Tift County, Georgia Genealogy

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United States
Tift County

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

County Facts
County seat: Tifton
Organized: August 17, 1905
Parent County(s): Berrien, Irwin, Worth[1]
Neighboring Counties
Berrien  • Colquitt  • Cook  • Irwin  • Turner  • Worth
See County Maps
Tift County Court House Tifton, Georgia.jpg
Location Map
Georgia Tift County Map.png

County Information


The County was named for Nelson Tift. The County is located in the south central area of the state. [2]

County Courthouse

Tift County Courthouse
225 N Tift Avenue
Tifton, GA 31794-4463
Phone: 229-386-7810
Tift County Website

Probate Court has marriage and probate records.
Clerk Superior Court has divorce, court and land records from 1905.[3]

Tift County, Georgia Record Dates

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[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1905 1905 1905 1905 1905 1905 1820
Statewide registration of births and death began in 1919. General compliance for births by 1928 and deaths by 1922.

Record Loss

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.[5]

Boundary Changes

  • 1905 Tift County was created 17 August 1905 from Berrien, Irwin and Worth Counties.
  • County seat: Tifton[6]

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

Organization of Tift County, Georgia:

The Creek Indians in 1814 and 1818 ceded their lands in the Southern portion of what is now the State of Georgia to the United States government. This extended the boundaries of the State of Georgia to the Chattahoochee River on the West and to what is now the State of Florida in the South.

This land was originally divided into three counties:” Early in the West; Irwin in the middle; and Appling in the East. In 1818, 1819, and 1820 survey parties were sent into these counties. There was a land lottery held in 1820. The lands of Early, Irwin, and Appling then became available to be purchased for a small fee by those eligible. These three counties then began to be settled.

As the population of original Irwin County began to increase other counties were formed. There are currently all or part of seventeen counties within original Irwin. Tift County on Aug. 17, 1905 was chartered from parts of Irwin, Worth, and Berrien Counties. (Worth became a county in 1853 and Berrien in 1856.) All of Tift County is in the 6th Land District of original Irwin except for four land lots West of Ty Ty which are in the 7th Land District. These land lots are number 207, 208, 253, and 254. When Tift County was formed the residents of these four desired to be a part of Tift and their wish was granted.

The land surveyed in 1818, 1819, and 1820 which became Irwin County was organized into land lots. A land lot is 490 acres. When the lottery was held in 1820, those who were fortunate to have their number drawn had the opportunity to purchase the designated land lot for $18. There were sixteen Land Districts in original Irwin County. A full size land district is 20 miles and 660 feet squared. Land lots make up a Land District.

Populated Places

The following are locations in Tift County, Georgia:

History Timeline


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations


Cemeteries of Tift, 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 Tift County cemeteries.

Census Records

Church Records

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.

Court Records


Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

Funeral Homes



Land and Property Records

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.

Local Histories

Local histories are available for Tift 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.

  • Williams, Ida Belle. History of Tift County. Macon, Ga.: Printed by the J.W. Burke Co., c1948. Digital version at Ancestry ($)

Maps and Gazetteers

Turner CountyIrwin CountyBerrien CountyCook CountyColquitt CountyWorth CountyGA TIFT.PNG
About this image
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Military Records

Civil War

Online Records

World War I

Naturalization and Citizenship



Other Records

Voting Records


Probate Records

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 Records

School Records

Tax Records

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

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.





Research Facilities


Family History Centers

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes.




  • Southwest Georgia Genealogical Society
    PO Box 4672
    Albany, GA 31706


Research Guides


  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Georgia.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Tift County, Georgia" in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tift_County,_Georgia accessed 6 Nov 2018
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Georgia.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Tift 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.
  5. Paul K. Graham, Georgia Courthouse Disasters (Decatur, Georgia: Genealogy Co., 2013), 53. At various libraries (WorldCat).
  6. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Georgia.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.