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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Georgia Land Lotteries

In 1827, section 1 of the lottery was Lee County.
Pictured is land near Leesburg.
To encourage settlement in Georgia, a series of land lotteries were performed wherein people could register and if they had the lucky ticket, draw land.  The number of family members determined the number of eligible draws.  Also, veterans of the Revolutionary War could draw.  The first lottery began in 1805, a second one in 1820 and 1821, 1827 and 1832 (the latter being the Cherokee land lottery for the lands of the Cherokees.  All of the lotteries represent Indian treatries wherein Creeks and Cherokees were removed from Georgia.  An interesting note here.  There is a lot of drama about the 1832 Cherokee removal.  However, not all Cherokees were on this trail.  A goodly number of them owned land and received permission to stay behind.  There were still some Indians in Georgia in 1833 and 1834, because they were causing trouble and the local milities from several counties from Gwinnett to Muscogee were sent to quell the disturbance.  A battle ensued and the Indians were chased into Alabama. That seems to be the last known occasion of removal.  During 1832 to 1834, if you planned to travel west of Muscogee and Troup counties you had to obtain a passport from the Governor to travel through the Indian territories which later became known as Alabama and Mississippi.  This was particularly true in the North Georgia counties. Therefore, when tracing ancestors it is a good thing to follow the dates of the treaties.  When people drew, the lotteries provide you with information as to their county of residence at that time, the land lot number, district and section. Yet, still, many of those lands went unsettled.  You can find evidence of this by examining the tax digests where your anccestor resided. Lottery land will be listed as 202-1/2 acres and the county will be written beside it.  Another place to search!  The deed records of the lottery county.

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