On December 10, 1790, the Georgia General Assembly created Elbert County from a portion of Wilkes County, making Elberton the seat of its new government. The Georgia constitution established the Superior Court as the court of final jurisdiction in each county, including Elbert. The legislature divided the state into judicial districts, fixing the times the various courts met in each county, assigning the new Elbert County to the Western District, composed of Franklin, Greene, Hancock, Jackson, Lincoln, Oglethorpe, and Wilkes counties. Superior Court judges, elected to serve three-year terms, held court in each county at least twice per year, as they traveled from county to county within their district. The Superior Court had jurisdiction over all criminal matters, civil cases involving title to land, appeals from Inferior Court decisions, divorces, grand juries, and registration of land deeds.
The first manuscript volume of Elbert County Superior Court minutes begins December 31, 1790, and continues through October 16, 1800. Michael Ports’ transcription of those records is based upon microfilm photographed at the courthouse at Elberton, Georgia, in 1960 by the Genealogical Society of Salt Lake City, Utah, and made available at the Georgia Department of Archives and History in Morrow, Georgia. Featuring a complete name index with over 8,000 entries, this volume identifies each person who figured in the business of the Superior Court during its first decade of existence, many of whom were pioneering figures in the county’s history.
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