The Founding of AugustaBefore the arrival of Oglethorpe, Augusta was the place where Native Americans crossed the Savannah River. The new settlement was first located in Savannah, however, three years later, Oglethorpe sent a detachment of troops on a journey up the Savannah River in order to construct a landing at the head of the navigable part of the river. Noble Jones, who among the first to arrive in the colony, was sent to establish a settlement which would provide a first line of defense against the Spanish and French. The town was named Augusta, in honor of Princess Augusta, wife of Frederick, Prince of Wales. Jones selected the flat slopes east of the sand hills (later Summerville) upon which to build. Augusta was the backbone of trade with the friendly Indians in the region. The trade routes expanded into (then)Edgefield South Carolina and up into Charleston. The tribes were Chickasaw and Creek, however the Savano (Shawnee) mostly traded in this region. By 1739 a road was built to connect Augusta to Savannah and in 1750, St. Paul's Church was built near Fort Augusta. In 1739, construction began on a road to connect Augusta to Savannah. This made it possible for people to reach Augusta by horse, rather than by boat, and more people began to migrate inland to Augusta. Later, in 1750, Augusta's first church, Saint Paul's, was built near Fort Augusta. It became the leader of the local parish. All of the activity with the Indians and new settlements ultimately resulted in settlements further south, with the Benjamin Hawkins establishing a Creek Agency in Crawford County near Macon.
William FewWilliam Few, a resident of Maryland, came to Columbia County Georgia where he received bounty land grants in 1769 and 1781. While still in Maryland William Few and a brother associated themselves with the "Regulators", a group of frontiersmen who opposed the royal governor. As a result, the brother was hanged and the Few family farm was destroyed. Few Sr. was forced to move once again, this time to Georgia. William Jr. remained behind, helping to settle the affairs of his father, until 1776 when he joined his family near Wrightsboro, Georgia. About this time, he won admittance to the bar, based on earlier informal study, and set up practice in Augusta. When the War for Independence began, Few embraced the Whig cause and beame a lieutenant-colonel in the dragoons. During 1776, he was elected to the Georgia provincial congress of 1776; and twice served in the assembly during 1777 and 1779. He also served in the Continental Congress (1780 to 1788) and was reelected to the Georgia Assembly. He served as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention and later became one of the first U. S. Senators from Georgia. When Few died in 1828 he was first buried in the yard of the local Reformed Dutch Church, later reinterred in the churchyard of St. Paul Church in Augusta. Daniel Bonnell was Executed for Robbery Tales of Woe "Light Horse" Harry Lee died at Dungeness The Case of Hog Smith The Romance of John Wesley Thomas Jones of Wales Capt. John Collins of Acworth Peter Gruber and Neighs Forced out of Austria There were Two Margaret Hollands Dr. N. G. Long He Came Over in a Barrel The Heartbreak of George A. Benson of Lawrenceville The Old Woman and Toccoa Falls They Traveled Far in Search of a Home The Enduring Escapades of Thomas Ramsey Major James Hicks Jeremiah Lamar The Flemings of Sunbury Lorenzo Dow Smith Wilson Conner The Sad Tale of Every Cemetery Swedish Soprano If Only I Could Tell My Grandmother the Rest of the Story Grannie Stories told over Chicken Every Sunday Anthony Bonnell Old Dan Tucker
Think that your Family is Unworthy of Tracing? Read onA story which appeared in the Atlanta Journal dated January 25, 1886 was entitled "The Haunted Man." Michael Grady was a hod-carrier in Ireland. To those who do not know, a hod-carrier is a member of a bricklaying team who typically carries ten to twelve bricks for the bricklayer. But he was so poor that his only possessions were a few pieces of furniture, the honest hod (a three-sided box) with which he plied his trade, and a speckled sow which he had been given on St. Patrick's day by a prosperous farmer. It was all that he and his wife, Bridget, could do to keep the bailiff away from the door. However, things changed when an aunt died and left him several hundred dollars. Michael, his wife and small son (Michael) proceeded to emigrate to America. A year passed, and after Michael had participated too generously in a political campaign, he lay prostrate with a disease. Thinking that he was about to die, called his wife and son to his bedside. To the wife, he gave $200 in money and to Michael he bequeathed the old family sow. After his death, the wife found suitable employment, but the son, then nineteen years of age, rented a sty in the rear of a certain stable where he was employed. His kindness to the sow was duly rewarded when she gave birth to thirteen little piglets. Several months later Michael netted a handsome sum for this brood, and with the cash he had in hand, removed the sow to the suburbs where she soon established a capacious and odorous wallow wherein and gave birth to a litter of eleven piglets. In no time at all, the sty was the residence of forty pigs, and Michael's circumstances were greatly improved. He leased other stys and wallows until the whole neighborhood seemed to be devoted to the pig industry. Then Michael built a smoke-house and it was not long before his hams and bacon came to be known as the choicest in the market! At this time Michael became enamored with a pretty girl who waited on tables at the corner restaurant. He proposed marriage and she accepted. The following spring he erected a monstrous slaughter-house on the ground previously occupied by the pig stys and from that time on became a prominent figure in the community. ""Now, it was quite natural that, finding him so abundantly provided with gold, society should recognize Michael as its darling. All at once it was discovered that Michael possessed rare qualities of head and heart and that his wife was a lady of exceeding beauty and grace. The newspapers flattered the precious pair and society paid homage in the thousand delicious ways known only to society." One of his aristocrat friends said that Grady was not a worthy name, and suggested that he change it. Michael was persuaded to pay $500 to a reputable genealogist to trace his lineage. Turns out that Michael Grady was a lineal descendant of a grand old Norman knight, Michel Grayde who came with William the Conqueror into Great Britain! For his valor, the conqueror awarded the knight half of Ireland! Thus, Michael Grady became Michael Grayde, and flaunted the Grayde coat-of-arms, a shield accosted vert, bars gemel purpure, stags counter courtant, a falcon issuant and recursant, a unicorn at gaze, chevron gules and a banner flotant dexter. His boys were sent to Europe for a proper education, and his daughters were reigning belles.
Columbia County Wills and EstatesColumbia County was created in 1777 and is the site of Augusta, Georgia where the earliest Indian trading posts thrived during Colonial days, trading pelts with whites from Savannah to Augusta. After the American Revolution, a group of Quakers settled in Columbia County in that portion which later became McDuffie County. Researchers should research Richmond and Columbia Counties together, because land boundaries and the overlapping of family plantations, etc. The Estate Accounts represent where heirs were paid, etc. Inventories and Sales also reflect purchases from the estate by family members. Letters of Administration prove a person's death irregardless of whether a will or other estate records was found. A good rule of thumb is that the heirs usually filed within several days of death of the decedent.
Columbia County Probate Records Available to Members of Georgia Pioneers
- Wills 1790 to 1804 (abstracts).
- Wills 1803 to 1821 (abstracts).
- Wills 1822 to 1842 (abstracts).
- Wills 1843 to1888 (abstracts).
Indexes to Probate Records
- Wills (1803 to 1821)
- Will Book X (1839 to 1859).
- Letters of Administration 1788 to 1825.
- Distribution of Estates (1809 to 1827).
- Inventories, Sales, etc., Book G (1804 to 1810).
- Inventories, Sales, etc. (1821 to 1829).
- Inventories, Sales, etc., Book X (1829 to 1839).
- Inventories, Sales, etc., Book EE (1839 to 1850).
- Accounts of Estates, Book L (1813 to 1821).
- Accounts of Estates, Book M (1820 to 1826).
- Accounts of Estates, Book CC (1824-1833).
- Deeds, Book A (1791-1794).
- Deeds 1801-1803.
- Deeds, Book E (1816).
- 1787 to 1863
- Marriage Contracts found in Deeds and Other Documents.
Images of Miscellaneous Documents
- Cartlidge. Sales of Perishable Property of the Estate of Thomas Cartlidge, deceased, Book EE (1839to 50).
- Cole. Inventory of the Estate of Isaac Cole, deceased, Book G (1804-1810).
- Darsey. Inventory of Estate of George Darsey, deceased, page 285. Inventory Book EE (1839-1850).
- Dooly. Appraisement of the Estate of Thomas Dooly, deceased, Book EE (1839-50).
- Going. Return of the Estate of William Going, deceased, Book EE (1839-50).
- Gray. Inventory of the Estate of Nancy Gray, deceased, Book EE (1839-50).
- Lamkin. Last Will and Testament of James Lamkin dated 1791, Loose Wills.
- Lamkin. Last Will and Testament of James Lamkin dated 1844, Loose Wills.
- Lamkin. Inventory of Property of the Estate of James Lamkin, deceased., Book EE (1839-50).
- Lamkin. Samuel Lamkin deed to Elizabeth Norment, 1808. Book P., page 13.
- Norment. Inventory of Estate of William C. Norment dated 1805. Book G (1804-1810)..
- Norment. 1795 Deed of William Norment to John Lamkin, pp. 454-5, Book A.
- Peek. John Peek Sr. deed to John Peek, Jr., Book O, pp. 318-319.
- Sims, Mann, LWT (1873), digital image of original document.
- Sutherland, John, LWT (1820), digital image.
- Tankersley. Appraisement of Personal Property of the Estate of William Tankersley, deceased, Book EE (1839-50).
- Whitcomb. Deed of Notley Whitcomb to Allen Warren 10/13/1802. Book E (1816), pp. 333-334.
- Youngblood. Letters of Administration to George Youngblood, Estate of Abraham Youngblood, deceased (1788-98).
- Youngblood. Deed to George Youngblood and wife, Nancy to Jesse Offutt 12-17-1801. Book E (1816), pp. 183-4.
- Youngblood. Deed of John Youngblood and wife, Anne to Anderson Crawford 2/5/1801. Book E (1816).
- Youngblood. Deed to John Youngblood and wife, Anne to Abraham Youngblood 4/4/1803. Book E (1816), pp. 419-420.
- Origins of Original Settlers
Columbia County Families
Appling Austin Avary Aycock Bayless/td> Bealle Beckham Briscoe Bugg Burnsides Carr Cobbs Cooper Crawford Culbreath Dent Deveret Dorsett Dozier Drane Dunn Harris Howard Lamkin Moon Nesbitt Palmer Perryman Redman Reese Spiers Wellbourne