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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

How to get around Lost Census Records

Unfortunately Georgia's 1790, 1800 and 1810 US Census records did not survive. Before the Revolutionary War, the colonials resided in Augusta, Savannah, Ebenezer, Darien, Midway and St. Simon's Island. The economy was found in Savannah and Augusta. These town represented later Richmond, Chatham, Effingham, McIntosh, Liberty and Glynn Counties. In 1752 after the charter was surrendered by the trustees, Great Britain offered huge land grants to settlers having large families and servants; the means to help develop the state. These settlers came from NC, SC, VA and the New England States and mostly established their plantations along the Savannah River in McIntosh and Liberty Counties. After the Revolutionary War, land grants were offered to veterans from the original 13 colonies. These grants were predominantly located in Washington, Wilkes, Greene, Burke, Screven, Franklin, Elbert and Richmond Counties. These are the counties along the South Carolina border. When the Creeks made their treaties in 1813 and moved away, white settlers crossed into mid-Georgia. To find someone between 1777 and 1800, it is best to start with the original 13 Georgia counties, then branch out according to county expansion. If you are searching Burke, also research Screven records. Search Washington with Warren and Laurens Counties. Elbert and Jackson Counties go with Franklin County. The next step, of course, is to dig into the tax digests for the earliest counties. This is where you learn about other lands which they owned and in what counties they were located. All clues on where to look next. The land lotteries began in 1801 and went until 1833. It is a must to search these records because they serve as a substitute for the 1800 census.

Jeannette Holland Austin, author of over 100 genealogy books
Georgia Pioneers

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