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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

How Ancestors Disappear in the Records

As county lines changed and were sub-divided, records of persons fell into other counties. Also, as some families resided near county lines, they were occasionally missed by census-takers. This is why we search the records in the adjoining counties. The parent county may have been sub-divided several times. This is why it is important to discover the parent county and pay attention to the date of formation. I have ancestors from the Atlanta area and thus search Henry, Rockdale, DeKalb, Fulton, Newton and Cobb Counties. One ancestor drew in the 1821 land lottery, a resident of Greene County at the date of drawing(but resided in Clarke County several years later). The land which he drew was listed in Henry County in the 14th district. Upon checking the land district map at the Georgia State Archives, it was discovered that this land actually fell into old downtown Atlanta. Yes! All of present-day Underground Atlanta. Thus, in 1821, Atlanta was in Henry County, and later became DeKalb County, and finally Fulton County. Such tiny details are revealing !

Jeannette Holland Austin, Georgia Author
Georgia Pioneers

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