History & Genealogy
Subscribe in a reader
How Tax Records Help the Genealogist
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!
Clarke County Wills, Estates, Marriages, Newspapers, Tax Digests
Lucy Cobb Institute, Athens, Georgia, founded ca 1859 by Thomas R. Cobb.
Clarke County was established in 1801; named for General Elijah Clarke of Revolutionary War fame. A year after cession of the land which became Clarke County from the Cherokee Indians in 1783, the State endowed the future University of Georgia with 40,000 acres of land near an old trading path. The old school pre-dates the Revolutionary War but was not created by the Georgia legislature until 1785.Abraham Baldwin was chosen as president. The school actually began the same year as the county, 1801, with the purchase of land for a campus. At this time the surrounding town of Athens had not been formed and would not be formed until the first class graduated in 1804. Among the earliest students were men who would shape the future of the state before, after and during the Civil War. Crawford W. Long, medical pioneer, Alexander "Little Alex" Stephens, who became Vice President of the Confederate State of America, and Howell Cobb, Speaker of the House and candidate for President of the United States, were but a few of the famous names associated with the school. Early Clarke County Settlers: William Shaw, Joseph Clarkson, Joseph Kramer, William Echols, Richard Lewis, Richard Cole, Absalom Echols, Joshua Baker, Bussel Brown, Jeremiah Melton, Wyley Roberts, James Hayes, William Daniel, Edward Hagin, Samuel Jackson, Clark Hudson, George Evans, Levin Hudson, Wootson Allen, Joseph Henderson, John Dorman, Peter Calaway, Edward Moor, James Downs, Jonathan Hightower, James Keeth, Isaac Downs, David McCulloch, James Naull, Gabriel Hubbard, John Burnett, James Gilmore, David Duke, Harry Mitchel, Drewry Brewer, Henry Grier, and others.
Probate Records Available to Members of Georgia Pioneers
Abstracts of Wills
Digital Images of Wills and Estates
Indexes to Probate Records
- Wills 1842-1859
Names: Akeridge, Ezekiel,Barber, James,Baxter, Thomas,Beardin, Aaron, Branch, Dicey,Burnett, Caroline,Camak, James,Carter, William,Cros, Aaron,Daniell, Josiah,Edwards, Solomon,Espy, John,Greer, Thomas, Hales, Willis,Huff, Henry,Jackson, Stephen,Jennings, James,Jones, William,King, Sarah,Mayne, John,Newton, Catharine,Oliver, John Sr., Payne, Edward,Pittard, Humphrey,Pope, Mary,Price, Elizabeth,Stroud, Martha,Tinney, Elizabeth,Wells, Sarah,Williams, William,Williamson, Sarah.
- Wills 1859 to 1885 (digital images)Names: Bauer, William ; Baxter, Mary ; Biggane, Lucy ; Billups, John ; Bishop, Edward;; Bishop, Thomas ; Bradford, Mary ; Branch, James ; Brown, Dolly ; Burnett, Mary ; Chancey, John ; Chase, Allen ; Church, M.; Cobb, Lucy ; Conger, Abijah; Cook, Zadock; Cox, Elizabeth ; Crawford, Julia; Crawford, Susan; Crawford, Susannah ; Crawford, Thomas; Daniell, Francis Marion; Darsey, William ; Darcey, James; Davenport, Henry; Dean, John; Delany, Henry; Delany, William ; Doster, Francis ; Dupree, Lucy ; Edwards, Henry ; Edwards, Richard ; Epps, William ; Fambrough, John; Fellows, George; Fellows, Mary; Gober, William ; Gober, Wesley; Goff, Nancy; Golding, Susan ; Gorly, Mary; Gray, Jeremiah ; Greer, Corporal ; Griffith, John; Hall, Asbury ; Hamilton, Sarah ; Hardiman, Benjamin; Harper, Anselm ; Harris, James ; Harris, John; Harris, Martin ; Harris, Paulina ; Harris, Sarah; Hellbrook, Nathan ; Henderson, Matthew ; Henry, Elizabeth ; Hoyt, Nathan; Hudson, George; Hull, Henry; Hutchinson, Peter; Jackson, Hillman ; Jackson, John; Jenkins, James; Jennings, Giles; Jennings, Henry ; Jennings, James ; Johnson, John Calvin ; Keisler, Hugh; Kittle, William ; Klutts, Jacob; Lampkin, Henry ; Leam, William; Lee, Judith ; Ligers, Caesr; Lowe, John H. ; Lumpkin, Edward ; Lumpkin, Frank; Lumpkin, Samuel ; Macey, Albert ; Malin, Phoebe; Marks, Thomas; Matthews, Martha; Kinney, Alfred ; Mitchell, Giles; Mitchell, J. W. ; Mitchell, William ; Moore, Eleanore ; Moore, Thomas; Morton, Joseph ; Moss, John ; Moss, Thomas; Muker, Christopher ; Mygatt, George; Nance, John ; Newton, Eliza ; Osborn, John; Paine, Seaborne (colored) ; Pelleford, Louis ; Reese, Charles ; Ramsey, Bolitha E. ; Savage, Susan ; Sikes, Zechariah; Smith, Robert; Sparks, Ann; Sparks, Thomas ; Stephenson, Henry; Stovall, Pleasant; Stroud, Mark; Stroud, William ; Tayler, Michael ; Taylor, Robert; Thomas, William ; Thompson, Middleton; Thrasher, Burton; Vickers, Joshua; Vincent, Isaac ; Wade, Thomas ; Wane, Edward ; Ward, Matthew A. ; Wells, Mary; White, John ; White, William; Williams, Mary; Witherspoon, Elizabeth; Woodson, Alexander ; Wray, Thomas ; Yerby, Burnell ; Zach, Silas
- Estates 1827 to 1835 (Digital Images)Names: Beal, Zephaniah; Beardin, Richard; Bonner, Allen ;Bostick, Rebecca; Broadnax, William; Cheatham, Anthony; Chislom, Appleton ; Crowe, Stephen ; Doran, Andrew; Daugherty, Rebecca; Duke, Beverley; Early, Rhoda ; Easley, Roderick ; Foster, John ; Fulton, Margaret; Garner, Joel; Gordon, Robert ; Gourley, Jonathan ; Graham, Andrew ; Harper, John; Harris, Jeremiah ; Harris, Thomas ; Hester, Stephen ; Hill, Isaac; Holder, John ; Holt, Cicero; Huff, Wiley; Humphreys, Uriah; Irwin, James ; James, Henry; Langford, James ; Lumpkin, George; May, Levi ; Mayfield, Thomas; Maxey, Edward, orphans of ; McCollough, William; Mitchell, William ; Moore, Francis ; Moore, Robert; Nisbet, James ; Nunnally, John ; Parton, Vernia ; Phinizy, Marcus; Pittard, Samuel ; Price, William ; Puryear, Peter, orphans of ; Ransom, Reuben; Richardson, John, orphan of Dave; Sibbald, Jane ; Smith, Mary A.; Starkes, Philip, orphans of ; Strickland, John ; Tarpley, Joseph ; Thomas, John ; Thomas, Levin ; Trammell, Robert ; Watts, Samuel ; Whitton, John ; Williamson, Ann; Williby, Elijah ; Wise, Patterson; Wooldridge, orphans; Wright, John
- Estates Book G, 1835 to 1845Testators: Beal, Zephaniah; Boram, George W.; Bostick, Rebekah, Mrs.; Brightwell, John; Cheatham, Anthony; Chester, Stephen; Conger, Hedges; Croxton, James; Dalton, Lewis; Elder, Sterling and Howell; Flournoy, Elizabeth, orphan; Flournoy, Howell, orphan of; Hodges, James, orphans of; Holt, Cicero; Lamar, Zachariah; Lee, John; Ligon, Robert; Maddox, Joseph; Mann, Jonathan, orphans of; Meriwether orphans; Merritt, Berryman G.; Moore, William; Nisbet, Penelope, Mrs.; Osborn, John; Phinizy, Marco, orphans of; Pinson, Thomas; Pressley, Samuel P.; Preston, William; Puryear, John; Puryear, Peter, orphan; Reynolds, Patrick; Robertson, Fryar; Robinson, James; Sheats, Nicholas; Sibbald, Jane, Mrs.; Simonton, Theopholis;Stephens, David; Sturgis, Henry; Taylor, Sarah Ann, orphan; Thomas, Drury; Thompson, Thomas B.; Tindall, William; Whitlow, John Sr.; Williams, Joel, orphans of; Williby, Robert; Williby, William; Winstead, Alexander
- Index to Will Book A, 1803-1822.
- Index to Will Book B, 1822-1842.
- Index to Will Book C, 1842-1859.
- Index to Will Book D, 1859-1885.
- Index to Will Book E, 1885-1911.
- Index to Clarke County Ordinary Records, estates (no date).
- Index to Unbound Estates, 1797-1949.
- Index to Mixed Estates, 1799-1819. < li>Index to Mixed Estates, 1807-1818.
- Index to Mixed Estates, 1815-1827.
- Index to Mixed Estates, 1827-1830.
- Mixed Estates, Book E (1827-1830)
- Mixed Estates, Book F (1835-1845)
- Mixed Estates (1837-1847)
- Mixed Estates (1842-1867)
- Deed Book A, 1802-1804.
Tax Digests (digital images)
- Finch, William, LWT (1811).
- Hagin, Edward, Appraisement, Sale, etc. (1805), Bk 1799-1819, pp. 373-377.
- Hagin, Edward, deed (1802).
- James Hagins, Estate.
- Marriages 1807 to 1820
- Marriage Index 1805-1821
- Marriage Index 1815-1821
- Marriage Licenses Index 1821 to 1838
- Marriage Licenses Index 1838 to 1867
- Marriages from newspapers 1885-1886
See how easy it is to view Wills, Estates, Inventories, Returns, Sales online