Georgia Pioneers

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Disappointing DNA Results?

DNA Essentially, the current fad of having one's DNA tested is mostly for entertainment purposes. The techniques searches for similarities in the genetic markers between two biological samples. The more closely related two people are, it is likely that they are related. If the police, for example, are searching for such a similarity, it easy to determine if there is not a match. The current trend of testing compares markers (of living persons) around the world. That is how theresults come up with such as "20% Irish" etc. Although it is interesting to determine if one is Cherokee Indian, Irish, Scottish, etc., the genealogist can achieve better results. This is because one traces the ancestors from ports of embarkation to other countries, and examines vital records, cemetery stones, county records (marriages, deeds, tax digests, wills, estates, etc.) The written records serve to prove a more accurate genealogy. Everyone has family stories passed down through the generations. I have discovered that such stories have very little accuracy attached to them. However, you can discover an Irish relative by tracing them from Antrim! Or, Scottish ancestors by tracking them from the Scottish Isles. Also, there are distinct histories of the trails which people ventured down before they settled. In this respect, maps of old wilderness roads, combined with the names of persons who drew land grants and settled among others from the same country, assist to better understand and discover more clues.

"He was so near me I could have touched him with my hand."

musket balls DeKalb County was among the first to enroll troops for Confederate service. The first volunteers from Decatur were James L. George, Hardy Randall, L. J. Winn and Beattie Wilson, who went with the Atlanta Greys during the last part of May, 1861. The first company was that of Captain John W. Fowler, called the DeKalb Light Infantry which was mustered into service in Atlanta as part of the 7th Georgia Volunteers. This company left Atlanta for Virginia on the 1st of June, 1861. Those going from DeKalb county in this company were: First Lieutenant, John J. Powell; Second Lieutenant, John M. Hawkins; Third Lieutenant, James L. Wilson; First Sergeant, M. L. Brown; Second Sergeant, D. C. Morgan; Third Sergeant, D. E. Jackson; Fourth Sergeant, John W. Fowler, jr.; Corporals: H. H. Norman, R. F. Davis, C. W. L. Powell; Privates: W. W. Bradbury (afterwards captain), E. M. Chamberlain, W. W. Morgan, W. L. Herron, P. H. Pate, C. E. McCulloch, James W. McCulloch, L. C. Powell, H. G. Woodall, J. S. Woodall, A. W. Mashburn, V. A. Wilson, W. J. Mason, J. V. Austin, W. M. Austin, John Eads, E. A. Davis, Dr. A. S. Mason, John W. Norman, E. L. Morton, Henry Gentry,[Pg 23] W. M. Cochran, J. B. Cochran, James Hunter (promoted captain), W. W. Brimm, William Carroll, C. W. McAllister, J. O. McAllister, and many others from the county, making it a full company. The second company from DeKalb was the Stephens Rifles, captain, L. J. Glenn which became part of Cobbs Legion during August of 1861. Dr. Liddell, Frank Herron, Norman Adams, John McCulloch, John J. McKoy, and some others, went from Decatur in this company. The third company was the Murphey Guards, captain, John Y. Flowers. These soldiers came from the upper part of the county, near Doraville and was named in memory of Hon. Charles Murphey, of DeKalb county, a prominent lawyer and member of Congress who was recently deceased. The company was uniformed by the people of the county, a large share being contributed by Mr. and Mrs. Milton A. Candler, and Mr. and Mrs. Ezekiel Mason. Mrs. Candler, whose maiden name was Eliza Murphey, the only child of Charles Murphey, gave the banner, upon which was inscribed, "The God of Jacob is with us." The Fourth Company was The Bartow Avengers, Captain William Wright, from the lower part of the county around South River. The Fifth Company, Captain Rankin, was from Stone Mountain. During September of 1861, these three last mentioned companies went into the 38th Georgia Regiment and belonged with the Virginia Army. The Sixth Company, Captain E. L. Morton, entered service the last of August, 1861, in the 36th Georgia Regiment, and was with the Western Army under Johnston. The Seventh Company, the Fowler Guards, Captain Clay, went into the 42nd Georgia Regiment in the early part of 1862, and was also in the Western Army. There were several companies that were made up to go to the camp of instruction near Decatur. Moses L. Brown was Captain of one, and L. D. Belisle of another. Besides the companies already named, all of which went into the infantry, there were many soldiers from DeKalb that went into the Cavalry and Artillery service of the regular army. In the year 1863, when Georgia was threatened by Rosecrans coming into the State on its northern border, special troops were raised for its defense under the commands of Major General Howell Cobb and General Henry R. Jackson. There was a Company A of Cavalry troops included in the 10th Georgia Regiment State Guards, Jacksons Brigade under Colonels John J. Glenn and Lieutenant-Colonel J. N. Glenn. Milton A. Candler had command. These troops served through 1863 and 1864. In April, 1863, Paul P. Winn, now a Presbyterian minister, then a mere youth, went into the army in the 45th Georgia Regiment, commanded by Col. Thomas J. Simmons. Other Decatur boys went into the service from other sections. The eighteen year old John C. Kirkpatrick entered service from Augusta with the Oglethorpe Infantry along with his cousin, William Dabney, later a Presbyterian minister in Virginia, and his friend, Frank Stone. This was in 1862, and John remained in the service until the close of the war, having been in severe battles under Cleburnes Division, including Jonesboro. In this engagement were other Decatur boys in other commands. Mr. John B. Swanton, but seventeen years old, was in that battle, and says that by his side stood, when mortally wounded, Franklin Williams, the brother of Mr. Hiram J. Williams. Says Mr. Swanton: "He was so near me I could have touched him with my hand." Three sons of Mrs. Martha Morgan, and cousins of DeWitt Morgan, were all in the service, Henry, Daniel, and Joseph Morgan. Jesse Chewning and Samuel Mann were in the 64th Georgia. Josiah J. Willard, the only son of Mr. Levi Willard, while a sprightly, active youth, was near-sighted. He had a position in the commissary department at Camp Randolph, near Decatur, and went with it to Macon, July 11th, 1864, and remained there until the place surrendered after the fall of Richmond. He, also, is mentioned in other sketches. There were also several companies of old men and boys who went into the State service when the last call for troops was made by the Confederate government. Source: Life in Dixie During the War by Mary A. H. Gay (1892).

Oakland Cemetery

Oakland Cemetery If you wish to discover the first families in Atlanta, Oakland Cemetery is the place to look. It was founded in 1850 and is the final resting place of those who built Atlanta. The beautiful tombs and vaults set in a garden atmosphere are but a memory of days long since past. The cemetery was closed to burials sometime before 1890, however, people who owned lots were buried there afterwards. Margaret Mitchell, the author of Gone with the Wind is such a person. The book History of Fulton County lists the early residents of Atlanta in their various political capacities. It is fun to recognize some of the names in this cemetery. In essence, if your family resided near downtown Atlanta in the old days, best do a walk-through.

Confederate Hospitals

biscuits The people of Decatur took food baskets to the Fair Ground Hospital and the Empire Hospital. The baskets were filled with biscuits, rusk, broiled and friend chicken, ground coffee and blackberry wine. Also, the good citizens dispatched pails of fresh water to bathe the faces, hands and arms of the soldiers. Additionally, volunteers comforted the soldiers has they lay painfully in their beds.

Genealogy History

blog Jeannette Holland Austin
Jeannette Holland Austin Profile

Traced Genealogies:
DeKalb County Families

Collier Durham Gober Goldsmith
Grogan Hyde Jordan Mangum
Marbut Pounds Prince Reeves

Find your Ancestors before 1790

Archaeological Dig at the Lyon Farm on the South River

Lyon Farm The Alliance and The Georgia Historic Preservation Division hosted dozens of volunteers during public archaeology days to dig on the Lyon Farm, supposed to be one of the oldest homesteads in DeKalb County. It was built ca 1820 or later.

DeKalb County Wills, Estates, Deeds, Church Records, Cemeteries

Stone Mountain Grist Mill DeKalb County was created in 1822 after the Muskogee (Creeks) Indians ceded the lands by treaty and was taken from Henry, Gwinnett and Fayette Counties. It was named for Baron Johann DeKalb, a German hero of the American Revolution. In 1853 Fulton County was created from the northern portion of DeKalb County. Many of the settlers to DeKalb County were in search of new lands and were farmers. When researching DeKalb County, Henry (the parent County) and Fulton Counties should also be researched. Unfortunately, the estate records do not begin until 1840. If you have an ancestor who resided within the boundaries of the present-day Atlanta, those records will be found in DeKalb County. Remember, the journey from Atlanta to present-day Decatur to file a deed, will, or other record was quite a trip.

DeKalb County Probate Records Available to Members of Georgia Pioneers

  • DeKalb County County Marriages 1885-1886 from newspapers
  • Map of DeKalb County County
DeKalb County Wills DeKalb County Probate Records by Jeannette Holland Austin DeKalb County Probate Records by Jeannette Holland Austin comprizes the content of these records.

  • DeKalb County Wills & Estates 1841-1869
  • DeKalb County Wills & Estates 1870-1889
  • DeKalb County Wills & Estates 1890-1919
  • DeKalb County Appr. & Returns 1852-1858
Indexes to Probate Records
  • Index to Deed Book L 1846-1852
  • Index to Deed Book M 1850-1853
  • Index to Deed Book N 1852-1854
  • Index to Annual Returns, Appraisements, Inventories, Sales, 1842-1852
  • Index to Annual Returns, Appraisements, Inventories, Sales, 1852-1859
  • Index to Annual Returns, Appraisements, Inventories, Sales, 1858-1863
  • Index to Annual Returns, Appraisements, Inventories, Sales, 1863-1868
  • Index to Annual Returns, Appraisements, Inventories, Sales, 1868-1884
  • 1846 to 1846, Book H
Miscellaneous Wills and Estates
  • Adair, Thomas O., estate
  • Adair, William, deed dated 1849
  • Adams, W. D., estate
  • Akin, Martha, estate
  • Allen, William, estate
  • Anderson, William C., estate
  • Argoe, Robert, estate
  • Armstrong, John, estate
  • Collier, John, Annual Return of Estate
  • Evans, John, deed dated 1850
  • Holland, Edmund W. (deeds) 1851, 1852
  • Jordan, Solomon, deed dated 1851
  • Leitch, Arthur, Estate
  • Perkinson, Dempsey, LWT (1876)
  • Plaster, Benjamin, Sr.
  • Smith, David, LWT (1853)
  • Spain, William S., Inventory and Appraisement of Estate.
  • Sprayberry, Benjamin, LWT (1848).
  • Sprayberry, Brice, LWT (1876).
  • Sprayberry, W. H. E., LWT (1911).
  • Waits, Sarah, LWT (1869)
Church Records
  • Utoy Baptist Church, Ft. McPherson, Georgia (members)
  • Index to Burials in the Decatur Cemetery


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Georgia Wills