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Lotteries Leave Clues - Part 2

During the years 1805-1832, Georgia held seven land lotteries to distribute the lands ceded by the Creek and the Cherokee Indians. These lotteries, which are only found in Georgia, proved to be extremely popular with settlers.

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Resource: GenWeekly
Prepared by: Karan Pittman
Word Count: 894 (approx.)
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During the years 1805 through 1832, Georgia held seven land lotteries to distribute the lands ceded by the Creek and the Cherokee Indians. These lotteries, which are only found in Georgia, proved to be extremely popular with the settlers. The lottery lists also provide an invaluable tool for genealogists.

The 1805 and 1807 Land Lotteries provide excellent tools for replacing the 1800 census. These lotteries help you to locate your elusive ancestors who may have been in the state of Georgia long enough to draw in a lottery then moved on to another location.

After 1807, another lottery was not held until the 1820 Land Lottery. The third land lottery included the counties of Appling, Early, Gwinnett, Habersham, Hall, Irwin, Rabun and Walton. The size of the lots varied: Appling and Irwin each had 490 acres; Early, Gwinett , Hall and Walton had 250 acres. The counties of Habersham and Rabun were divided, part of them with lots of 490 acres, part with lots of 250 acres.

The 1820 Land Lottery had more categories of drawers. One of two draws could be taken. Those entitled to one draw included the following: bachelor, 18+ years, 3-year resident, United States citizen; Indian War soldier, Georgia residence during or since service; invalid or indigent veteran of Revolutionary War or War of 1812 who was a fortunate drawer in a previous land lottery; widow, 3-year resident; family of one or two orphans under 21, father dead, mother living, 3-year residents; family of one or two orphans under 21, father and mother dead, 3-year residents; invalid or indigent officer or soldier in the Revolutionary Army who had been a fortunate drawer in a previous lottery.

Those entitled to two draws included the following: invalid or indigent veteran of Revolutionary War or War of 1812; married man with wife or minor son under 18 or unmarried daughter, 3-year resident, United States citizen; widow, husband killed in Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Indian War, 3-year resident; family of 3 or more orphans under 21, father and mother dead, 3-year residents; orphan, under 21, father killed in the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 or Indian War, 3-year resident.

Winners may be found in The Third and Fourth or 1820 and 1821 Land Lotteries of Georgia by Silas Emmett Lucas, Jr. and The Third or 1820 Land Lottery of Georgia by Silas Emmett Lucas, Jr. The 1820 Land Lottery was the first effort Georgia made to compensate Revolutionary War veterans. A Land Grants to Georgia Revolutionary War Veterans Database is available on Ancestry.com.

The Fourth or 1821 Land Lottery included more Creek ceded lands. The counties involved were Dooly, Fayette, Henry, Houston, Monroe and 37 undrawn lots from the 1820 lottery. All the land lots were 202.5 acres in the 1821 Lottery.

Those entitled to one draw included the following: bachelor, 18+, 3-year resident, United States citizen for 3 years; widow, 3-year resident; family of minor orphans, father dead, 3-year resident; and a family (1 or 2) of orphans under 21, father and mother dead.

People who could take two draws included this list: married man with wife or son under 18 or unmarried daughter, 3-year resident, 3-year citizen; family (3+) or orphans under 21, father and mother dead; widow, husband killed or died in Revolutionary War, War of 1812, or Indian War, 3-year resident; and an orphan, father killed or died in Revolutionary War, War of 1812 or Indian War. The child or family of children of a convict, with a 3-year residence in Georgia were entitled to the same draws as orphans.

Lists of these winners may be found in the previously mentioned book by Lucas, The Third and Fourth or 1820 and 1821 Land Lotteries of Georgia. He has also written a book, The Fourth or 1821 Land Lottery of Georgia. Once again, information on Revolutionary soldiers is available on the Ancestry.com database.

These two lotteries opened up travel by settlers to the southwestern sections of the state. When searching for ancestors, it is often helpful to follow the development of the counties down the middle of the state to the southwestern section. The roads and trails, many of which were the old Indian trails, led the way to the fresh lands. Marriages were often recorded in counties where your ancestors may have stayed a few months while waiting for supplies or a ride.

Not all counties kept the poll tax records, since they served the county with no useful data. If you are lucky, your ancestor may have paid a poll tax in a county while traveling south or west. If you are truly lucky, the county still has that record. A poll tax was taken on any man over eighteen in the county. This is a useful tool in pinpointing a location for your ancestor. .

Another fact to keep in mind is that families and neighbors often traveled together from one area of the state to the other. By looking through old deed records and tracking homesteads, leads may often be found to other branches of a family. It may be helpful to get a map of Georgia counties. That way you can track the roads that your ancestors may have followed on their migration. If you hit a dead end, you may want to check the records in one of the counties that your ancestor may have traveled through on his or her journey.

Source Information: GenWeekly, New Providence, NJ, USA: Genealogy Today LLC, 2005.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Genealogy Today LLC.

*Effective May 2010, GenWeekly articles that are more than five years old no longer require a subscription for full access.

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