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Sunday, August 30, 2015

An Example of Digging into Records: The Georgia Land Lotteries

From time to time, I like to write about records that are not generally known or used for genealogical research. These types of records are usually mentioned, if at all, in a class about a specific type of records or records from a specific location. My current example of such records are collectively known as Georgia (the state) Land Lottery records. Here is an explanation of this particular class of records from the North Georgia, Georgia's Land Lotteries website.
Seven times between 1805 and 1832 Georgia used a lottery system to distribute the land taken from the Cherokee Nation or Creek Nation. These lotteries were unique to the state; no other state used a lottery system to distribute land. Lot size varied widely, even in the individual lotteries. The largest lots distributed were 490 acres in the 1805 and the 1820 land lottery. The smallest lots were the 40-acre gold lots distributed during the Gold Lottery of 1832.
These records could be valuable in identifying the exact location of an ancestor. The records contain the names of thousands of people who were awarded land by this system and, I should mention, at the expense of the members of the Cherokee Nation who lost their land. Some of the worst events in world history can generate valuable genealogical records. Be sure and check online for digitized copies of the books and/or lists on database programs that might exist. I found some of these records on I found lists of those who were awarded land on the Georgia USGenWeb Archives Project and information about the lottery system on the Georgia Archives website. I even found an extensive PowerPoint presentation on the subject from the Mesa FamilySearch Library.

Here is a list of books about the Land Lotteries and many of these contain extensive lists of the awards.

Andrea, Leonardo. Georgia Lands. Salt Lake City, Utah: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1974.

Blank or Prize What You Need to Know about Georgia’s Land Lotteries. Arlington, Va.; St. Louis, MO: National Genealogical Society] ; Jamb Tapes, 2011.

Bleakley, Hoyt, Joseph P Ferrie, and National Bureau of Economic Research. Up from Poverty? The 1832 Cherokee Land Lottery and the Long-Run Distribution of Wealth. Cambridge, Mass.: National Bureau of Economic Research, 2013.

Cherokee County Lottery, 1832: 1805 & 1807 Land Lotteries, Baldwin & Wayne Counties; 1805 & 1807 Land Lotteries, Wilkinson County,. Atlanta, Ga.: Georgia Secretary of State, 1986.

Daughters of the American Revolution, and Georgia State Society. Historical Collections of the Georgia Chapters. Vidalia, Ga.: Georgia Genealogical Reprints, 1968.

Davis, Robert Scott. The 1833 Land Lottery of Georgia, and Other Missing Names of Winners in the Georgia Land Lotteries. Greenville, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1991.

Davis, Robert Scott, S. Emmett Lucas, Georgia, and Surveyor General Department. The Georgia Land Lottery Papers, 1805-1914: Genealogical Data from the Loose Papers Filed in the Georgia Surveyor General Office, Concerning the Lots Won in the State Land Lotteries and the People Who Won Them. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1979.

Dorsey, James Edward. Georgia Genealogy and Local History: A Bibliography. Spartanburg, S.C.: Reprint Co., 1983.

Gentry, Lelia Thornton. Old Bible Records and Land Lotteries. Baltimore, MD.: Clearfield Co., 1995.

Georgia. Court of Ordinary (Decatur County). Estrays 1828-1867, 1894-1927, and Persons Entitled to Draw in Gold and Land Lotteries (dates Unknown) [Decatur County, Georgia]. Salt Lake City, Utah: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1961.

Georgia Historical Society. The Georgia Historical Quarterly: Volume LXXIII, Fall 1989, Number 3. Savannah, Ga.: Georgia Historical Society, 1989.

Georgia. Land Court (Liberty County). Land Lotteries and Land Court Records 1803-1837, Liberty County, Georgia. Salt Lake City, Utah: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1958.

Georgia, and Surveyor General Department. Georgia Indexes of the Various Counties to Land Grants and Lotteries. Atlanta [Georgia]: State Dept. of Archives and History, 1955.

———. Index to People Entitled to Participate in Land Lotteries from the Various Georgia Counties, 1805-1806. Atlanta [Georgia]: State Dept. of Archives and History, 1967.

———. Land Lotteries Surveys and Grants. Atlanta [Georgia]: Georgia Department of Archives and History, 1967.

Georgia, Surveyor General Department, Fiscal records, Georgia, and Comptroller General’s Office. Grant Fees Paid, 1836.

Georgia, Surveyor General Department, and Land lottery records. Manuscript Lottery Indexes, 1807.

Gold and Land Lottery Register. [Milledgeville]: [Grieve & Orme], 1833.

Graham, Paul K. Georgia Land Lottery Research. Atlanta, Ga.: Georgia Genealogical Society, 2010.

Graham, Paul K, Jr R.J. Taylor, and Foundation. 1805 Georgia Land Lottery Persons Entitled to Draws. Decatur, Ga.: Genealogy Co., 2005.

Hitz, Alex M, Georgia, and Surveyor General Department. Authentic List of All Land Lottery Grants Made to Veterans of the Revolutionary War by the State of Georgia. Atlanta: Secretary of State of Georgia, 1966.

Ingmire, Frances Terry. Georgia’s Land Lotteries: 1805-1807-1820-1821-1827 & 1832, Counties & Districts. [Place of publication not identified]: [publisher not identified], 1980.

Karan Pittman. “Lotteries Leave Clues - Part 2.” GenWeekly, 2005.

Lucas, S. Emmett. The Third and Fourth or 1820 and 1821 Land Lotteries of Georgia. Easley, S.C: Georgia Genealogical Reprints, 1973.

Meyers, Christopher C, and David Williams. Georgia: A Brief History. Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, 2012.

Prizes Drawn in the Cherokee Gold Lottery: Of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Quality, with Their Improvements, and Drawer’s Name and Residence. Milledgeville [Ga.]: Printed at the Times Office by M.D.J. Slade, 1833.

Surveyor General Department, and Georgia Archives. [Georgia Land Lottery Records]. [Place of publication not identified]: [publisher not identified].

The Third and Fourth, or 1820 and 1821 Land Lotteries of Georgia. Easley, S.C.: Georgia Genealogical Reprints : Southern Historical Press, 1973.

Williams, H. David. “Gambling Away the Inheritance: The Cherokee Nation and Georgia’s Gold and Land Lotteries of 1832-33.” Georhistquar The Georgia Historical Quarterly 73, no. 3 (1989): 519–39.

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