History & Facts of Georgia Counties

Georgia Counties  •  Georgia Extinct Counties  •  Georgia Burned Courthouses

Georgia County records can vary vastly from county to county both in quality and quantity. Some are already very carefully maintained and some have been substantially abused and overlooked. A number of Georgia records have purely disappeared. For genealogists performing research in Georgia you will find no effective replace for an on-site research of county court house records.

Georgia is divided into 159 counties. Georgia has the second largest number of counties of any state.

Land records were recorded with the Clerk of the Superior Court in each county. Probate records were recorded with the Clerk of the Ordinary Court, as were marriages. Most civil court cases were handled completely by the Superior Court.

There are currently 6 consolidated county-cities in Georgia: Athens-Clarke County, Augusta-Richmond County, Columbus-Muscogee County, Cusseta-Chattahoochee County, Georgetown-Quitman County and Statenville-Echols County.

Georgia Counties

In 1777 the first Georgia counties were formed. However, they only covered a small part of the present-day area that is Georgia. Soon, more Native American land was acquired, leading to the formation of new counties. Then land records began to be recorded by each county's superior court clerk. The clerk of the ordinary court, meanwhile, kept records of marriages and probate records. The superior court handled most civil court cases.

Most of the county records for Georgia are available at the Georgia Archives in bound volumes, on microfilm and in collections of original, loose records.

County Date Formed Parent County County Seat
Appling 1818 Land ceded by the Creek Indians in theTreaty of Fort Jackson in 1814 and the Treaty of the Creek Agency in 1818. Baxley
Atkinson 1917 Clinch and Coffee Counties Pearson
Bacon 1914 Appling, Pierce and Ware Counties Alma
Baker 1825 Early County. Newton
Baldwin 1803 Creek cessions of 1802 and 1805. Milledgeville
Banks 1858 Franklin and Habersham Counties Homer
Barrow 1914 Gwinnett, Jackson and Walton counties. Winder
Bartow 1832 Created from a portion of Cherokee County in 1832 and originally called Cass County after General Lewis Cass. Cartersville
Ben Hill 1906 Irwin and Wilcox counties. Fitzgerald
Berrien 1856 Coffee, Irwin, and Lowndes counties. Nashville
Bibb 1822 portions of Houston, Jones, Monroe, and Twiggs counties. Macon
Bleckley 1912 Pulaski County. Cochran
Brantley 1920 Charlton, Pierce, and Wayne counties. Nahunta
Brooks 1858 Lowndes and Thomas counties Quitman
Bryan 1793 Chatham County Pembroke
Bulloch 1796 Bryan and Screven Counties Statesboro
Burke 1777 Originally organized as St George Parish. Waynesboro
Butts 1825 Henry and Monroe counties. Jackson
Calhoun 1854 Early and Baker counties. Morgan
Camden 1777 St Mary and St Thomas Parishes. Woodbine
Candler 1914 Bulloch, Emanuel and Tattnall counties. Metter
Carroll 1826 Created by the state legislature from lands ceded by the Creek Indians in 1825 in theTreaty of Indian Springs. Carrollton
Catoosa 1853 Walker and Whitfield counties. Ringgold
Charlton 1854 Camden County. Folkston
Chatham 1777 Christ Church and St Philip Parishes. Savannah
Chattahoochee 1854 Muscogee and Marion counties. Cusseta
Chattooga 1838 Walker and Floyd counties. Summerville
Cherokee 1831 Cherokee Cession of 1831. Canton
Clarke 1801 Jackson County. Athens
Clay 1854 Randolph and Early counties. Fort Gaines
Clayton 1858 Fayette and Henry counties. Jonesboro
Clinch 1850 Lowndes and Ware counties. Homerville
Cobb 1832 Cherokee County Marietta
Coffee 1854 Clinch, Irwin, Telfair and Ware counties. Douglas
Colquitt 1856 Thomas and Lowndes counties. Moultrie
Columbia 1790 Richmond County Appling
Cook 1918 Berrien County. Adel
Coweta 1826 Created on Creek lands ceded in 1825 in the treaty of Indian Springs and Creek Cessions of 1826. Newnan
Crawford 1822 Houston County. Knoxville
Crisp 1905 Dooly County. Cordele
Dade 1837 Walker County. Trenton
Dawson 1857 Gilmer and Lumpkin counties. Dawsonville
De Kalb 1823 Early County. Bainbridge
Decatur 1822 Henry, Gwinnett, and Fayette counties. Decatur
Dodge 1870 Montgomery, Pulaski and Telfair counties. Eastman
Dooly 1821 Creek Cession of 1821. Vienna
Dougherty 1853 Baker County. Albany
Douglas 1870 Campbell and Carroll counties. Douglasville
Early 1818 Creek Cession of 1814. Blakely
Echols 1858 Clinch and Lowndes Counties Statenville
Effingham 1777 St Mathew and St Philip Parishes. Springfield
Elbert 1790 Wilkes County Elberton
Emanuel 1812 Bulloch and Montgomery Counties Swainsboro
Evans 1914 Bulloch and Tattnall County Claxton
Fannin 1854 Gilmer and Union Counties Blue Ridge
Fayette 1821 Creek Cession of 1821. Fayetteville
Floyd 1832 Cherokee County Rome
Forsyth 1832 Cherokee County Cumming
Franklin 1784 Cherokee and Creek Cessions of 1783 Carnesville
Fulton 1853 DeKalb County + the former Campbell and Milton Counties and a portion of Cobb County Atlanta
Gilmer 1832 Cherokee County Ellijay
Glascock 1857 Warren County Gibson
Glynn 1777 St David and St Patrick Parishes Brunswick
Gordon 1850 Cass (now Bartow) and Floyd Counties Calhoun
Grady 1905 Decatur and Thomas Counties Cairo
Greene 1786 Washington County Greensboro
Gwinnett 1818 Cherokee Cession of 1817 and Creek Cession of 1818. Lawrenceville
Habersham 1818 Cherokee Cessions of 1817 and 1819 Clarkesville
Hall 1818 Cherokee Cessions of 1817 and 1819 Gainesville
Hancock 1793 Greene and Washington counties Sparta
Haralson 1856 Carroll and Polk Counties Buchanan
Harris 1827 Muscogee and Troup counties Hamilton
Hart 1853 Elbert and Franklin counties Hartwell
Heard 1830 Carroll, Coweta and Troup Counties Franklin
Henry 1821 Creek Cession of 1821 McDonough
Houston 1821 Creek Cession of 1821 Perry
Irwin 1818 Creek Cessions of 1814 and 1818 Ocilla
Jackson 1796 Franklin County Jefferson
Jasper 1807 Baldwin (FKA Randolph County 1807 – 12) Monticello
Jeff Davis 1905 Appling and Coffee counties Hazlehurst
Jefferson 1796 Burke and Warren Counties Louisville
Jenkins 1905 Bulloch, Burke, Emanuel, and Screven Counties Millen
Johnson 1858 Emanuel, Laurens and Washington counties Wrightsville
Jones 1807 Baldwin County Gray
Lamar 1920 Monroe and Pike Counties Barnesville
Lanier 1920 Berrien, Clinch and Lowndes Countries Lakeland
Laurens 1807 Wilkinson County Dublin
Lee 1826 Creek Cessions of 1826 Leesburg
Liberty 1777 St Andrew, St James, and St John Parishes Hinesville
Lincoln 1796 Wilkes County Lincolnton
Long 1920 Liberty County Ludowici
Lowndes 1825 Irwin County Valdosta
Lumpkin 1832 Cherokee, Habersham, and Hall Counties Dahlonega
Macon 1837 Houston and Marion Counties Oglethorpe
Madison 1811 Clarke, Elbert, Franklin, Jackson and Oglethorpe Counties Danielsville
Marion 1827 Lee and Muscogee Counties Buena Vista
McDuffie 1870 Columbia and Warren Thomson
McIntosh 1793 Liberty County Darien
Meriwether 1827 Formed form Troup County Greenville
Miller 1856 Baker and Early Counties Colquitt
Mitchell 1857 Baker County Camilla
Monroe 1821 Creek Cession of 1821 Forsyth
Montgomery 1793 Washington County Mount Vernon
Morgan 1807 Baldwin County Madison
Murray 1832 Cherokee County Chatsworth
Muscogee 1826 Creek Cession of 1826 Columbus
Newton 1821 Henry, Jasper, and Walton Counties Covington
Oconee 1875 Clarke County Watkinsville
Oglethorpe 1793 Wilkes County Lexington
Paulding 1832 Cherokee County Dallas
Peach 1924 Houston and Macon Counties Fort Valley
Pickens 1853 Cherokee and Gilmer counties Jasper
Pierce 1857 Appling and Ware Counties Blackshear
Pike 1822 Monroe County Zebulon
Polk 1851 Floyd and Paulding Counties Cedartown
Pulaski 1808 Laurens County Hawkinsville
Putnam 1807 Baldwin County Eatonton
Quitman 1858 Randolph and Stewart counties Georgetown
Rabun 1819 Cherokee Cession of 1819 Clayton
Randolph 1828 Lee County Cuthbert
Richmond 1777 St Paul Parish Augusta
Rockdale 1870 Henry and Newton counties Conyers
Schley 1857 Marion and Sumter counties Ellaville
Screven 1793 Burke and Effingham Counties Sylvania
Seminole 1920 Decatur and Early Counties Donalsonville
Spalding 1851 Fayette, Henry, and Pike County Griffin
Stephens 1905 Franklin and Habersham Counties Toccoa
Stewart 1830 Randolph County Lumpkin
Sumter 1831 Lee County Americus
Talbot 1827 Muscogee County Talbotton
Taliaferro 1825 Greene, Hancock, Oglethorpe, Warren, and Wilkes Counties Crawfordville
Tattnall 1801 Montgomery County Reidsville
Taylor 1852 Macon, Marion and Talbot Counties Butler
Telfair 1807 Wilkinson County McRae
Terrell 1856 Lee and Randolph Counties Dawson
Thomas 1825 Decatur and Irwin Counties Thomasville
Tift 1905 Berrien, Irwin and Worth Counties Tifton
Toombs 1905 Emanuel, Tattnall, and Montgomery Counties Lyons
Towns 1856 Rabun and Union Counties Hiawassee
Treutlen 1917 Emanuel and Montgomery Counties Soperton
Troup 1826 Creek Cession of 1826 Lagrange
Turner 1905 Dooly, Irwin, Wilcox and Worth Counties Ashburn
Twiggs 1809 Wilkinson County Jeffersonville
Union 1832 Cherokee County Blairsville
Upson 1824 Crawford and Pike Counties Thomaston
Walker 1833 Murray County Lafayette
Walton 1818 Creek Cession of 1818 Monroe
Ware 1824 Appling County Waycross
Warren 1793 Columbia, Hancock, Richmond, and Wilkes Counties Warrenton
Washington 1784 Creek Cession of 1783 Sandersville
Wayne 1803 Creek Cession of 1802 Jesup
Webster 1853 Stewart County (Formally Kinchafoonee) Preston
Wheeler 1912 Montgomery County Alamo
White 1857 Habersham County Cleveland
Whitfield 1851 Murray County Dalton
Wilcox 1857 Dooly, Irwin, and Pulaski counties Abbeville
Wilkes 1777 Cherokee and Creek Cessions of 1773 Washington
Wilkinson 1803 Creek Cessions of 1802 and 1805 Irwinton
Worth 1853 Dooly and Irwin Counties Sylvester

Georgia Extinct Counties

Georgia has counties that no longer are in existence. They were created by the state, provincial, or territorial authorities. Many of these counties were created and disbanded during the Nineteenth century; county boundaries have modified little since Nineteen hundred in the vast most of states. These counties should be researched when performing ancestors and family history research. Pay attention where the courthouse records went to if the county was abolished or consolidated with some other county.

  • Campbell County: (Formed on Dec. 20, 1828
  • Parent Counties: Carroll County, Coweta County, Dekalb County, and Fayette County – merged into Fulton Jan. 1, 1932)
  • Cass County: (Formed in 1832. Renamed Bartow County in 1861)
  • Milton County: (Formed on Dec. 18, 1857
  • Parent Counties: Cherokee County, Cobb County, and Forsyth County Counties – merged into Fulton County Jan. 1, 1932)
  • Old Randolph County: (Formed in 1807, renamed Jasper County in 1812)
  • St. George, St. Mary's, St. Thomas, St. Phillip, Christ Church, St. David, St. Matthews, St. Andrew, St. James, St. Johns, and St. Paul parishes were all dissolved in 1777, and all of other counties were established later.

Georgia Counties with Burned Courthouses

The damage to Georgia courthouses drastically has a impact on genealogists in each and every way. Not only are these types of historic buildings torn from our lifetimes, so are the files they stored: marriage, wills, probate, land records, and others. Once destroyed they are destroyed permanently. Despite the fact that they have already been put on mircofilm, computers and film burn up too. The most sad side of this is the reason why virtually all of our courthouses are destroyed as a result of arsonist. However, not all records were lost. Numerous Georgia counties have endured a loss of records due to courthouse fires, floods, and theft.

  • Baker - Flood - 1925, 1929.
  • Baldwin - Fire - 1861.
  • Bartow - Originally Cass Co. - . Courthouse destroyed by enemy fire during War Between the States in the 1860
  • Bulloch - Fire - 1864.
  • Burke -Fire - 1825, 1856.
  • Calhoun - Fire - 1888, 1920.
  • Carroll - Fire - 1927.
  • Charlton - County site then at Traders Hill. Destroyed by fire in 1877. Present site fire 19 February 1928.
  • Cherokee - Fire - 1865, 1928.
  • Clayton - Fire - 1864.
  • Clinch - Fire - 1856, 1867.
  • Cobb - Fire - 1864.
  • Coffee - Fire - 1898, 1938.
  • Colquitt - Fire - 1881.
  • Crawford - Fire - 1829.
  • Dade - Fire - 1865, 1895.
  • DeKalb - Fire - 1842, 1898.
  • Dooly - Fire - 1847.
  • Douglas - Fire - 1896, 1957.
  • Early - Fire - 1896.
  • Echols - Fire - 1897.
  • Emanuel - Fire - 1841, 1855, 1857, 1919, 1938.
  • Fayette - Fire - 1983
  • Forsyth - Fire - 1973.
  • Glynn - Storm - 1896.
  • Gordon - Storm - 1888.
  • Greene - Town burned by Indians in 1787.
  • Gwinnett - Fire - 1871.
  • Habersham -Fire - 1856. Blown up in 1898.
  • Hall - Fire - 1851, 1882. Tornado in 1936.
  • Harris - Set fire by Federal Troops in 1865, but quickly extinguished.
  • Hart - Fire - 1900, 1967. Courthouse burned in 1967. Clerk & Ordinary's Office in adjacent building.
  • Heard - Fire - 1893.
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