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How Tax Records Help the Genealogist
By Jeannette Holland Austin
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 that of a "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!
The Reason to Keep a Journal
Recording personal activities and interests in a private journal helps to describe the era. Unknown to the author, it will eventually become a historical accounting of the times and be
of much interest to the generations which follow. The personal struggles of the author and how they were resolve will serve as great lessons for children. As genealogists, we quickly gather names, dates and places. But do we really know the personal struggles of our ancestors? Do we not ever-watch and observe our contemporaries to learn their route to wealth and happiness? How much more rewarding is it, then, when we learn of the history and struggles of our own families? Sometimes we are overwhelmed. Yet never should we forget that our ancestors walked the long rutted road before us.
Answers to our Genealogy Lie in the Wait
As genealogists, we quickly gather names, dates and places. But do we really understand the personal struggles of our
ancestors during their presence upon the earth? For one, past generations were swamped with problems of immigration and the voyage to America. They all came for various reasons. Learning these reasons is an excellent beginning for the genealogist as it provides some interesting clues. Do we not ever-watch and observe our contemporaries to learn their route to wealth and happiness?
How much more rewarding is it, then, when we learn of the history and struggles of our very own families? Sometimes we are overwhelmed. Yet never should we forget that our ancestors walked the long rutted road before us. The knowledge of how so great a task of immigrating and fighting in the War for Independence was accomplished is invaluable. It opens up a vast arena of history never before published, and unfolds like an ornate fan as new names are added.
Look in the Mirror for DNA Clues
Everyone retains genes from their ancestors. Generally, as they taught us in school, one first takes from the parents, then
the grandparents. The first two generations of these traits are readily identified, especially with the help of
siblings! It is easy to see if one the big ears of Aunt Mary, or the ruddish complexion of Uncle John. A collection of old
photographs is also helpful. Then, of course, the genealogist discovers the port of embarkation and where the families first
settled. Notably, Quakers landed in Philadelphia and traveled through Maryland, Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia.
The Scotch-Irish also landed in Pennsylvania and moved through the Carolinas, Georgia and into the western mountains of
Virginia. Also, German families, who settled Pennsylvania, and Virginia. It is remarkable how religious congregations
and others immigrating during wars or historical events, preferred certain sections of the country, following earlier settlers. Thus, a little research into the history of how America
was settled is a great asset to the genealogist. The Fallacy of DNA Records
Did your Find your Ancestors with DNA?
Disappointing DNA Results
Remember the Tax on Tea by the British? Well, the North Taxed the South!
When the economy is low and times are hard, people make adjustments to the situation. It behooves the genealogist to consider the economic picture of the past while researching. For many years the driving force beyond immigration was the acquisition of good, fertile land. Because land fed families and communities. The Southern States provided staples such as cotton to Northern manufacturers. But when tariffs were imposed upon their shipments, it created a hardship. There were many letters written by State officials concerning the imposition of the tariffs, but the north refused to relent. This is how the War Between the States began. When we perform our research, do we include a search of official state papers? Yes, state correspondence is boring, but sometimes useful in its information.
The Dr. James L. Lovvorn House was built about 1895, and is situated upon a corner lot at 113 East College Street in Bowdon, Georgia near the intersections of GA 100 and GA 166. Dr. Lovvorn was a graduate of Bowdon College; the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta and from the University of Georgia Medical Department in 1886. He purchased the lot of land from John Shelnutt in 1888 for the purpose of building a Queen Anne-style home with gas lights and a fireplace in every room. His medical office was located on the first floor.
Remember the Day?
- Remember...When no one locked their doors?
- We sat on the front porch counting different makes of cars? In those days models like the Cadillac coupe de ville were more glamorous.
- Everyone had a front porch and we were invited to sip lemonade and chit chat?
When we acquainted ourselves with neighbors by walking the streets?
Carroll County Genealogy, Wills, Estates, Marriages, Tax Digests, Deeds
Carroll County was established by an act of the Georgia legislature on June 9, 1825. It was named for Charles Carroll of Carrollton, Maryland, the last living signer of the Declaration of Independence. The original Carroll County was a very large triangular area extending from Alabama on the west to the Chattahoochee River on the east and south. The northern boundary of the county was the Cherokee Nation. Eventually parts of five other counties, viz: Campbell, Douglas, Haralson, Heard, and Troup were taken from the original Carroll County. Carroll County was the famous Creek Indian lands signed away in the Treaty of Indian Springs in 1825 which got chief William McIntosh murdered. The home of Chief McIntosh was located in present-day Carroll County along the Chattahoochee River. Much of the personal land of McIntosh, known since 1825 as the McIntosh Reserve, is today a county park. The county seat was originally located at Old Carrollton, in the eastern part of the county near the community of Sand Hill. In 1829 the current site was selected, and the name Troupsville was suggested by the inhabitants. Researchers should consider the bordering Alabama counties when doing research.
Probate Records Available to Members of Georgia Pioneers
- 1822 to 1860
- 1885 to 1886 (from newspapers)
Online Images of Carroll County Will Book A (1852-1900)Testators:Adams, Absalom ;Adams, William ;Alford, Jeptha ;Allen, Larkin A. ;Allen, Larkin P. ;Amory, George Washington ;Anthony, Nancy ;Ashley, Mary A. F. ;Autrey, Jacob ;Awtery, W. H. ;Bailey, William ;Barnes, Jetnro H. ;Barr, Josiah K. ;Barrow, James ;Barrow, Thomas J. ;Baskins, James ;Baskins, Thomas W. ;Bartlett, H. B. ;Baxter, Eliza ;Beam, Annis ;Beck, John ;Bennett, Shadrack ;Benson, Eli ;Blackman, James ;Bloodworth, David M. ;Bloodworth, W. L. ;Bonner, John ;Bonner, Thomas Sr. ;Bonner, Zaddock ;Boon, William R. ;Bridges, James ;Brock, William T. ;Brooks, V. J.? ;Brooks, William ;Brooks, William J. ;Brown, Samuel ;Bryant, John ;Bryce, James ;Burson, G. W. ;Burke, Eugenia ;Burks, William ;Burnett, Absalom ;Burson, G. W. ;Buyers, John ;Camp, F. M. ;Camp, Wesley ;Carnes, Thomas ;Carr, A. S.? ;Carr, John T. ;Carr, J. T. ;Carson, J. W. ;Chambers, William P. ;Chance, George W. ;Chance, Warren ;Chandler, Thomas ;Chapman, Deborah S. ;Cheaves, Sarah, widow ;Cobb, Mary ;Cobb, William W. ;Cochran, Eli ;Cook, B. H. ;Cook, James ;Cook, Shem ;Cook, Thomas ;Copeland, William ;Cox, Mary ;Crockett, Robert ;Curry, Eliza ;Dimmicks, William ;Dobbs, Silas ;Dorris, John ;Dougherty, Dennis ;Driskell, George ;Driskell, William ;Driver, John ;Duke, Thomas ;Dumony, John ;Dyer, John ;Edge, M. L. ;Embry, Abel B. ;>Entrekin, Samuel ;Entrekin, Samuel ;Entrekin, William ;Faver, B. M. ;Foster, William J. ;Fowler, Elbert ;Garr, R. W. ;Garrison, William ;Gentry, Elisha ;Gilley, Matilda ;Golden, Allison ;Golden, Caleb ;Goodson, Mary ;Goss, R. W. ;Grice, Larry ;Griffin, Charles W. ;Griffin, J. V. ;Griffin, Thomas W. ;Hamilton, John ;Hammock, Susan ;Hamrick, James M. ;Hamrick, J. D. ;Hanes, Sherrod H. ;Hart, Samuel ;Hatley, John ;Helmer, John ;Hicks, Green ;Hoge,Martha ;Holoway, Solomon ;Holland, Jerusha ;Hutchison, Arthur ;Jackson, Ephraim ;Johnson, Aaron ;Johnson, Aaron ;Johnson, J. F. ;Johnson, Susan J. ;Johnson, William ;Johnston, William F. ;Jones, Daniel ;Jones, Elizabeth ;Jones, Orran ;Jones, Thomas ;Jordan, M. V. ;Juhan, D. B. ;Juhan, James Johnson ;Juhan, Jessie ;Keese, John Hamilton ;Kenidy, Thomas ;Kinney, Elizabeth ;King, James? ;King, Searcy ;Kingsberry, Sanford ;Kinney, Elizabeth ;Laney, Solomon M. ;Long, John ;Long, Theoliphus ;Louderman, Henry ;Lyle, Kerby ;Mabry, Branch M. ;Mabry, Charles ;Malone, Jeremiah ;Manderville, Appleton ;Marlow, Wiley ;Martin, E. B. ;Martin, Emanuel ;Martin, Henry C. ;Martin, Nathan ;Matthews, Abel ;McAllister, James B. ;McClure, Samuel ;McCollister, Andrew ;McCurdy, Robert T. ;McGarity, John ;McKee, Mary A. ;McKee, Richard Wood ;McKenzie, J. P. ;McMullen, Andrew ;McPherson, Frances, Mrs. ;McPherson, H. L. ;McWhorter, Leroy ;Meek, Nancy ;Meese, Jesse ;Merrill, Henry F. ;Mitchell, John B. ;Mitchell, N. ;Moor, William W. ;Moore, Jesse W. ;Moore, Lucy Clark ;Moore, Robert ;Morgan, John D. ;Morgan, William ;Morris, Joseph ;Mostellor, Jonathan ;Neal, Stephen H. ;Norman, W. J. ;O'Neal, William ;Owensby, S. J. F. ;Pinson, Eli ;Pitts, Hilliard W. ;Polson, Jonathan ;Pool, T. J. ;Pope, James F. ;Potts, Sarah ;Price, C. C. ;Price, Richard C. ;Reed, Matthew ;Reese, J. C. ;Reeves, James ;Reeves, Mary ;Roberts, James M. ;Roberts, Julia M. ;Robinson, Andrew J. ;Roop, Martin ;Rowe, Allen ;Ruffin, Richard ;Russell, Harris ;Scoggins, James ;Scoggins, John H. ;Scudder, William ;Sharp, Hiram Sr. ;Sharp, Hiram ;Smith, B. M. ;Smith, John ;Smith, Nathaniel ;Smith, Sarah S. ;Smith, Wesley ;Sprewell, John F. ;Sprewell, W. J. M. ;Staples, John ;Stephenson, James M. ;Stewart, James ;Stewart, John W. ;Stewart, William ;Stillwell, Safronia Caroline ;Stogner, John ;Tanner, William ;Taylor, James ;Taylor, William N. ;Thomason, F. M. ;Thurmon, Richard ;Thurman, William ;Timmons, William ;Turner, Hiram ;Turner, Horace ;Turner, William ;Upshaw, Atkin ;Upshaw, George M. ;Upshaw, George W. ;Urquhart, William ;Veazey, Caleb ;Waddell, Alfred ;Walker, Joseph ;Walker, Larkin ;ward, John L. ;Ward, William ;Warren, Jesse ;Warren, J. V. ;Warren, Thomas J. ;White, A. F. ;Williams, Joel ;Williams, Solomon F. ;Wilson, Moses ;Wood, Jordan ;Wood, Richard ;Wood, Thomas ;Wood, William ;Woodall, Jesse ;Woodley, James B. ;Woods, Joel ;Woody, John ;Wooley, James ;Word, Thomas A. ;Wyatt, John J.
Online Images of Annual Returns, Estates, Wills. Book B, 1841 to 1853.This important book went unindexed until now! The names were not included in the General Estate Index! However, all of the images were recently scanned and are now available to members of Georgia Pioneers.
Bailey, Robert S.;
Carter, Solomon S.;
Freeman, E. F.
Fruman, Edridge (orphans):
Hainey, William (minors);
Hunt, George W.;
Mabry, Sarah Ann;
Magors or Majors, Wright W.;
Maley, Thomas (orphans):
Maley or Mabry (orphans):
Smith, James C.;
Smith, William F.;
Williams, Henry J.;
Win, H. H.;
Miscellaneous Deeds and Tax Digests
- Holland, Edmund W.
- Watson, Asa
- Watson, Benjamin
- Watson, Burton
- Watson, James
- Watson, J. B.
- Watson, John
- Watson, John P.
- Watson, J. P.
- Watson, R. A.
- Watson, Tyre
Indexes to Probate Records and Deeds
- General Index to Annual Returns and Vouchers 1831 to 1885 (did not include Book B, 1841 to 1853)
- Index to Inventories, Appraisements and Returns 1854-1857
- Index to Book A, 1852 to 1896
- Index to Will Book B, 1896 to 1922
Index to Deed Book 1843 to 1847
Index to Deed Book 1858 to 1863
Index to Deed Book L, 1867-1869 (includes images of indentures)
Index to Deed Books 1884 to 1887 (includes images of indentures)
Traced Genealogies: Carroll County Families
Awtry; Clements; Earnest; Parr; Smith