountyHenry CountyClayton CountyFulton CountyGA DEKALB.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Civil War

Online Records

Regiments. Service men in DeKalb County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed in DeKalb County:

- 7th Regiment, Georgia Infantry (Confederate), Company E
- 36th Regiment, Georgia Infantry (Broyles') (Confederate) , Company F
- 38th Regiment, Georgia Infantry (Confederate) , Companies A,D,and K
- 42nd Regiment, Georgia Infantry (Confederate) , Company D
- 66th Regiment, Georgia Infantry (Confederate) , Companies B,E,and H

  • Price, Vivian. 1997. History of DeKalb County, Georgia, 1822-1900. Fernandina Beach, FL: Wolfe Pub. Co. 975.8225 H2p
  • Confederate States of America. Army. Georgia Infantry Regiment, 7th, Company E. 1961. Muster list, 1861. Salt Lake City, Utah: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah.Film 282789
  • Georgia. Court of Ordinary (DeKalb County). 1964. Confederate veterans pension rolls, 1890-1931. Salt Lake City, Utah: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah.Film 365913

Spanish-American War

World War I

World War II

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Voting Records

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Colonial courts kept some early probate records.  From 1777 to 1798 and since 1852, the court of ordinary or register of probates has kept probate and guardianship records.  The inferior court handled probate and guardianship matters from 1798 to 1852.

Many probate records to the 1930s and 1940s are at the Georgia Department of Archives and History and the Family History Library on microfilm.

Content: Probate Records may give the decedent's date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, associates, relatives, and their place of residence.

Record types: Wills, estates, guardianships, naturalizations, marriage, adoption, and birth and death records (not all years).

Online Probate Indexes and Records

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

Taxes were levied on free white males over 21 and all slaves up to age 60. These persons are referred to as "polls." Tax listings, or digests, of a county generally list the taxable landowners and other polls and the amount of tax. The records for each county are divided by militia district.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents. A copy or an extract of most original records can be purchased from the Georgia State Department of Health , the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred or order electronically online.

For some online statewide indexes, see the FamilySearch Historical Record Collections for Georgia.

Birth[edit | edit source]

Statewide registration of births in Georgia began in 1919 and was generally complied with by 1928. Birth records are available only to the individual or his legal representative. Birth records can be obtained by writing to:

Georgia Department of Human Resources
Vital Records Unit
47 Trinity Avenue, S.W., Room 217-H
Atlanta, GA 30334-1201
Telephone: 404-679-4702
Internet: Georgia Vital Records

The current fees for obtaining copies of the state's records are listed at

Atlanta birth records since 1887 are available from:

Fulton County Health Department
141 Prior Street
Atlanta, GA 30303
Telephone: 404-730-4000
Internet: Fulton County Health Department

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Death[edit | edit source]

Death records for 1935 to present can be obtained by writing to:

Georgia Department of Human Resources
Vital Records Unit
47 Trinity Avenue, S.W., Room 217-H
Atlanta, GA 30334-1201
Phone: 404-679-4702
Georgia Vital Records

The current fees for obtaining copies of the state's records are listed at

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Listed below are archives in DeKalb County. For state-wide archival repositories, see Georgia Archives and Libraries.

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

  • Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
  • FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Listed below are libraries in DeKalb County. For state-wide library facilities, see Georgia Archives and Libraries.

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Listed below are societies in DeKalb County. For state-wide genealogical societies, see Georgia Societies.

Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Bryant, Pat, and Ingrid Shields. 1983. Georgia counties, their changing boundaries. Atlanta: State Print. Office.
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Georgia.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "DeKalb County, Georgia" in,_Georgia accessed 31 Oct 2018
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Georgia.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  5. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), DeKalb County, Georgia. Page 151-163 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 155-160.
  6. Vivian Price, History of DeKalb County, Georgia, 1822-1900 (Fernandina Beach, FL: Wolfe Pub. Co. This book is available at the DeKalb History Center, 1997).
  7. 7.0 7.1 Paul K. Graham, Georgia Courthouse Disasters (Decatur, Georgia: Genealogy Co., 2013), 26-27. At various libraries (WorldCat).
  8. Bryant, Pat, and Ingrid Shields. 1983. Georgia counties, their changing boundaries. Atlanta: State Print. Office.
  9. Wikipedia contributors, "DeKalb County, Georgia," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 11 Febuary 2019.
  10. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at