Georgia Genealogy and History Guide

Georgia Genealogy Resources:





Georgia quick facts:

  • Statehood:
    January 2, 1788
  • State Capital:
  • State Nickname:
    The Peach State / Empire State of the South
  • State Bird:
    Brown Thrasher
  • State Song:
    "Georgia on My Mind"
  • State Flower:
    Cherokee Rose
  • State Tree:
    Live Oak
  • State Motto:
    "Wisdom, Justice and Moderation"


Georgia Genealogy Research Guide:

Georgia Census Records:

The first Federal census enumerated for Georgia is 1790 and the U.S. government took a census every 10 years thereafter.  The census chart below will show you which census years are available for Georgia.

  • 1790 GA census was lost during a fire in the War of 1812.
  • 1800 GA census was lost during a fire in the War of 1812.
  • 1810 GA census was lost during a fire in the War of 1812.
  • 1820 Georgia census schedules are the first Federal census which was not lost, however, it is missing census records for Franklin County, Rabun County and Twiggs Count.
  • 1830 is the first complete Georgia census.
  • 1840
  • 1850 - Includes Slave Schedules, helpful for black family research.
  • 1860 - Includes Slave Schedules, helpful for black family research.
  • 1870
  • 1880 Soundex Index is available on microfilm.
  • 1890 census schedules were lost in a 1921 warehouse fire, however a fragment for Columbus, Muscogee County did survive and is on Microfilm roll M407, roll 3.
  • 1900 Soundex Index is available on microfilm.
  • 1910 Soundex Index is available on microfilm.
  • 1920 Soundex Index is available on microfilm.
  • 1930 Soundex Index is available on microfilm.
  • 1790-1890 Georgia Census Records at Ancestry

Additional Georgia Census Records:

  • About Georgia State Census Records: The 1798 Georgia Constitution ordered Georgia state census enumerations to be taken within two years and every seven years thereafter.  These censuses provided the head of household and statistical data for all other members of the household.  There are some which survived for years 1798, 1800, 1827, 1834, 1838, 1845, 1852, 1859, 1865, 1879 and 1890.
  • 1860-1880 Mortality Schedules (list of all persons who died during that census year).
  • 1850-1880 Agriculture Schedules (lists farms).
  • 1880 Defective, Dependent and Delinquent Classes
  • 1820 and 1880 Manufacturing and Industry Schedules (lists businesses of manufacture and industry).
  • 1850-1870 Social Statistics Schedules.
  • 1790-1890 Georgia Census Records at Ancestry

Georgia Military Records:

US Military service records can be obtained from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

Your Georgia ancestors may have fought in the Revolutionary War, Mexican War, the War of 1812, the Civil War, WWI, or WWII.  The Georgia Archives has some GA military databases, indexes and records online.  These Georgia military records include Confederate Enlistment Oaths and Discharges, Confederate Muster Rolls and Confederate Pension Records,  They also have a database of Georgia Revolutionary War Veterans' Land Lottery Records.

Helpful Links:

Georgia Vital Records

The Georgia Division of Public Health holds birth and death records from 1919 to present day.  Marriage applications and licenses are on file for years 1952 through 1996.  Divorce records are not on file at the state level, however an index of divorce records 1952 to present is available there.

Some older vital records may be on file at the county level.  Each county in Georgia has a vital records registrar and a vital records custodian who are in charge of vital records at the county level.  They can provide you with certified copies of birth and death certificates as well as other vital events which occurred in that specific county.  The vital records registrar is most often located at the county probate court or local public health office. 

  • For information on how and where to obtain both old or recent vital records see: Georgia Vital Records.

Georgia Genealogy Subscriptions Online:

Many websites with genealogy resources for Georgia are available online. Some offer free GA genealogy databases and other genealogical information for the online researcher, but the paid subscription websites hold a much more consistent amount of quality genealogy data and offer free trials to that data, allowing you to try before you buy.

1. Georgia Genealogy Databases at

          Get the Free Trial when you register!

2. offers genealogy databases, a library and U.S. Census Collection.

         FREE TRIAL of

Georgia Cherokee RoseCondensed History of GeorgiaGeorgia Cherokee Rose

Creek Indians controlled Georgia in the 16th century.  By 1650 the Indians of the Cherokee Nation had spread across the southern Appalachians and controlled a large portion of Northern Georgia.

Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto reaches Georgia in 1540.  A fort was built on St. Catherine's Island in 1566.

In 1721 Colonel John Barnwell built Fort King George on the mouth of the Altamaha River creating the first British settlement in what will later become the state of Georgia.

In 1733, Savannah was founded by General James Oglethorpe who chartered the Georgia Crown Colony and created the town of Savannah.  They were followed by the Salzburgers (German Lutherans) who settled in Georgia in 1734.  In 1742, James Edward Oglethorpe had to defend his colony in a battle against the Spanish at Bloody Marsh on St. Simons Island off the coast of Georgia.

On July 11, 1743, William Stevens was named the first president of Georgia by trustees.  He ruled as president of Georgia until 1721 when he retired and became the first person in Georgia to receive a pension. 

In 1777 Georgia was organized into the following eight counties: Burke, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Richmond and Wilkes.

On June 2, 1788, Georgia became the fourth state of the original 13 colonies.

There were many, many Indian wars in Georgia.  Cherokee, Seminole and Creek Indians attempted to keep their lands which were being encroached upon by the white settlers.

The Creek Indians ceded their land between the Ocmulgee and Flint rivers on January 8, 1821 and Georgia boundaries were extended westward.

In 1838, the Cherokee and Creek Indians were forced out of Georgia on the Trail of Tears and moved west into what became known as IT (Indian Territory) and later, the state of Oklahoma.

The state of Georgia is well known for peaches, peanuts, pecans, cotton, Andersonville (a Civil War prison), the underground railroad, and the Creek, Seminole and Cherokee Indian history and wars.

GEORGIA HISTORY FACT: The state of Georgia was named in honor of King George the 2nd of England.


  • Alexander Hamilton Stephens, vice president of the Confederate States of America and later governor of Georgia.
  • James Bowie (Jim Bowie), inventor of the Bowie Knife, Texas soldier and leader, he died in Texas at the Alamo.
  • James E. Carter (Jimmy Carter), U.S. President.
  • Ray Charles, singer.
  • Oliver Hardy, comedian and actor.
  • Ty Cobb, baseball player.
  • Martin Luther King, civil rights leader and activist.
  • Otis Redding, singer.
  • Trisha Yearwood, country singer and wife of Garth Brooks.
  • Travis Tritt, country singer and songwriter.
  • Nipsey Russell, comedian / actor.
  • Little Richard, singer known for rock and roll.
  • Gladys Knight, singer.
  • Hulk Hogan, wrestler.
  • Brenda Lee, singer.
  • Jackie Robinson, baseball player.
  • Burt Reynolds, actor.

Georgia History Resources Online:


Cherokee Rose graphics courtesy of Santa Lady