DESTRUCTION

of

Courthouses in Georgia

  Below is a list from the State of Georgia, Dept. of Archives & History of Georgia Counties and the years the Courthouses were subjected to a disaster.  This does NOT mean that ALL RECORDS were lost.  Often, folks took their documents again in for recording after a disaster and later deeds will contain long chains of title, etc.  CC's should still try to show what records are available for their county.  We have included some research tips on what to do and what other records may be available for research.


  • Baker County:  Flood - 1925, 1929.
  • Baldwin County:  Fire - 1861.
  • Bartow County:  Originally Cass County.  Courthouse destroyed by enemy fire during War Between the States in the 1860's.
  • Bulloch County:  Fire - 1864.
  • Burke County:  Fire - 1825, 1856.
  • Calhoun County:  Fire - 1888, 1920.
  • Carroll County:  Fire - 1927.
  • Charlton County:  County site then at Traders Hill.  Destroyed by fire in 1877.  Present site fire 19 February 1928.
  • Cherokee County:  Fire - 1865, 1928.
  • Clayton County:  Fire - 1864.
  • Clinch County:  Fire - 1856, 1867.
  • Cobb County:  Fire - 1864.
  • Coffee County:  Fire - 1898, 1938.
  • Colquitt County:  Fire - 1881.
  • Crawford County:  Fire - 1829.
  • Dade County:  Fire - 1865, 1895.
  • DeKalb County:  Fire - 1842, 1898.
  • Dooly County:  Fire - 1847.
  • Douglas County:  Fire - 1896, 1957.
  • Early County:  Fire - 1896.
  • Echols County:  Fire - 1897.
  • Emanuel County:  Fire - 1841, 1855, 1857, 1919, 1938.
  • Forsyth County:  Fire - 1973.
  • Glynn County:  Storm - 1896.
  • Gordon County:  Storm - 1888.
  • Greene County:  Town burned by Indians in 1787.
  • Gwinnett County:  Fire - 1871.
  • Habersham County:  Fire - 1856.  Blown up in 1898.
  • Hall County:  Fire - 1851, 1882. Tornado in 1936.
  • Harris County:  Set fire by Federal Troops in 1865, but quickly extinguished.
  • Hart County:  Fire - 1900, 1967.  Courthouse burned in 1967.  Clerk & Ordinary's Office in adjacent building.
  • Heard County:  Fire - 1893.
  • Henry County:  Fire - 1824.  1864 (Some records destroyed by Sherman's men.)
  • Jenkins County:  Fire - 1919.
  • Lee County:  Fire - 1856.  County seat then at Starkville.  Fire at Leesburg  in 1872.
  • Lowndes County:  Fire - 1858, 1869.
  • Macon County:  Fire - 1857.
  • Marion County:  Fire - 1845.
  • McIntosh County:  Fire - 1864, 1872, 1931.
  • Meriwether County:  Cyclone - 3 March 1893.  Fire - 1976.
  • Miller County:  Fire - 1873, 1974.
  • Mitchell County:  Fire - 1869.
  • Muscogee County:  Fire - 1838.
  • Newton County:  Fire - 1883.
  • Paulding - Fire - 
  • Pickens County:  Fire - 1947.
  • Pierce County:  Fire - 1875.
  • Quitman County:  Fire - 1920.
  • Screven County:  Fire - 1860's, 1896.
  • Stewart County:  Fire - 1922.
  • Talbot County:  Fire - 1890.
  • Telfair County:  Fire in the early 1900's.
  • Thomas County:  Damaged by storm in 1849.
  • Toombs County:  Fire - 1919.
  • Troup County:  Mysterious fire 4 November 1936.
  • Twiggs County:  Fire - 1901.
  • Union County:  Fire - 1859.
  • Walker County:  Fire - 1883.
  • Ware County:  Fire - 1854.
  • Warren County:  Fire - 1909.
  • Washington County:  Fire - 1855, 1864 (Sherman).
  • Webster County:  Fire - 1914.
  • Wheeler County:  Fire - 1916.
  • Whitfield County:  Fire - 1864 (Sherman).
  • Wilkes County:  Fire - 1958.
  • Wilkinson County:  Fire - 1829, 1854, 1864, 1924.
  • Worth County:  Fire - 1879, 1893

 

Here are some tips on what to do if the records you need were destroyed:

 

Tactic #1.... Verify the report that the County that you are researching has indeed
been burned or lost records for unknown reasons.

Tactic #2.... Do your homework
  Verify everything published on problem area
  Tract down all publications
  Use interlibrary loan

Tactic #3....
  Join major Genealogical Societies
    example:
  National Genealogical Society
  State Genealogical Societies
  County Genealogical Societies
  Read every word in those journals, most important. read the footnotes
also!

Tactic #4
  Use everything that has survived
  Search for reconstituted records
  Track Books
  Federal Land Office
  Order Pension Records

Tactic #5
  In Census records, look at those neighbors, at least a dozen on each side
  County Clerks Fee Books
  Search surviving Counties
  Lawsuits
  District Court Records

Tactic #6
  Follow Rivers
  Cross State Lines

Tactic #7
  Comb State level Records
  Tax Record Rolls
  Appeals Court Records
  Each County made two copies of all records.
  Take an in house inventory of what you have.

Tactic #8
  Extend search to Federal Archives
  Rev. War Era Records
  Civil War Era Records
  Wartime Damage Claims
  Captured Confederate Records
  Preliminary Capture Records

Tactic #9
  Homestead Act Applications
  Homestead Files

Tactic #10
  Cross Ethnic Lines
  Slave Narrations
  Pursue Slaves
  Check for Government Documents

Use to the fullest whatever courthouse records might have survived.

Do not ignore the records traditionally considered to be of little genealogical value....example...surveys, marks and brands books, estray books, etc. When a man entered his brand markings to be recorded, that brand mark ALWAYS followed him to his death.  Even if he moved to another county or state, the brand mark stayed the same.

Do not pass over unindexed material on the premises that would take too long to search.  Many OLD books were never indexed, and this information is more apt to be more correct than in our newer published books.

Do not ignore material that carries the "wrong" ethnic label...example...white, black, Indian, etc.

Many legal documents were re-recorded after a courthouse was destroyed.

Deeds, probate files, and court records recorded long after a disaster can contain long chains of title and other genealogical information from the pre-disaster period.
 

Above all else, KEEP the FAITH! No situation is hopeless.  

 

Source Gagenweb CC help files 
 

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Material on located on this site belongs to the contributor, copyrighted for their compilation and many are private records not found in any public domain records.  The data remains the sole property of the submitter and does not become a property of any organization.  The submitters have not entered into any agreements with the CC's of this site or their space provider to have permanent use of any material on this site.

Margie Daniels , Millie Stewart  and   Davine Cambpell  County Managers


Last date updated 04/10/2006

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