Schley County, GAGenWeb Project Page -- Land Last update:Thursday, 03-Aug-2006 04:18:03 MDT



Images- Dowers
Images - Homestead Plats

1839 map. This map shows the main roads in existence around 1839. You can see where your ancestors may have settled along these roads.

County land has various descriptive names:

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

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 within the county itself.


#785 is the oldest district in Schley Co....created in 1857. (This orignally was in LEE and later in Sumter) It is the southwest part of Schley county.
#882 Southeast part of Schley County. (This orignally was in LEE and later in Sumter)
#946 northern part of Schley (Originally was in MUSCOGEE and then Marion)
#961 Middle part of Schley (around Ellaville)

"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.

Where Do I Begin on Land Research?

Look at this MAP to get a better idea of where your ancestors might have lived before the Creek Indian Lands were distributed by Land Lottery.

Early settlers always lived near a waterway. See our Waterways Page. Many of these are named for early settlers. Some retain the Native American names.

Land Districts
These are the  Land Districts for present day Schley County:
These lands were taken from Sumter and Marion in Dec 22, 1857 to create Schley County.

SUMTER COUNTY (Laid off from Original County Lee. Remember this was the ORIGINAL Lee County....not the present day Lee county) Land Districts: Map 29 (partial) 30 (almost all land lots) MARION COUNTY (Laid off from Original County Muscogee. Remember this was the ORIGINAL Muscogee County...not the present day Muscogee County) 3 (almost all land lots)Map

Any time you think districts in Georgia think land lotteries. Five counties were involved in the 1827 lottery: Carroll County was divided into 16 districts; Coweta County was divided into 9 districts; Lee County was divided into 33 districts; Muscogee County was divided into 24 districts; and Troup County was divided into 12 districts. "Marion County, Georgia was created in 1827 from Lee, Muscogee, and Stewart Counties. It was Georgia's 72nd county, and was named for the Revolutionary War hero General Francis Marion. The land in what became Marion County was distributed in Georgia's 1827 Land Lottery." So originally your land was a district of Lee County, but immediately after the lottery (when it then had settlers) it was formed into Marion County.

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, Lee, 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 15, originally 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

Oddities in the Surveys
When the Districts were surveyed in l821 there were several requirements that the surveyor had to meet.
What happened was there are offsets where land lot lines meet district lines. When you look at the Matthews Map where the 15th and the 16th meet there are no offsets, the land lot lines cross the district line without offset.To receive his money the surveyor had to meet this requirement so when the original county map was made the land lot lines agreed with the requirement. If you put the separate District maps together you will find that there are offsets. Now so far as the individual plats of the land lots are concerned. The survey on the ground did not always give 202 1/2 acres but the requirements were to have 202 1/2 acres so all of the original land lot plats show this.
The survey was a compass and chain survey, which was a primative method of surveying. In the l6th District there are some lots with as little as 60 acres and some that are over 300 acres but to meet the requirements the plats show 202 1/2 acres.

Land Lotteries

Land Lottery....How to Locate a Land Lottery Grant or Plat. This site will explain how to locate the exact plot from the Atlanta Archives files.

The land in Schley County was distributed in the 1827 Land Lottery...Muscogee and Lee Counties created.

Fifth or 1827 Land Lottery

1827 Lottery  Houston, Martha Lou (1967) 298 pgs.
"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

Visit this page to see the development of the county through the years.
Univ of GA Maps 1863-1970

E-mail Harris Hill,County Coordinator or Virginia Crilley

Schley County Page last updated: Thursday, 03-Aug-2006 04:18:03 MDT

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