Georgia Land Lotteries

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Georgia distributed public lands by lotteries open to all citizens of the state, with special consideration given to Revolutionary War veterans in the 1820, 1827, and 1832 lotteries. Although all the land lottery lists are extremely valuable as finding aids, the 1805 lottery list is notable because it is the only complete list of all entrants; the other lists include only fortunate drawers. Each lottery distributed different lands, and had similar, but differing rules of eligibility.

1805 Land Lottery

Participants had to meet one of the following eligibility requirements, for which they received one or two draws.

  1. Free white male, 21 or over, citizen of the United States, and an inhabitant of Georgia for the 12 months preceding 11 May 1803, or had paid a tax toward the support of the state, one draw.
  2. Free white male, as above, with a wife, or a legitimate child under 21, two draws.
  3. Widow, resident of Georgia for the 12 months preceding 11 May 1803, with a legitimate child under 21, two draws.
  4. Family of orphans under 21, both parents deceased or the father deceased and the mother remarried, one draw.

1807 Land Lottery

Participants had to be citizens of the United States and residents of the State of Georgia for the three years immediately preceding the Act of 26 June 1806, and could not have won in the previous (1805) lottery. In addition, participants had to meet one of the following eligibility requirements, for which they received one or two draws.

  1. Free white male, 21 or over, one draw.
  2. Free white male, 21 or over, with a wife, or a legitimate child aged under 21, two draws.
  3. Widow, one draw.
  4. Free white female, 21 or over, one draw.
  5. Family of orphans aged under 21, father deceased, one draw.
  6. Family of two or more orphans, both parents deceased, two draws, and to register in the county where the eldest orphan lives.
  7. Family of one orphan aged under 21, both parents deceased, one draw.

1820 Land Lottery

Participants had to be citizens of the United States and residents of the State of Georgia for the three years immediately preceding the Act of 15 December 1818, unless the participant had served as a draftee or volunteer “in the late Indian war,” had become a citizen of Georgia, and had lived in the state since the conclusion of their military service. Participants who won in any of the previous lotteries were prohibited from participating, except indigent or invalid Revolutionary War soldiers, who were allowed one draw. Any person legally drafted during the War of 1812 who refused to serve or hire a substitute also was prohibited from participating. In addition, participants had to meet one of the following eligibility requirements.

  1. Free white male, 18 or over, one draw.
  2. Free white male, 18 or over, with a wife, or a legitimate child aged under 18, two draws.
  3. Widow, one draw.
  4. Family of orphans aged under 21, father deceased, one draw.
  5. Family of two or more orphans, both parents deceased, two draws, and to register in the county where the eldest orphan lives.
  6. Family of three or more orphans, both parents deceased, two draws, to be applied for in the county of residence of the eldest orphan.
  7. Family of one or two orphans, both parents deceased, one draw, to be applied for in the county of residence of the elder orphan.
  8. Family of more than one orphan that had won in a previous lottery, one draw.
  9. Revolutionary War veteran who served in the forces of the United States, invalid or indigent, and a previous winner, one draw.

Additional draws were available for those who qualified in the following categories.

  1. Revolutionary War veteran who served in the forces of the United States, invalid or indigent, two extra draws.
  2. Widow or family of orphans, husband or father killed #&147;in the late wars” with Great Britain or the Indians, one extra draw.

1821 Land Lottery

Participants had to be citizens of the United States and residents of the State of Georgia for the three years immediately preceding the Act of 15 May 1821. Participants who won in any of the previous lotteries were prohibited from participating. Any person legally drafted during the War of 1812 who refused to serve or hire a substitute, and any person who deserted the military forces of the State of Georgia or the United States was prohibited from participating. Any person who left the State of Georgia to escape the laws of the state, to avoid paying debts, or who had not paid all their taxes was prohibited from participating. Convicts in a penitentiary could not apply for draws, but their children were treated as if they were orphans. In addition, participants had to meet one of the following eligibility requirements.

  1. Free white male, 18 or over, one draw.
  2. Free white male, 18 or over, with a wife, or a legitimate child aged under 18, two draws.
  3. Widow, one draw.
  4. Family of orphans aged under 21, father deceased, one draw.
  5. Family of three or more orphans, both parents deceased, two draws, to be applied for in the county of residence of the eldest orphan.
  6. Family of one or two orphans, both parents deceased, one draw, to be applied for in the county of residence of the elder orphan.

Additional draws were available for those who qualified in the following categories.

  1. Widow, husband killed “in the late wars” with Great Britain or the Indians, one extra draw.
  2. Family of orphans, father killed “in the late wars” with Great Britain or the Indians, one extra draw.

1827 Land Lottery

Participants had to be citizens of the United States and residents of the State of Georgia for the three years immediately preceding the Act of 1 January 1827. Previous winners, with exceptions noted below, were prohibited from participating. Any person who refused to serve in the military forces after volunteering, or having been drafted, or was a deserter, was prohibited from participating. Any person who left the State of Georgia to escape the laws of the state, to avoid paying debts, or who had not paid all their taxes was prohibited from participating. Convicts in a penitentiary could not apply for draws, but their children were treated as if they were orphans. In addition, participants had to meet one of the following eligibility requirements.

  1. Free white male, 18 or over, one draw.
  2. Free white male, 18 or over, with a wife, or a legitimate male child aged under 18, two draws.
  3. Widow, one draw.
  4. Family of orphans aged under 18, father deceased, one draw.
  5. Family of more than three orphans, both parents deceased, two draws, to be applied for in the county of residence of the eldest orphan.
  6. Family of one or two orphans, both parents deceased, one draw, to be applied for in the county of residence of the elder orphan.
  7. Every male or unmarried female aged 10 or over but under 18 and an idiot, a lunatic, insane, blind, or deaf, one draw, to be applied for by their legal guardian.

Additional draws were available for those who qualified in the following categories.

  1. Widow, husband killed or died in service or on a return march in the wars against Great Britain or the Indians, one extra draw.
  2. Orphan, father killed or died in service or on a return march in the wars against Great Britain or the Indians, one extra draw.
  3. Every man disabled in the wars with Great Britain or the Indians, one extra draw.

Special Exceptions

  1. Every Revolutionary War veteran who had not drawn a lot for his service in the previous lottery, regardless of other successful draws, two extra draws.
  2. Every Revolutionary War veteran who had drawn a lot for his service in the previous lottery, regardless of other successful draws, one extra draw.
  3. Widow of a Revolutionary War veteran, one extra draw.
  4. Every person who had previously won as an orphan, and was 18 or older on 1 January 1827, one extra draw.
  5. All persons who had previously won as orphans, and were under 18 on 1 January 1827, as a family of orphans, one extra draw.
  6. Children of convicts and illegitimate children were treated as orphans.
  7. The wife or children of any man who was absent from Georgia for 3 or more years were treated as a widow and orphans, and any lots won were vested in them as those the absent husband were deceased.
  8. Any man who served in his own right (not as a substitute) for a 3-month tour of duty during the “previous” war with Great Britain or the Indians, one extra draw.

1832 “Cherokee” Land Lottery

Participants had to be citizens of the United States and residents of the State of Georgia for the three years immediately preceding 1 January 1832. Previous winners were prohibited from participating. Any person who refused to serve in the military forces after volunteering, or having been drafted, or was a deserter, was prohibited from participating. Any person who left the State of Georgia to escape the laws of the state, to avoid paying debts, or who had not paid all their taxes was prohibited from participating. Convicts in a penitentiary could not apply for draws, but their children were treated as if they were orphans. Anyone “either directly or indirectly concerned or interested with a certain horde of Thieves known as the Pony Club” was prohibited from participating. In addition, participants had to meet one of the following eligibility requirements.

  1. Deaf and dumb, or blind, and neither an orphan nor previous winner, one draw.
  2. Free white male, 18 or over, one draw.
  3. Free white male, 18 or over, with a wife, or a legitimate male child aged under 18, or unmarried female child under 18, two draws.
  4. Widow, one draw.
  5. Family of orphans aged under 18, father deceased, one draw.
  6. Family of more than three orphans, both parents deceased, two draws, to be applied for in the county of residence of the eldest orphan.
  7. Family of one or two orphans, both parents deceased, one draw, to be applied for in the county of residence of the elder orphan.
  8. Unmarried female 18 or over whose father was killed while in service during the American Revolution or War of 1812, during conflict with Native Americans, or on the return march from such service.

Additional draws were available for those who qualified in the following categories.

  1. Widow, husband killed or died in service or on a return march in the wars against Great Britain or the Indians, one extra draw.
  2. Orphan, father killed or died in service or on a return march in the wars against Great Britain or the Indians, one extra draw.
  3. Every man disabled in the wars with Great Britain or the Indians, one extra draw.
  4. Every Revolutionary War soldier who was not a previous winner as a Revolutionary War soldier, two extra draws.
  5. Every citizen of the State of Georgia who, during the War of 1812, served at least two months on his own account, or who paid for a substitute who served at least two months, one extra draw.

1832 “Gold” Land Lottery

Participants had to be citizens of the United States and residents of the State of Georgia for three years prior to 1 January 1832. Persons who evaded military service to the State of Georgia or to the United States during the wars with Great Britain or the Indians were prohibited from participating. In addition, participants had to meet one of the following eligibility requirements.

  1. Free white male, 18 or over, one draw.
  2. Head of a family, one draw, or one extra draw for their family.
  3. Widow, one draw.
  4. Family of orphans not otherwise qualified, one draw.

Have a Lineages staff member conduct a record lookup of a Georgia Land Lottery.

 

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