Dawson, Forsyth, Gwinnett counties Index

Pioneer Settlers in Early Dawson, Forsyth
and Gwinnett Counties, Georgia

Welcome to our web site!

The following pages tell some of the stories of several of the earliest families to settle in the area known today as Dawson, Forsyth and GwinnettCounties, Georgia, including the Anderson, Blackwell, Bradford, Brand, Goss, Gravitt Harbin, Hinson, Honea, Jacobs, Jenkins, Kirkland, Smith, Tidwell, Turner, Wood and related families. These families traveled by horseback, ox cart and wagon train and came from northern states suich as Connecticutt, Vermont and others, as well as from Virginia,North Carolina and South Carolina seeking a better life. Most of them lived in their wagons or make-do shelters until land could be cleared and homes built.

Each family played a part in taming and civilizing a wilderness only recently ceded by the Indians. These sturdy pioneers set up their new homes in an area where "conditions were primitive and justice was rude but swift. For ten years after the end of the Revolution, most counties had neither courthouses nor jails. Trials were held in some private residence or under a tree." (Coulter, E. Merton. Georgia: a Short History. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1947,. p 196-7.)

Over the years and through the generations, members of these families migrated together in family groups from place to place, and married one another frequently. Quite often two or three siblings from one family married two or three siblings from another family. Most people married someone who lived within a five-mile radius of their homes.

We compiled the lineages of these descendants to the best of our ability and present them here. Many hours of work by many contributing family members have been put into the research and documentation of these family members. We all have attempted to make the following data as complete and accurate as possible, but we know that gaps and errors do exist. As with any genealogical research, this is a work in progress. Additions and corrections are welcomed. To protect privacy, we have omitted personal data on persons still living.

As a general rule the Webmaster updates this Web site at least once per year, and certain pages are updated more often. Check the date at the bottom of each page of this Web site to see when it was last updated. The Webmaster has also posted GEDCOM files for the descendants of these families on the RootsWeb WorldConnect Project. The Webmaster updates those GEDCOM files each time new data is added to the research group's central database, so the files on the WorldConnect Project will always reflect the most current and correct family data.

Visitors who print out data from this, or any, Web site, should also print out the source citations (if available). Our source citations are included on this Web site, but the Webmaster did not personally verify all of them. The Webmaster did categorize each source as either primary or secondary.
  • Visitors may rely with reasonable confidence upon sources marked as "primary" since this category includes public records, photos of tombstones, family Bible pages, or original documents in the possession of the Webmaster or another family member. Images of many of these source documents may be included on this Web site.
  • Visitors should verify all data from sources marked as "secondary" before relying on the information. Secondary sources include published books and genealogy reports, information shared over the Internet without source citations, undocumented family stories or legends, etc.
  • If a source (usually a living family member) was marked as "primary and secondary," it means that person possesses primary family documents for him/herself, his/her own spouse, children, parents and possibly grandparents. However, for generations beyond the grandparents, the visitor should treat the data as coming from a secondary source and verify it.

Come with us as we trace the "Leaves from Our Tree."

Table of Contents

  History of Early Dawson, Forsyth and Gwinnett Counties, Georgia

DAWSON COUNTY was created by a legislative Act on December 3, 1857, primarily out of Lumpkin County and small parts of Gilmer, Pickens and Forsyth counties. The land that eventually became Dawson County was divided into lots and parceled out to lucky drawers in the 1832 Gold Land Lottery. Two types of lots were created: regular 160-acre lots and 40-acre gold lots. Because the land was rich in gold, all but 17 of the parcels were gold lots. Dawsonville, the county seat, was incorporated on Dec 10, 1859. Farming and mining were the primary sources of income for Dawson County families until the Boll Weevil and increasing costs of mining made those endeavors unprofitable.

FORSYTH COUNTY was formed from Cherokee County by a law enacted Dec. 3, 1832. Prior to Dec. 21, 1830 it was part of Cherokee Nation East, as was Dawson County. The land in Forsyth County also was given away in the 1832 Land Lottery, but unlike Dawson County, all the lots in Forsyth County were 40-acre gold lots (1/4 mile by 1/4 mile. The land was obtained from the Cherokee Indians by treaty. Although the land was distributed, all the Cherokees did not leave (some never did) and the new property owners either sold to those occupying it or dispossessed them of it. Many of the land lottery winners sold their land sight unseen. Others were levied on and the property sold to pay judgments against them. Many of the first families to arrive are shown on the 1834 State Census certified Apr 1, 1834. (Parrish, Donna, compiler, Webmaster. "Forsyth County, Georgia History," Forsyth County Ga History and Records. [Online: hosted by RootsWeb.])

GWINNETT COUNTY was created in 1818, with it's eastern boundary being the Apalachee River. Four days after the formation of Gwinnett from Indian lands, the western portion of Jackson was added, extending the Gwinnett/Walton line from the Apalachee to Jug Tavern (Winder). With the creation of Barrow County in 1914 the line went back to the Apalachee.

Until a courthouse could be erected, it was decided that all courts and elections would be held at the house of Elisha Winn, who lived one mile east of the Apalachee River. In December, 1819 the Inferior Court was given the authority to erect a temporary courthouse. Until the Indian land was distributed by lottery, no permanent site could be selected for the courthouse. After the lottery, Lot 146 was purchased from John Breedlove of Hancock County by Inferior Court justice, Elisha Winn. The lot consisted of 250 acres, and the five justices inspected the entire property before deciding on the location of the future county seat. William Towers was employed to survey the property and lay out the four streets bordering the courthouse square. The lots surrounding the square were sold at public auction, and Gwinnett citizens began buying lots for homes and businesses which were erected of logs. The first jail was built by John Cupp on the lot immediately south of the courthouse square. It was a two story log house which burned in 1830. The permanent courthouse was constructed by Major Grace in 1823-24 in the town of Lawrenceville.

The Families of Dawson County, Georgia

  Family of Joseph M. Anderson & Rebecca Blackwell

  Family of David Densmore, Sr., & Sarah Hays

  Family of John Dilbeck & Susanna --?--

  Family of Robert Farriba & Celia Emily Wood

  Family of William Ivington Farriba & Nancy Ann Green

  Family of Abel Honea & Nancy Ann Farriba

  Family of John Barton Goss & Clarissa Farriba

  Family of James Farriba & Nancy Angeline Anderson

  Family of Joseph Anderson Farriba & Clarinda V. Hammontree

  Family of James Ensley Farriba & Martha Luanner Turner

  Family of Robert William Hunnicutt & Martha Luanner Turner
        (2nd husb)

  Family of Robert Rufus Hunnicutt & Alta Mae Pratt

  Family of Sevier J. Farriba & Malissa Catherine Woodall

  Family of William Willis Dilbeck & Debbie Ann Farriba

Family of Rev, Thomas Goss, Jr., & Martha Putnam

Family of John Grogan, Sr., & Mourning --?--

Family of Nathaniel Harbin & Sarah Parks

Family of John "Little John" Turner & Annie Irene Goss

  Family of Nathaniel Washington Turner & Maranda Emily Jenkins

  Family of John Aquiller Turner & Lovenia Texas Farriba

The Families of Forsyth County, Georgia

  Family of Obediah Gravitt & Milly --?-- 

  Family of Hiram Lee Hinson & Nancy Angeline Gravitt 

  Family of David Cicero Hinson & Elizabeth Adeline "Betsy" Davis 

  Family of Julius Hansel Roberts & Roxy Angeline Hinson 

  Family of Frederic Benjamin Hinson & Luna Maud Farriba 

Families of Gwinnett County, Georgia

Documenting the Bradford Families of Gwinnett County Georgia— Special Reports

Part 1: Richard Bradford—from Wilkes County to Gwinnett County, Georgia:
       Genealogy or Mythology?

 Part 2: The Parents and Siblings of Rev. Joshua Bradford

 Part 3: Identifying the Descendants of John Lemon Bradford & Unknown  NEW 2019

 Part 4: Identifying the Descendants of David Bradford & Mary b. in Ireland  Coming Soon

Family of Charles Darnell Bradford, RS, & Mary Lemon of Fairfield Dist., SC

Charles Darnell Bradford, Revolutionary War Soldier

 Family of John Lemon Bradford & Unknown

  Family of Isaac Bradford & Cynthia Amelia Bradford (daughter of Rev. Joshua below) 

  Family of Adam Hawthorne, Sr, & Elizabeth "Betsy" Bradford  

  Family of Charles Bradford, Sr. & Sarah Kirkland 

 Family of Charles Bradford, Jr., & Sary Kirkland 

  Family of Rev. Joshua Bradford & Mary F. Kirkland 

  Family of Jefferson Bradford & Martha Ann Jacobs 

  Family of John Wesley Harris and Lucy Bradford

  Family of David Joshua Bradford and Mary F. Sexton 

  Family of Andrew M. Bramblett and Sarah T. Bradford 

  Family of Ambrose Bradford and Amelia Reynolds 

 Family of William Kirkland & Mary Bradford

 Family of Matthew Pettigrew & Constance Kirkland 

 Family of Daniel Bradford Kirkland & Mary Hannah Calhoun 

  Family of David Bradford & Mary LNU 

 Family of William K. Bradford (AKA Son 6) & Martha Harris 

  Family of Robert Bradford and Mary LNU of Chester District, SC

  Family of Robert Bradford and Margarett Hawthorne (daughter of Adam Hawthorne, Sr. above)  

  Family of Robert H. Bradford and Nancy?   

"First Families of Gwinnett," a program of the Gwinnett County, GA. Historical Society (GHS)

  Bradford Y-DNA Project 

  Family of William Brand, RS and Sarah Bryant 

  Family of Louis Burel and Sarah Margaret Jenkins 

  Family of Thomas Jacobs and Mary Cody 

For more information, send e-mail to

Backgrounds and graphics created by Diane Carrington Bradford
Copyright © 2000, 2004,2005, 2019, Diane Carrington Bradford, All rights reserved.
This Web Site was Created Jul 9, 2000; major revision Jun 2005, Jul 2019.

Last updated August 18, 2019 1:27 AM

This site is generously hosted by