xt7zkh0dz91n https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt7zkh0dz91n/data/mets.xml Chatham County, Georgia Georgia Historical Records Survey 1938 Prepared by The Historical Records Survey, Division of Women's and Professional Projects, Works Progress Administration; v, 160 leaves, illustrated, 28 cm; Mimeographed; Includes index; UK holds archival copy for ASERL Collaborative Federal Depository Program libraries; Call number Y 3.W 89/2:43/G 296/no.25 books English Savannah: Historical Records Survey Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Georiga Works Progress Administration Publications Inventory of the County Archives of Georgia, Number 25 Chatham County (Savannah) text Inventory of the County Archives of Georgia, Number 25 Chatham County (Savannah) 1938 2015 true xt7zkh0dz91n section xt7zkh0dz91n °  i     N     i     K   mgm?   `  
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QN; k INVENTORY OF THE COUNTY ARCHIVES
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Q NO. 25. CHATHAM COUNTY (SAVANNAH)
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A The Historical Records Survey
  March, 1958

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  Luther H. Evans, National Director A  
  Raiford J. Wood, State Director · S   I
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g · FOREWORD
%
Q The lnventory_o§l%nn§yM£;ch;m§i;Z§M§eo;gEiis one of a number of bib-
, E' liographies of historical materials prepared throughout the United States
{ by workers on The Historical Records Survey of the Works Progress Adminis-
i tration. The publication herewith presented, an inventory of the archives
of Chatham County, is No. 25 of the Georgia series-
The Historical Records Survey was undertaken in the winter of 1955-56
, y for the purpose of providing useful employment to needy unemployed histo-
S rians, lawyers, teachers, and research and clerical workers- In carrying
out this objective, the project was organized to compile inventories of his-
· torical materials, particularly the unpublished government documents and
. records which are basic in the administration of local government, and which
T provide invaluable data for students of political, economic, and social his-
t tory. The archival guide herewith presented is intended to meet the require-
{ f ments of day—to—day administration by the officials of the county, and also
; the needs of lawyers, business men and other citizens who require facts from
# '» the public records for the proper conduct of their affairs. The volume is so
` designed that it can be used by the historian in his research in unprinted
l sources in the same way he uses the library card catalog for printed sources.
I K The inventories produced by The historical Records Survey attempt to do
4 , more than give merely a list of records — they attempt further to sketch in
V ~ { the historical background of the county or other unit of government, and to
~ § describe precisely and in detail the organization and functions of the gov-
· ernment agencies whose records they list. The county, town, and other local
· § inventories for the entire country will, when completed, constitute an ency- -
A l clopcdia of local government as well as a bibliography of local archives.
' l The successful conclusion of the work of The Historical Records Survey,
. d even in a single county, would not be possible without the support of public
‘_ officials, historical and legal specialists, and many ottcr groups in the
_ , community. Their co-operation is gratefully acknowledged.
l` g The Survey was organized and has been directed by Luther H. Evans, and
operates as a nation-wide project in the Division of Wbmen’s and Professional
Projects, of which Mrs. Ellen S. Woodward, Assistant Administrator, is in
charge.
F HARRY L. HOPKTIS
1 Administrator
 
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  Pmcmce
Q The Historical Records Survey in Georgia was organized October 10, 1956,
§ as an independent part of the Nationwide Federal Project No. l of the Works
é Progress Administration, under supervision of Dr. Luther H. Evans, National
4 Director. The project at first began operations as part of the Federal
l Writers' Project and is indebted to Mrs. Carolyn P. Dillard, State Director
j of that project for assistance in its initiation. Miss Annie Laurie Hill was
l in charge of the Historical Records Survey as Assistant State Supervisor un-
der Mrs. Dillard until November, 1956, at which time the present State Direc-
, tor was appointed.
g The objective of The Historical Records Survey in Georgia has been the
i preparation of complete inventories of the records of the State, and of each
a county, or other local governmental units. A condensed form of entry is used,
v information being given as to the limiting dates of all extant records, con-
Q tents of individual series, and the location of records in the county court-
§ houses, or other depository. Titles are arranged by subject under office of
E origin; and indexed alphabetically with cross references. Preceding the en-
’ tries of each office is a brief statement as to the history, functions, and
g the records of that office.
l The purpose of the Survey in Georgia is to make more readily accessible
j a large store of source-material to research students, officials, and histo-
i rians, and hence to assist the growing interest in local history. Such an
I inventory should encourage more systematic arrangement of records and files
D and call attention to the frequently crowded condition in the storage of out-
¥ of-date records.
t The Inventory of County Archives in Georgia will, when completed, con-
1 Q sist of a separate, numbered volume for a¤¤hfEEEnty in Georgia, and will be
1 published in mimeographed form for distribution to state and local officials
i and leading public depositories in the state. These county inventories are
{ being numbered according to the position of each county on an alphabetical
2 list of the 159 counties of the State. The mimeographed Inventory of Chat-
E ham.County records presented herewith becomes No. 25 on such an alphabetical
— ; list. It is expected to have the Inventory of the State Archives and of mu-
‘* § nicipal and other local records published as additional volumes.
1 In inventorying the many records, files, and books of the various of-
fices, such books, as, Supreme Court Reports, all Court of Appeal Reports,
Georgia codes subsequent to Park's Code of 1912, and all modern legal text
v books, have not been listed.
The actual work of inventorying the records in the Chatham County court-
V house was begun October 20, 1956, and was completed March 18, 1957, under the
7 direction of Harold Warnell, District Supervisor and State Editorial Assist-
LK ant, and a clerical staff of workers who have gone into the many details with
j care and accuracy. The records of the board of education, board of health,
5, and department of public welfare, whose offices are located in buildings
·} other than the courthouse, were inventoried in November, 1957. Genuine co-
{ operation was received from all officials, many of whom expressed their per-
i sonal approval of the Survey. In the preparation of the Chatham County In-
j ventory, a number of unusual difficulties were met in that the history of
I the section includes the early history of the colony and state of Georgia.
In the preparation of Part A by the State Director the items of state his-

 g v
Preface
E tory have been handled as briefly as possible with emphasis on the adminis-
i trative developments which led to the establishment of the county govern-
, ment. The office essays and entries of Part B of the Inventory, and the in-
i dex were prepared by Harold Warnell, State Editorial Assistant, and entailed
Q a large amount of legal research.
3 The co-operation of the various clerks and officials in the State and
5 District offices of the WPA has been very gratifying, and the invaluable aid
of Mrs. Lucy B. Mclntire, District Supervisor, Women’s and Professional Pro-
i . jects, District No. 3, of Georgia has been extremely helpful in the many de-
4 tails of this work.
" Q Inasmuch as The Historical Records Survey in Georgia is part of the
Nationwide project, it is expected, upon the completion of the project, that
{ copies of the several thousand other inventories for the counties throughout
· E the United States will be added to those of Georgia and the total number
Q will be placed in one of the public depositories within the state. General
Q regulations and procedures applicable to project units in the forty-eight
Q states have been followed in Georgia so that this state project would be
g uniform with those of other states.
‘ l Raiford J. Wood
j State Director
Q The Historical Records Survey
A Savannah, Georgia
i February, 1958
1
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¥ TABLE OF CONTENTS
D
_ I
_ Q_ A. Chatham County and Its Records System
ir Page
  1.Hist0ri¤alS1cetch...—........................ 4
_§ 2. Governmental Organization and Records System . , . . . . . . . . . l2
A Chart of County Government . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
_ · ¥ 5. Housing, Care, and Accessibility of_the Records . . . . . . . . . . 16
g 4. List of Abbreviations, Symbols and Explanatory Notes . . . . . . . 19
¤ g B. County Offices and Their Records
. I
. k I. County Commissioners .». . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
y { Minutes. Petitions and Applications. Dockets. Budget and
i g Levy. Receipts and Expenditures. Requisitions. Payrolls.
,_ i Bills Passed for Payment. Warrants and Treasurer. Tax Col-
· j { lector's Report. Advertisements. Specifications, Bids, and
y Orders. Auditor. Bonds of County Officers. County Bonds.
§ Roads and Bridges. Penal Institutions: Record of Prisoners;
Q Orders, Supplies, and Produce; Applications for Admission to
§ Farm. County Police. Motor Vehicles. County Poor. Hos-
Q pitals. Vital Statistics. Inventories. Insolvent Court
3 Cost Bills. Liquor. Lunacy. Correspondence. Maps. Mis-
} cellaneous.
I . .
,. ~ g II. Superior Court and Clerk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
Q Realty and Personalty: General Property Records; Deeds; Mort-
-Q gages; Land Title Registers; Land Maps and Plats; Partition
gl of Lands. Homesteads. Civil Records; Minutes; Case Papers
g and Pleadings; Divorce; Dockets; Subpoenas; Bonds; Contempt
é of Court; Receivership. Criminal Records: Minutes; Case Pa-
] · pers; Dockets; Subpoenas; Paroles; Bonds. Appeals to Su-
gm preme Court and Court of Appeals. Juries. Court Costs.
yi Professional Registration. Charters of Incorporation.
fp Trade Names. Notaries Public. Voters and Elections. Sol-
i diers and Their Widows. Aliens and Citizenship. Churches.
Exhibits. Maps. Miscellaneous.
{ III. Solicitor General ..... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 l
l
I IV, Jury Commissioners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
I Minutes.
2
,1 V. Grand Jury . . . ..... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
it Lists of Jurors. Presentmcnts. Miscellaneous.
? VI. Inferior Court . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
$ Sitting for Ordinary Purposes; Estates; Guardianship; Dock-
'Q ets; Miscellaneous. Sitting for County Birposesg Proceedings
§ and Accounts; Schools; County Dependents. Sitting as a Court V
I of Law; Minutes and Proceedings; Case Papers; Dockets; Slaves
Q and Free Persons of Color; Notaries.
I
3
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 Fg 2
E, Table of Contents
2
t
§. Page
  T]'II• Court Of   I 6 8 • 0 0 • •• v • 0 a • • • • • • • • • I I  
Q Minutes. Wills. Estates; Case Papers; Administration of
Q Estates; Guardianship; Bonds, Representatives of Estates;
of Appraisements and Inventories; Accounts; Roturasé Represent-
‘ Q atives of Estates; Widows Years Support. Docket. Costs of
E Court. Lunaey Records, Crphans’ Indenturcs. Apprentices.
E Marriages. Vital Statistics. Homestsads and Exemptions.
i Voters and Elections. Officials' Bonds. Pensions and Con-
3 federate Records. Spirituous Liquorss Licenses. Business
‘ A and Professional Registrations. Newspapers. Correspondence.
Q Miscellaneous.
.‘.  
Z vIII•COU.Il`tyCOUT`b•••¤•••••••••••••••••••••  
g Minutes. Miscellaneous.
Q IX. City Court of Savannah and Clerk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91
a Minutes. Civil Case Papers. Civil Dockets. Insolvent
{ Debtors. Criminal Case Papers. Criminal Dockets. Jurors.
g" Aliens and Citizenship. Court Costs. Miscellaneous.
  XpCj.`byCOllT'bShCTiff••••••••a••c¤•••••••••  
i XL. Justices of the Peace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
i First Militia District. Second Militia District. Third Hi-
Q litia District. Fourth Militia District, Fifth Militia
;’ District. Records of the Five Militia Districts.
§ XII. Municipal Court of Savannah and Clerk . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
lu . . . . . .
g Civil Records; Minutes; Case Papers; Dockets. Criminal Rec-
1} . .
g ords. Juries. Miscellaneous.
          • I I O I I I O O O I I I O O I I I I I  
§ Executions. Subpcenas.
  XwnJu`\T€1'1j.].CCO`J.I`4G••••••••••••e•••••••••••• 
g Case Papers. Dockets. Reports. Correspondence.
  XV- COu1l`byA·b`t]Or1lC§’••••••••••••••••••••••• 
  .X.’VI•COuYl.ty`COrC}H€T•••••••••••••••••••o•••• 
iX
§ XvII•COU.1'l`bySh@Yj.f`f•••z••••e~u•••••••••••••••:1.07
3 Tax Collections. Dockets. Subpoenas. Miscellaneous.
g XVIII. Tax Receiver . . . .‘. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109
Returns. Tax Digests. Property Books. Miscellaneous.
f XIX. County Board of Tax Assessors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1lO
I
Q_ XX. Tax Collector . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111
: Tax Receipts and Refunds. Poll Taxes. Specific and Spe-
° cial Taxes. Tax Statements. Tax Digest. Insolvcnt and
Q Delinquent Taxpayers. Tax Execution Dockets and Tax Fi.
§ Fas. Sheriff‘s Tax Record. Cash Books. Check Decks.
g Voters. Correspondence. Miscellaneous.
is ·
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§‘ Table of Contents
 
gl Page
t XXI. Disbursing Clerk (Formerly County Treasurer) . ._. . . ... . · 121
§ Receipts and Disbursonmnts. Miscellaneous.
X
  XXII. Countyfruditor.........................125
V?
g XXIII. County Registrars . . . . .;. . . . . ... . . . . .4. . . . .. 123
{ Minutes.
?
i XXIV. Board of Public Education for the City of Savannah and the
  COU1']._byOj.`Cll€i..bllB.m •••••_••_¤:••\a.•••••••q  
i Minutes.
4
E XXV. Superintendent of Public Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
4 Teachers and Employees. Payrolls. Financial Record.
§ Pupils. Reports.
E XXVI. Board of Health of Chatham County and the City of Savannah . . 127
"t.‘ Minutes.
l XXVII. District Commissioner of Health and City Health Officer . . . 128
Q Vital Statistics; Births; Deaths; Births, Deaths and Mar-
i riages. Contagious and Infectious Diseases. Burial Per-
; mits. Medical Examinations. Reports. Miscellaneous.
 
  GOU.11-by`Ph;fSiCiG.l1•••••••n••¤•••o•••••••• 
Q XXIX. County Department of Public Welfare . . . ... . . . . . . . . 154
Q Cases. Applications. Investigations. Daily Record Sheets.
1 Special Assistance. Financial Records.
w
i XXX. Superintendent of Public Works and Roads . . . . . . . . . . . 140
{ Property Reports. County Farm Produce Distributed. Requi-
t sitions and Orders. Payrolls and Time Reports. Record of
§ Prisoners. Correspondence.
1
in .XlXXIa RO3.ClCO]mR1SS1OTl*3YS••9v••••••••••••••••••  
j Minutes.
k
§ XXXII. County Surveyor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144
Q Plats and Maps.
i
      ••••¤•••¤••n••••••••¤.•.  
l Plans, Maps, and Field Books; Dredge and Bridge Tender
Q Reports; Payrolls; Correspondence and Catalogues.
i
~ XXXIV. County Agricultural Agent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146
; Federal Government Activities. Extension Division.
yy 4-H Clubs. Correspondence. Miscellaneous.
it XXXV. County Home Demonstration Agent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148
; Reports. Miscellaneous.
U I]_’]_dGX,,•.••p•••••••••••••••••••••].49
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1 (First entry, p. 21)
g l. HISTORICAL SKETCH OF CHATHAM COUNTY
V é Chatham Qounty may well be considered the nucleus from which the pres-
Q ent great State of Georgia has grown through the years of her history, for
E at Savannah, the county seat, was made the first settlement recognized by
§ the English government in colonial days. At Savannah, on February l2, l753,
t the colony of Georgia was founded by James Edward Oglethorpe, who as a mem-
? ber of Parliament, had some time before succeeded in interesting a group of
I influential English gentlemen in the desirability of gaining a grant from
? the king, whereby selected colonists might be settled in the new land to
p seek security and freedom. The colony had been planned with a three—fold
., E purpose: first of relieving the distress of the unemployed, of the debtors'
Q prisons in England and of persecuted Protestant sects; second enlarging the
i British possessions and extending trade; and third serving as a military
E barrier at the southern end of the chain of English colonies to protect
{ Carolina and the others against the Spaniards in Florida, the French in
E Louisiana, and against the Indians. George II had granted the charter to
3 the Trustees "for establishing the Colony of Georgia in America," to include
, Q the land from the Savannah river southward to the Altamaha and "westly to
` ¢ the South Seas."
Q The founding of the colony at Savannah was not the first projected set-
§ tlement in its section, for the area of Chatham County lies within the re-
Y gion for the possession of which there developed a diplomatic struggle of
A nearly two hundred years duration between Spain, France and England. The
I Spanish period of Georgia history had started in l566, when a garrison had
` ` Q been placed on St. Catharine's Island, just south of the present Chatham
Q County, as a defense against the French. The missions had flourished for a
§ hundred years before English aggression checked them. However, within the
_ Q present Chatham County was to be launched the deciding factor in the long
` Q international conflict, for "the Atlantic Coast was definitely attached to
Q England on Oglethorpe's cardinal principle that ultimately the only valid
Q right was the ability to occupy, to dissemble and to hold." (John Tate Lan-
i ning, The Diplomatic History of Georgia).
S °;_`;' `°_'°°"
“i g The idea of a buffer colony south of Charles Town was not new when
, Oglethorpe developed it. It followed a period of many speculative schemes,
§ the best known of which had been put forward in l7l7, when Sir Robert Mont-
; ` Q gemery had projected the famous Margravate of Azilia. This was to have em-
? braced exactly the region which became Georgia, some fifteen years later,
.j including "all that Tract of Land which lies between the Rivers Altamaha
` ` € and the Savanna." Though the scheme "went up in rhetoric" (Bolton and Ross,
E "The Debatable Land") the appeals to the authorities had shown emphatically
§ the strategic value of such a colony as against Spain and France, in that
y y. 2 beside the closer protection against the former it might later cut through
`: ` § to the Gulf of Mexico and stop the encircling French.
it Preceding the proposal of Sir Robert Montgomery for a buffer colony,
a the Yemassee War of 1714-I6 had threatened the destruction of Carolina,
‘ " ` and the authorities had ordered the ill fated Ft. King George to be built
_ as an outpost at the mouth of the Altamaha. Although such action had been
designed against the French (the Carolina reports having complained that
* the "Freneh particularly pretend a Right to the River May"), at the same
i time the menace of the Spanish claim had not been forgotten.
Q
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5
{ Historical Sketch of Chatham County (First entry, p. 21)
 
i By 1752 the demands of Carolina for protection against Spanish occupa-
, tion and a French fur trade monopoly was bringing results in Parliament.
g Coiuciding with philanthropic demands 0f the times, it is not surprising
E that the application for a new colony south of Carolina was rewarded with
f a charter, June 9, l732. The grant included the territory from the Alta-
x maha river to the Savannah, and ran westward to the Pacific, thus embracing
t great areas claimed by the rivals Spain and France.
Thus had the corporation 0f twsnty—0ne trustees been constituted to
settle and establish the new colony of Georgia, while the inevitable clouds
of war gathered. More than a hundred years had elapsed since a corporation
. resident in England had been chartered for the purpose 0f colonization, and
the settlement 0f Georgia enlisted the interest and aid of u larger number
; of people than that of any other English settlement.
Y Adopting the motto "Ncn Sibi, Sed Aliis", the Trustees, (under the lead-
X ership of Viscount Percival, afterward Earl of Egmont, in England, and ably
_ s represented by James Edward Oglethorpe as the accompanying Trustee in the
V colony) devoted care and much wisdom to the administration of their colony,
for twenty years. The Trustees had decided, November 1, 1732, that a town
_ named Savannah should be built on a tract 0f 5,000 acres, which, as the
Secretary wrote, should be "as near the Savannah as conveniently they can,
f that they may be at a greater distance from the Spaniards."
Through the initial period of colonization, Georgia grew steadily by
additions of groups of liberty seeking colonists from various countries,
L which gave the future Chatham County u heterogeneous population, tied to-
ii gcthcr by the mutual pursuit of religious tclermticn and financial security.
f The colonists embraced distinct groups 0f English, Scotch, French, Salz-
$ burger, German, and Swiss, each with an individual and interesting background
i 0f persecution or danger which had brought them to meet on this common ground.
Q However, thc colony soon became closely molded under the English law to form
{ a background of distinct English flavor for this starting point of Georgia,
2 and for the basic laws of thc future state.
v
V Q The administration 0f justice in tha colony ut the tsginning was handled
i `i ii entirely under authority of the Trustees, and though it had been planned to
Q have complete civil government in Savannah, it was necessary for Oglethorpe
g t0 assume full powurs in legal, as wcll as other matters. in the words of
§ Viscount Egmcnt "we were not particular in establishing the constitution be-
· E cause till wc come to that the laws of England take placc." H0wcv