The State of Georgia was much-disputed since the 1500s, with France, England, and Spain all taking possession of it at various times. Those times were: 1513, Discovery, 1565 to 1763, First Spanish Colonial Period, 1763 to 1783, British Colonial Period, 1784 to 1821, Second Spanish Period, 1821 to 1845, U.S. Territorial Period, 1845, Became the 27th State.
Georgia was founded in 1732, as the last of the Thirteen Colonies and was named for King George II of Great Britain. Georgia originally consisted of 12 parishes at the time of the American Revolution. These parishes were St. George, St. Thomas, St. Mary, St. Philip, Christ Church, St. Matthew, St. Philip, St. David, St. Patrick, St. John, St. Andrew, St. James and St. Paul. Counties were not formed until 1777, covering at that time only a portion of Georgia’s present jurisdiction. Eventually as Native American land was acquired, new counties were created.
Georgia was admitted to the Union on January 2, 1788 as the 4th state. It seceded from the Union on January 19, 1861, and was one of the original seven Confederate states. It was the last state to be readmitted to the Union, on July 15, 1870. Georgia’s nickname is the Peach State and the Empire State of the South. The State capital is in Atlanta. It has 159 Counties.
When people envision the first organized states within the United States, many often forget that Georgia was among them. This is a state with a long and fascinating history, and there have been many kinds of families, groups, and individuals associated with it. This is probably the reason that the state has so many resources available for Georgia genealogy researchers.
Looking for Georgia Genealogy Resources
How to Start a Search for Georgia Genealogy Data – If you are daunted by the idea of beginning the search for Georgia genealogy materials, you should take comfort in the fact that you may not even have to leave home to begin! This is due to the simple fact that the state has already placed a large amount of their archival materials into digitized formats that are accessible to the public. This means that people looking for Georgia genealogy information may be able to find the things they need, and order copies, right over the Internet.
It is necessary to accept, however, that though there is a large amount of material online, there may be the need to make a trip to some distant locations as well, and this means that anyone doing research for Georgia genealogy will have to quickly discover tools that can save them from making any unnecessary trips.
The New Approach for Georgia Genealogy – Anyone in need of materials for Georgia genealogy is likely to understand the records below, but if you are new to this sort of thing, you should be sure you are familiar with:
- Local Records – anyone looking for Georgia genealogy will tend to begin in a county clerk’s office or website, and then move on to the local small local libraries, genealogical societies, historical societies, and school or college libraries for Georgia genealogy data. These are places that are usually offline and open by appointment or special arrangement.
- State Records – from probate information to surname lists, state census information, private manuscripts, newspapers, military or veterans information, marriage details, maps, land records, genealogical folders, estate information, deeds, death records, cemetery information, birth certificates and more; these records are available as online and offline resources for Georgia genealogy.
- Vital Records – these are made up of the birth, marriage, divorce and death records from county, state, and national archives, and can also contain cemetery or obituary information, immigration and naturalization details, newspaper items, military records, census records, passenger lists and records as well. These are available as online and offline resources for Georgia genealogy.
Some of the Finest Sources for Georgia Genealogy – As a researcher you will quickly discover strong resources for Georgia genealogy work. Below are some of the best for Georgia genealogy that are currently available:
- Department of Health, Georgia Department of Community Health, Vital Records , 2600 Skyland Drive, NE, Atlanta, GA 30319-3640; Website: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w/georgia.htm .
This is where you can order birth, death, marriage and divorce records via a written request or even online.
Additional state and local records can be found at the:
- Georgia Archives, 5800 Jonesboro Road, Morrow, GA 30260; Website: www.GeorgiaArchives.org .Here you can access the vital records, a virtual vault, learn how to do research for Georgia genealogy, peruse land records, census data, tax records, war registries, African American resources, and even colonial documents.
Also, consider using the Georgia Vital Records website at http://www.georgia.gov/00/channel_title/0,2094,4802_5009,00.html.
Finally, these websites provide a tremendous amount of state-specific details to those in search of facts for Georgia genealogy projects.
- Georgia’s Virtual Vault (sos.state.ga.us)
- Georgia Genealogy Community (plus.google.com)
- RAOGK Volunteers for Georgia (raogk.org)
- Georgia State Genealogy Network (facebook.com)
- Encyclopedia of Georgia (georgiaencyclopedia.org)
- The Georgia Family Group Sheet Project (fgs-project.com)
- USGenweb – Georgia Genealogy (rootsweb.ancestry.com)
- Free GenForum Message Boards – Georgia (genforum.genealogy.com)
- Free Rootsweb Message Boards – Georgia (boards.ancestry.com)
- Cyndis List Georgia Links (cyndislist.com)
- Georgia Mailing List (rootsweb.ancestry.com)
- Georgia American History and Genealogy Project (usgennet.org)
- Georgia Migrations Project (rootsweb.ancestry.com)
- Georgia (wikipedia.org)
- Georgia Genealogy Look Ups (geneasearch.com)
- USGenWeb Archives Project for Georgia (usgwarchives.net)
Georgia Ethnic Group Research
The Native American population in the state of Georgia consisted mainly of the Creek and Cherokee tribes. However, they were later moved to either Oklahoma Territory or Indian Territory land, for the most part. Some Creeks remained behind, but many of those eventually moved to Alabama, instead of staying in Georgia.
North Carolina and Georgia Native American records are similar, even though the Native Americans in each of those two areas had completely different histories. The federal Cherokee records for the state of Georgia are particularly extensive. The Washington, D.C. National Archives holds those records. Unpublished typescripts of state Cherokee and Creek records have been indexed by the Georgia Archives. Information on white relatives of those Native Americans may also be available.
There are several records relating to African Americans on file at the Georgia Archives. Those records include: Lists of Free Persons of Color, Marriages, Slave Lists, Imported Slave Lists, Apprenticeship Bonds, Trial dockets, Lists of Slave Owners, Cemetery Records, Church Records, Bills of Sale, Deeds Transferring Slaves, Plantation Records
Not all of the above records were recorded in each county. In fact, there are far less slave records than there are records for free persons of color.
Freedman’s Bureau records can be found at the National Archives, along with military records and federal census records. Post-Civil War Freedman’s Bureau Georgia office records will soon be available on microfilm at the National Archives. Some former slave records can be found at the FHL, which also has a CD-Rom available for sake that lists Freedman’s Bank depositors. Freedman’s Bank offices were located in Savannah, Atlanta, and Augusta.
- USF Africana Heritage Project (africanaheritage.com)
- Georgia, Freedmen’s Bureau Letters or Correspondence, 1865-1872 (familysearch.org)
- African American Genealogical Research (lva.georgia.gov)
- Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936-1938 (memory.loc.gov)
- American Slave Narratives: An Online Anthology
- Georgia African American Books (amazon.com)
- Georgia Native American Books (amazon.com)