Burke County, Georgia History
County, Georgia was created in1777. The parent counties from which
Burke County was organized from were St George Parish. U.S. Census
reports are available for this county from1820 to 1920. The county
seat is Waynesboro. Burke County Georgia Courthouse was burned
twice once in 1825, second in 1856. Burke is rich in history. A
few white settlers began to move into this area as early as the
1740's. In 1763 there was the Cession by the Indians of more
territory to the Crown. This cession treaty also clarified the
right to white settlement in all of St. George's Parish. Famous
men who spent time in Burke County are Dr Lyman Hall, signer of
the Declaration of Independence who is buried here. George
Washington was to have spent the night in Waynesborough in 17 May
1791, Eli Whitney had 3 cotton gins here and also the massive
Union Troops which marched through here on the way to the coast.
It has been said they burned the courthouse but as you can see
from the dates this is not true.
A chronology of documented historic events:
1759 - Some Salzburgers moved up from Ebenezer into St George's
Parish and established New Goettingen, now a dead town.
1763 - The first Courthouse in St George's was erected.
1765 - John Bartram, a British scientist, with his son, visited
Shell Bluff to study the fascinating large oyster shell
formations, which come to be known as "Ostrea georgiana."
Following the Revolutionary War a substantial migration flowed
from such states as Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and South
Carolina. Many new settlers took up land in Burke took up lands
and lived out there time in Burke County , but the next generation
moved westward. Counties taken from Burke are Screven in 1793;
Jefferson in 1796 and Jenkins in 1905.