1870 Georgia Property Maps

The goal of this series of maps is to accurately depict the Wiregrass region at a land lot level as it existed before, around, and immediately after the Civil War. These maps are being generated from a number of sources. From these maps, one should be able to locate where a family farm was within about a mile.

Surviving tax lists are the main source of the information depicted in these maps. Several counties do not have surviving tax lists from before 1870. Furthermore, many of the tax lists from before 1870 did not routinely, fully record property information on tax lists. They would often record what land district the person owned property in and how many acres, but not the land lot number. Land ownership did change too rapidly after the Civil War. Tax records from 1870 and before will be used for creating the map. When owners of land for these records were not in the county before the Civil War, their land lots will be marked blue. Land owned by Freedman will be marked brown. Red land lots will be used to represent the lands where the owners most likely remained the same from the before the Civil War. Yellow land lots will denote land whose ownership is documented in the 1850s or earlier, but appears to have changed by 1860.

Land deeds also help with reconstructing the landscape. Many early land deeds no longer survive due to records being destroyed during disasters at courthouses. Fortunately, many people had their deeds re-recorded after such disasters.

Land surveys are very valuable when reconstructing property boundaries in Wiregrass Georgia since on a few occasions the boundaries of land lots did not meet the ideal square lots due to poorly conducted surveying when the region was first surveyed. Later surveys can help one figure out when land lots have non-typical boundaries.

Sheriff sales can be used to document land ownership around the time of the sale. These sales were advertised in papers across the state and can be one of the few surviving records documenting land ownership before fires.

Problem Counties

There are some counties which will be nearly impossible to map out. A map of the following counties would need to be created from deeds re-recorded after the destructive fires and other accidents.

Clinch County's earliest surviving tax list is from 1872. Clinch County had courthouse fires in 1856 and 1867.

Miller County's earliest surviving tax list is from 1871. It suffered fires in 1873 and 1974.

Worth County's earliest surviving tax list is from 1874. It suffered fires in 1879, 1880, 1893. Land owners do appear in the 1830-1832, 1839, 1841, 1842 tax digests for Irwin County, Georgia, and many deeds from before the county was formed appear in Irwin County deed books. Some deeds were re-recorded after the courthouse fire in 1893.

The chart below shows the availability of ante-Bellum land records for the area.

Antebellum Land Records

Due to the limitations of Google's MyMaps and the online version of Google earth, the Wiregrass region is depicted in a series of maps. The maps are a work in progress and information is still being added to them.

Old Appling County: Appling County was established in 1820 and includes most of the area of non-coastal South East Georgia. The following maps are available:

Old Dooly County: Dooly County was established in 1821. The following maps are available:

Old Irwin County: Irwin County was established in 1820 and includes most of the area of South Central Georgia. The following maps are available:

The map below shows the land districts.

Mapping Progress:

Old Appling County (counties in existence as of 1870):

  • Appling County:
  • Charlton County:
  • Clinch County:
  • Coffee County:
  • Echols County: All Surviving deeds from 1870 and before have been entered. All surviving tax lists have been entered. All surviving mentions of land sales from newspapers have been entered.
  • Pierce County:
  • Ware County:
  • Wayne County:

Old Dooly County (counties in existence as of 1870:

  • Dooly County
  • Pulaski County:
  • Wilcox Count: 1870 tax list entered.
  • Worth County: 1874 tax list entered.

Old Early County (counties in existence as of 1870):

  • Baker County:
  • Calhoun County:
  • Clay County:
  • Early County:
  • Daugherty County:
  • Decatur County:
  • Miller County:
  • Mitchell County:
  • Thomas County:

Old Irwin County (counties in existence as of 1870):

  • Berrien County: All surviving tax lists have been entered, except for 1857. All surviving mentions of land sales from newspapers have been entered.
  • Brooks County:
  • Coffee County:
  • Colquitt County: All surviving tax lists have been entered. Deed records are in the process of being entered.
  • Echols County: All Surviving deeds from 1870 and before have been entered. All surviving tax lists have been entered. All surviving mentions of land from newspapers have been entered.
  • Irwin County: All surviving tax lists have been entered, except for 1857.
  • Lowndes County: All surviving tax lists have been entered, except for 1857. Most deeds from before 1870 have been entered. All surviving mentions of land sales from newspapers have been entered.
  • Thomas County:
  • Wilcox County: 1870 tax list entered.
  • Worth County: The 1874 tax list has been entered. All surviving mentions of lands sales from newspapers have been entered.

Old Wayne County (counties in existence as of 1870):

  • Charlton County:
  • Wayne County: