Kinsearching December 11, 2005




Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

      One of the basic references for research in the Peach State is again available: REPRINT OF OFFICIAL REGISTER OF LAND LOTTERY OF GEORGIA 1827 compiled by Martha Lou Houston. As stated in the introductory material, the lottery concerned land which had been ceded by the Creek Indians. The counties of Carroll, Coweta, Lee, Muscogee, and Troup were created to encompass the newly acquired territory. Additional background material reproduces verbatim the Georgia laws concerning the lottery.

     Persons eligible for participation in the drawings included white males above the age of eighteen who had resided in the state for three years, Revolutionary soldiers or their widows, orphans, and other persons who had not drawn land in previous lotteries. Interestingly, illegitimate children were placed on the same footing as orphans.

     The official register provides such details as names of the fortunate drawers, county of residence, captain's district, dates of the drawings, number, district, and section (for example, Muscogee or Troup County). Except for citizens above the age of eighteen, the qualification (being an orphan, for instance) of the lucky drawers also appears on the list. Of the approximately 15,000 people identified, more than 3,000 were Revolutionary soldiers or veterans of other wars like the War of 1812.

     Since the lottery occurred between federal census years, its information is valuable because it helps researchers locate individuals in a certain time and specific place in the interim. It also gives clues to where the people moved if they settled on the land they won. Genealogical libraries that do not already have a copy of the REPRINT OF OFFICIAL REGISTER OF LAND LOTTERY OF GEORGIA 1827 will want to take this opportunity to get one.

     The 298-page paperback has a foreword, a map, and a full name index. As item order #CFC 2907, it may be purchased for $33.50 postpaid or $35.50 UPS by check, MasterCard, or Visa from Clearfield Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, Maryland 21211 (toll free phone 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website

     In older records the use of nicknames can sometimes leads to confusion. Some of the most common nicknames for females were Polly or Molly for Mary; Sally for Sarah; Ann, Nan, or Nannie for Nancy; Peggy, Maggie, or Meg for Margaret; Patty or Patsy for Martha; and Betty, Liz, Lizzie, or Beth for Elizabeth.

     Many of the popular male nicknames in the past are still used today. Examples include Jim or Jimmy for James; Bob or Bobby for Robert; and Bill, Will, or Willie for William.

     Many of the genealogical works found on library shelves are published by a few large publishing companies or by smaller genealogical companies that specialize in certain geographical areas. If you still have been unable to discover any books about certain counties where your family lived, you may find that local genealogical or historical societies have some for sale. For instance, if you "google" South Plains Genealogical Society (SPGS), located in Lubbock, TX, you can pull up "SPGS Publications" to see what they have to offer. Or, for example, if you "google" Cherokee County Genealogical Society (CCGS), located in Jacksonville, TX, you can pull up their list of publications for purchase.

     Not all counties have a genealogical or historical organization nor do all local associations have books for sale. But those societies that do compile publications may have just what you've been seeking.