DeKalb County Wills, Estates, Deeds, Church Records, Cemeteries

DeKalb County was created in 1822 after the Muskogee (Creeks) Indians ceded the lands by treaty and was taken from Henry, Gwinnett, and Fayette Counties. It was named after Baron Johann DeKalb, a German hero of the American Revolution. In 1853 Fulton County was created from the northern portion of DeKalb County. Many of the settlers to DeKalb County were in search of new lands and were farmers. When researching DeKalb County, Henry (the parent County) and Fulton Counties should also be researched. Unfortunately, the estate records do not begin until 1840. If you have an ancestor who resided within the boundaries of present-day Atlanta, those records will be found in DeKalb County. Remember, the journey from Atlanta to present-day Decatur to file a deed, will, or other record was quite a trip.

Archaeological Dig at the Lyon Farm on the South River

The Alliance and The Georgia Historic Preservation Division hosted dozens of volunteers during public archaeology days to dig on the Lyon Farm, supposed to be one of the oldest homesteads in DeKalb County. It was built ca 1820 or later. Find your Ancestors in the Georgia Bible Records
Dekalb County Georgia Genealogy Records Available Online to Members

Miscellaneous Wills and Estates

  • Adair, Thomas O., estate
  • Adair, William, deed dated 1849
  • Adams, W. D., estate
  • Akin, Martha, estate
  • Allen, William, estate
  • Anderson, William C., estate
  • Argoe, Robert, estate
  • Armstrong, John, estate
  • Collier, John, Annual Return of Estate
  • Evans, John, deed dated 1850
  • Holland, Edmund W. (deeds) 1851, 1852
  • Jordan, Solomon, deed dated 1851
  • Leitch, Arthur, Estate
  • Perkinson, Dempsey, LWT (1876)
  • Plaster, Benjamin, Sr.
  • Smith, David, LWT (1853)
  • Spain, William S., Inventory and Appraisement of Estate.
  • Sprayberry, Benjamin, LWT (1848).
  • Sprayberry, Brice, LWT (1876).
  • Sprayberry, W. H. E., LWT (1911).
  • Waits, Sarah, LWT (1869)
  • Marriages

    • 1840-1848 (images)
    • 1848-1856 (index)
    • 1856-1872 (index)
    • 1885-1886 from newspapers


    • Map of DeKalb County County

DeKalb County Wills

DeKalb County Probate Records by Jeannette Holland Austin comprizes the content of these records.

  • Wills & Estates 1841-1869
  • Wills & Estates 1870-1889
  • Wills & Estates 1890-1919
  • Appraisements & Returns 1852-1858

Indexes to Probate Records

  • Deed Book L 1846-1852
  • Deed Book M 1850-1853
  • Deed Book N 1852-1854
  • Annual Returns, Appraisements, Inventories, Sales, 1842-1852
  • Annual Returns, Appraisements, Inventories, Sales, 1852-1859
  • Annual Returns, Appraisements, Inventories, Sales, 1858-1863
  • Annual Returns, Appraisements, Inventories, Sales, 1863-1868
  • Annual Returns, Appraisements, Inventories, Sales, 1868-1884


  • 1846 to 1846, Book H

Church Records

  • Utoy Baptist Church, Ft. McPherson, Georgia (members)


  • Index to Burials in the Decatur Cemetery

Military Records

  • Members of 1863 Reconstructed Georgia Militia
  • Confederate Deaths, etc., 38th Regt.
  • Pension Rolls of Disabled Soldiers 1890-1916
  • Pension Rolls of Indigent Soldiers 1890-1909, 1910
  • Indigent Widows of Soldiers Roll 1890-1916
  • Widows of Deceased Soldiers, 1890-1916
  • Confederate Pensions

Traced Genealogies:
DeKalb County Families


" He was so near me I could have touched him with my hand."

DeKalb County was among the first to enroll troops for Confederate service. The first volunteers from Decatur were James L. George, Hardy Randall, L. J. Winn, and Beattie Wilson, who went with the Atlanta Greys during the last part of May 1861. The first company was that of Captain John W. Fowler, called the DeKalb Light Infantry which was mustered into service in Atlanta as part of the 7th Georgia Volunteers. This company left Atlanta for Virginia on the 1st of June, 1861. Those going from DeKalb county in this company were: First Lieutenant, John J. Powell; Second Lieutenant, John M. Hawkins; Third Lieutenant, James L. Wilson; First Sergeant, M. L. Brown; Second Sergeant, D. C. Morgan; Third Sergeant, D. E. Jackson; Fourth Sergeant, John W. Fowler, jr.; Corporals: H. H. Norman, R. F. Davis, C. W. L. Powell; Privates: W. W. Bradbury (afterward captain), E. M. Chamberlain, W. W. Morgan, W. L. Herron, P. H. Pate, C. E. McCulloch, James W. McCulloch, L. C. Powell, H. G. Woodall, J. S. Woodall, A. W. Mashburn, V. A. Wilson, W. J. Mason, J. V. Austin, W. M. Austin, John Eads, E. A. Davis, Dr. A. S. Mason, John W. Norman, E. L. Morton, Henry Gentry,[Pg 23] W. M. Cochran, J. B. Cochran, James Hunter (promoted captain), W. W. Brimm, William Carroll, C. W. McAllister, J. O. McAllister, and many others from the county, making it a full company. The second company from DeKalb was the Stephens Rifles, captain, L. J. Glenn which became part of Cobbs Legion in August of 1861. Dr. Liddell, Frank Herron, Norman Adams, John McCulloch, John J. McKoy, and some others, went from Decatur in this company. The third company was the Murphey Guards, captain, John Y. Flowers. These soldiers came from the upper part of the county, near Doraville, and were named in memory of Hon. Charles Murphey, of DeKalb county, a prominent lawyer and member of Congress was recently deceased. The company was uniformed by the people of the county, a large share being contributed by Mr. and Mrs. Milton A. Candler, and Mr. and Mrs. Ezekiel Mason. Mrs. Candler, whose maiden name was Eliza Murphey, the only child of Charles Murphey, gave the banner, upon which was inscribed, ” The God of Jacob is with us.” The Fourth Company was The Bartow Avengers, Captain William Wright, from the lower part of the county around South River. The Fifth Company, Captain Rankin, was from Stone Mountain. In September of 1861, these three last mentioned companies went into the 38th Georgia Regiment and belonged to the Virginia Army. The Sixth Company, Captain E. L. Morton, entered service on the last of August 1861, in the 36th Georgia Regiment, and was with the Western Army under Johnston. The Seventh Company, the Fowler Guards, Captain Clay, went into the 42nd Georgia Regiment in the early part of 1862 and was also in the Western Army. There were several companies that were made up to go to the camp of instruction near Decatur. Moses L. Brown was Captain of one, and L. D. Belisle of another. Besides the companies already named, all of which went into the infantry, there were many soldiers from DeKalb that went into the Cavalry and Artillery service of the regular army.

Oakland Cemetery

If you wish to discover the first families in Atlanta, Oakland Cemetery is the place to look. It was founded in 1850 and is the final resting place of many persons who built Atlanta. The cemetery was closed to burials sometime before 1890, however, people who owned lots were buried there afterward. Margaret Mitchell, the author of Gone with the Wind is such a person. The book History of Fulton County lists the early residents of Atlanta in their various political capacities