Georgia Pioneers

We are a Record-Keeping People

Mayan CodexPictured is the Dresden Codex from the 1880 Forstemann edition. The idea that the ancients did not keep records is nonsense. The pyramids, for example, contain family histories upon the walls. The Mayans in Central America kept records on public buildings, written in hyioglyphics, but mostly untranslated. When the Spanish conquistaodrs took the gold from South America, they destroyed the written records of the Peruvians. These books included pictographs and words. It has been said that the Peruvians were a more intelligent race than the Spaniards. Only 4 books survive in the world today. Yet, the earth beneath our feet continues to yield relics and information about civilizations that we never knew existed. That is why archaeologists dig into the earth, to find real evidence of the existence of a people. For the most part, people kept records throughout history. They simply did not survive. Consider our American court house fires, and lost records. Sometimes clerks took their work home, and these later showed up in an attic, or antique shop. Old diaries and letters were hidden under floors, and in walls. Our own trash contains a whirlwind of written information about ourselves. Old churches kept registers of baptisms, births, marriages and deaths. Yet, somehow those are lost in time. During the Civil War, while the yankees bore down on Atlanta, before escaping, Southerners buried their currency and valuables in the garden, thinking to return home later. Although only 150 years have passed, and the ground still holds the treasure. In biblical times, when coinage served as the only currency, this heavy medium was not carried about. Instead, family vaults were used to protect coinage and important documents. An old fort near Jerusalem was torched as Nebuchdanezer's soldiers came into Jerusalem. As a result, records which had been written on rocks, were fossilized. Tombstones fall and are buried in the ground while others are hidden in briars and weeds. It does not take too long for a neglected to cemetery to disappear. Topical maps and medal detectors are helpful in locating old homes, battlegrounds and such. Archaeologists know that the past is buried in the ground. Something to consider.

The Skirmish at Cow Creek

Cow Creek During August of 1836, the Creek Indians camped along Warrior Creek, Little River, Alapaha River and Cow Creek were fleeing into the Okefenokee Swamp. Their purpose was to join up with the Seminole Indians in Florida. On the 27th of August, the militia companies commanded by Colonel Henry Blair, Captain Lindsay and Captain Levi J. Knight, caught up with a band of Creeks at Cow Creek. At that time the creek was known as "Troublesome Ford" near Statenville. The skirmish lasted about ten or fifteen minutes, with the enemy being completely routed.

Genealogy History

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Map of Echols County

Echols County Genealogy, Wills, Estates, Marriages, Minutes of the Court

Alapha River

Echols County was created from Clinch and Lowndes Counties on Dec. 13, 1858 by an act of the General Assembly. Georgia's 132nd county was named for Brigadier-General Robert Echols (1798-1847), a Georgian who died during the Mexican War. Prior to the war, Echols had represented Walton County in the Georgia House of Representatives (1824-1829) and in the Georgia Senate (1830-1844), including six years as president of that body (1835-37, 1839, and 1841-42).

Earliest Settlers: Charles Bryan, L. H. Bohannon, Martin Carter, William Lott Copeland, W. H. Herrin, Sr., L. M. Henderson, E. W. Kinsey, C. C. Lightsey, Leslie Charles Messer, J. L. Newbern, J. P. Padgett, Thomas Pierce, H. B. B. Sharpe, Charles E. Stewart, Mathew Watson, G. H. Westberry, Wesley Zeigler.

Genealogy Records Available to Members of Georgia Pioneers
  • Index to Echols County Wills (1875-1952).
  • Index to Echols County Minutes (1880-1906)
  • Index to Echols County Annual Returns and Vouchers 1898-1938
  • Index to Echols County Marriages 1898-1928
Echols County Wills (1875-1920), Digital Images:

Allred, Lottie
Bohanon, Benjamin
Carter, Elizabeth
Edwards, Rebecca
Lightsey, Samuel
Newbern, J. N.
Pierce, Thomas
Smith, Simeon
Swilley, William
Wester, Henry


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Georgia Wills

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