Many thanks to the members of the Rockdale County Genealogical Society for the warm welcome at Sunday’s meeting. I very much enjoyed speaking with y’all and discussing some of Georgia’s “poor” records. Y’all made my first professional speaking engagement a relaxed and pleasant experience, and I appreciate that.
For those of you who missed it, the session was “Poor People, Rich Records: Researching Georgia’s 19th Century Poor.” The specific records we discussed were:
- Poor school and academy lists
- Homestead exemptions and their predecessors, the Insolvent Debtors Acts
- Bastardy records
- Guardianships, apprenticeships, and indentures
- Pauper records
For each records set, I tried to give a brief overview of the laws (except with pauper records), a list of the various kinds of records that could have been produced, the likely location(s) and forms (loose, bound, microfilmed, etc.) of those records, and several typical examples.
In addition to the resources listed in the handout, I wanted to share the following articles, all published in the Georgia Genealogical Society Quarterly (GGSQ), available to members of that society or at many libraries. Each of these articles may answer some of your lingering questions about Georgia’s historical court systems.
- Sandra J. Boling, “Significant Legislation Relating to Estate Settlements in Georgia, 1851 – 1900,” GGSQ 45 (September 2009): 119-148.
- Robert S. Davis, “The Inferior Court of Georgia (1789 – 1868),” GGSQ 48 (Spring 2012): 13-18.
- Joanne Smalley, “Georgia County Records: An Overview of Some Genealogically Significant Records,” GGSQ 45 (Winter 2009): 301-310.
In the latter, Ms. Smalley briefly discusses Georgia’s Superior Court. I did not use any of these articles for background research for this lecture, but each one is an invaluable resource for genealogists.
I hope to see each of you again soon. Until then, happy hunting!