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Lotteries Leave Clues - Part 3

The 1827 Land Lottery included the lands ceded by the Creeks in the Treaty of Indian Springs, signed in 1825.

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Type: Article
Resource: GenWeekly
Prepared by: Karan Pittman
Word Count: 721 (approx.)
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Between the years 1805 to 1832, Georgia distributed land via a lottery system. Seven lotteries were held during these years, opening up almost seventy-five percent of the land in present day Georgia. Four lotteries were held between 1805 and 1821. The next lottery, held in 1827, encompassed the remaining Creek lands in Georgia.

The 1827 Land Lottery included the lands ceded by the Creeks in the Treaty of Indian Springs, signed in 1825. The Georgia General Assembly took the five sections of land and assigned new county names.

The new counties included Carroll, Coweta, Lee, Muscogee and Troup. At the time of the drawing, all but Coweta County bordered to some extent on the Chattahoochee River. Each land award included two hundred two and one half acres. The counties were divided as follows: Carroll, sixteen districts; Coweta, nine districts; Lee, thirteen districts, Muscogee, twenty-four districts and Troup, twelve districts. This lottery and the lands received by settlers were key to the settlement of the state. The fee to draw was eighteen dollars per land lot.

Those entitled to one draw in the 1827 Land Lottery included the following: bachelor, eighteen plus, three year resident, United States citizen; widow, three year resident; wife and/or child, 3 year resident, husband/father absent from Georgia for three years; one or two family orphans under eighteen, father dead, three year resident or since birth; Revolutionary War veteran who was a fortunate drawer in a previous lottery; child or children of convict, three year resident; male idiots, lunatics or insane, deaf and dumb, or blind, over ten and under eighteen, three year residents; female idiots, insane or lunatics, deaf and dumb, or blind, over ten, three year residents; and family (one or two) of illegitimates under eighteen, Georgia resident since birth. Those entitled to two draws included the following: married man with wife or son under eighteen or unmarried daughter, three year resident, United States citizen; three or more family orphans under eighteen, three year residents or since birth; widow whose husband was killed in the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, or Indian War, three year resident; orphan whose father was killed in the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 or Indian War; wounded or disabled veteran of War of 1812 or Indian War, unable to work; veteran of Revolutionary War; and three or more family illegitimates under eighteen, Georgia residents since birth. The child or children of a convict whose father had not drawn in any of the former land lotteries were entitled to a draw or draws in the same manner as orphans.

An excellent source to consult for the 1827 Land Lottery is the Reprint of Official Register of Land Lottery of Georgia 1827, compiled by Martha Lou Houston; indexed by Silas Emmett Lucas, Jr. (1986). Other avenues of access may be found on www.ancestry.com and under the Georgia US GenWeb Archives Project at www.rootsweb.com/~usgenweb/ga/galand.htm.

The 1827 Land Lottery opened a tremendous area of land, and settlers flocked to the western edge of Georgia. By necessity, many of them traveled through the central counties of Baldwin, Crawford and Monroe. Often, records of ancestors missing during this time period may be found in these counties. Many people were married on the way to the new territory.

My great-great-great grandparents, Jesse and Henrietta Gilly Fowler were married in Crawford County, Georgia in 1827. They left Crawford County for Taylor County where they bought property from a fortunate drawer.

A misconception frequently made by researchers of the 1827 Land Lottery is that if a man drew he was a Revolutionary veteran. As was listed earlier in this article, that is not the case. Although many veterans drew in the lottery, not all the drawers were veterans.

As stated earlier, the 1827 Land Lottery signaled the end of the Creek lands in Georgia. The area that was opened, primarily bordering on the Chattahoochee River, promised vast opportunities for settlers. The roads traveled to the areas followed the same pattern as the original Native American trails. Stagecoach lines were developed, and wayfarers inns and taverns sprang up on the trails. These places eventually became settlements themselves.

Twenty-five of the counties in present day were part of the original five sections that were drawn in the 1827 Land Lottery. The lottery list, which gives the county of residence for the drawer, is an invaluable tool for family history researchers.

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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