"Where did the name Georgia Come from?"
Ans: Georgia was named to honor King George II of England who signed the
Royal Charter which established the colony of Georgia in 1732 ( Source:
Krakow, Kenneth, Georgia Place Names, Macon, GA: Winship Press, 1994)
Georgia didn't actually have counties until 1777. Georgia was originially
divided into districts and towns from 1732 to 1758. From 1758 to 1777,
Georgia was divided into twelve parishes. These twelve parishes
became the original seven counties of Georgia, which include: Burke
(St George Parish), Camden (St Thomas and St Mary Parish), Chatham
(St Phillips and Christ Church Parish), Effingham (St Matthew and St
Phillip Parish), Glynn (St David and St Patrick Parish, Liberty (St John,
St Andrew and St James Parish), and Richmond (ST Paul Parish).
Wilkes County was the eighth county created on Feb 5, 1777 in the
Georgia Constitution; however it was originally created on June 1, 1773
from the Treaty of Augusta, when Cherokee and Creek Indians ceded the
(Source: Bryant, Pat. Georgia Counties: Their Changing Boundries. Atlanta
State Printing Office, 1983)
Georgia expanded as lands became available with Treaties, etc.
County development went by "needs & population". We need our own
courthouse, the district is too big. We petition the Honorable _________
for the formation of a new county, etc. Politics was around in those days
and "power" was often in the hands of the affluent.
1. Up to 1863 most of the land that we now call Georgia, South
Carolina, North Carolina, etc. were British Colonies. Spanish
Florida may have intruded in to what we now call South Georgia.
2. Spanish Florida extended all the way to New Orleans. Orleans
and the Gulf Coast have had many "flags" with my area being under
3. From 1863 to 1782, the major changes was the British took over
more territory. The coastal regions from the Atlantic to New Orleans
became British East Florida & British West Florifda. Spain was
4. From 1782 to 1795, We had the establishment of the United
States and this land along the coastal regions was once again
Spanish East Florida & Spanish West Florida. Spain lay to much
of what was to become the Mississippi Territory.
5. From 1795 to 1803, the United States formed the Territory of
Mississippi that extended from the East Coast to the Mississippi
River with the southern boundary being on a line just above Mobile
and Pensacola, etc. Below that we now had Spanish West &
Spanish East Florida. The new Mississippi Territory was huge
encompassing Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and looks like parts
of Tennessee, etc.
Natchez became the "capital or seat of Government" as the western
limit of the US.
6. I am telling this because "Land Grants, purchases and
lotteries" were executed for this region as Treaties opened up
new land. Georgia was also a huge land mass extending from
almost from Chattanooga & Huntsville to the South. The formation
of the Mississippi Territory produced the first boundary for
Mississippi and it was from the 31 degrees to 32.28 degrees
north. The time period was 1798 to 1804.
Tennessee came next and extended from 32.28 degrees northward
into what became Tennessee and North Alabama. Georgia became
smaller and ranged westward to the Chattahoochie River. Time
period from 1804 to 1813. Jefferson's purchase of Orleans, etc.
gave the US lower Louisiana, Mobile, and Florida in 1813.
7. Up to 1813 there were various men who ventured into these
lands with some settling and some laying claim to certain property.
Some even negotiated "land deals" with the Spanish, Indians, and
French. When the US expanded into this coastal area some folks
were disfranchised as land owners and some got disturbed. Some
Wards (family) burned a governmental office because of this action.
8. Meanwhile, back to Georgia and county development. Before
that we have to keep in mind that the Savannah River was a
prominent boundary as the States were formed. On north bank
(SC side) until after 1808 South Carolina had "Districts"...
The Ninety Six included what would become Pendleton (NW),
Greenville (N), Spartanburg (N), Union, Laurens, Abbeville,
Newberry, and Edgefield. Most every settler from the 96th
went through "Augusta" to move southward. The Orangeburg
District included Lexington (N), Lewisburg, Orange, and Winton.
Once again most of this area migrated through Augusta.. The
Beaufort District was next to Georgia in the South East corner
of South Carolina.
Georgia had the following counties in 1790. From the
north down the Savannah River to Savannah. Franklin, Wilkes
(boarded river), Greene (east of Wilkes), Richmond (Augusta),
Burke (south of Augusta on River), Washington (east of Richmond
& Burke), Effingham (south of Burke and on River), and Chatham
(barbering the lower Savannah and the Atlantic. Liberty, Glynn
and Camden in that order extended from the Effingham & Chatham
borders and were coastal to the Atlantic.
Georgia expanded from a 11 counties to 24 counties by
1800. Now we get Screven County which was located on the River
and between Effingham and Burke with Bulloch (newly formed)
on its east side. During this time period the majority of Georgia
was Indian Territory. If you think about it and study this develop-
ment you can see how South Carolina & Georgia were co-dependant.
It makes sense that land acquisitions were close to the river.
The Georgia Lotteries was one way to populate and expand the
territory. Most of us will find relations on either side of the
River in South Carolina or Georgia. Georgia was indeed a
9. Two major things happened after 1813 and that was the
Indian Cessation Treaties and the development of the "Federal
Road". The movement increased with Lotteries, Rev War Grants,
etc. So much movement that by 1819 & 1820 Mississippi &
Alabama would be formed. Most of this movement was down the
Federal Road to Macon and Columbus Georgia. Some of the
migrants moved towards Tennessee via the Cisca & St. Augustine
Trail that lead from Augusta to Chattanooga. The Cisca & St.
Augustine went through Athens. (Don Logan)