Friday, August 23, 2013

Crawford County Records at the Georgia Archives

I have been surprised at how few researchers know that the Georgia State Archives hold 14 boxes of unfilmed original Crawford County records.  These are an absolute goldmine.  The record group  is mis-leadingly named as "Probate Court - Miscellaneous Records of the Inferior Court".  The miscellaneous part is right and there are in fact many probate records, but there is much more besides.  The vast majority of the records are 19th century although there are a very few that are early 20th century. 

There is in fact a basic finding aid for the records (click on the link that says "view inventory").  It only gives the name of the primary person in the file, but it is a whole lot better than nothing.  If you do go there, I strongly encourage you to look at any folder with a family name, since many other people appear in these records who are not indexed. 

So what all is in here?  Well, there are wills that do not appear in the will books in the Knoxville Courthouse.  There are requests for administration (often naming the heirs) as well as inventories and returns.  Typical probate records in fact.  There are also many bonds, both for guardianship and for jobs, particularly for constable.  There are records involving committing people to the State insane asylum.  These not only list the reasons but they were also required to notify the three closest adult relatives - and they are named.   There are judgments against people for various offensives, normally minor "disturbance of the peace" type records.   There are various cases brought for other reasons.  For instance, one of the files was a man bringing a suit against his brother-in-law, accusing him of bigamy. 

To see these records, you have to fill out a request at the desk.  You will be taken back to the manuscript room, which operates under some very tight but sensible rules.  You can take notes on the records or photograph them.   Not all manuscripts can be photographed, but these have been determined to be old enough to not contain current privacy-related information.

I strongly, strongly encourage anyone doing Crawford County research to look into these records.  I have found some real gold there, including proof of parentage for several of my ancestors.  Don't assume that you can find the same information on line or at the courthouse in Knoxville; this stuff is unique. 

1 comment:

  1. Excellent! I will pass this good info along, thanks.