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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Zig-zagging Trail of Emigrants

During the 1750s congregations of people settled on land grants offered by the King of England after the trustees surrendered the charter.  Puritans settled in Liberty County at a place named "Midway", as it was midway between Savannah and Darien.  Before the American Revolution, people in Massachusetts and Rhode Island spent their summers in Sunbury (Liberty) County, Georgia.  In those days it was believed that the fevers (yellow, typhod, etc.) originated inland.  Sunbury was a luxury resort and many New Englanders owned land on a site which, today, does not exist as it fell into private ownership.  After the Revolutionary War, land grants were offered to veterans for land in Georgia in Washington, Wilkes, Franklin, Elbert, (specificially the counties formed by 1777). With the Creek removal of 1819, the south Georgia counties came available, and by 1832 the Cherokees in North Georgia were removed (for the most part).  The trail was mostly from Virginia, Maryland and the Carolinas into Georgia, and then took a westward turn into the old sites of Indian villages to the Alabama border.  People moved around quite a bit.  They were in search of fertile lands.  As early as the 17th century, the old family seat in Virginia was worn out by tobacco crops. As settlers dribbed into the Carolinas and they plowed fields only to let them lie several years before re-planting.  There was a need for larger tracts of land.  That is why you see umpteen transactions in the deed records. People were purchasing, plowing, then moving on, always south, then westward.

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