Southeastern genealogy

The Migration of Georgia Indians into Alabama and Onward

1822 Map of CherokeesThe Coosa, Coushatta, or Koasata Indians inhabited most of the Coosa River valley from the Georgia state line down to about Selma, Alabama. During the late 18th century, remnants of the Coushatta Indians settled near Livingston, Texas on the Alabama-Coushatta Reservation. The Maubilian or Mobile tribes in Selma were scattered south and west throughout the lowlands of Alabama. They traded widely in the southeast and developed a Maubilian Trade Language, eventually merged with the Choctaw Nation. The Creeks began left Georgia about 1818 starting its trek westward into Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas. In Alabama, the Creeks settled primarily in a large area bordered on the north by the southern Appalachian Mountains, on the west by the Cahaba and Alabama Rivers, on the south by the Florida border, and on the East by the Georgia border. What is now Clay and Randolph counties were once the center of a Creek Confederacy. The Seminole were formed in part by rebel elements of the Creek tribe and had part of their history in Alabama. In some treaties with the United States, the Seminole were included with the Creek Confederacy, at least up until the beginning of the Removal to the west. After the Revolutionary War, when Loyalists were declared traitors, renegade Creeks combined with other Indians from Alabama and Georgia to remove to Florida. These Creeks intermarried with runaway Negro slaves and thus gave rise to the Seminole tribe. The Chickasaws inhabited territory in northwest Alabama, however were mostly in northern Mississippi and southwestern Tennessee. The Cherokees occupied western Carolina, Tennesse and northern Georgia. There are three bands of Cherokees in Alabama officially recognized by the Alabama Indian Affairs Commission; viz: the Echota Cherokee Tribe headquartered in Sylacauga; The Cherokees of Northeast Alabama headquartered in Higdon, Alabama; and the Cherokees of Southeast Alabama headquartered in Dothan.

The Route to Alabama

Rikard's MillMost families who went to Alabama came out of Georgia. After the Land Lotteries which resulted from the confiscation of Creek and Cherokee territories in Georgia, families began migrating West. Before that, those persons wishing to cross into Indian Territory, must first obtain a Passport from the Governor of Georgia. In 1785 the State of Georgia recognized the two Nations of Cherokees and Creeks. Although the acquisition of such a passport was for citizens of America, travelers to the area could apply for a passport using the recommendations of their neighbors and friends. Once the Governor approved the request, the passport was issued. While but two of the original passports still survive in the original records of the Governor, it provides a glimpse of the document. Thereafter, all other other passports were issued with the stipulation "for travelers through foreign territories." Genealogists should examine the following books for possible information concerning their ancestors.

  1. Passports Issued by Governors of Georgia, 1785 to 1820 by Mrs. Mary G. Bryan.
  2. Passports issued by the Governors of Georgia 1810-1820 by Mary G. Bryan (1964) published by the National Genealogical Society.
  3. Passports of southeastern pioneers 1770-1823: Indian, Spanish, and other land passports for Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Mississippi, Virginia, North and South Carolina by Dorothy Williams Potter published (1982) by Gateway Press.
  4. The Federal Road through Georgia, the Creek Nation, and Alabama 1806-1836. By Southerland, Henry DeLeon and Brown, Jerry Elijah. The University of Alabama Press (1989).
People left the eastern Georgia counties, moving into central Georgia, and then finally, western Georgia. For this reason, one must first search for clues along the Georgia border. After the American Revolution, families from the New England States after began their migration into Carolina and then to Georgia. While they also left roots in those areas, it is reasonable to assume that those who settled Georgia lingered there for several generations.

When Land was King

tobacco Before the American Revolution ended, land in the thirteen American colonies was worn out. The culprit was mainly tobacco which leached the soil of its nutrients. Although the practice of letting fields lie fallow for two years was in place, good soil was not plentiful. Thus, the traditional family seat began to crumble, as there was not enough good land to pass down in the family. So it was that after the war people began moving on, taking up land grants for their service. Whereever there were land lotteries (such as in Georgia), people participated. Then, as the Indians were driven westward, the next stop was in Alabama. If you are tracing families along the western Georgia border, a common move-to place was Chambers, Limestone and other Alabama border counties. From there, the movement went into Mississippi and Louisiana.

Winterplace in Montgomery

Thornhill in Greene County

Meadowlawn Plantation
Meadowlawn Plantation in Lowndesboro

Oakleigh in Mobile.

Alabama Probate Records and Genealogy

Alabama Map

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  1. Divorce Book B and Index
  2. Chancery Court (Estates, Wills, Petitions, Bonds, Adoptions, Marriage Licenses 1888 to 1927) Index
  3. Deeds pp.124-532

Blount County

  1. Marriages 1820-1825

Chambers County

  1. Marriages 1812-1837
  2. Wills 1833-1856
  3. 1872 Tax Collection

Cherokee County

  1. Cherokee County Index to Apprentice Bonds 1882 to 1909
  2. Rehoboth Cemetery Records
  3. 1883 Pension ROll

Chilton County

  • 1883 Pension ROll

Clarke County

  1. Wills 1818 to 1825; index to wills and estates
  2. Wills and Estates 1825 to 1832
  3. Guardians, Estates, Wills 1832 to 1839; index to wills

Clay County

  1. 1883 Pension ROll
  2. 1909 Clay County Death Index

Dallas County

  1. Dallas Wills (and index) 1821-1848

DeKalb County

  • 1883 Pension ROll

Fayette County

  1. Estate Settlements 1837-1838
  2. Land Grants 1840-1849

Greene County

  1. Greene County Marriages (and index) 1818 to 1847
  2. Greene County Wills 1817-1829; 1827-1841; 1842-1864

Jackson County

Digital Images of Wills and Estates, Will Book K

Names of Testators:
  1. Anderson, John
  2. Anderson, W. L.
  3. Arnold, Ralph
  4. Blackwell, Peter
  5. Byrd, Nathaniel
  6. Christian, Allen
  7. Evans, Samuel
  8. Frazier, Abner
  9. French, Jesse
  10. Gay guardianship
  11. Houston, William
  12. Inglis, Alexander
  13. Inglis, Samuel
  14. Johnson, Henrietta
  15. Larkin, David
  16. Loller, Samuel
  17. Malone, Sandy
  18. Matthews, Alfred
  19. Matthews, guardianship
  20. McClendon, Joel
  21. Messer, John
  22. Parks, Samuel
  23. Prince, Thomas
  24. Reed, John
  25. Reid, John
  26. Robertson, James
  27. Vann, Elizabeth
  28. Walker, George

Jefferson County

  1. Loose Wills 1818 to 1840; index
  2. Wills 1856 to 1880; index

Lauderdale County

  1. Wills 1825-1832

Limestone County

  1. Wills 1826-1831
  2. Index to Will 1885-1890

Macon County

  1. Marriages 1834 to 1842

Madison County

  1. misc Wills

Marengo County

  1. Marriages (and index)
  2. Wills, Estates, Petitions Book A 1819-1865; Book B 1841-1898

Marion County

  1. Marriages, Book 3
  2. 1883 Pensions in Marion County

Mobile County

  1. Wills 1812 to 1837

Montgomery County

  1. Estates 1826 to 1838 (and index)
  2. Wills, Volume I, 1815-1821 (and index)
  3. Wills, Volume II, 1822-1843 (and index)

Morgan County

  1. Marriages 1821-1825

Russell County

  1. Marriages 1926 to 1929
  2. Wills 1828 to 1839
  3. Wills 1850 to 1873

Shelby County

  1. Deans, Josiah Herbert (estate, will)
  2. Estates, Volume B, 1821 to 1839
  3. Wills 1828 to 1841 (and index)
  4. Wills, Volume D, 1841 to 1856 (and index)

Tuscaloosa County

  1. Marriages, Vol. I, 1821 to 1833

Washington County

  1. Estates 1800 to 1939

Church Records

  • Holly Springs Church, Tallapoosa, 1844 to 1852
  • Mt. Bethel Church, Randolph County, 1843 to 1856
  • Mt. Zion Primitive Baptist Church, Talladega, 1842 to 1856
  • Shady Grove Church, Clay Coal, 1880 to 1886
  • Valley Grove Church, Cullman, 1889 to 1967

Muster Rolls of 40th Alabama Infantry

Civil War Records from the National Archives

  • Service Records Index
  • Casualties and Deaths

Index to Alabama Death Records 1908 to 1927