Muscogee County Land Research

LAND RESEARCH IN
MUSCOGEE COUNTY


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GMDs  | LOTTERIES 


HISTORY OF LAND IN Muscogee COUNTY

This page attempts to trace the land which is present day Muscogee County (in contrast to the "original" Muscogee County) through it's changing County Formation lines. Those who drew in the 1827 Land Lottery were of various categories:
  • Settlers of the 1817 Cherokee cession
  • Settlers of the 1818 Creek Cession
  • Settlers who came after the last war with Great Britain (1812)

Go here to see the qualifications to draw in the 1827 Lottery. This may give you clues about your Ancestor that you were not aware of, i.e. Revolutionary War Veteran; living in Georgia for three years.

If your ancestor was a "fortunate drawer", his GRANT would be in the Archives. The Grant was issued after he had paid his $18 fee per Lot. If he didn't pay the fee, then the Archives will show that it reverted to the State of Georgia.


1825 (1827) - Indian Land Treaty

1825 - Creation of Muscogee (original county)

Look in These Counties which came out of that same land

1827 Talbot County Created

1852 Taylor County Created

1827 Marion County Created

1854 - Chattahoochee County Created 1825 (1827) - Indian Land Treaty 12 February 1825 -- Treaty at Indian Spring between Creek Indians and US Government in which the Creek Indians relinquished claim to all lands west of the Flint River.

This Treaty was not ratified due to death of Gen. McIntosh (Creek Chief, the son of a Scottish trader and a Creek woman) who was put to death by a delegation of his own nation, at his home in the present Carroll County, May 1, 1825. They claimed that he acted against the wishes of the majority of the Creeks.

The transfer of this territory to the State was officially made by the treaty at Washington City, January 24, 1826, when an agreement was made that the Creek Indians should vacate on or before January 1, 1827.

This treaty was not recognized by Gov. Troup, and he ordered the survey into districts by the terms of the Indian Spring agreement. The Federal Government (President John Q. Adams) and the State of Georgia became involved in a serious controversy which was not amicably reached until the conference at Fort Mitchell (Alabama) Nov 15, 1827 when the United States agreed to pay the Creek Indians $28,000 for the territory.

For more information see American Indian Land Cessions in Georgia

Creek Personally Owned Lands

Even though there was a treaty, many of the Creeks owned land, they even had slaves. This treaty allowed them to sell their lands, much like the treaties in Sussex and Surry Co., VA where the NA lands were sold to the whites.

The records are in Russell Co., AL (near Ft. Mitchell)as that is where most of their lands were located. The capital of the Creek Confederacy, Coweta was in Columbus, GA but lands were also on the other side of the Chattahoochee River, which is in Russell Co., AL.


1825 - Creation of Muscogee, Troup, Coweta, Lee and Carroll(original counties) A Georgia Legislative Act of December 11, 1826 created Muscogee, Troup, Coweta, Lee and Carroll Counties. The original Muscogee county was some 2,000 square miles of territory between the Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers.
  • Muscogee was named to honor the Muscogee Native American People
  • Troup Gov George McIntosh Troup
  • Coweta The birthplace of the Indian Nation
  • Lee General R.H. Lee of Virginia
  • Carroll Signer of the Declaration of Independence

Size of Land Lots

  • Rectilinear, square land lots (lots 202 1/2 acres [2970 square feet] each)
  • lands surveyed and distributed via the 1827(Fifth) Georgia Land Lottery.
Muscogee Land Districts

Muscogee County was divided into 24 Land Districts. Beginning at the lower right hand corner (now Macon) and numbering westward were Districts 1-7. Immediately north of these districts, numbering eastward were Districts 8-13; then numbering westward Districts 14-19. The top row numbered eastward Districts 20-24.
The List of Original Grantees/Drawers has been created by Carol Johnson on the Muscogee Genealogical Society Page. Click on Land Grants.... then select the Land District. This is a wonderful piece of work!

Hall's Land District Map of Georgia By looking at this MAP, you can follow what I have described above. It is the KEY to Land Districts in GA.

It is important to note that these Land Districts Numbers have NOT CHANGED even today. Though County Lines have changed the District numbers remained. If your ancestor owned land in District 13 of Muscogee County, it is still District 13 today but in now actually in Taylor County.

As stated above, the original Land Grants (based on the Lottery Drawing) for land lots is in the ARCHIVES. If the land was sold after this, then the Deed would be in the Muscogee County Courthouse if the transaction occurred BEFORE Talbot County was formed in 1827. To locate the GRANT, see "How to Locate a Land Lottery Grant or Plat"


1827 - Creation of Talbot County

Talbot Co was established December 1827, created from parts of Muscogee "Original" county. At a later time part of and Troup "original Harris" Land Districts were given to Talbot. (See Hall's Land District Map of Georgia. Locate Land Districts on lower right hand corner, moving westward:
 
22 23  24
17 16  15    14           

From 1827 until 1852, any sale of a Land Lot in the above Land Districts (22, 23, 24, 17, 16, 15, 14)would be in Talbotton Courthouse, Talbot County.

Check out the Talbot County page


1827 - Creation of Marion County

Marion County was established December 1827, created from parts of Original Counties Muscogee and Lee. But only those Land Districts from Muscogee really concern Muscogee County.
10  11   12
 5  4    3

Today's Muscogee County Land Districts:

The area has changed from the original boundaries when the land was divided into other smaller counties.

The Land Districts were complete squares and contained Land Lots beginning with #1 and running north-south, reversing to south-north on next colum, so if the County Map Land District doesn't contain the complete number of Land Lots, this is a valuable CLUE that nearby land lots were (are) in another County at one period!

19	18	17
8	 9	10
7

Marion County, created in 1827. Buena Vista is the County Seat. (1827-1852)

*Part of Land District (northwest)13, 2 and 1 were originally in Macon County, created 1837. Oglethorpe is County Seat. So a few of these Land Lots from this District would have been sold through that county from 1837-1852.

*Land District #1 is located just east of Land District 14 (present day Reynolds Area) and was part of original MUSCOGEE County . Tracing this land would begin in Muscogee

Land Research is NOT EASY! But it is essential in tracing your ancestors and where they lived!


When searching for land distribution, also remember these:

1. Lands inherited, or gained through marriage (land given to a daughter)

2 Lands which were sold at Sheriff's sales for taxes, or for Distribution of Estates. Any sale of lands is listed under the Sheriff's name (not the "debtor-owner") as "grantor" of the land to the highest bidder, "the grantee". By taking a few minutes to scan the indexes you'll become aware of the Sheriff's name as he is usually listed with several sales. You should look up each of these to see if your ancestor's name is listed within the document.


LAND DIVISIONS

County land has various descriptive names:

  • GMD (Georgia Military Districts)

The Georgia Military Districts (GMD)

The Georgia Military Districts (GMD) law was passed in 1778, right after the state of Georgia was formed.

More GMD Information by Alex M. Hitz.

The Captain (elected from each area) of each Company would enroll the names of every male between the ages of 15 and 60, who lived within that District.

Both the Captain and the Lieutenants were elected offices.

The boundaries were determined by the Governor and Commander-in-Chief and determined by the number of eligible men living there..... limiting the district to a maximum of 63 men.

In those days the Districts were known by the Captain's Name, i.e. Captain Wilson's., and whenever a new Captain was elected, the name would change.

In 1804, the numerical system came into being, and the District KEPT the original number even as the Counties were created. However, in those early years the way of referring to the District was chiefly by the Captain's Name. That makes it confusing on Land Lotteries!

In 1804 the Tax Receiver got his list of persons from the Captain in each District Company. Tax payers even now are arranged by GMD.

As new counties were formed, new districts were created also. That is why the GMDs are not in chronological order.

These are the GMDs that we are able to find right now.


668 - Columbus
675 
772 - Bibb City
773 - Columbus
774
921
Much land is part of Ft. Benning and does not have a Military District Number

"Muster Days" were held in each county, usually in the county seat, and were occasions for the county to meet socially. Military drilling took place and even athletic contests and other events were held.


Georgia's surveying system west of the Oconee river consists of land districts and land lots. Every time the Indians ceded territory to the state, the land was pre-surveyed.

Between 1805 and 1832, Georgia held seven lotteries to distribute its lands west of the Oconee River and south of the Altamaha River. Each lottery distributed lands for a specific area.

The lands were laid out into large original counties (e.g. Muscogee County, Houston, Monroe, Troup) These counties were subdivided into numbered Land Districts (squares with a length and width of 9 miles). For instance, Muscogee had 24 districts (1-24); Troup had 12 districts (1-12).

Each districts were subdivided into numbered land lots (every one starting with land lot 1 and ran in a logical order). Take a look at a map of any county showing Land Lots and you'll see these. But be careful that you first pay attention to the District Land Lines, as some lands lot numbering may run almost parallel to the neighboring District.

Hall's 1889 Original County Map of Georgia shows these Original Counties as well as the Land Districts within it. The present counties are also indicated. This map is available from the Georgia Archives for $1.00.

These districts and land lots are still the same, since a surveying system cannot be changed once it has been established.

Since these original counties proved to be too large and unmanageable, they were soon broken up into smaller newer counties, which was a never ending process. County lines have nothing to do with district or land lot lines; they can cut right through these. That is why you find a part of District ginally Muscogee County, now in Talbot County and another part in Taylor County. A piece of property in this area would be identified by land lot number, land district number and county (and sometimes original county).  
Ingrid P. Shields Sr. Archivist, Land Records Georgia State Archives


LAND GRANTS

There is a Copy of all land grants in the Surveyor General's office at the Georgia State Archives.

The size of the land lots given away at that time were 202 1/2 acres.
Resource: Reprint of Official Register of Land Lottery of Georgia 1827 , listing everyone who received a grant in this lottery.

Microfilm (at State Archives) Georgia Surveyor General Department Index. These are arranged by original county, district, and then lot number (Copies of microfilm may be ordered: Archives)

CLERK OF SUPERIOR COURT

Land records from 1852

Muscogee County Clerk of Superior Court
P.O. Box 248
Columbus, GA 31906


GEORGIA LAND LOTTERIES

Many winners of the Lotteries did not ever claim their prize. They executed a Power of Attorney or sold it to another individual.


Published RESOURCES: "GEORGIA'S ORIGINAL 32 COUNTIES "Counties formed from the HEADRIGHT and BOUNTY GRANTS: 1. Camden; 2. Glynn; 3. Liberty; 4. Chatham; 5. Effingham; 6. Burke; 7. Richmond; 8. Wilkes; 9. Franklin; 10. Washington.

The Georgia Land Lottery Papers: 1805-1914
Lookup: Kristopher L Swinson (kswin@juno.com) First Lottery - 1805

1805 Lottery   Wood, Virginia (1964) 393 pages.
"Counties Formed in the 1805 Lottery: 11. Wayne; 12. Wilkinson and 13. Baldwin.

Second Lottery - 1807

1807 Lottery (Second Lottery)  Lucas, S.Emmett (1968) 215pg
Lookup:Kristopher L Swinson (kswin@juno.com)
"Counties Formed in the 1807 Lottery: The remainder of 12. Wilkinson; and the remainder of 13. Baldwin.

This book contains the following information:

[Name, County, Mil. Dist., Lot/Dist, Drew Land] William Barlow, Washington, Kendricks, 104/15, Wilkinson This means that William Barlow, a resident of Kendrick's Military District in Washington Co., drew lot 104 in land district 15 of Wilkinson County (which had been newly formed as part of the 1805 lottery, of which this was a continuation).


Third and Fourth Lotteries 1820-1821

1820-1821 Lottery (Third and Fourth Lottery)  Easley, S.C. Southern Historical Press(1973)
Lookup: Kristopher L Swinson (kswin@juno.com)

"Counties Formed in the 1820 Lottery: 14. Walton; 15. Gwinnett; 16. Hall; 17. Habersham; 18. Early; 19. Irwin; 20. Appling; 21. Rabun [Name, County, Mil. Dist., Lot/Sect, Drew Land] Isaac Hall, Wilkinson, Lees, 365/4, Early. This means that Isaac Hall, a resident of Lee's Military District in Wilkinson County drew Land Lot 365 in Land District 4 in Early County.



"Counties Formed in the 1821 Lottery: 22. Dooly; 23. Houston; 24. Monroe; 25. Henry; 26. Fayette.

[Name, County, Mil. Dist., Lot/Sect, Drew Land]

Cullins Peacock, Laurens, Miltons, 186/8, Monroe

This means that Cullins Peacock, a resident of Milton's Military District of Laurens County, drew land lot 186 in land distrcit 8 in Monroe County


Fifth or 1827 Land Lottery

1827 Lottery  Houston, Martha Lou (1967) 298 pgs.
Lookup: Kristopher L Swinson (kswin@juno.com)
"Counties Formed in the 1827 Lottery: 27. Carroll; 28. Coweta; 29. Troup; 30. Muscogee; 31. Lee.

This book indicates:
[Fortunate Drawers, Capts. Dist., No.Dt.Sec.]
28th DAY'S DRAWING--April 7th. JASPER. Elijah Cornwell, Sr. R[ev]. S[oldier]., Wilsons, 228.5.3 29th DAY'S DRAWING--April 9th. Elijah Cornwell, sen., Wilsons, 104.6.5 Elijah Cornwell, a Revolutionary Soldier, living in Wilson's Military District of Jasper county got two successful draws. He drew Land Lot 228 in Land District 5. Section 3.
He also drew the next day, Land Lot 104 in Land District 6 Section 5. There were 5 sections in this lottery: 1=Lee Co., 2=Muscogee, 3=Troup, 4=Coweta, 5=Carroll. Act of June 9, 1825

Actual drawing took place:  1827
Counties where land was located:
Carroll:  16 districts (1-16)
Coweta:  9 districts (1-9)
Lee:   33 districts (1-33)
Muscogee: 24 districts (1-24)
Troup: 12 districts (1-12)

All lots were 202 1/2 acres.  Grant Fee: $18.00 per land lot

1832 Cherokee Lottery

1832 Cherokee Lottery Smith, James F.
Lookup: Kristopher L Swinson (kswin@juno.com)

The book indicates:
Eighth District, Fourth Section, Cherokee.
160 Lewis Maddox, s. i. w., Hobbs's, Laurens.* Lewis Maddox, a soldier of the Indian war, a resident of Hobb's Military District in Lauren's County drew land as described. From the explanation of abbrevations also comes, "Note--All names marked * were granted previous to the first day of January, 1838."


1832 Gold Lottery

1832 Gold Lottery
Lookup: Kristopher L Swinson
"Counties Formed in the 1832 Lotteries: 32. Cherokee which was divided into Cass (later Bartow), Cherokee, Cobb, Floyd, Gilmer, Lumpkin, Murray, Paulding and Union."

Book provides this information:
[Name, County, Mil. Dist., Lot/Dist, Section]
Josiah Farrell's (Orphs.), Hancock, 113, 1146/2, 3

The orphans of Josiah Farrell, living in Military Distrcit 113 in Hancock County drew Land Lot 1145 in Land District 2, Section 3.

It appears from the map in the front of the book that this land falls in Cobb Co.

The 1833 Land Lottery of Georgia and Other Missing Names of Winners in the Georgia Land Lotteries
Lookup: Kristopher L Swinson (kswin@juno.com)


Deed Legaliese Helps make sense out of your Land Deeds by explaining the "typical" terms that you see in all deeds.

Land This Lesson I of the IIGS (International Internet Genealogical Society) Course on "land and property research" is well worth reading. Then proceed with all their other lessons.


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