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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Finding Old Church Records - Butts County Wills, Estates, Marriages - #genealogy - #georgiapioneers

Jeannette Holland AustinFinding Old Church Records
By Jeannette Holland Austin

The early churches were the foundation of religious and social life in America, especially in rural developing areas. Elder B. M. Camp of Dallas, Georgia baptized his members under a waterfall on old High Shoals Road. The grave yard was nearby and a little one-room church building. This is typical. So what kind of records does the researcher expect to find in such a setting? Minutes, membership lists, baptisms, births, deaths and excommunications. Camp preached at High Shoals Primitive Baptist Church for more than 40 years and like so many other rural churches when he died the records disappeared. That does not necessarily mean that the old records do not exist today. While out in the field we have to ask local people for such things and follow the clues where they send us. It may not be as good as a church record, however, is the cemetery itself because it provides specific dates. Too, the layout of the plots is revealing. Families frequently shared the same plot of land, or were buried nearby. Sometimes it is easy to find unmarked graves within the same plot or to notice a depression in the soil. Look for broken tombstones. Slate was a popular medium which breaks easily and is sometimes found under the dirt within the grave plot. I always tour the surrounding area to see if any stones were taken somewhere else, like into the woods. The landscape was not as we see it. Some of the oldest graveyards were thoroughly vandalized. An example of this is colonial cemeteries where unpopular clerics or British subjects lay. All in all very few church records survived and are published. Ministers kept records of performed marriages but did not always take them to the county court house to be recorded there. That is why there is such a gap in the first marriage records. Sometimes marriage dates are recorded on tombstones or obelisks such as those found in Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta. However, the alternate source is the family bible.

Wilson Chapel
Wilson Chapel in Jackson, Georgia.

Butts County Wills, Estates, Marriages

Butts County, Georgia Butts County was created in 1825 from portions of Henry and Monroe Counties. The name was taken from Captain Samuel Butts, a member of the Georgia Militia who was killed in the battle against the Creek Indians during the War of 1812. The town of Jackson was in honor of Andrew Jackson, a Georgia Hero, whose campaigns against the Creeks was memorable to Georgians; and also for his victory over British forces at the Battle of New Orleans. Researchers should search Henry County Records; particularly the deeds where many Butts residents are found.

Genealogy Records available to Members of Georgia Pioneers

Wills
  • Butts County Wills 1821 to 1841 (abstracts)
Images of Last Wills and Testaments 1821 to 1841
Names of Testators: Atkinson, Arthur, Barkley, John, Barron, John, Blessell, Elisha, Blessell, Elisha, continued, Flewellen, Louiza, Heard, Stephen, Holly, Jacob, Knight, Walter, Lawson, Adam, Lindsey, Samuel, Malone, John, Messer, Isabel, Patrick, John, Reynolds, Thomas, Rhodes, William, Smith, John, Spear, orphans, Spears, Joseph, Stark, Samuel, Taylor, George, Taylor, John, Taylor, Joseph, Waldrip, Abraham, Walker, James, Wooten, James

Images of Wills and Estates 1845 to 1855
Names of Testators: Allison, William, Andrews, John, Atkinson, Cornelius, Berry, David, Dillon, Henry , Fielder, Joseph , Grier, Robert, Harrison, Benjamin, Lee, Harvey , Lofton, John, McGuire, Abin , Newton, Olive, Preston, John , Still, Bartholomew

Images of Wills and Estates 1849 to 1857
Names of Testators: Andrews, John, Atkinson, Cornelius, Allison, William, Bailey, Charles, Bankston, Olive, Camp, James, Cargile, John, Conger, Eli, Curry, Harriet, Dillion, Henry, Douglas, Robert, Douglas, Sarah, Fielder, Joseph, Gray, James, Greer, James, Hammond, W. J., Harrison, Elizabeth, Humber, Robert, James, John, Jarrell, William, Jinks, Joseph, King (minors), Lacy, Thomas, Lofton, John, McClure, James, McCord, Sarah, McCUne, Cornelius, McCune, James, McDaniel, John, McGuire, Abiah, Meridith, Elizabeth, Moore, Willis, Newton, Oliver, Nolen, Richard, Redman, William, Reeves, Green, Slaton, Mandane, Smith, David, Spencer, Thomas, Staton, H. P., Slaton, Samuel, White, Robert, Woodward, Aaron

Indexes to Probate Records

  • Will Book A (1850 to 1896)
  • Will Book B (1897 to 1948)
  • Wills, Appraisements, Sales, Annual Returns 1826 to 1841.
  • Appraisements, Sales, Annual Returns 1836-1845
  • Wills and Annual Returns 1845 to 1851
  • Wills, Appraisements, Annual Returns 1849 to 1857.
  • Annual Returns and Vouchers 1852 to 1855
  • Sales and Appraisements 1852 to 1874.
  • Annual Returns and Vouchers 1864 to 1888
  • Annual Returns and Vouchers 1889 to 1901
  • Annual Returns and Vouchers 1896 to 1901
Marriages

  • 1827 to 1870
  • General Index 1876 to 1896
See how Easy it is to Read old Wills and Estates on Georgia Pioneers
William Hall


Learn if your ancestors left a will or estate record?  An easy, quick (and free) way to find out is to click on the links below.
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County Records of 8 Genealogy Websites

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