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Another Soldier of the Revolution Gone!"Departed his life on the 23rd ult. at his residence in Washington County, Major Nicholas Curry in the 67th year of his age. He entered the Revolutionary War as a private and left it with the rank of Captain of Dragoons after a hard service of five years." Source: The Southern Recorder, Milledgeville, Georgia, March 12, 1827.>
After Aaron Burr Killed Alexander Hamilton He Spent the Night in the Warthen JailAfter serving as a Continental Army officer during the Revolutionary War, Aaron Burr was a successful lawyer and politician. He was elected twice to the New York State Assembly and appointed as State Attorney General; later as Senator. His job as President of the Senate afforded him the duties of vice president and he was present at the first impeachment trial in the Senate of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase. However, during the last year of his term as vice president, Burr killed his political rival Alexander Hamilton in a famous duel. Burr was never tried for the illegal duel and all charges against him were eventually dropped, but the death of Hamilton ended his political career. So Burr left Washington and traveled West seeking new opportunities. But his activities eventually led to his arrest on charges of treason in 1807. Although the subsequent trial resulted in acquittal, Burr was left with large debts and few friends and went to Europe where he remained until 1812 when he returned to the United States to practice law in New York City. He spent the rest of his life in relative obscurity. The Warthen Jail in Warthen, Georgia was built for detaining Vice President Aaron Burr while he was enroute to trial for treason. (According to the marker). Days before Hamilton dueled with Burr, he wrote this letter to his wife, Elizabeth Schuyler. "I need not tell you of the pangs I feel, from the idea of quitting you and exposing you to the anguish which I know you would feel. Adieu best of wives and best of Women. Embrace all my darling Children for me." (National Archives)
Land Grants in Washington CountyAfter the American Revolution, a goodly number of veterans drew bounty grants in Washington County. However, due to the fact that the descriptions of the acreage is so vague and the fact that the records burned, it is difficult to ascertain who actually took up the land grants. However, when Aaron Burr was in Warthen, it was apparently a remote agricultural community. Actually, Richard Warthen, a successful planter having a large plantation, put the town on the map and listed a family of twelve children on the 1850 census.
Patriots on the FrontierJohn Smith, Rifleman, had a home in the new State of Franklin, which is located today in Sinclair County Tennessee. You might say that this was one of the worst places in America to reside prior to the Revolutionary War. During the 1730s, however, settlement was encouraged in the Alleghany mountains of North Carolina and Virginia, and land grants issued for that purpose. Settlers of Scotch-Irish and German origin poured into the regions of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and the North Carolinas. From there, they traveled the Wilderness Road through the Alleghany Mountains of Virginia and North Carolina. The opposition which they met, especially from Shawnee Indian tribes was in the form of thieving, scalping and taking white women as slaves. The determination of Chief Cornstalk to eliminate the Europeans from settling this region of the country pushed the Governor of Virginia into a war, wherein ordered all the Virginia Militia to meet Cornstalk at the Falls of the Ohio River where the rapids dropped the river level about 25 feet in length for 2-1/2 miles. However, only two Militia Companies arrived in time, viz: both from Botetourt County, Virginia. As soon as the Europeans crossed the river, Cornstalk charged. Both sides had many casualties, however, eventually Cornstalk signed a Treaty which he did not keep. Thus, before the Revolutionary War, John Smith and others removed their families to Georgia. Several years later when the war came, he enlisted into service as a rifleman, and after the war received land grants in Wilkes County. Smith had about fifteen children. One son, Alexander, served as a Minute Man during the War. He was married to Sarah Franklin whose family had also left the Alleghanies. Their son, Davis Smith,born 1791 in Washington County, Georgia was married first to Hannah Tuttle who gave him two sons who died as infants, both of whom were named after the patriot and Revolutionary War Soldier, William Franklin, his grandfather. Hannah soon died. Then, Davis Smith married again and purchased farm land in Monroe County. In 1850, when Barnum and Bailey brought the Swedish Soprano Jenny Lynn to America, the couple traveled to Charleston, South Carolina to hear her. After the concert, Davis purchased a piano for Elizabeth, which was known as the "first piano in Monroe County." By the time of the War Between the States, the plantation was of considerable size and produced cotton crops and agricultural products for the community. His sons went to war, never to return. Meanwhile, Smith and his daughters resided in the big house. When General Sherman torched Atlanta and moved south owards Savannah, the army was within several miles of the plantation. A long line of slaves (which grew longer each day) followed the army. There were difficulties feeding so many people, and it was known by residents of small towns that slaves were deliberately drowned in local streams and rivers. Patrols scouted the area surrounding Forsyth and Macon, finally coming upon the Smith plantation. Smith, an old man, hide in a tree while they stole everything, cattle and foodstuffs. But there was a small crisis. When the patrol entered the yard, the horses were paused under a tree where Smith had climbed the branches to hide. He was afraid of being discovered, especially from the loud ticking of the gold watch in his pocket. As it was, the yankees were en route to the sea, and would have killed him. (Smith died three years later) Doomsday came after Sherman reached Savannah and local farms could no longer be tended. Everyone was in a bad way. The daughters residing in the big house waited for their husbands to come home. Jane had married Wesley Clements, a handsome Surgeon who was killed while serving with the Alabama Troops and by him had two children, Lizzie and Tom Clements. After the war, Jane married Thomas Young Brent, a Kentuckian who moved into the big house and managed a plantation store (now Brent, Georgia), but they were on poor times. Jane and T. Y. had two boys. When Jane died in 1905, her daughter (Lizzie Clements Chambliss) removed to Atlanta and located on Sydney Street in Grant Park. They had only been in the house for two years, when Lizzie, a practising Christian Scientist, and her children fell ill with typhoid fever. The children were given medical treatment, but Lizzie died. She was taken to the family cemetery at Brent.
Bloody Indian BattlesWilliam Franklin of Davisboro, Georgia descends from Thomas Franklin who resided in Princess Anne County Virginia during the 1650s. When Thomas died, he typically bequeathed several farms to the older sons. The youngest son, Edward, left without land, departmed from region during the 1730s and acquired a land grant on the Alleghany Mountains (Augusta County, later Botetourt County) Virginia on Pine Run. William (son of Edward) married Sarah Boone, a cousin of George Boone of Philadelphia (Quakers). The Boone families had large families of ten or fifteen children and most of them left Pennsylvania and crossed into the mountains of Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio. One of Sarah's relatives who had located in nearby in Botetourt County, had two daughters who were stolen by Indians. It was a common occurrence in the mountains for Indians to steal women and drag them through villages and across the countryside, never to return. Sarah Boone Franklin had two children, James and George Thomas, the latter being named after his two grandfathers). Sarah died in 1755. William married again, and his second wife gave birth to four or five children (the eldest, William). In 1763, he purchased a farm on the James River Mountain (present day Buchanan) of some two hundred acres. In 1770, George Thomas Franklin decided to leave his father and step-siblings to make a home for himself on the old site of Thomas Franklin on Kellogg Creek in Currituck County, North Carolina (received as a land grant in 1650s). Meanwhile, the Governor of Virginia (1772) had called up the militia of Botetourt County. The Botetourt Militia was the only militia to arrive at the battle on time. Cornstalk was waiting at the Falls, and attacked immediately. William, now in his fifties, forged forward with the Militia at the Falls of the Ohio River. There were heavy casualties on both sides, however, the Shawnee chief finally signed a Treaty that day in October of 1772, which he did not keep. William was listed on the Muster of the Botetourt Militia as having been wounded. William returned home to a countryside yet filled with Indian raiders. The Indians never quit. Two years earlier, his eldest son, Thomas George, became of age, and went East where he settled on the old homestead of his grandfather, Thomas Franklin, on Kellogg Mountain in Currituck County, North Carolina (outer-banks). In 1780, with the Indian matter still unresolved, William decided to go back East. He arrived in time for the beginning of the Southern Campaign of the Revolutionary War, and enlisted under General Lee. His sons, Thomas George and William, also enlisted, yet not full-time. So it was the elderly William Franklin who stands out, and doubless for whom the first two sons of Davis Smith were named. The elderly William served under General Lee until the end of the war, and received land grants in Georgia amounting to over 1,100 acres. To follow William, all that one has to do is to follow General Lee, the officer who signed all of his land grants. The relentless William began with Lee at the battle of Augusta, fighting alongside the South Carolina Militia; the battle of Guilford Court House and King's Mountain, and finally the Battle of Yorktown! Then, the elderly patriot built his home at Davisboro. The DAR found the home place, but no tombstone. Given his service in two wars and the births of his siblings and children, he was born ca 1725 in probably Princess Anne County, Virginia.
John JordanJohn Jordan migrated from Greenville County, Virginia to Washington County, Georgia. Buried on the old plantation near Sandersville. From the intersection of Hwy 15 and Business Hwy 24 (Church Street) go north on Hwy 15 for 1.7 miles to Hwy 24 Bypass (Fall Line Freeway, Hwy 88). Continue on Hwy 15 north for 0.4 mile to a driveway on the right at approximately milepost 17 and house number 850. Go 0.1 mile on driveway. The cemetery is in the woods on the right side of the existing stucco house and driveway. His was married to Winnifred Jordan, his cousin, and served in the North Carolina Troops during the Revolutionary War under the regiment of Samuel Elbert.
Colonel Francis TennilleThe Tennilles were among those French Huguenots from Picardy, France who came to America during the early 1700s. Colonel Francis Tennille Jr served as a First Lieutenant in the Second Georgia Continental Battalion during the American Revolutionary War for which he received land grants in Washington County.
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Washington County Probate RecordsWashington County was formed in 1784. The earliest land grants to Revolutionary War soldiers were made in Washington County, however, the plats and deeds did not survive. The early records of Washington County were destroyed, but there are some estate records beginning ca 1851. No wills. The indexes provided below reflect the existing estate books.
Washington County Records Available to Members of Georgia Pioneers
Washington County Probate Records
- Washington County Estates (Misc).
- Washington County Letters of Administration, Testamentary, Guardianship, Book A, partial transcription (1829-1876).
Online Images of Wills 1852 to 1903Testators: Achord, John; Adams, Benjamin ;Adams, Elizabeth ;Anderson, William ;Archer, William ;Armstrong, Eliza Ann ;Armstrong, Eunice ;Armstrong, Jane; Armstrong, William ;Avant, H. H. ;Avant, James Ransom ;Baily, John ;Baker, Mary ;Barksdale, Elizabeth ;Barksdale, William ;Bland, Elisha ;Bland, Micajah ;Bland, Simeon ;Boatwright, John ;Braddy, John ;Brantley, Green; Brantley, Spencer ;Brantley, Zachariah ;Britt, Henry ;Brooks, James ;Brown, Emanuel; Brown, Handley ;Brown, Matilda ;Brown, Sarah ;Brown, Thomas ;Bryant, Jason ;Buck, William ;Bucks, William ;Bullard, Lewis ;Burns, D. S. ;Canter, William ;Carter, Isabella ;Chambers, Bricy ;Chester, Burrell ;Clay, William ;Coleman, Isham ;Cook, Lydia ;Covington, John; Cox, Henry ;Cox, Miles ;Crafton, Samuel ;Croom, Jesse ;Cumming, Robert ;Daniel, Joseph ;Davis, Dioclission ;Davis, Elizabeth ;Davis, William ;Downs, Mary ;Duggan, Archilaus; Duggan, Archilus; Duggan, Asa ;Duggan, John; Duggan, John M. ;Duggan, Martha ;Duggan, Thomas Green; Dukes, Nancy Caroline ;Durden, Lewis ;Durden, Mathew ;Durloo, Hattie; Eastwood, Sophira ;Eclemer, Philip ;Ennetts, Elizabeth ;Evans, Jasper ;Fish, William ;Fisher, Metcalf; Fluker, Robert ;Fowler, Elbert ;Francis, Nancy ;Fulgham, Elizabeth; Fulgham, James ;Fulgham, Matthew ;Fulgham, William ;Gilmers, John; Gladden, Jonathan; Gladin, Solomon ;Gordon, Richard ;Green, Martha ;Greenway, Alfred ;Haines, M. J., Mrs. ;Haines, Nathan ;Hall, Annie ;Hall, Lewis ;Hall, Rabun ;Hall, William Bennett ;Happ, Pincas; Hardwick, T. S., Mrs. ;Hardwick, William ;Harris, Churchwell ;Harris, Richard; Harrison, Green B.; Harrison, John; Harrison, Joseph ;Hart, S. W. ;Hartley, Jonas ;Hartley, Mary Jane ;Hataway, Baton;Hawkins, Henry; Haynes, William ;Heath, Henry ;Higgins, George ;Hill, Ophelia ;Hines, Augusta ;Hines, Churchill ;Hines, Leonidas ;Hollifield, Horatio ;Holmes, James;Holmes, John; Holmes, Jordan ;Hook, Edward ;Hooks, Green ;Hooks, Hopewell ;Horton, Harrel ;Howard, Lemuel ;Hunt, Silas ;Hunt, William ;Inman, Mary ;Jackson, Allen ;Jackson, Irwin ;Jackson, Martha; Jackson, Sarah ;Jenkins, Uriah; Jernigan, Lewis ;Johnson, William; Joiner, Malachi ;Joiner, Malachi, Jr.; Jones, Edmund ;Jones, H. R.; M rs. ;Jones, Sarah;Jordan, Cornelius ;Jordan, Ephraim ;Jordan, William ;Kelley, Seaborn ;Killingsworth, Jane ;Lang, Nancy ;Larson, Alexander ;Leverett, John; Long, John; Lord, Solomon ;Massey, Abel ;Matthews, Martha ;Mayo, Howell ;Mayo, William ;McConky, Andrew ;Meadows, James ;Meeks, Bennett ;Miller, Charles ;Mills, Daniel ;Mills, Elizabeth; Mills, Francis ;Mills, Stephen; Mitchell, Henry ;Moor, Cason ;Moor, Mathew ;Morgan, William; Mouldin, James ;Moye, Sarah ;Moye, Thomas ;Murphey, William ;Newsom, H. K. ;Newsom, Solomon ;Newsome, Joeday ;O'Reilly, Christopher ;Orr, Mary ;Osborn, Sallie ;Page, James ;Palmer, Daniel ;Parks, George S. ;Pate, Redding ;Peacock, Anna ;Philips, Susasnah ;Pilcher, Lewis ;Pool, Middleton ;Posey, Henry; Pratt, Nathan ;Price, L. B. Jr.; Price, Moor ;Pugesly, John; Pugesly, Tabitha ;Rawlins, Ezekiel ;Rice, Harriett ;Roberson, John; Robertson, Agness ;Robison, Elizabeth ;Robison, Martha ;Robison, Moses ;Robison, Samuel ;Rogers, Oscar ;Roughton, Enoch ;Roughton, H. C. ;Roughton, Zachariah ;Saffold, Isham ;Salter, Thomas ;Sellers, Anna ;Sessions, Andrew ;Sessions, Benjamin ;Shehee, Elephair ;Sheppard, Charles ;Sheppard, Charles (2) ;Sheppard, David ;Sherling, James ;Shirling, James ;Smith, Alexander ;Smith, Benjamin ;Smith, Isaac ;Smith, James F. ;Smith, John E. ;Smith, Lavina ;Smith, Louisa ;Smith, Nancy ;Smith, Peter ;Smith, William O. ;Smith, William ;Sparks, Morgan ;Strange, Gideon ;Strange, Martha ;Summerlin, Mary ;Sumner, Jane ;Tanner, Franklin ;Tanner, Joseph ;Tanner, Thomas ;Tanner, Thomas ;Tanner, William ;Tarbutton, Augustus ;Taylor, Henry ;Taylor, James E. ;Taylor, Kinchen ;Taylor, Milly ;Taylor, William ;Taylor, William (2) ;Thornton, A. R. ;Tribble, Martha ;Turlington, Thomas ;Underwood, Reuben ;Vinson, David ;Walker, James Freeman ;Walker, John H. ;Walker, William ;Walters, Richard ;Warthen, Richard ;Warthen, Sarah ;Warthen, Thomas ;Watkins, Mitchell ;Webb, John; Webster, William ;Wehling, Jacob; West, Elbert ;Whitaker, George ;Whitfield, Rebecca ;Whitfield, Robert ;Wicker, Margaret ;Wicker, Thomas ;Wicker, Thomas A. ;Williams, John; Witt, Michael ;Wommack, Mary ;Wood, Henry ;Wright, John ;Yates, James ;Yates, Mary ;Youngblood, J. T.; Youngblood, Wineyford;
Indexes to Probate Records
- Divisions of Estates, Letters of Administration, Guardianship, Book A (1829-1876).
- Inventories, Vol. A, 1846-1862.
- Letters of Guardianship and Apprenticeships, Vol. A, 1829-1876.
- Annual Returns, Book B, 1843-1852.
- Annual Returns, Book C, 1851-1855.
- Annual Returns, Book E, 1856-1858.
- Annual Returns, Book F, 1858-1866.
- Annual Returns, Book G, 1866-1878.
- Annual Returns, Book H, 1878-1890.
- Washington County Marriages from newspapers 1828-1885.
- Origins of Early Settlers to Washington County.
- Map of Washington County.
- Washington Notes by Jeannette Holland Austin
- 1787 Grand Jury Presentments
Traced Genealogies of Washington County Families