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They Went That Away ...

Georgia Land Lotteries

In 1805 Georgia held it's first of six land lotteries to distribute newly-acquired territory. The lotteries were held in 1805, 1807, 1820, 1821, 1827 and 1832 (the "Gold" lottery). The first lottery required a minimum of one year's residence in Georgia prior to registering for the drawing, but the second through sixth required a minimum of three years' residence. Other rules of eligibility applied, e.g., marital status, veteran status, and if you find your ancestor won the lottery, you'll want to look at the complete list of rules for genealogical clues.

Each drawing was authorized by an Act of Legislature as follows:

  1. May 11, 1803 (1805 drawing - Baldwin, Wayne, Wilkinson county lands)
  2. June 26, 1806 (1807 drawing - Baldwin, Wilkinson)
  3. Dec 15, 1818 & Dec 21, 1819 (1820 drawing - Appling, Early, Gwinnett, Habersham, Hall, Irwin, Rabun, Walton)
  4. May 15, 1821 (1821 drawing - Dooly, Fayette, Henry, Houston, Monroe)
  5. June 9, 1825 (1827 drawing - Carroll, Coweta, Lee, Muscogee, Troup)
  6. Dec 21, 1830 & Dec 24, 1831 (1832 "gold lottery" drawing).
    The Act of December 3, 1832 divided original Cherokee County into the following ten counties: Cass (Bartow), Cherokee, Cobb, Floyd, Forsyth, Gilmer, Lumpkin, Murray, Paulding, and Union; but in the drawing of the Lottery and in the granting of the land and gold lots, they were treated only as in Cherokee.

After a Lottery was authorized by the Legislature, eligible Georgia citizens registered in their county of residence and registrants' names, together with surveyor slips containing lot and district number, were sent to the State Capitol and placed in two separate drums. Commissioners appointed by the Governor drew from each of these wheels or drums and the winners were announced. The fortunate drawer was then to take out a grant for the lot he drew and pay the specified fee ($18 for 1827 lottery). If he did not take out a grant, the lot reverted to the State.

The 1827 Georgia Land Lottery files can be found at: An alphabetical list:

Didn't see any of my kinfolk listed but I've only taken a quick glance at the surname index so far. I did see a number of "Pee Dee area" surnames though. If you spot any of your kinfolk on these lists, please let us know! Only the names of the lottery winners are listed but neighbors and members of the extended family often migrated together, and you may provide an invaluable clue to your fellow researchers whose ancestor's name wasn't drawn.

This page is under construction. If your Marion County, SC ancestor migrated to Georgia, please let me know and I will add their name and yours here.

Marion Co., SC Family YearGA CountyResearcher
William Hargrove (Hairgrove) 1820sTroupWilliam S. Tate


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