When tracing ancestors in Henry County, it is important to remember that this was the parent county for DeKalb and Fulton Counties. Therefore, those persons who drew in the 1821 Land Lottery may have gotten land as far North as Atlanta. The important thing to check for is the District and Land Lot Number as this will help narrow it down. Suffice it to say that in the days of Marthasville, people probably neglected to travel to McDonough to file their deeds, wills and other records. It is therefore prudent to also examine DeKalb, Rockdale and Fulton Counties for additional clues. Henry County was created in 1821 from Dooly, Houston, Monroe and Fayette Counties. It once comprised the City of Atlanta, then Marthasville, which is now known as Underground Atlanta, thus an inspection of the early land grants issued during the 1820's for Henry County also include today's Fulton County. Henry County's first superior court met on June 10, 1822 at the house of William Ruff. The first courthouse was built in 1823 on the town square of McDonough, but it burned soon thereafter. About 1831, a new brick courthouse was built in the public square, which served until the current three-story brick courthouse was built in 1897. The new courthouse was built across the street facing the public square, which became a park with a tall Confederate monument erected in the center. The courthouse was restored and renovated in 1980-81. In 2000, construction began on a new annex adjacent to the current courthouse.
Henry County Probate Records Available to Members of Georgia Pioneers
Images of Original Wills and Bonds 1822 to 1834
Testators: Arnold, orphans; Baily, orphans; Barber, Margaret; Barber, William; Barnes, Willis, bond; Barr, John, LWT; Beard, Robert, LWT; Belch, orphans; Bentley, Jesse, LWT; Bishop, Ephraim, LWT; Bledsoe, orphans; Bowden, Jesse, LWT; Bussey, orphans; Chapman, Britton; Cleveland, Andrew (estate); Collier, orphan; Crawford, William, LWT; Crayton, Thomas; Credille, orphans; Crumley, Anthony; Curd, Richard; Davis, Abner; Elliott, Elizabeth, bond; Fletcher, James, bond; Foster, John; Fowler, Solomon, bond; Freeman, Abraham; Garner, Elizabeth Watts ; Garner, John; Garner, William, bond; Glenn, Thomas; Gollman, John; Gray, Samuel; Hand, Joseph, LWT; Harlin, orphans; Harp, William; Hay, orphans; Hearn, Elisha, bond; Heflin, Wiley, LWT; Hendrick, Hugh; Hudman, John (estate); Johnson, Isaac; Key, Joseph; Key, Joseph, bond ; Lander, orphan; Lenney, William; Lewis, Peter; Madocks, Jacob, bond; Madox, Benjamin; Mangum, Wiley; Martin, John, bond; McBride, Andrew, LWT; McKey, John, bond; McClendon, Thomas; McCutchen, William; Meacham, James, bond; Meek, Elizabeth; Messer, orphan; Moss, Daniel, bond; Oxford, Anna; Oxford, Edward; Phillips, Aventon, bond; Phillips, Isham; Ragland, William, LWT; Ray, John, LWT ; Richardson, David; Rose, William, bond; Rowan, Robert; Russell, James; Sansing, Charles; Selfridge, Robert; Smith, Burton, bond; Smith, George, LWT; Smith, Joseph, bond; Smith, Parks, LWT; Starkes, orphans; Stegall, Samuel, LWT (1848); Terrell, John; Tindell, Jonathan; Travis, Jesse, LWT; Valentine, orphan; Vinings, orphan; Watson, James; Weems, John, bond; White, Anderson; White, orphans; Whitsell, John; Wilburn, Margaret; Willis, Elizabeth, bond; Willis, Martin, bond; Wyatt, William, bond; Wyatt, orphan; Yendel, Robert, bond
Images of Wills and Bonds (1834-1869)
Testators: Babb, Abner Barnett, George Baxter, Reuben Bayne, Charles Beard, Robert Beck, William Bennett, Emily Bentley, Jesse Berry, James Bishop, Ephraim Bishop, Phillip Black, Silvey Bonner, Smith Bowden, Jesse Boynton, Elijah Brannon, Littleberry Brown, Andrew Brown, Sabra Brown, William Brumfield, Charlotte Calloway, William Cardin, James Carnes, Eli Carter, Amelia Cash, John Chapman, Button Childs, John Cleavland, Jacob Clements, David Cloud, Ezekiel Coker, Ezekiel Colvin, John Cook, Samuel Cothren, Jesse Cothren, Jesse Craig, Fred Crockett, John Crumbley, Ferdinand Dailey, John Dailey, Rachel Danill, James Davis, Abner Dodson, Joshua Dorsey, John Driver, Amy Duffey, John Evans, Pleasant Fargason, Johnson, David Freeman, Noah Fryer, James Fulleton, Thomas Gallman, Henry Gardner, Thomas Garrett, Mariah George, David, Sr. Gilbert, James Green, William Griffin, William Hail, Francis Hammond, Samuel Hand, Joseph Hanson, Samuel Hardy, Carrie Harper, Rhoderick Hartsfield, Godfrey Hearne, Osborne Heflin, Wiley Sr. Henderson, Richard Hennesey, John Hudman, John Ingram, John Jackson, John Jackson, Nathan Johnson, Elisha Johnson, Stephen Kimbell, Benjamin Kimbell, Christopher Kimbell, David Knight, Charles Knowles, James Latta, Anna Lavender, William Lee, Solomon Legar, Ann Lemon, Alexander; Lewis, George Lights, Joseph Little, Dorothy Little, Zabud Lovejoy, John Lowe, Edmond Lyle, John Martin, Thomas McBride, Andrew McCants, David McClendon, Samuel McCord, William McCutchen, Elisha McKee, Mary McNair,Samuel McRight, James Merritt, Henry Miller, Charles Sr. Milner, A. Mitchell, William Moore, Isaac Moore, John Moore, Samuel Moore, Willis Moseley, Benjamin Moseley, Silas Nolen, James Owens, John Owens, John Owensby, Thomas Pair, Thomas Pattillo, James Pendley, John Phillips, Arrington Phillips, Hiram Pool, James Pool, Temperance Presley, John Prickett, Jesse Primrose, Lucy Ragland, Sarah Ragland, William Rape, Allen Rape, Margaret Ray, Elizabeth Ray, John Sr. Richardson, Jordan Roan, Leonard Roane, Leonard Robinson, Archibald Roper, Jeremiah Rowan, Robert Sr. Ruff, Daniel Russell, James Sims, George Smith, Gary Smith, Parks Spruice, John Steel, Robert Stegall, Samuel Stephens, Joshua Stilwell, Elijah Strickland, Huldah Strickland, Solomon Stroud, William Tanner, Joseph Tauggle, William Travis, Jesse Turner, Benjamin Turnipseed David Varner, John Vincon, Elisha Wade, John Ward, Allbrittain Ward Watson, James Waugh, Alexander Weems, Samuel Wesley, Pittman Wiggins, Christopher Willard, Royal Wilson, Joshua Wolf, Peter Yarbrough, Thomas Young, George
Indexes to Probate Records
- Contracts found in Deeds and Other Documents
- 1822 to 1850
- Wills and Bonds, 1822 to 1834
- Wills, Book A, 1834 to 1869
- Henry County Wills, Book B, 1869 to 1896
See how Easy it is to read old Wills online Members may also print/download image
Enduring to the End: The Story of the Escapades of Thomas Ramsey During the Revolutionary War
By Jeannette Holland Austin
The study of the pension record of Thomas Ramsey brings to question the number of miles he walked and the sufferings and hardships of the patriots during the Revolutionary War. Of course, all such pensions of worthy of reading, because these were our brave ancestors who sacrificed everything to provide a free America. Somewhere in those pensions are the true facts of our individual ancestors who made history. Forget about the history books written years afterwards by persons who were not participants and which only provide but a thin outline of sketchy facts.
Thomas Ramsey of Henry County first volunteered in 1775 militia in South Carolina, now Abbeville District under the command of Capt. James McCall. His unit marched to Ninety Six under Colonel Andrew Williamson and remained about two weeks when Colonel Robert Cunningham, afterwards General in the British service, came to attack. The troops quickly threw up a breastwork which they manned for two days before a cessation of war was agreed upon for twenty five days (November 1775). Afterwards, Capt. McCall was taken prisoner and Lieutenant Calhoun killed by the Indians. The command of the company devolved upon Ramsey who was in command during May of 1780 when Charleston was taken by the British army. As expressed in his pension, he had a choice. Either join the British, run away from the State or "lie out." He chose the latter and continued to hide until General Greene came through the back country a year later. He left his hiding place to to join Greene. He went with the company of Robert Cawther and beseiged Ninety-Six for five weeks until the British finally evacuated. Then, when General Greene marched to the east of Santee, private Ramsey followed General Pickens to Eutaw Springs where they were joined by the State Troops under Generals Marion and Sumpter where the battle occurred. The day before the Battle of Eutaw Springs commenced, two rifle companies were raised to protect the Horse (company) of Colonel Washington. Meanwhile, Colonel Pickens commanded Ramsey to be stationed on the right wing to the left of the enemy while his company remained in the battle until near dark, then retreat under a general order. However, General Pickens sent for Ramsey who accompaned him to General Greene where he was appointed the commander of sixty men to eye the movements of the enemy. Ramsey took his stand near the camp of the enemy where he remained burying the dead of both armies.
Battle of Kettle Creek February 14, 1779.
At the time of the battle of Kettle Creek, Thomas Ramsey, along with Charles Collins, D. Kate and George Barber were acting as spies to ascertain the number of Tories then under arms and were marching to Savannah. Ramsey stationed himself on the declivity of a hill on one side and George Barber on the declivity of the other side. The Tories were expected to pass on the top of the hill, which they did, except that they had about forty stragglers who had fallen behind. But Ramsey thought that they had all passed and returned to the trail. The stragglers passed within fifteen paces of Ramsey unobserved. To save himself, Ramsey stepped aside and hollowed out to them.
"Boys, what are you doing here? Colonel Boyd left me behind to tell you the rebels are close behind."
The Tories dashed off on their horses and left Ramsey safe. Then Barber asked him, " How did you escape?". Ramsey responded that "hell was never made for him!"
The rebels proceeded to overtake the stragglers, loosing fourteen men but finding forty seven of the Tories killed. British Colonel Boyd was wounded an died that evening. After that battle, Ramsey continued defending the frontier until March of 1782 when joined the militia and marched a to Bacons Bridge, twenty one miles from Charleston. He went on several scouting expeditions including through the Cherokee Nation over Cumberland Gap into the Tennessee Valley and down the river beds of that country to Cherokee villages.