In 1820 and again in 1821, the State of Georgia conducted the Third and Fourth Land Lotteries to distribute the former Cherokee and Creek lands within the state that those tribes had ceded to the federal government between 1814 and 1818. The records of those lotteries for Baldwin County, Georgia, in particular, are available on microfilm at the Georgia Department of Archives and History. The lottery rolls identify both the persons eligible to participate in the two lotteries and the names of the “Fortunate Drawers,” the persons who actually won title to the former Indian lands. The arrangement of the lottery records themselves is according to the old Baldwin County militia districts, and thereunder by the names of militia officers. Mr. Ports has included a useful history of the lotteries–including eligibility requirements, fee structure, average lot size, etc.–and a 1952 map of the militia districts to aid researchers in more precisely locating the origins of potential ancestors. Baldwin County residents who ultimately made their way to the former Indian lands would remove to one of the seven new Georgia counties–Appling, Early, Gwinnett, Habersham, Hall, Irwin, and Walton–now comprising those lands.
Mr. Ports’ transcription includes the residents of Baldwin County entitled to draw from the five militia districts commanded by Captains Dozier, Ellis, Haws, Norris (or Cousins), and Russell. Arranged in a tabular format, each resident is identified by name and one or more of the eligibility categories that entitled him/her to take part in the lottery: “applicant generally,” widow, widow of someone who died in public service during the War of 1812, orphans of persons who died in the War of 1812, “orphans generally,” revolutionary officers and soldiers, or persons who served during the late Seminole Wars. The compiler indicates each resident’s total number of draws in the last, or rightmost, column of the tables. The complete name index at the back of this volume makes it easy to search for any of the more than 3,000 Baldwin County inhabitants found herein.
NB: Georgia researchers should be aware that the state militia districts have not been abolished and remain in effect to this day. In addition, one valuable use for these lists is the establishment of proof of military service in the Revolution, War of 1812, and the various Indian conflicts.