Welcome to the Wiregrass Region Digital History Project!
The Wiregrass Region Digital History Project (WRDHP) is a volunteer-based effort between professional and amateur historians, archivists, photographers, videographers, and others with the goal of helping to document and preserve the history of the Wiregrass Region, i.e. South Georgia, North Florida, and Southeast Alabama. Technology is making it easier to document “history from the bottom up” than ever before. Through online articles, photography and videography, we aim to preserve at risks structures and at risk oral history. We also seek to serve as a platform for “history from the bottom up” for the Wiregrass Region beyond the realm of oral history. Getting the people of the Wiregrass region involved in their history is also a priority of ours.
Our main project is our Oral History and Photography Project. We will be using the Google My Maps service to pin our content to coordinates. We will be photographing historic sites that are at risk, and conducting oral history interviews and research about that those sites. The community will then be able to view the content through the map. This will help preserve digitally sites that finances prevent from being saved physically. This also allows future users to understand the context of those sites in relation to current geography, something that can be lost by photographs alone once structures have been lost to living memory. We also have a map for documenting structures demolished before 1990 and historic structures based upon when they were built. Some structures will be cross-listed on both maps, so that one can view structures based upon preservation status and when they were built.
Feel free to explore our website and to contact us with questions.
Sunday, 3 September 2019:
We have finished abstracting the deed books for both Irwin County and Worth County for the time period before 1874. The spreadsheet for the Irwin County deed books can be found here. The spreadsheet for the Worth County deed books can be found here. These deeds cover most of the area that now makes up modern Ben Hill County, Irwin County, Tift County, Turner County, Wilcox County, and Worth County, in addition to parts of Atkinson County, Berrien County, and Coffee County. Deeds involving slaves can be founds by search "slaves" in the search bar in the spreadsheet for Irwin County. No slave related deeds were re-recorded in Worth County after the multiple courthouse fires.
Information from these deed books is in the process of being inputted into our 1870 property maps.
We have also updated our 1870 property maps with data from the 1870 Wilcox County tax list and from the 1874 Worth County tax list. The parts of these counties that were originally part of Dooly County can be found here. The parts of these counties that were originally part of Irwin County can be found here for the Worth County section, and here for the Wilcox County section.
Wednesday, 13 March 2019:
We have prepared a new version of Thannie Smith Wisenbaker's memories of Valdosta, Georgia from when she first came to the area in 1863. This version comes directly from her manuscript that was written in 1933. It can be found here. A map has also been made that depicts Valdosta circa the mid 1860s. That map can be found here.
Wednesday, 6 February 2019:
We have uploaded the maps we have created a property map of South Georgia depicting the area about 1870. These maps are a work in progress. The maps covering the area of modern Ben Hill County, Berrien County, Colquitt County, Echols County, Irwin County, Lanier County, Lowndes County, Tift County, and Turner County. The data is all searchable. It includes information from tax lists, sheriff sales, and deeds. A special thanks to our of volunteers who have helped out. The links to all of the maps can be found here.
Tuesday, 31 July 2018:
We have finished abstracting all of the deeds for Echols County, Georgia from before 1870. All of deed book B, which goes to 1876 has been abstracted. It is available here.
Tuesday, 24 July 2018:
We have finished creating a finding aid for the entire run to present of the The Huxford Genealogical Society Quarterly . The content of each issue has been abstracted. It is in a searchable spreadsheet and can be found here.
Friday, 18 May 2018:
We have a new article covering the events of the 1918 Lynching Rampage in Brooks County and Lowndes County, Georgia. The articles demonstrates some of the things the newspapers and later accounts got wrong. The lives of Mary Turner and the other lynching victims are fleshed out using genealogical techniques. The article also covers the trial of Leamon Wright alias "Shorty" Ford who was executed in 3 June 1921 for the murder of Hampton Smith and assaulting Bertha Simmons Smith.
Monday, 29 May 2017:
We have added a summary of all the deeds from Lowndes County, GA Deed Book A which covers from 1820 to 1860.
It can be found here.
Wednesday, 17 May 2017:
We have added uploaded the summary of Valdosta related deeds primarily from Deed Book B of Lowndes County, GA which covers the period of 1860 to 1868. Additional deeds from the time period for Valdosta, but found in other deed books.
It can be found here.
Friday, 3 March 2017
Our maps have had many locations added to them. We also have added two articles to our site.
"How to Identify Land Lots" it covers the various land survey systems used in the Wiregrass, with a focus upon the Georgia survey systems. The article aims to help people be able to identify the current locations of historic land lots from records.
"The Journal of Thomas Spalding" it covers the exploration of the Florida-Georgia line by a team of surveyors in early 1827. Many locations are mentioned.
Friday, 10 February 2017
Basic content has been added. The project is ready to start.
Saturday, 14 January 2017
Our website is online and content is slowly being added to it.