Land lotteries encouraged the settlement of parts of Georgia

040316 ROSWELL, GA: Names and dates line the voluminous records at the Church of Latter Day Saints Family History Center, where people come to research their family's genealogy. Family History Center at 500 Norcross Street in Roswell. For Helen Cauley feature on Geneaology - Family Trees. (Parker C. Smith/Special)
040316 ROSWELL, GA: Names and dates line the voluminous records at the Church of Latter Day Saints Family History Center, where people come to research their family's genealogy. Family History Center at 500 Norcross Street in Roswell. For Helen Cauley feature on Geneaology - Family Trees. (Parker C. Smith/Special)

Credit: Special

Credit: Special

Two hundred years ago, in 1821, Georgia held its fourth Land Lottery during which eligible citizens were randomly picked as winners of property.

Under the system, mostly white males could register for a chance to win land. Widows and a few others also were eligible.

The system was used between 1805 and 1833 to encourage the settlement of land acquired from Native Americans. With the fourth Land Lottery, Henry, Fayette, Monroe, Houston and Dooly counties were settled. A winner had to get a state grant in order to sell their winnings.

The original records of this lottery and the state’s others are at the Georgia Archives. There is no statewide list of those who registered, but the winners were published in “The Fourth or 1821 Land Lottery of Georgia,” compiled by the Rev. S. Emmett Lucas. It’s available via southernhistoricalpress.com and at many libraries.

Susan Sloan’s 2020 lecture about the Georgia Land Lottery system is at GeorgiaArchives.org. Go to “Visit” and then “Programs.”

The lottery records can be a great source of information and very useful to genealogists.

Lecture topic: Jewish Community in Atlanta

Jeremy Katz, archives director at the Breman Museum and author of “The Jewish Community in Atlanta,” will speak on his book via Zoom at noon on March 17 as part of the DeKalb History Center’s Lunch and Learn series. Go to Dekalbhistory.org for the Zoom link. For more on the Breman Museum and the Jewish archives, go to thebreman.org. You’ll find material on many Atlanta and Georgia Jewish families.

Organizing your genealogy

“Organizing Genealogy” is the cheat sheet insert in the January/February issue of Family Tree Magazine and is well worth studying. The eight-page section is chocked full of ideas for getting your genealogy life organized. It includes how to name your files, questions to be researched, a goal-management worksheet and information on organizing your research. It’s available at familytreemagazine.com or at newsstands.

Contact Kenneth H. Thomas Jr., P.O. Box 901, Decatur, Ga., 30031 or kenthomasongenealogy.com.

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