The Site of Savannah was established and drawn out by General James Oglethorpe. This is the seat of the first English settlement in Georgia. 114 persons came with Oglethorpe on his first voyage and erected huts with saw-palm roofs. Within a year, over one hundred wooden homes were constructed, while vessels transported more settlers. Several parishes governed the area, viz: Christ Church, St. Andrews, and St. Marys. After the Revolutionary War, the parishes were dispensed with as boundaries and counties established. Chatham was named for William Lord Pitt, Earl of Chatham. Many prominent citizens emerged from the first settlers into the settled gentry and poltical figures. During the American Revolution, Loyalists marked as traitors escaped into Florida and to Bermuda where they established plantations. If you have lost someone from this period, that is where to search!
Earliest Settlers: Charles Alexander, Michael Bottomley, Jonathan Clark, Raymond Demere, Thomas Dawson, William Gilbert, John Houstoun, William Jordan, Alexander Lesley, David Montaigut, William Mortimer, John Mackay, Charles Ogilvie, Daniel Pendleton, Augustus Rogers, Richard Seymore, Nicholas Witzen, and Nathaniel Zettler.
Genealogy Records Available to Members of Georgia Pioneers
Chatham Wills 1781-1824 (abstracts)
Chatham Misc. Wills (abstracts)
Chatham Will Book B (1777-1787) Digital Images.
Testators: Chatham County Will Book B (1777-1787) Allman, Philip; Ardis, Mathias; Anderson, John; Baillou, James; Bard, Peter; Ballew, Elizabeth; Bourquin, Henry; Bowen, Samuel; Bowles, John; Brown, John; Bulloch, Archibald; Campbell, John; Cater, John; Christopher, Jacob; Clark, Henry; Cuthbert, George; Darthingan, John; Davies, Edward; Dawson, Mary; Delegal, George; Deveaux, James; Dixon, James; Ewen, Margaret; Ewen, William; Farley, Benjamin; Ferguson, Joshua; Fincher, William; Fox, Ann; Fox, John Sr.; Fox, Joseph; Fox, Richard; Fox, William Sr.; Germain, Priscilla; Gibbons, William; Girardeau, John Bohun; Growley, John; Guion, Richard; Gwinnett, Button; Harbeck, Michael; Harris, Francis Henry; Houstoun, Sir Patrick; Howler, Richard; Janson, James; Jones, Noble; Kieffer, David; Larkin, Edward; Lee, Thomas; Lewis, Francis; Lewis, Oliver; Lloyd, Rebecca; MacFarlane, Susanah; Mackay, James; Martin, John; Matthias, John; Maxwell, James; McLean, Andrew; McIntosh, John; Morgan, Thomas; Mullryne, Charles; Nelson, Malcolm; Nunager, Henry; Otner, Elizabeth; Palmer, George; Papot, James; Parker, Ann; Preston, Henry; Pryce, Charles Jr.; Rabenhorst, Ann Barbara; Rae, John; Raynes, Joseph; Readick, Peter; Remetefler, John Matthias; Remshardt, Johannes; Robe, Frances; Rolfe, Frederick; Ross, William; Rush, Joseph Jr.; Savage, Thomas; Scaf?, Granger; Simmons, John; Simpson, Winifred; Sisfritz, George; Smith, John (in 5 parts); Sommerville, Jane; Steadwick, Alexander; Stirk, John; Stone, Elizabeth; Thompson, William; Threadcraft, George; Tondee, Peter; Turner, Lewis; Walker, Charles; Wells, Andrew Elton; Whelock, Thomas; Wylly, William Young, Isaac Young, WilliamChatham Will Bk C Digital Images (1788-1791)
Testators:Beal, Helena Boldon, Robert Sr.; Bryan, Jonathan; Butler, Elizabeth; Butler, Shem; Clarke, Weston; Clyatt, James; Cohen, Philip Jacob; Copp, John; Davis, William; Densler, Henry; Deveaux, William; Elliott, Thomas; Farley, John; Furse, James; Gable, Abraham; Gaffe, Jane; Galache, James;Gibbons, Sarah; Gibson, Robert; Gugel, John; Hallen, Robert; Harden, William;Harn, Samuel;Harris, Mordica; Herb, Frederick;Krutman, Edward;Mann, John;Miller, Robert;Mills, Thomas;Moore, Aaron;Moore, Catherine;Moore, John;Moss, Sarah; Murdock, David;Neilson, Nicholas;Nunes, Moses;Nungazer, George; Oats, John;Ogden, Solomon;Peay, Job;Penman, John;Porcher, Paul; Ross, Donald;Russell, Jane;Savage, Mary Elliott;Shad, Catherine; Spencer, George;Stiles, Benjamin;Tessier, Stephen;Tuft, S.; Warren, Jeremiah;Wiggins, EdmundChatham Will Bk D (1801-1807) Digital Images
Testators: Beecroft, Samuel;Bolton, Robert;Corker, William;Davans, James;Dickinson, Thomas;Duncel, Barbara;Forbes, Diane;Forsyth, Benjamin;Gardiner, John;Gibbons, William;Glen, John;Green, Richard;Haist, George;Harsten, Joachim;Helbert, Mary; Herson, Herman;Hobbs, John;Horn, Mary Elizabeth;Hunter, William; Jamieson, John;Johnson, Andrew;Johnston, Matthew;Keall, David; Kern, John Peter;Livingston, John;Lovett, Francis;MacLeod, Donald; McAllister, Richard;McCormick, Samuel;Minis, Leah;Moore, Susannah; Morel, John;Mossman, John;Muire, Sarah;Neyle, William;Parker, Anne;Rice, John;Robertson, Andrew;Robertson, James;Sandridge, Daniel;Shick, Frederick;Schumaker, Peter;Storie, John;Tattnall, Josiah Jr.;Tew, P.;Thompson, Jane;Turner, Lewis;Walker, RachelChatham Will Bk E (1791-1801) Digital Images
Testators:Anderson, Elizabeth; Barnwell, John; Beatty, John;Beck, Sophia;Bell, David;Bell, John;Bell, William; Bourquin, Jane Judith;Brownhill, Thomas;Brisbane, James;Buchanan, Nicholas;Bull, Absalom;Clarke, Jonathan;Crane, Matthew;Currie, John;Davies, Frances;Day, Sarah;Dechenaux, Thomas;Demere, Raymond; DeLuthorson; Devilles, John Anthony; Doder, Samuel;Dumousay, Monsieur;Dunlap, Joseph;Erick, Catherine;Evans, Jonathan;Evans, Martha;Ferrier, John;Floyd, Margaret;Fox, David;Fox, John;Fulford, James Haviland;Gibbons, Hannah;Gibbons, Joseph;Gilbert, William; Gilzean, John;Hanner, Nicholas;Higgins, Ichabod;Jarvis, John; Jones, Henrietta B.;Jones, Lewis;Jordan, William;Keller, George Adam;Kerr, Elizabeth;Loyer, Adrian;Loyd, Thomas;Lowrey, John; Mackay, James;Minis, Abigail;Montaigut, David;Mortimer, William; Mossman, James;Murray, John;Norden, Leon;Nunazer, Mary Appolonia; Oakman, William; Oatt, Barbara; Ogilvie, Charles; Osteen, Thomas; Pendleton, Daniel; Radaguey, Charles; Rae, Robert; Read, James; Richardson, George;Ring, Christopher;Ring, John;Roberts, John; Roberts, John H.;Robison, Jane;Rogers, Augustus;Ross, Hugh; Ruppert, John;Scranton, Daniel;Seymore, Richard;Silsby, Daniel (24 pp.);Simpson, James;Smith, John;Smith, John Carraway;Spalding, James;Stebbins, Francis;Stirk, Samuel;Thompson, William;Trenfield, Mary; Treutlen, Frederick; Valbotton, Moses; Veasy, Abraham; Wallace, William;Wardburger, Jacob (6 pp.); Watts, Joseph; Way, Martha;Wereat, John;Whitfield, Elizabeth;Wilkins, Ann; Witzen, Nicholas;Woodhouse, Robert;Zettler, NathanielChatham Will Bk F (1801-1807) Digital Images
Testators:Allen, Robert; Bowen, Clover; Chew, Benjamin;Fox, Susannah;Cross, Sarah;Cruvellier, William; Dillon, Christiana, wife of Robert;Elliott, Ralph E.;Glen, John; Green, Richard; Houstoun, Joachim;Jemison, John;Jones, Noble Wimberly;Mackay, Adam;McCredie, Andrew;McIntosh, Lachlan;Macleod, Donald;McCredie, Andrew; McKnight, Mary Ann;Morel, John; Mossman, James; Neyle, William; Rice, John; Spencer, John;Stone, John; Thompson, Jane; Turner, Lewis; Ulmer, Philip; Wilscher, JosephChatham Will Bk G (1807-1817) Digital Images
Testators: Achord, Lewis;Adams, Nathaniel Sr.; Alder, James;Alendanone, Joseph;Aleion, Ann;Barnard, Mary; Beatty, Eleanor;Becu, Abraham;Beecroft, Elizabeth Ann;Boyd, Charles;Brailsford, Elizabeth, widow of Samuel;Brickell, John; Brooks, Benjamin;Bryan, Joseph;Buckhalter, Joshua;Buire, Francis;Buffett, George;Campbell, George;Campbell, Martha Gadsden; Cochran, Jane;Courvois, John Francis William;Crane, John; Crawford, William;Cummins, Esther;Cuthbert, James;Cuthbert, Lewis G.;Davis, Elizabeth;Davis, Joseph;Dawson, Joseph;DeGrandmont, Jacques Philips Rossignol; Densler, Barbara, daughter of Henry; Densler, Michael;Densler, Michael estate continued;Deakins, William Jr.;Despinfer;Deubele, John;DeVillers, F. D.;Dixon, Joseph;Doon, John;Dotson, Celia;Driscoll, Margaret;Enne, George; Farley, Grace;Farley, Sarah;Feay, Obediah;Ferguson, Mary;Fraser, John L.;Fraser, Mary;Gaddy, Joseph;Germain, Michael;Gibbons, Barack;Gibbons, John;Gibbons, John Barton;Gibson, Robert S.; Ginovely, Mary;Gunn, Christopher;Gunn, James;Habersham, James; Hale, NathanieL; Harlick, John;Harper, Ann;Harris, Jack; Harrison, Edward;Hartsene, Benjamin;Hendley, John U.;Herd, Catherine;Hill, Joseph M.;Hogg, Eunice;Hogg, Thomas;Holmes, Joseph B.;Houstoun, Richard D.;Hugenin, Daniel;Hughes, Owin;Hulse, Justus;Hurd, George;Hutchinson, Elisa;Imfield, Anthony;Irvine, Ann Elizabeth, wife of John;Jaffray, Alexander;Johnston, David;Johnston, James;Johnston, Sarah;Jones, Sarah (Mrs.);Jones, Sarah, widow of Dr. Jones;Kiefer, David;Latour, Peter Grassett; Lecon, Nina, wife of David;Leubin, Jean;Lewden, William;Lewis, Christianna;Lloyd, Edward;Lovett, John;Lucena, Lucas;Maclean, John;McAllister, George;McIntosh, Henry;McKinty, Patrick;McQueen, Ann;McQueen, Elizabeth, wife of Alexander;McLeod, Francis; Mendenhall, Thomas;Millen, John;Miller, Susanna;Miller, Zachariah; Minis,Isaac;Morel, John;Mulcaster, George;Myers, George;Narzarett, Nicholas;Neyle, James;Norton, Elijah;Odingsell, Charles;O'keel, Patrick;Owins, Owen;Page, Joseph;Payart, C. Louis;Pelot, Francis; Pitt, Thomas;Platt, James;Portalis, Joseph;Port, William F.; Proctor, George V.;Read, Jacob;Rigger, Levin;Roney, Daniel; Roper, William;Savery, John;Scott, Charles;Scott, Gavin;Scull, Ann;Shaffer, Balthaser;Shaw, William;Sheftall, Levi;Simons, Saul; Sims, James;Smith, Elizabeth;Smith, Jane;Spencer, William Henry; Starr, John (or Stow);Stebbins, Rebecca;Stebere?, Peter;Stiles, Richard M.;Stuart, Ann;Stutz, Joseph;Tapenzie, John B.; Tattnall, Josiah Jr.;Taylor, Ann;Tebeau, John;Telfair, Edward; Thompson, Lewis B.;Threadcraft, Elizabeth;Tidd, Benjamin; Tiott, Charles;Trusbet, Charles;Tuffs, Jane;Turner, Joseph; Ullam, John;Valloton, Elizabeth;Vernon, Michael;Villeponboux, Jane, widow of Benjamin;Wayne, Richard;Whitefield, George; Whitefield, Joseph;Williams, Jordan;Williams, Thomas F.; Williamson, John C.;Wills, Elijah;Willson, William;Wilson, William;Wilson, Mary M.;Wood, James;Woolf, John;Wright, Sarah, wife of James Wright, baronet;Young, Elizabeth;Young, Margaret
Chatham Will Bk H (1817-1827) Digital Images
Testators: Ahart, Jacob; Antonio, John; Arnee, Juan Bastista; Ashley, Mary A. F. Augund, Thomas; Baker, Artemus Mitchell; Baldwin, David; Barnard, John; Bass, Samuel; Bellenger, B. B.; Black, William; Blackwell, Sarah; Boguille, Joseph; Bond, Phineas; Bourquin, Benedict; Bourquin, Henry; Bowler, Eliza C.; Branbury, John; Bruce, Aldxander; Bulloch, Mary; Cantrell, Peter; Cessar, Peter; Christie, Ann; Clark, Charity; Clark, James; Clay, Ann; Clone, Jonathan; Collins, William; Cooper, William; Courvois, John Francis William; Cowper, Mary; Crawford, William; Curran, Charles; Davies, Thomas; Dawson, Mary; Dennart, Elizabeth; Douglass, Amos; duhamel, Rene Francis Robert Landon; Dungren, William; Dunn, James; Eppinger, John; Ewing, Robert S.; Favard, Peter; Fell Elizabeth Susannah; Flournoy, Robert; Forrest, James; Fox, Josiah; Fox, William B.; Gardiner, John; Gibbons, Thomas; Gizorme, John Pete; Groves, Peter; Gruber, Rachel M.; Gugal, Mary; Guger, John Christopher; Hall, Ann; Hamilton, Ann; Hamilton, James; Harden, Thomas; Hutson; Harrison, Martin; Hartredge, John E.; Herb, George; Hoschkiss, Mary Ann, consort of Daniel; Houstoun, Ann; Houstoun, Sarah;Howard, Benjamin; Howard, Charles; Howard, Peter; Hunk, Christian F.; Hurst, Harriet; Johnson, Thomas; Johnston, James; Jones, Elizabeth; Jones, Noble Wimberly; Jones, Owen ;Jordan, Henry W., Dr.; Kelly, William; Kieffer, Henry; Kingston, George; Kollock, Henry; Kollock, Lemuel; Lawler, Howard; Lawson, John; Leffer, John; Lehay, Michael; Lewis, Jonathan;Lillibridge, John; Limbert, William; Lincoln, Robert, Dr.; Lloyd, Thomas Edward Long, Michael Loper, Ara Lovett, John; Lucena, Thomas; Martingale, Love; McAllister, Hannah; McCall, Hugh;McClaren, Archibald; McFarlane, Peter; McIntosh, Mary;McKenzie, Daniel W.; McKinney, Roger; McKoy, Henry;McQueen, John; Melrose, Thomas ;Menafee, Serenius; Mendenhall, Thomas; Milledge, John; Miller, Hannah Christiana; Miller, Stephen; Minis, Judith; Mitchell, Esther; Moore, James; Moreau, Peter M. ;Morgan, Anne; Nun, Elizabeth; Nungezer, Georg;e O'Neal, Mary;; Owens, Louisa; Palmer, Charlotte Ann; Patterson, Arthur Pente, Richard J. T.; Pervical, Warren; Polock, Rachel; Pray, John; Rawlin, Anthony Rene; Richards, Hannah Barbara Robbins, Thomas H.; Roma, Francis; Ross, Abner; Roudol, Edm.; Royston, William; Rutherford, Marie Catharine; Sanders, Mary; Sandland, John; Savage, Benjamin; Scaffino, Andrew; Schlosser, Matthias; Shaw, William; Sheftall, Francis; Sheftall, Pula; Skipwith, Charles; Smilley, John; Smith, Elizabeth; Smith, John; Sorey, Andrew; Stark, Ebenezer; Stephens, William; Stevens, Mary; Stevens, Thomas; Stewart, Charles; Stout, George; Stoaf, Isidore; Taliman, Francis; Telfair, Thomas; Thirp, Thomas; Tobler, Ulrich W.; Trucheliet, Joseph; Tufts, Gardner; Turnbull, Nichol; Wakerly, John; Warren, Nestor, Dr.; Watts, Leleah, wife of Robert; White, James; Williams, Bryan; Wilson, Elsey; Wilson, Le;ighton; Worrell, Robert; Wylly, Mary; Young, ChristianaChatham Will Bk I (1827-1840) Digital Images
Testators: Autry, Margaret;Bain, Sarah Ann; Bandy, William;Barfield, Josiah;Barnard, John W.;Barnard, William; Bell, Eleanor F.;Bevan, Joseph V.;Bond, Ann;Bourquin, David; Bourquin, Mary;Brooks, Sarah;Brown, George;Brown, Harriet T.; Bryan, Josiah;Clark, Samuel;Cook, Martha;Cunningham, Michael; Davis, Edward;Davies, William;Delegal, Edward;Delamotte, Sarah; Dubesque, Jean Baptiste;Dunn, William;Early, Jane M.;Fisher, Michael;Fowlar, James;Garrar?, Dorcas M.;Green, Stephen C.; Greene, Harmon D.;Hall, Joseph;Harbert, Joseph B.;Harris, Charles; Holmes, Elizabeth;Isaac, Robert;Johnson, James;Kary?, H. M.; Kollock, Mehetabel, widow;Marshall, William;McNiel, Diana, widow of Daniel;McVean, John;Mougin, David;Nichols, Abraham;Norris, Sarah Hill, wife of James B.;Norton, William;Pendergast, Patrick; Penfield, Elizabeth Lucretia;Pidge, David;Pope, William; Ratry, Margaret;Raynes, Mary;Rice, Thomas;Russell, Jane M.; Scott, William C.;Shad, Solomon;Shaffer, Hannah;Sheftall, Esther; Sheftall, Moses;Smith, Frances Sophie;Storm, John (Major); Strother, Abram;Tattnall, Edward;Telfair, Alexander;Telfair, Sarah;Timothy, David;Tippen, James Josiah;Varn, Benjamin; Waring, Jacob;Waters, Sarah;Wells, Andrew;Whitfield, John; Wightman, William;Wilkins, Martha;Wilkins, Pam;Wilson, Benjamin; Wood, EzekielChatham County Will Book K, 1839-1852 (Digital Images)Testators: Askew, Ann;Bernard, Timothy;Bryan, P. O.; Buffet, Marianne;Bullock, W. G.;Carter, Charles;Carter, Cyrus; Cherrier, Michael;Cobb, Mary;DeVillers, F. D.;Dotson, William; DuBruney, Alexander T.;Egriel, O. C.;Franklin, W. R.;Gallahan, Martin;Haydon, A. B.;Henry, Jacob;Houstoun, Patrick;Irvine, Eliza; Jenckes, Ebenezer;Jorden, William;Kieffer, Frederick;Melson, Martha Matthews;Miller, Henrietta;Mitchell, Peter;Neyle, S.; Oliver, Charles;Robinson, John;Saunders, Ellenor;Sears, Susanna; Sulfuer, John;Taylor, Henry;Taylor, William;Wagner, John;Wallace, James;Wilkinson, John;Wood, JamesChatham Will Bk L (1850-1861) Digital Images
Testators: Abbott, Ophelia S.; Abendanone, Grace;Abrahams, orothea;Babliest, Besty, free black;Barnard, Catherine E.;Barry, John;Bartholmess, John;Bartow, Theodosius;Bee, Sarah W.;Berrien, John McPherson;Bolton, Sarah;Bradley, Sarah Jane;Brooks, Sarah L.;Brown, Gilbert J. G.;Bruen, Peter;Burroughs, Benjamin; Campbell, Harriet T.;Cannon, Catherine Mrs.;Cass, John; Cassels, Samuel S. (or Capels); Cavenaugh, Margaret; Charlton, Robert M.;Cleary, James; Collins, Thomas; Cooper, Thomas;Courtner, Susan;Cowper, Mary Anna;Cremin, Cornelius;Cuyler, Ann D.;Cullen, Hugh;Daily, John;Damer, John;Daniel, T. S.;DeLaMeottee, Jacob (translates to DeLaMottee);Densler, Mary M.;Diamond, Robert;Dibble, Samuel P.; Dillon, Margaret;Dorgan, Morty;Dotson, Matthew;Douville, Rebecca, widow;Duffy, Ellen, widow of Terence;Duffy, Patrick;Edwards, Maria;Elliott, Ralph E.;Evans, Sophia;Fairchild, David;Falligant, John G.;Felt, Joseph;Fleetwood, Green;Freind, Jacob;Fulton, Elizabeth;Garl, Francis Haner;Gerkin, Martin;Gibbons, Caroline G.; Gibbons, William;Gilbert, James B.;Giles, William;Glen, George; Gordon, George;Green, Thomas;Grimball, Mary Ann;Guerard, Robert Godin;Guilmartin, John F.;Habersham, Sarah;Habersham, Stephen; Harnon, Abraham;Haupt, Henry;Haupt, John;Healy, Catharine, alias Farley;Heyward, Maria Louisa;Hodgens, Mary;Holland, John; Hover, John;Hunter, John;Hutchison, Robert;James, Margaret; Jewett, Eliza Ann;Johnston, William W.;Jones, Sarah, widow of William;Juhan, Mary;Kane, Daniel;Keller, Paul;Kelly, John J.; Love, James;Mackay, William;MacKenzie, Henry Charles;Marsh, Mulford;Marshall, Andrew;Marshall, Joseph;Martin, Patrick; Mathau, Margaret;Maxwell, Mary, widow;McAllister, Charlotte E.; McDonald, Margaret;McIntire, James;Morel, Ann;Nagle, Nancy; Newfville, Mary;Norton, Ann S., widow;Nosbrand, George; Nuttman, Samuel;O'Donnell, Owen;Oliver, George;O'Reilly, Owens; Owens, George W.;Palin, James;Pendergast, Michael;Pettibone, Sarah;Postell, Jane Eliza, widow;Potter, James;Potter, Thomas; Quantock, William Sr.;Quantock, William;Raiford, Robert; Reed, Charles;Reid, John;Reilly, Elizabeth;Reilly, Julia Ann, widow of Philip;Rhodes, Robert John;Richardson, Cosmo P.; Roberts, Eliza;Robertson, William;Robinson, William;Rode, Henry; Roden, Bernard;Sandergreen, Ann C.;Saseliffe, Abram;Sausey, Joachim R.;Scott, Margaret;Screven, James P.;Scudder,Amos;Shaffer, Jacob;Sharpe, James;Sheftall, Judith;Smets, Alexander Augustus;Snider, Benjamin;Stafford, Mary Ann;Stafford, William G.; Starr, William;Stirk, James Elton;Strous, John H.;Suers, John; Telfair, Margaret;Toley or Foley, Owen;Truehelut, Francis;Turel, John G.;Ulmer, Philip;Wade, William;Wait, George S.;Waldburg, George M.;Walden, Charles Carroll;Wallace, Norman;Wardrobe, Harriett Louisa;Washburn, Joseph;Webb, James F.;Westman, John L.; Willberger, Peter;Williams, Martha Ann, wife of William Thaddeus; Wills, Ashbel;Winkler, Shadrack N.;Woodhopter, Sarah;Wright, William;Wyer, Henry Otis;Zitterouer, CharlesChatham Tax Digest for 1793 (Images)
Chatham Tax Digest for 1798
Index to Chatham Estate Inventories, etc. 1783-1788 Digital Images
Index to Chatham Estate Inventories, etc. 1794-1805 Digital Images
Index to Chatham Wills, Book A, 1775-1801 (image)
Index to Chatham Wills, Book B, 1777-1787 (image)
Complete Card Index Files (typed) of All Wills, Estates, etc. in Chatham County for Specific Surnames have been added to Georgia Pioneers This is an excellent resource for locating the many, many estate records and references in Chatham County. All of the index file in the Chatham County Court House has been filmed, from A to Z and is available on this website. This reference is a boom to those researching Chatham County, and should be examined first because it contains so much information, viz: what Country (or other State) they came from, date of birth, date of death, names of other heirs. All of Chatham County records have been preserved and thus are extensive. The old records have been placed in storage in a separate location and to examine them one must order them sent to the court house in advance.
Index to Chatham County Wills and Estates, Surnames A to Z (1733 to 1838)
Chatham County Marriages from newspapers 1886-1887
Map of Chatham County
Map of the Savannah River Plantations
Origins of Early Chatham County Residents from the Notes of Jeannette Holland Austin
1898 City Directory of Savannah
1899 City Directory of Savannah
Miscellaneous Court House Documents (Digital Images) BROWN. Ann Brown, administratrix of Estate of James Brown, deceased (1799 Letters of Administration
COPP. Letters of Administration of Mary and Dr. James Brown, exrs LWT of John Copp of Savannah
CROP. Inventory of Estate of John Crop (1796)
DELANNOY. Last Will and Testament of John D. Delannoy, 1876.
GRAHAM, John, Esq., Inventory of Slaves (image),Loyalist Claim in Great Britian 1774-1784
GWINNETT, Ann, LWT (1785) (image) of Charleston
McLEAN, John, Transcript of LWT (1775)
NORMENT. Deed of William and Elizabeth Norment to Slaughter Cowling 25 June 1795
SHEFTALL, Levi, LWT (1725), image of original document
Index of Chatham County Superior Court Records for 1804
- Savannah Residents of 1738.
- Savannah Town Assistants.
- Savannah Bailiffs Officers.
- Savannah Baptisms 1735-1738.
- Martyn's Map of Savannah.
- Savannah Conservators of the Peace.
- Savannah Town Constables.
- Savannah Malcontents of 1738.
- Savannah Store Keepers.
- Savannah Town Lots, 1745-7,1756.
- Savannah Lots Yamacraw Bluff, 1760.
- 1759 Savannah Wharf Lots, 1759.
FIRST WILL IN GEORGIA! The Last Will and Testament of Button Gwinnett is digitized and available to members of Georgia Pioneers
See more historical videos about people and places
The Savannah; Transatlantic Steamer
By Jeannette Holland Austin
A French report on American steam vessels published in 1823 as well as Russian newspaper accounts contemporary with the steamship Savannah upon its historic voyage to St. in 1819, described a rigged scale model purported to be of the pioneer transatlantic steamer Savannah. For many years this model was generally accepted as being a reasonably accurate representation and was the basis for countless illustrations but it does not agree with the published catalog description as to the side paddle wheels nor does it agree with the material in the Marestier report, which is accepted as the only source for a contemporary picture of the Savannah. Consequently, the National Museum undertook the research necessary to correct or replace the existing model with the help of Frank O. Braynard of the American Merchant Marine Institute, Eugene S. Ferguson, curator of mechanical and civil engineering at the Museum, and others. The Savannah crossed from Savannah, Georgia to Liverpool, England from May 22 to June 20, 1819; and proceeded to the Baltic, where she entered at St. Petersburg (now Leningrad), Stockholm, and a few other ports. Upon her return she reached Savannah, Georgia on November 30, and then on December 3 she sailed for Washington, D.C., arriving on December 16. Her original logbook on exhibition in the Museum covers the period between March 28, 1819, when she first left New York for Savannah, to December 1819 when she was at Washington. The United States National Museum's new model of the Savannah (pictured) was built by Arthur Henning, Inc., of New York City, from the ship's plans as reconstructed by staff members of the Museum's division of transportation. Source: The Pioneer Steamship SAVANNAH: A Study for a Scale Model by Howard I. Chapelle.
How Tax Records Help the Genealogist
By Jeannette Holland Austin
The tax digests in any given county in the State of Georgia provides essential data to the researcher as it lists all of the parcels of land which the person owned and in what counties. In Georgia, one can easily define the acquisition of properties from lotteries and the approximate date simply by noting the amount of acreage in the tax record. For example, the 1805 and 1807 land lotteries offered 202-1/2 acres in Baldwin and Wilkinson Counties; and 490 acres in Wayne County (1805). During 1820: Appling (490), Early (250); Gwinnett (250); Habersham (250) (490); Hall (250); Irwin (490); Rabun (490)(250) and Walton (250). The 1827 Land Lottery gave 202-1/2 acres in Carroll, Coweta, Lee, Muscogee and Troup. The 1832 lottery consisted of 202-1/2 acres in Cass (now Bartow), Cherokee, Cobb, Floyd, Forsyth, Gilmer, Lumpkin, Murray, Paulding and Union Counties. These are all Indian lands belonging to the Creeks and Cherokees. There was also a lottery encompassing North Georgia lands formerly owned by the Cherokees where people drew for 40-acre gold lots and one can assume the occupation was "gold miner".
The best route to information is to first search the lottery records, then the tax digests in specific counties. In many instances, the names of waterways and creeks are provided, also the type of timber on the land, and the name of the adjoining landowner (if there was one). The digests were not indexed and are listed by districts. It is a good idea to search through the time period during which the families resided in that county. In the back of each book is a section of "Defaulters". That is important in discerning whether the family had moved on, or died. A good rule of thumb is that any person listed as a defaulter who was 60+ years of age, probably died in that county. A thorough study of the tax digests becomes essential especially if no other books survived for that county. This is where the tracts of land of each person having the same surname should be compared from one year to the next. For example, John Smith was listed for a number of years. Then, there was an administrator beside his name. (This is the approximate date of his death). Then, following through the years, another persons with the same surname has that exact acreage added to his accounting. This would be an heir, probably the oldest son.
A good practice is to make copies of the digest for later comparisons between probable heirs, neighbors and friends. John Smith may appear many times, but how do you know if he is the same John Smith? The answer is to always take notes of the neighbors. Everyone listed in the same district are friends and relatives. It is the community as well as the history of the times!
Thomas Jones of Wales
By Jeannette Holland Austin
Site of First Burials in Savannah
In May of 1739, he was appointed Storekeeper for the whole province and was paid an annual earnings of 30 pds. However, he soon quarrelled with Robert Williams which resulted in a fist fight, but their differences were later settled. In June he was appointed the Overseer of the Trust Servants in the Northern Division of the Province of Savannah. These were the indentured servants to the crown, who could not be freed until their service as indentures expired. After this they were freed and usually granted 25 acres of land by the Crown.
In the Journal of the Earl of Egmont dated October 10, 1739, Thomas Jones was described: "That Mr. Jones is so utterly rash, passionate and cruel, that twas to be feared he would drive the Colony away by Spring. That he declared he valued not the Trustees orders, but would obey those of Colonel Oglethorpe." This type of temperament was not unusual for the new colonists, given their frustrations and hardships. In 1740, twenty-five of the Trustees servants were employed by Thomas Jones on a new plantation located one mile south of Savannah, but the effort only produced 100 bushels of corn. A complaint was made by Mary Townsend to the Palace Court that Mr. Jones had a store and supplied shops with goods at wholesale prices, but otherwise sold them retail.
However, the crown continued to appoint Thomas Jones to certain offices and duties. For one, he was made the third bailiff of Savannah and quickly became known as a man of resolution who was disliked by many. June 1, 1741, he was appointed one of the four assistants to Secretary William Stephens, Esquire, in the Town of Savannah, with John Pye elected as Clerk. However, was beset by John Pye who investigated grievances of the people, and began charging Thomas Jones with malpractice of the public accounts. Yet in a letter from Harman Verelst to Thomas Jones, dated at Westminster, December 14, 1741, Jones was complimented for his good work and accounting methods. "The Trustees are very well pleased with the exactness of the accounts you sent them by Captain (William) Thomson, and are well satisfied in your capacity to serve them."
Finally, in February of 1771, Thomas Jones was granted 100 acres of land in St. Mathews Parish (Effingham County). He died in Savannah on June 5, 1810. His wife, Eliza, died at Savannah in 1817, her LWT dated 1/17/1817, Will Book F. In her Will, she named her mother, Mrs. Jane Rea, and the children of her husband: Jane Mary Jones and Martha Cowles Jones. The Chatham County Wills and Estates are available to members of Georgia Pioneers.
Duel in Savannah By Jeannette Holland Austin
If you are tracing your family history during the colonial years of the colonies, you may wish to consider the possibility that their loyalities to the king carried over into the Revolutionary War, when there were two sides; Patriots and Loyalists.
Throughout the Revolutionary War there were known loyalists in the colony, those who sided with the British. On December 29, 1778 Savannah fell to the British forces and the rebel defenders were routed, losing 550 catured or killed. As Patriot forces were swept from the State, a bitter civil war ensued between the Patriots and the Loyalists. Only a year later, during the fall of 1779, the Continental army with help from French forces, attempted to liberate the city from its occupation without success.
One of the most valiant Generals in the colony, Lachlan McIntosh came under criticism for his family connections. In 1770 Lachlan was a leader in the independence movement in Georgia and during January of 1775 helped to organize delegates to the Provincial Congress from the Darien District. In January of 1776 he was commissioned as a colonel in the Georgia Militia and raise the First Georgia Regiment of the Georgia Line, which was organized to defend Savannah and help repel a British assault at the Battle of the Rice Boats in the Savannah River. He was promoted to the rank of brigadier general in the Continental Army, charged to defend the southern flank of Georgia from British incurisions from Florida. During 1776 and 1777, McIntosh was embroiled in a bitter political dispute with Button Gwinnett, the Speaker of the Georgia Provisional Congress and a radical Whit leader. The dispute began when McIntosh succeeded Gwinnett as commander of the Georgia Continental Battalion. The two men represented opposing factions in the Patriot cause and Gwinnett was asked to step aside after his election was called into question by opposition within the movement. However, Gwinnett went on to become a delegate to the Continental Congress and signer of the Declaration of Independence. He returned to Georgia after his allies gained control of the Provisional Congress and succeeded in electing him speaker and commander-in-chief of the Committee of Safety. Hence, he began purging the government and military of his political rivals. His target was George McIntosh, the brother of Lachlan. He then ordered General McIntosh into British Florida on a poorly planned military expedition which failed. Gwinnett and McIntosh publicly blamed one another for the failure.
Meanwhile, in January of 1777, George McIntosh was placed in irons in the Savannah jail. His brother, Lachlan McIntosh, angrily fought for his release, finally obtaining it for 20,000 pds. George McIntosh was married to a daughter of Sir Patrick Houstoun (loyalist) and previously held positions of honor and trust. In 1766 he was a surveyor appointed by the General Assembly to lay out roads, and in 1776, a member of the Commons House Assembly. During 1777, George became unpopular in political circles when a proposal was made by Governor John Treutlen to unite South Carolina and Georgia. His contemporaries accused him of collaborating with the British during the war and shipping 400 barrels of rice down the St. John's River for use by the enemy.
The quarrel with Button Gwinnett continued.
In May of 1777, Lachlan McIntosh addressed the Georgia Assembly and denounced Gwinnett, calling him a "scoundrel" and "lying rascal." Gwinnett retaliated by sending McIntosh a message demanding an apology or satisfaction. McIntosh refused to apologize and Gwinnett challenged him to a duel. On May 16th, they met in a field owned by James Wright several miles east of Savannah. The men fired their pistols almost simultaneously, and both men were injured, McIntosh in the leg and Gwinnett in the thigh. Three days later Gwinnett died from his wounds. His last will and testament (the first to be filed in Savannah) is found on Georgia Pioneers.
The following year McIntosh was sent to command the Western department of the Continental Army at Fort Pitt, Pennsylvania where he planned a failed expedition against Fort Detroit. Afterwards, he was replaced by Colonel Brodhead and returned to the South where he joined General Benjamin Lincoln in Charleston, South Carolina. McIntosh served with distinction throughout the war, but rumors were passed that his brother George was rendering aid to the enemy by running supplies to the British.
George McIntosh died in 1779 during the siege of Savannah by the British. His estates were confiscated. Lachlan, his brother, desperately fought to recover the estates and titles, but was only successful in having some personal effects sent to his plantation on Sapelo Island. Lachlan, arrested himself by the British during combat at Charleston in 1780, returned home to find the effects and papers of his brother, George, scattered about in unlocked trunks. Land grants and deeds had been placed in a small portmanteau trunk by the wife of George, and these were the only valuable assets retained by the family. Source: McIntosh Genealogy by Jeannette Holland Austin.
Tomochichi, Loyal Friend to Oglethorpe
By Jeannette Holland Austin
When James Oglethorpe found his way into the region now known as Savannah (from South Carolina), he was fortunate to meet up with a friendly group of Indians. Chief Tomochichi befriended the new colonists and took a personal liking to Oglethorpe. He gave Mary Musgrove who had been educated in South Carolina to speak the English language as an interpreter. Throughout the chief's life, they were friends and when he died he asked to be buried in Savannah. Some notes and newspaper accounts found at the Savannah Historical Society report that the Yamacraw chief was buried at Wright's Square. Originally, there was some symbolism placed on the spot which apparently was lost until the 1880s when it was proposed to place a monument of General Gordon there. Some of the local people remembered that the chief was buried in that square and objected. Thus, an archeological digging was commenced. A few arrows and other burial objects proved it to be the chief's burying place. At that time, a memorial stone was put in place for the chief.
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