Brief background on Georgia land records
This is a quick and dirty tutorial on some of the terminology used on the previous web pages. Thanks to Paul Knox Graham for helping a non-Georgian understand some of the subtleties of the land record system. I have also referenced other documents and have listed source citations at the bottom of this page.
Use the links below to jump around or read it all
The State of Georgia mapped this area in preparation for the 1821 Georgia Land Lottery. The land was divided into Districts, then within each District Land Lots were drawn out. Each land lot was approximately 202.5 acres.
"Starting in 1805, Georgia dispensed lands acquired from the Indians to Georgia residents through lotteries." "Only the names of the winners are known for the 1807, 1820, 1821, 1827, and 1832 lotteries."
"The northern and western lands of present-day Georgia were dispensed to Georgia residents by this system of land lot lotteries between 1805 to 1832. As the state expanded westward, so followed the state capitol, from Savannah to Augusta in 1783, to Louisville in 1795, to Milledgeville in 1805, and to Atlanta in 1868."
"The three major means of granting land in headrights (usually 200 acres for heads of household for each family member and slave), Revolutionary bounty warrants (for citizens purportedly loyal to the Revolutionary government), and lotteries." "Eligibility required Georgia residency draws for special categories such as Revolutionary service."
DeKalb County and Fulton County lands were granted in the 1821 Land Lotteries.
Georgia Militia Districts|
"GM" stands for Georgia Militia and those designations are Georgia Militia Districts. Militia districts were numbered sequentially in
the order they were created starting in 1804/5. Militia Districts were also named. For example, GMD 722 is Buckhead District in the census and tax records.
Militia Districts were used for militia organization (obviously), and as minor civil divisions for organizing tax rolls, censuses, and for use as voting districts.
The Georgia Militia Districts were (and still are in some counties) minor civil divisions. GMD's were smaller than a land district (originally their size was determined by the number of militia eligible men in the area) but bigger than a land lot. So, your people were probably in the 469th Georgia Militia District.
It's not exact, but imagine a North-South line between GMD 469 and GMD 1234 and an East-West line above those districts but south of GMD 722. When you read the census, you'll notice that it's organized by district. The names of the districts on the census correspond to the numbers on this map.
There were also Land Districts. The land lots were numbered sequentially within each district. This map has 3 Land Districts; District 14, District 14FF and District 17.
The 17th and 14th Districts that make up the bulk of the map were in Fulton when the county was created in December 1853 (Fulton was created out of DeKalb, and DeKalb out of Henry. Hint: Check DeKalb prior to 1853 for your people if they moved to the area before 1854.
The second 14th District was denoted "14FF", which stands for "14th District Formerly Fayette." Part of Fayette County was annexed by Fulton.
The double district numbers come from the multiple land lotteries that Georgia held to distribute the land taken from the Native Americans. There were lotteries in 1805, 1807, 1820, 1821, 1827, and two in 1832. The second 14th District, 14FF, may have been created in the 1827 land lottery.
Land lots are still used today, so anyone who finds the information on this site can go to a modern road map that has land lots and find the exact location of their ancestors land. Land lots are great because you can easily trace the same piece of land all the way back to when it was originally settled.
Brooke, Ted O.; Davis, Jr., Robert S., Georgia Genealogical Workbook, Atlanta, Georgia: Georgia Genealogical Society, 1987.
Eakle; Cerny, Johni, The Source: A Guidebook of American Geneaology, Salt Lake City, Utah: Ancestry, 1984.