Your Guide to Finding Georgia Ancestors

Postal Code: GA Abbreviation: Ga.
Capital: Atlanta
First permanent settlement 1733
1752 Charter surrendered and became a crown colony.
Admitted as the 4th state in 1788
First mostly extant federal census: 1820
Statewide birth and death records: 1919
(Some local jurisdictions will have earlier birth and death records; some may not comply until after 1919)
Statewide marriage records 1952.
(Individual counties will have earlier marriage records. )
Public-land state.

Books & Articles
On the Web

There is nothing more helpful that a handy reference book with information specific to the area you are researching. I've listed below those that I know about.

(find in a library) will give you a link to help you find the book in the library closest to you. Most will show libraries near Ann Arbor... to change the location, type in your zip code and you can find libraries near you.

All of the three books listed below have a small section covering each state that includes maps, historical information, vital records coverage and a bibliography of resources for that state.

  1. Handybook for Genealogists ( 11th edition) (find in a library) (note: some libraries may have earleir editions; those are perfectly usable)
  2. Ancestry's Redbook (you'll want the 3rd edition) (find in a library)
  3. The Family Tree Resource Book for Genealogical Research (find in a library)

Here are some books specific to Georgia research:

Georgia Fact Sheet

Brooke. Georgia Genealogical Workbook out of print (find in a library )

Cities, Counties and Towns of Georgia Between 1847 and 1962 ( find in a library)

Dorsey. Georgia Genealogy and Local History: A Bibliography. (out of print)

Research in Georgia with Special Emphasis on the Georgia Department of Archives and History (1982)

Schweitzer. Georgia Genealogical Research (find in a library)

Sherwood. Gazatteer of the State of Georgia.

Georgia Genealogical Magazine (1961-1988)
-- Master Index to the Georgia Genealogical Magazine (find a library)
Georgia Genealogical Society Quarterly (find a library )
Georgia Pioneers Genealogical Magazine (find a library)


Start print out or bookmark these FHL documents : Georgia Research Outline and Georgia Historical Background.

Use the catalog at the FHL to find out what has been filmed covering the state Georgia ; Click View Related Places in the upper right to find sources that have been filmed for the county you are researching and once there click View Related Places in the upper right to find sources that have been filmed for the township or city. You will want to check for resources in all three jurisdictions, although most people check the county holdings first, township next and state last.

Print or bookmark this county map of Georgia . You may also find historic maps useful to your research. (These maps are hard to read on first click. Hover until you get the little orange and blue expansion logo in the bottom right corner and click on that to make enlarge the map. )
The University of Georgia's Historical Atlas of Georgia Counties provides information and maps for each county. Scanned images of an 1895 Atlas of Georgia contain county maps, state maps and and index of towns.

Next see what's available for your counties of interest at the Georgia Gen Web (use the county selection list to find what's available for each of the counties) and do the same on the ALHN Georgia Page and the AHGP Georgia Page

Visit the websites of these libraries , archives and societies:

Georgia Archives Check out their digital libraries -- you may be especially interested in their 3 libraries of Georgia confederate records: Enlistment Oaths and Discharges, Muster Rolls and Pension records . The Georgia Archives offers an "Ask an Archivist" service (a fee is charged for any but very brief questions) You may also find their beginner's guide "Documenting Family History in Georgia" helpful.

Georgia Historical Society Library and Archives. In additon to historical publications, this collection " contains diaries, personal letters, ledger books, minute books, account books, church records, and many other primary sources related to Georgia and Georgians."

Georgia Genealogical Society. This site offers a list of Georgia libraries with genealogical collections that includes links to each of the libraries websites.
For other local Georgia genealogical societies, follow the links at the Georgia Genealogical Society Directory

National Archives: Southeast Region holds federal documents pertaining to Georgia.

The Georgia Newspaper Project will help you locate newspapers. Those that have been filmed can usually be borrowed on interlibrary loan.

The 1880 census can be searched for free at Find other online census records and more census information at's Georgia links

Search for or place a query on the Georgia county message boards. or see if one of the volunteers at Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness Georgia can help you.

To get information about vital records check the Georgia Vital Records (official page) or Vitalrec Georgia Page

See if the burials you need have been posted on Georgia or

Was your ancestor a Georgia Black Sheep ?

More Links

* Genealogy Today's State Gen Site: Georgia
* Ancestors Georgia Resource Guide
* Rootsweb: Georgia Resources
* Genealink's Georgia Page
* Access Genealogy's List of Georgia Links
* Cyndi's List Georgia Page
* Linkpendium's Georgia Page

This page last updated July 20, 2007
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