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Okefenokee Swamp is a popular area for tourists. Traditionally, there were Timucuan Indian villages in the swamp and Spanish missions during the 17th century. When William Bartram traveled through Georgia, he told the story of princesses of the sun on an island in the center of the swamp. During the late 18th century, it was a Creek hunting ground. During 1836 the Second Seminole War in Florida began extending its borders into the Okefenokee. This action caused roads and forts to be constructed around the perimeter of the swamp for the Georgia Militia to patrol. As a result, this force torched a Seminole village on an island that they later renamed Floyds Island, after Charles Rinaldo Floyd. Thus, the Seminoles abandoned the swamp two years later but skirmishes continued to occur along the Georgia-Florida boundary as late as 1840. About 1805, a small settlement of white families occupied the the southeastern edge of the swamp. After the Land Lottery of 1820, settlers moved into the areas which were east, north, and west of the swamp and took up lottery lands during 1827. They raised hogs, chickens and cattle while cultivating small patches of corn. These settlements resided in log cabins, hunted, fished, and traded hides and pelts for salt, ammunition and trinkets and today, should you visit the swamp, some of these cabins remain.
Protecting Georgia During the War of 1812
During the War of 1812 the port of St. Mary's was subject to attack by the British. Granted, most of the action of this war included battles with the Indians in West Georgia and Alabama. Nevertheless, the ports required protecting, even the tiny port town of Sunbury in Liberty County. However, people from other States came down to Georgia to join this war because it offered 487-1/2 acres of land if the soldier served five years. If your ancestor received a land grant in Appling County, this is the reason.
Land LotteriesThe 1820 Georgia Land lottery occurred from September 1, 1820 to December 2, 1820 and included the thirteen districts of Appling County. Since there existed such a wide range of those who could draw one or two lots, it seems that just about every old settler in the region was eligible. Those entitled to one draw had to be a bachelor, 18 years or over with a three-year residency in Georgia, citizen of the United States or a Soldier of the Indian War and resident of Georgia since military service. Others who could drew were: married man with wife or son under 18 years or unmarried daughter or widow with three years residence in Georgia; wife and/or child; husband and/or father absent from state for 3 years; family (one or two) of orphans under 18 years whose father was dead and three year residence. Those entitled to 2 drews were a family (three or more) of orphans under 18 years with three years residence; Widow, husband killed in Revolutionary War, War of 1812, or Indian War; Orphan, father killed in Revolutionary War, War of 1812 or Indian War; Wounded or disabled veteran of War of 1812 or Indian War, unable to work; Veteran of Revolutionary War. Veterans of the Revolutionary War who had been a fortunate drawer in any previous Lottery could have one drew. The grant fee was $18.00 per land lot. The tax digests reflect land given in this lottery and contains information as to his boundaries, i.e., waterways, timber land, etc. Although many people drew, everyone did not always take up the land. The way to discern if it was from the land lottery is that those lots consisted of 202-1/2 acres.
Appling County Wills, Estates, Vouchers, Marriages, Homestead Exemptions
Appling County was created in 1818 by the Georgia State Legislature from land owned by the Creek Indians (1814 Treaty of Fort Jackson) and was named for Colonel Daniel Appling of Columbian County, a hero of the War of 1812. The original boundary extended from the Altamaha River to the St. Marys River. The genealogists should note the fact that Appling was the parent county of all or part of Atkinson, Bacon, Brantley, Charlton, Clinch, Coffee, Echols, Jeff Davis, Pierce, Telfair, Ware, and Wayne counties. The county seat is Holmesville.
The following Appling County Records are available to members of Georgia Pioneers
Online Images of Estates, Guardianships, Vouchers, etc. 1856-1879
Abbott, John S.;
Bell, Sarah A., minor;
Bell, Mary A., minor;
Bennett,Martha; John S.;
Carter, John, minor;
Caswell, F. N., heirs of;
Dodge, C. W.;
Dyal, D. Washington;
Floyd, Lewis, minors of;
Frawley, William T.;
Holton, John G.;
Hunter, N. H.;
Lee, Warren, minors of;
McGaully, James, heirs of;
Sellers, Drucilla, minor;
Surrency, Allen P.;
Surrency, H. W.;
Online Images of Wills 1877 to 1900Testators:
Aaron Brantley, Alexander Douglas, Amanda Weatherly, Brosilla Taylor, Daniel McEachin, Elizabeth Thomas, Elizabeth Turner, Ezekiel Cothren, Florence Virginia Day, HamptonQuinn, Harriett Carter, Instance Hall, Jesse Alderege, John Comas, John Holton, John J. Carter, John Moody, Samantha Prescott, Sarah Nelson, Sarah Sapp, Seaborn Hall, Theophilis Simmons, William Bennett, William Mims
Online Images of Estates, Guardianships, Vouchers, etc. 1856-1879Names: Abbott, John S. ;Bell, Sarah A., minor ;Bell, Mary A., minor ;Bennett, Martha, John S. ;Boatright, C. ;Burns, A. ;Carter, George ;Carter, Isaac. ;Carter, Jacob ;Carter, James ;Carter, Jesse ;Carter, John ;Carter, Nancy ;Carter, Paul ;Carter, Rutha ;Carter, Stephen ;Carter, Wiley ;Caswell, F. N., heirs of ;Colby, Abraham ;Cook, Savannah ;Courson, minor ;Crosby, Silas ;Curtis, Paul ;Dean, M. M. ;Deen, minors ;Dodge, C. W. ;Douglas, Alexander ;Dunkin, John ;Dunn, H. C. ;Dyal, D. W. ;Eason, George ;Ellis, John ;Floyd minors ;Frawley, William T. ;Graham minors ;Hall, John S. ;Hall, Leary Ann ;Hearndon, James ;Holton, J. G. ;Johnson, Daniel ;Johnson, Malcolm ;Ketterson, Phillip ;Lee minors ;McGans, Nicholas ;McGaully, James, heirs of ;Milikin, Joseph ;Mims, Joseph ;Mincham ;Mobley, Solomon ;More, Samuel ;Nelson, George W., guardian ;Nettles, William ;Nicholas, Jonathan ;Nunez, Hugh ;Paterson, William ;Quirk, William ;Reddick, Isham ;Roberts, John, minor ;Robinson, Frank ;Robinson, George ;Robinson, John ;Robinson minors ;Sellers, Drucilla, minor ;Skidwood, Nancy ;Spence, Joshua ;Surrency, Allen P. ;Surrency, H. W. ;Taylor, Burrell ;Taylor, Isaiah ;Teeter, Charles ;Thomas, Sarah ;Tillman, James ;Tomberlin, Elizabeth Ann ;Touchstone, William ;Weatherly, Isaac ;Westfield, R. ;Williams, Lewis ;Williams, Noah ;Yawn, David
Online Images of Estates (Annual Returns) Book C, 1877 to 1880
Names: Abbott, J. H. ;Boatright, Caroline ;Carter, Nellie ;Carter, Paul ;Carter, Stephen ;Courson, minors ;Crosby, minors ;Deen, H. C. ;Graham, M. ;Hearndon, John ;Hollan, John R. ;Holton, John R. ;Johnson, Seaborn ;Robinson, F. M. ;Robinson, George W. ;Sellers, Lemuel ;Sullivan, minors ;Surrency, A. P. ;Tyer, William ;Waters, Dicey ;Williams, Lewis
Indexes to Probate Records
- Index of Appling County Miscellaneous Estates 1869 to 1879
- Index of Appling County Annual Returns 1873 to 1878
- Index of Appling County Annual Returns 1877 to 1888
- Index of Appling County Wills 1877 to 1925
- Index of Appling County Wills 1923 to 1937
- Appling Homestead Applications 1856-1879 (Digital Images)
- Appling County Exemptions (Digital Images)