History & Genealogy
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George Walton, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, was born in Virginia, but left an infant orphan when both of his parents died. As was customary in those days he was adopted by an uncle who entered him into the apprenticeship as a carpenter. Afterwards, Walton removed to Savannah where he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1774. During the Revolutionary War he advocated the patriot cause and was elected Secretary of the Georgia Provincial Congress and President of the Council of Safety. In 1776 he served as a delegate to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia, a on July 4th signed the Declaration of Independence for Georgia along with Button Gwinnett and Lyman Hall. During the war, he served in the battalion of General Robert Howe and received a commission as colonel of the First Georgia Regiment of Militia. During the Battle of Savannah in 1778 Walton was hit in the thigh by a ball and thrown from his horse. Then, taken as a prisoner to Sunbury Prison. In October 1779, Walton was elected Governor of Georgia for the first time, a position he held for only two months. In November 1795, he was appointed to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of James Jackson. Walton only served in that position from November 16, 1795, to February 20, 1796, until a successor, Josiah Tattnall, was officially elected. After the war, he helped to found the Richmond Academy in Augusta and Franklin College (now the University of Georgia) in Athens. He built his home on lands confiscated from Tories outside of Augusta, called "Meadow Garden"
A Popular Site for Duelling
Four miles southeast of Augusta at the site of the old Sand Bar Ferry owned by Thomas Goodall is the remembered site of dualing. The sandbar stood on the Georgia side about 50 yards from the bank and about 300 yards downstream. South Carolinians would cross the river on the ferry, settle their differences on the sandbar, then recross to the northern bank where Georgia had no jurisdiction. Likewise, Georgians would cross the river to the Carolina side and settle their differences in a large level field before returning to Georgia. Today the Sand Bar Ferry Bridge on South Carolina Route 28 over the Savannah River links Aiken County, South Carolina and Richmond County, Georgia . Interestingly, the Goodale house at 745 Sand Bar Ferry Road was built in 1799. Thomas Goodale owned a 500-acre plantation on this site in 1740 and operated the Sand Bar Ferry across the Savannah River. The plantation was sold in 1799 to Mr. Christopher Fitzsimmons from Charleston, who built the house.
Hawtree Branch on the Great Kioka Creek
"Read a petition of Paul Castleberry. He has settled the province and has no land. He has a wife and four children, and prays for 350 acres on the southside of the Great Kyoka Creek in the Parish of St. Paul at a place called Hawtree Branch. Granted, May 1767." Source: Georgia Colonial Records, Vol. X, pp. 757. Note: The Great Kioka Creek is no longer on the map of Georgia. This is probably the Stevens Reservoir along the Savannah River.
The Georgia Land Swindle
While James Edward Oglethorpe was planting settlers in the Colony of Georgia, advertisements of "so fair a land" in the Georgia colony were being distributed throughout England encouraging settlement. Meanwhile, Joe Rae of Maghrenock near Ballnahigh in County Down, Nova Scotia, emigrated to South Carolina ca 1729 or 1730 and applied for extensive land grants in Georgia because of his connections in North Ireland. Initially, he was granted 50,000 acres for his countrymen and friends along the Ogeechee River in Queensborough (now Burke County, Georgia), 40 miles from Augusta. After this acquistion, he commenced publishing letters in Belfast to acquire purchasers. John Rae was a resident of Georgia as early as August of 1741, where he was appointed Conservator of the Peace ten years later. In 1752, he petitioned the Georgia Trustees for 300 acres on Argyle Island on the Savannah River and 100 acres on Pipemakers Creek. In 1755, he was elected Representative to sit in the Assembly for Georgia at Augusta, and a lot was granted to him at Hardwick in Chatham County. In behalf of his settlement efforts, he petitioned for relief for building a Church at Augusta in 1756, and received it. John Rea was very active in the affairs of his His Majesty. He was appointed Commissioner, Collector and Assessor in Augusta in charge of erecting forts, printed the laws, built churches, and was charged with building barracks for the soldiers. He selected as his homeplace 200 acres of land on Stony Creek which had its own grist mill The site was three miles above Augusta adjoining the lands of George Galphin. During April of 1765, he petitioned for land originally surveyed for Isaac Barksdale to his widow, but title to those lands were passed in the name of John Rae, Jr.
In February of 1768, he petitioned for lands on the Ogeechee River to be reserved for three years, in hopes of getting Irish settlers there. He printed copies of law and sent this to friends in Ireland, but the encouragement to settle in Georgia was much less than which was promissed to South Carolinians. In South Carolina, free passage was provided as well as other advantages. His friends wrote that they would come to Georgia only if their passage were paid and they had use of lands free of expense in addition to being exempted from taxes for the first ten years. The Georgia Trustees granted this wish in the formm of "An Act for Encouraging Settlers to Come into the Province." Two of his letters asking for settlers appeared in the Belfast News in 1765. While inviting his countrymen to share in a great fortune, guaranteeing the free use of cattle and horses for five years, he sent 100 pounds back home to educate the children of his dead brother. Indeed, it was another brother (Matthew Rea) who had financed the arrangements for the voyage on the Prince of Wales which sailed with passengers during February of 1765 from Belfast, first to Charleston, thence to Savannah. Matthew Rea was a land promotor for America, and lived in the village of Drumbo in County Down, and was either a small landowner or farmer. He had the means to undertake two tours of the surrounding countryside in furtherance of his emigration plans, acting as middleman in the emigration trade, and as agent, working with his brother in Georgia to obtain emigrants to the Colony.
As far as the land business was concerned, John Rea was described as a scoundrel in a letter published in 1770 wherein the Georgia colony was described as "a woeful place, a poor hole, accursed place, inhabited by a few Irish and some run-aways from all parts of America, that John Rea was more concerned with erecting a hedge between himself and the Indians than with promoting the happiness of his settlers." As the ship Waddell sailed in November of 1773, the activities of Matthew in behalf of his brother in Georgia came to an abrupt end. There was scandal. Rea had a negro slave, Nero, who was convicted of a felony, for breaking open a store of rice and taking several barrels. Ten other slaves were also discovered in the records, however there were probably a good deal more slaves who cultivated his lands than these few. John Rae was convicted for the manslaughter of Mrs. Ann Simpson in Savannah, but was later pardoned. All his friends petitioned in his behalf, stating that he had been in the province for nearly forty years and had an unblemished character, having filled many offices of public trust. He was also a Member of the Georgia Assembly, which was a very highly respected position in the province. John Rae died in Augusta in 1784.
First Woman Hanged in Georgia
Richmond County Wills and Estates
Richmond County Court House, Augusta, Georgia. Richmond County was formed in 1777 from St. Pauls Parish. The county seat is Augusta. One should search Richmond and Columbia records as they overlapped. Wrightsboro records are found in Richmond County as well as in Columbia County. Some of their wills are recorded in this will book. Thus, here is one place to find Quakers.
Maps were scanned in such a manner as to provide details for locating creeks, branches, rivers, lakes, churches, schools and cemeteries. This will enable you to better locate the old homeplace using the description from old non-specific deeds. Also, a convenience in locating both private and public cemeteries in the area.
Richmond County Records Available to Members of Georgia Pioneers
Images of Will Book A (1777-1798)
Testators: Appling, John (1773),Appling, John,Baldwin, David, Barnes, James,Barrett, Thomas,Barron, William, Beall, Jacob,Bedingfield, John,Booker, Thomas, Bright, Unity,Bugg, Jeremiah,Bugg, William (1772), Bugg, William (1780),Campbell, McCartin,Carnes, Peter, Clayton, Abia,Clem, Valentine,Cocke, Nathaniel, Connell, Thomas,Cowen, Thomas,Crawford, Joel, Crawford, Nathan,Dikes, George, Sr.,Dikes, George, Dixon, Robert (1792),Dyess, Moses,Evans, Mary, Farish, Robert,Glascock, William,Goldwire, I. or J., Goldwire, James,Harris, Benjamin (1785),Harris, Sarah, Hodgen, John, Hollenger, Titus,Huff, Elizabeth, Hunt, George,Irby, Jeremiah,,Jackson, William , Jameson, John,Jarvis, Elizabeth,Johnston, Daniel, Johnston, Samuel,Jones, John,Lander, Mary,Marshall, Daniel, May, John,McCarty, Daniel,Macdelin, Ann,McGibbon, James, Mears, Stephen,Meeks, John,Mitchel, John,Moore, Richard, Morgan, Jesse,Morris, Thomas Mote, Uriah,Murray, Alexander Ross,Petty, John,Philips, John, Pittman, John,Randolph, George,Ricketson, Timothy,Row, Isaac,Schmidt, John H.,Scott, John,Sherwood, William, Slade, Joseph (1792), nun-cupative LWT,Spear, William (1771:1791), Story, Robert,Thomas, James E.,Turkeynis, Peter,Vaughan, James, Vernon, James,Wade, John,Walton, John,Washington, Thomas, Watkins, Thomas,Watson, Daniel,Watts, Joseph,Webster, Anner, Wells, Benjamin,Wells, Humphrey,Williams, Benjamin, Williams, Payde,Wood, Nathaniel,Wright, Dionysius,Zachry, James
Images of Wills 1798-1810
Testators: Anselm Bugg, John Hanford, Henry Osborne, William Allen, Joseph Cox, John Smith (2), Archibald Robins, Eleazor Brack, Mary Moon, Garland Snead, John Evans Anderson, Smith Milner, Elizabeth Connell, John Eades, James Simmons, Lewis Furman, Zephanial Beal (estate), Thomas Grubbs (estate), Hodges Holmes (estate), Catharine Smith (estate), William Mead, Lawrence Somers, George Cormick, William Kennedy, Isabella Rae, Joseph Ward, Nathaniel Beach, Joshua Tulloss.
Images of Wills 1810-1829
Testators: Atwell, John,Bacon, William,Beal, Hezekiah, Beall, Archibald,Blacke, Anthony,Blair, Janet,Blaylock, Harden,Bosworth, Wiley,Boulet, Peter, Bouyer, Francis,Brazeel, Wiley,Bugg, William,Bury, Harrison, Bush, David,Buzz, William,Campbell, Abiel,Campbell, John,Cart, Joseph Cashin, John,Clarke, John,Cooke, Roger, Cooper, Bridget, Coppinger, Penelope,Cresswell, Robert,Crook, Jonathan, William,Dale, Jane, Dawson, Sabra,Drury, Sarah,Dunkley, Carlton,Dunlap, Patrick, Edwards. James,Fox, Mary,Gardner, Thomas,Garvin, John,Graves, George, Gray, Christian,Gray, Eleanor,Gregory, Charles,Griffin, Richard, Grinage, Mary,Harris, James,Harris, Lewis,Harris, Sophia,Harrison, Andrew, Hay, Andrew,Herbert, Isaac,Hogan, Richard,Hornby, Eleanor,Hudson, Ann,Hudson, Ann (2),Hull, Jean,Hunster, Sarah,Innes, Andrew,Jones, Fanny,Jones, Francis,Jones, Seaborn,Joyner, Eliza Mary,Lamar, Basil,Lang, Robert,Lang, Sarah, Leavenworth, Melinder,Leigh, Walter, Ligon, John,Low, Isaac, Lueman, John,Lumpkin, Nancy,McKinne, John,McLean, William, McNair, Daniel,MacIver, John,Magee, Hugh,Magnan, Magnan, Malone, Isham,Matheson, Murdock,Matthews, George,Meigs, Daniel, Milledge, John,Nesbitt, Hugh, Pearre, James,Posson, Dr. L., Rainey, John,Ross, William,Saben, Elijah, Sandwich, Thomas, Savage, John,Sayers, John,Scarle, Elisha, Scurry, Richardson, Sego, Joshua,Sikes, William,Skinner, William,Smelt, Dennis, Taylor, John,Teryon, John,Thompson, John,Thompson, Nancy, Tordy, Jacques,Twiggs, Abraham,Twiggs, John (General), Tyer, Frizzel,Walker, Francis,Walshe, John,Ware, Nicholas, Watkins, Anderson,Watkins, Robert,Watthall, Richard,Whitehead, Amos, Williams, Felix,Willson, Hugh,Willson, John,Willson, John (2), Willson, Joseph,Woolfolk, Austin,Young, Moses,Young, William.
Images of Wills 1829-1839
Testators: Abrahams, Jacob,Anderson, John,Arnold, Keziah,Bailey, William,Barfield, Lewis,Beal, James,Beall, Ann,Bigon, John,Bohl, Anthony,Bohler, William, Bones, William,Bowen, David,Bowyer, B.,Brogan, Barney,Brown, Henry, Burney, Job,Burton, John,Carns, Peter,Clayton, Elizabeth,Course, John, Cox, Honor,Crafton, Mary,Craig, Allen,Cumming, Thomas,Dillon, William, Dubose, Isaac,Dunbar, George,Dunn, Levicy,Eve, Oswell,Fox, John,Futcher, James,Gibson, William,Gilbert, Israel,Greenwood, Henry,Greenwood, John,Griffin, Thomas,Hagerty, James,Hamilton, Elizabeth,Harper, Arthur,Harris, Mary,Hart, Elizabeth,Hatcher, Henry,Hatcher, Mary,Hayden, Lawrence,Hurst, James,Ivy, Francis,Kent, Reuben,Kirkpatrick, Robert,Knight, Walton,Lampkin, Sampson,Lenges, Jean,Lloyd, Mary,Longstreet, Hannah,Longstreet, James,Low, Polly,Marvin, Mary,Marshall, Howell,McFarlane, Ann,McGovern, James,McMillan, Martha,McTyeir, Mary,McWhorter, Susan,Mims, Britton,Mitchell, William,Molloy, Thomas,Morse, Jacob,Murphy, Edmond,Musgrove, Robert,Oakman, Henry,O'Connell, James,Picote, Joseph,Powers, Lovey,Quins, Edward,Rhodes, Aaron,Rhodes, Lewis,Rolen, William,Rowell, Edward,Ruffin, Harriet,Savage, Daniel,Slator, Mary,Smars, Rebecca,Snead, Nancy,Stoy, Abigail,Toole, James,Tubman, Richard,Urquhart, Ann,Verdery, William,Walker, John,Walker, Rachel,Walston, Riddon,Ward, Edward, Watson, Majer,White, Mary Ann,Wise, John,Woolfolk, Louisa,Wynn, Fields
Images of Originial Wills 1839-1844
Testators: Antony, Milton ;Atkinson, Dixon ;Baldwin, Richard ;Bunce, William ;Can, Kitchen ;Collins, Anne ;Collins, John ;Cook, Eugene ;Cox, William ;Dillon, Robert ;Fitzsimmons, Catherine ;Fox, Anne ;Garnett, Samuel ;Gill, Martin ;Greenwood, Benjamin ;Greenwood, Georgianna ;Hale, Samuel ;Hammond, Mary ;Hobby, Elizabeth ;Howard, John ;Hull, Sarah ;Lanhips, Susannah ;Lewis, Benjamin ;Lyon, Benjamin ;Marshall, John ;Martin, John ;McCrady, Eliza ;Mealing, Henry ;Metcalf, George ;Murray, George ;Nail, Casper ;Nelson, Matthew ;Reid, Mary ;Rhodes, Absalom ;Rily, Elizabeth ;Rowland, Merit ;Savage, Mary ;Savage, William ;Tarver, John ;Turpin, George ;Turbin, T. P. ;Tutt, William ;Urquart, David ;Verdery, Adel ;Walker, Elisa ;Wardlaw, James ;Winteat, John
Images of Original Wills 1845-1853
Testators: Baldwin, Augustus ; Barnes, Mary ; Beal, Nathaniel ; Brown, Alexander ; Bunch, Doctrine ; Carmichael, John ; Cox, Elizabeth ; Crump, Philip ; Darling, Mary ; Fulcher, William ; Gardner, James ; Garner, Joanne ; Gordon, George ; Jones, Joshua ; Mandonville, Mary ; Martin, Angus ; Martin, Alexander ; Mays, William ; Millen, John ; Moore, Frances ; Parmela, Thomas ; Phillips, Nancy ; Rowell, Grace ; Sellers, William ; Smith, Lucy ; Telfair, Jane ; Walton, Thomas ; Wilde, Richard ; Williams, John ; Willson, Elizabeth
Indexes to Probate Records
- Wills (1777-1958)
- Richmond County Pupils, November 1812.
- Richmond County Teachers Employed From 1873 to 1881.
- Marriages from newspapers 1885-1886
Miscellaneous Wills and Estates
- Map of old Wrightsboro, which was part of Richmond and Columbia Counties at one time (now McDuffie County).
- Burch, Orphans of Charles. Vincent Tinsley, guardian of Blanton, Charles and Joseph (1824)
- Coleman, Lindsey
- Deane, Stephen deed from Lewis Johnston
- McKinstry, Alexander
- Watson, John
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