Even if a person dies intestate (without a last will and testament), the heirs can still be found. This is done by examining the annual returns for every year until the estate is closed. The first thing which happens is that an administrator is appointed who makes an inventory of the estate, has a sale to sell off the items and subsequently files a return every year thereafter to the probate county in the county which the person died. This return lists all disbursements ranging from funeral expenses to distributions to the heirs which may occur at any time over the period the estate is active. The heirs provide receipts, called vouchers. Examine the expenditures closely. Then try to ascertain the identity of the payees. One easy method is a study of the census records for that county. Some of the heirs are husbands of daughters, so check out these names in the marriage records.
The 1820 Land Lottery
Georgians drew in the land lottery because it was an opportunity to possess free land. After the Revolutionary War, tobacco crops had worn out the land, families found themselves travelling from Virginia, Maryland and the Carolinas into Georgia seeking new opportunities. According to custom, the old family seat was occupied by the eldest son, thus necessitating the younger sons to seek more abundant and richer soil elsewhere. Thus, as the Indians began to be removed from Georgia, this became a popular destination. Actually, the Lottery of 1820 created free land in Southwest Georgia including Calhoun County and was available to all citizens, especially veterans of the Revolutionary War. If a Revolutionary soldier had already drawn a lucky lot as a citizen in 1805 or 1807, he was allowed another draw in the lottery of 1820. If the soldier had not taken an extra draw, he was allowed two in this lottery. The survey continued until the first Monday in May 1827 when the lottery ended. Therefore, if behooves the genealogist to search for the plat with its original boundaries, then follow-up through the deed records. As people settled the region, their names became boundaries (listed in the deed description) as well as creeks, rivers, pine land, barren land, etc. It is always a good practice to acquire a local county map from the tax assessment office at the court house. Use the legend to locate old roads, churches, railroads, etc. Land LotteriesThe Path into Georgia during the Land LotteriesThe Georgia Land Lottery
The Spencer Repeating Rifle Used by Confederate Soldiers
Calhoun County was a result of the first land lottery of 1820,
This popular lottery was available to all ordinary citizens and especially to veteran Revolutionary soldiers. Because of his service, despite the act that he may have already drawn a lucky lot as an ordinary citizen in 1805 or 1807, he was allowed another draw in the lottery of 1820. If the soldier had not taken an extra draw, they were allowed two more in this lottery. The division of lands used for this lottery were surveyed and completed until the first Monday in May 1827. Meanwhile, the Creeks continued to raid and impose themselves upon those who had settled there. The Lower Creeks finally relinquished their title to the lands in Georgia and later, in 1832, the last of the Cherokees were driven out of Georgia.
Calhoun County was created in 1854 by an Act of the General Assembly. It was taken from Baker and Early Counties. The county name came from the South Carolina Senator, John C. Calhoun (1782-1850), a strong supporter of States' Rights.