NGS Research in the States Series: Georgia


“Georgia, the thirteenth colony, was established in 1733. The state had frontier land until almost the beginning of the Civil War and extinguished the last Indian title within its boundaries in 1835. This continual push to open new land characterizes the first on hundred years of state history and is crucial to understanding the movements of people across the state. The records they created document the lives and relationships sought by their descendants today. To help researchers better document Georgia families, this guide outlines the types of records available, identifies repositories where they might be found, and lists the most useful finding aids and published record indexes.”

This Issue: NGS Research in the States Series: Georgia; written by Linda Woodward Geiger and Paul K. Graham.

Home to several Indian tribes, including Creek, Yamassee, Apalache, and Cherokee, the lands to become Georgia was given to a company chartered to establish a colony between the Carolinas and Spanish controlled land. King George II gave authority in 1732 to 21 trustees. Along with the first English settlers, there were 42 Salzburger families and some Highland Scots, who after taking oaths as British Citizens, joined the newly started colony. As with all the colonies, from there things grew and immigrants came from many places.

Each guide in this series offers a bit of history behind each type of record or resource as well as names and descriptions for specific archives.  For example, under the heading Historic Sites, a section not found in most of the guides, you will find the following:

“Although Georgia’s historic sites are not ‘libraries,’ they frequently possess materials that are of value to genealogists. Among the most useful for research are Andersonville National Historic Sites, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park,…”

In the guide, each section is handled in like manner. Plenty of specific information on what records are available and where to find them.

About the Series

Beginning in 1987, the National Genealogical Society began publishing a series of state guides in the organization’s magazine, the Quarterly. These guides were later re-issued as special publications designed to support genealogical research in each state. Eventually those guides became outdated and out of print. The current set of guides represents a refresh of those publications, updated and improved for today’s traditional and digital research resources.

About the Authors

Linda Woodward Geiger is “a principal and instructor for Regional In-depth Genealogical Studies Alliance. She specializes in Georgia records, records held by the National Archives at Atlanta, and Cherokee heritage documentation. Her area of personal interest lies with records of Cherokee and Creek removal.

Paul K. Graham specializes in Southern families research. He holds a masters in Heritage Preservation from Georgia State University. He has published several books, written for the NGS Quarterly, and the Georgia Genealogical Society’s Quarterly, with Georgia and Georgia land use being key topics.

More About the State Guides (from the Introduction)

“Readers should be aware that every effort has been made to include current web addresses throughout the publication and all were verified immediately prior to release…”

“Two research facilities used by many genealogists are the Family History Library (FHL) and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Most genealogists are familiar with the abbreviations used for these two facilities and they are used in these publications. Otherwise the use of abbreviations and acronyms is kept to a minimum.”

Table of Contents

Early History and Settlements

  • Jurisdictional Changes

Archives, Libraries, and Societies

  • Georgia Archives
    • Collections
    • Published Guides
    • Online Finding Aids, Catalogs, and Other Sources
    • Online Searchable Databases and Documents
  • National Archives at Atlanta (Southeast Region)
  • University Libraries
  • Other Georgia Libraries
  • Historic Sites
  • Libraries outside Georgia with Major Georgia Holdings
  • State and Local Genealogical and Historical Societies
  • Local Societies Archives and Museums

Major Resources

  • Aids to Research
  • Atlases, Gazetteers, and Maps
    • Statewide Maps
    • Local Maps
    • Map Collections
    • Gazetters
  • Biographical Sources
  • Cemetery Records
  • Censuses and Census Substitutes
    • Federal Populations Statewide
    • State Census Records
  • City Records
  • County Research
  • Courts and Court Records
    • Colonial Court Records
    • Federal Court Records (NARA RG 21), 1685-1991
    • Records of the U.S. Court of Claims (NARA RG 123), 1835-1966
    • State Supreme Court and Court of Appeals
    • County Court Records, 1777-Present
    • State Courts
    • Superior Courts
    • Probate (Formerly Called Ordinary Courts)
    • Magistrate Courts
    • Municipal Courts
    • Criminal Records
  • Ethnic Records
    • African American
    • Europeans
    • Native American
  • Land Records
  • Military Records
    • Colonial Period
    • American Revolution (1775-1783)
    • Georgia Militia
    • War of 1812
    • Indian Wars
    • Cherokee Removal
    • Civil War (1861-1865)
    • Spanish American War and World Wars
  • Naturalization and Immigration Records
  • Newspapers
  • Periodicals
  • Probate Records
  • Reconstruction Records
    • Religious Records
    • Baptists
    • Catholic (Roman)
    • Episcopal
    • Jewish
    • Indian Missions
    • Lutheran
    • Methodist
    • Quaker (Society of Friends)
    • Presbyterian
    • State Research
  • Tax Records
  • Vital Records
    • Adoption Records
    • Birth and Death Records 1919-1939; 1939 to Present
    • Marriage and Divorce Records
    • Bible Records
  • Women of Georgia
  • Conclusion

These guides are an excellent resource for state by state research. Available guides, including NGS Research in the States Series: Georgia, are available from Family Roots Publishing.

Other guides in series reviewed to date (in alphabetical order):

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