Difference between revisions of "Chatham County, Georgia Genealogy"

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'''Independent Presbyterian Church, Savannah'''  
'''Independent Presbyterian Church, Savannah'''  
*'''1805-1850''' - [http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ga/county/chatham/ipcmarry.htm Chatham County Marriages (white 1805-1850)Independent Presbyterian Church of Savannah]<br>  
*'''1805-1850''' - [http://www.usgenweb.info/gachatham/IPCmarry.htm Chatham County Marriages (white 1805-1850)Independent Presbyterian Church of Savannah]<br>  
*'''1828-1866''' - Savannah Independent Presbyterian Church Baptism Index 1828-1866. Batch {{IGI|C712411}} at FamilySearch - free.<ref name="vr" />  
*'''1828-1866''' - Savannah Independent Presbyterian Church Baptism Index 1828-1866. Batch {{IGI|C712411}} at FamilySearch - free.<ref name="vr" />  
*'''1829-1866''' - Savannah Independent Presbyterian Church Marriage Index 1829-1866. Batch {{IGI|M712411}} at FamilySearch - free.<ref name="vr" />
*'''1829-1866''' - Savannah Independent Presbyterian Church Marriage Index 1829-1866. Batch {{IGI|M712411}} at FamilySearch - free.<ref name="vr" />

Revision as of 07:26, 22 May 2014

United States Gotoarrow.png Georgia Gotoarrow.png Chatham County

Guide to Savannah and Chatham County Georgia genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

Hand and keyboard.jpg Georgia
Online Records

Chatham County, Georgia
Map of Georgia highlighting Chatham County
Location in the state of Georgia
Founded February 5, 1777
County Seat Savannah
Address Chatham County Courthouse
124 Bull Street
Savannah, GA 31401-3230
Phone: 912.652.7127
Chatham County Website

County Courthouse

Chatham County Courthouse
124 Bull Street
Savannah, GA 31401-3230
Phone: 912.652.7127

Probate Court has birth, marriage, death and probate records; Clerk Superior Court has divorce and court records from 1783, land records from 1785 and naturalization records from 1801.[1]

Beginning Dates for Chatham County, Georgia Genealogy Government Records
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate



There were no counties prior to 5 February 1777. The settlement areas were mostly near the coastline and were organized as church-governmental parishes.See Chatham County History at GAGenWeb Project.

Parent County

  • 1777-Chatham County was created 5 February 1777 from St. Phillip and Christ Church Parishes.
    County seat: Savannah [2]

Boundary Changes

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.

See Georgia Counties:Their Changing Boundaries (Georgia Archives)

Variant Spellings

Record Loss

No reported damage.[3]


Populated Places

  • Incorporated Cities: Bloomingdale . Garden City . Pooler . Port Wenworth . Savannah . Thunderbolt . Tybee Island . Vernonburg
  • Communities: Georgetown . Hunter Army Airfield . Isle of Hope . Montgomery . Pin Point . Skidaway Island . White Bluff . Whitemarsh Island . Wilmington Island

Neighboring Counties

Genealogy Resources

Research Guides

African Americans

  • Look Back, Ponder, and Move on:Glimpses of the African American Experience in Savannah 1750-1900 (The King-Tisdell Cottage Foundation)
  • Savannah, Georgia, Slave Manifests, 1811-1860 ($) - via Ancestry.com. This is a database of manifests for slaves arriving in Savannah, Georgia from 1811-1860.The manifests include: Name of ship, Master, Port of departure, Port of destination, List of slaves on board. The slave information includes: First name, Sex, Age, Stature, Name of shipper/owner, Shipper/owner’s place of residence.
  • Perdue, Robert Eugene. The Negro in Savannah, 1865-1900. New York, Exposition Press, [1973]. 156 p. (An Exposition university Book) F294.S2 P47

Bible 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.

St. John's Church, Savannah

  • 1846-1885 - St. John's Church, Savannah, Baptism Index 1846-1885. Batch C712431 at FamilySearch - free.[4]
  • 1846-1903 - St. John's Church, Savannah, Marriage Index 1846-1903. Batch M712431 at FamilySearch - free.[4]
  • Thomas, Edgar Garfield. The First African Baptist Church of North America. Savannah, Ga.: unknown, 1925. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

LDS Ward and Branch Records

  • Savannah

St. Paul's, Savannah

  • 1883-1911 - St. Paul's Church, Savannah, Baptism Index 1883-1911. Batch C723251 at FamilySearch - free.[4]
  • 1892-1911 - St. Paul's Church, Savannah, Marriage Index 1892-1911. Batch M723251 at FamilySearch - free.[4]

Independent Presbyterian Church, Savannah



Land and Property

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.

Deeds and Probate Records


Headright Surveys:

Public land given to the head of a household or to an individual who paid another person's passage to America. Headright grants were given to early colonists of America and to early citizens of Texas. See Headright surveys, plat books D and E for Camden, Glynn, Liberty, Chatham and Effingham counties, 1784-1793.

Homestead Records (See also Probate Records)

Homestead records, 1868-1902 Georgia. Superior Court (Chatham County)

Land Lottery

Oyster Leases


Mortgages, 1871-1900 Georgia. Superior Court (Chatham County)

Pony Homestead Records

Pony homestead records, 1876-1922 Georgia. Court of Ordinary (Chatham County)

Local Histories

Local histories are available for Chatham 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.

  • Gamble, Thomas. Bethesda: An Historical Sketch of Whitefield's House of Mercy in Georgia, and of the Union Society, His Associate and Successor in Philanthropy. Savannah, Ga.: Morning News Print, 1902. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Gamble, Thomas. Savannah Duels and Duellists, 1733-1877. Savannah, Ga.: Review Pub. & Print. Co., 1923. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Harden, William. A History of Savannah and South Georgia. Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co., 1913. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Harden, William. Recollections of a Long and Satisfactory Life. New York: Negro Universities Press, 1968, c1934. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Jones, Charles Colcock. History of Savannah, Ga.: From Its Settlement to the Close of the Eighteenth Century. Syracuse, N.Y.: D. Mason & Co., 1890. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Lattimore, Ralston B. Fort Pulaski National Monument, Georgia. Washington, D.C.: G.P.O., 1954. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Lee, F. D. Historical Record of the City of Savannah. Savannah Ga.: Printed and published by J.H. Estill, Morning News Steam-powered Press, 1869, c1868. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Lichtenstein, Gaston. Early History of Tarboro, North Carolina: Also, Collated Colonial Public Claims of Edgecombe County, and Easter Sunday in Savannah, Ga. Richmond: W.E. Jones, Book and Job Printer, 1908. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Piechocinski, Elizabeth Carpenter. Once Upon an Island: The Barrier and Marsh Islands of Chatham County, Georgia. Includes marriages and other vital records for Island residents, family history information for Island residents, listings of Island-born Blacks, grave sites, victims of hurricanes, Union soldiers involved in the skirmish on Whitemarch Island, plantation owners, and freed Blacks who obtained land in the Islands.
  • Savannah. Savannah, Ga.: Review Print. Co., 1937. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Sholes, A. E. Chronological History of Savannah: From Its Settlement by Oglethorpe Down to December 31, 1899: Together with a Complete Record of the City and County, and Savannah's Roll of Honor, A Roster of the Soldiers Who Have in Three Wars Gone Forth at Their Country's Call, from This City. Savannah, Ga.: Morning News Print., 1900. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Wilson, Adelaide. Historic and Picturesque Savannah. Boston: Published for the subscribers by the Boston Photogravure Co., 1889. Digital version at Ancestry ($).


  • 1888 - Savannah, GA, 1888. Savannah, GA: The Morning News Print, 1888. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • 1889 - Savannah, GA, 1889. Savannah, GA: The Morning News Print, 1889. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • 1890 - Savannah, GA, 1890. Savannah, GA: The Morning News Print, 1890. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • 1891 - Savannah, GA, 1891. Savannah, GA: The Morning News Print, 1891. Digital version at Ancestry ($).

Miscellaneous Records


Civil War

Regiments. Service men in Chatham County, Georgia Genealogy 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 Chatham County, Georgia Genealogy:

- 1st Regiment, Georgia Infantry (Olmstead's) (Confederate), Companies A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I and K
- 8th Regiment, Georgia Infantry (Confederate), Company B
-11th Battalion, Georgia Infantry (State Guards) (Confederate), Company E
- 25th Regiment, Georgia Infantry (Confederate), Companies H and I
- 29th Regiment, Georgia Infantry (Confederate), Company F
- 31st Regiment, Georgia Infantry (Confederate), Company C
- 35th Battalion, Georgia (Confederate), Company C
- 47th Regiment, Georgia Infantry (Confederate), Companies A and E
- 54th Regiment, Georgia Infantry (Confederate), Company F
- Wheaton's Company, Georgia Artillery (Chatham Artillery) (Confederate)
- Military - Civil War - Georgia USGenWeb Archives Project

Civil War Battle

The following Civil War battle was fought in Chatham County.

Map showing Civil War battles in Georgia.



Inward and outward slave manifest lists:

  • Savannah, Georgia: Coastwise Slave Manifests, 1801-1860. ARC 1151775, U.S. Customs Service, Record Group Number 36. National Archives Southeast Region, Morrow, Georgia. Digital version at Ancestry ($).

Early migration routes to and from Chatham County for European settlers included:[6]


Newspapers Extracts and Abstracts

Newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Chatham County, Georgia Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:

Savannah Morning News(Live Oak Public Libraries)

  • The Bull Street Branch has the Savannah Morning News from 1763-present in microfilm.
  • The Georgia Room has the index to this paper for 1763-1986 except: 1846-1849; 1892-1895 (spotty); 1896-1929.
  • The Georgia Death Index (1919-1994) is available at Ancestry.


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).


Taxes were levied on free white males over 21 and slaves aged 21 to 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.

Chatham County Tax Digest for 1793 (digital images) Georgia Pioneers($)

Chatham County - Tax Collector - Tax Digests, 1837-1978 | Georgia Archives

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. See also How to order Georgia Vital Records

Birth Records
  • 1862-1865 - Chatham County Birth Index. Batch C712395 at FamilySearch - free.[4]

The City of Savannah (Chatham County) has birth records beginning in 1890. They were recorded state-wide beginning in 1919.

Chatham County Health Department
P. O. Box 14257
Savannah, GA, 31416.
Telephone: 912-356-3438.

Marriage Records
  • 1805-1836 - Chatham County Marriage Index 1805-1836. Batch M712391 at FamilySearch - free.[4]
  • 1808-1967 - Georgia Marriages, 1808-1967 Name index to marriage records from the state of Georgia.
  • 1827-1837 - Chatham County Marriage Index 1827-1837. Batch M712392 at FamilySearch - free.[4]
  • 1830-1842 - Chatham County Marriage Index 1830-1842. Batch M712396 at FamilySearch - free.[4]
  • 1838-1852 - Chatham County Marriage Index 1838-1852. Batch M712393 at FamilySearch - free.[4]
  • 1842-1861 - Chatham County Marriage Index 1842-1861. Batch M712397 at FamilySearch - free.[4]
  • 1852-1861 - Chatham County Marriage Index 1852-1861. Batch M712394 at FamilySearch - free.[4]
  • 1862-1866 - Chatham County Marriage Index 1862-1866. Batch M712395 at FamilySearch - free.[4]
  • 1877-1878 - Chatham County Marriage Book A Index 1877-1878. Batch M712398 at FamilySearch - free.[4]
  • 1878-1882 - Chatham County Marriage Books B and C Index 1878-1882. Batch M712399 at FamilySearch - free.[4]
  • 1882-1884 - Chatham County Marriage Book D Index 1882-1884. Batch M712401 at FamilySearch - free.[4]
  • 1884-1886 - Chatham County Marriage Book E Index 1884-1886. Batch M712402 at FamilySearch - free.[4]
  • 1886-1887 - Chatham County Marriage Book F Index 1886-1887. Batch M712403 at FamilySearch - free.[4]
  • 1887-1889 - Chatham County Marriage Book G Index 1887-1889. Batch M712404 at FamilySearch - free.[4]
  • 1889-1891 - Chatham County Marriage Book H Index 1889-1891. Batch M712405 at FamilySearch - free.[4]
  • 1891-1892 - Chatham County Marriage Book I Index 1891-1892. Batch M712406 at FamilySearch - free.[4]
  • 1892-1894 - Chatham County Marriage Book J Index 1892-1894. Batch M712407 at FamilySearch - free.[4]
  • 1894-1895 - Chatham County Marriage Book K Index 1894-1895. Batch M712408 at FamilySearch - free.[4]

Microfilm copies of these records are available at the Family History Library and Family History Centers.

Death Records
  • 1849-50, 1879-80 - Chatham County, Georgia Genealogy Mortality Schedules at Ancestry ($).
  • 1928-1930 - Georgia Deaths, 1928-1930 Name Index and images of Georgia statewide deaths. Original records are arranged chronogically by year and then by certificate numbers.
Vital Record Substitutes

Genealogy Societies and Libraries

Family History Centers



  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Chatham County, Georgia. Page 152 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  3. Paul K. Graham, Georgia Courthouse Disasters (Decatur, Georgia: Genealogy Co., 2013), 19. At various libraries (WorldCat).
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19 4.20 4.21 4.22 4.23 Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/0/09/Igigeorgiaad.pdf.
  5. Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State, (accessed 13 August, 2012)
  6. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 847-61. (FHL Book 973 D27e 2002) WorldCat entry., and William E. Myer, Indian Trails of the Southeast. (Nashville, Tenn.: Blue and Gray Press, 1971), 12-14, and the book's pocket map "The Trail System of the Southeastern United States in the Early Colonial Period" (1923). (FHL Book 970.1 M992i) WorldCat entry.