The Georgia General Assembly created Jefferson County on February 20, 1796, from parts of Burke and Warren counties, making Louisville the seat of its new government. The county’s Inferior Court, made up of five justices of the peace for the county, tried any civil case except those involving title to land. The Inferior Court had jurisdiction over county business matters, such as care for the poor, building and maintaining the courthouse and jails, building and maintaining roads and bridges, issuing liquor licenses, nominating justices of the peace, performing naturalizations, appointing guardians, authorizing indentures, and maintaining a register of wills. The Clerk of the Inferior Court kept minutes of the foregoing proceedings–every one of which places individuals in Jefferson County at a particular point in time–and those minutes comprise the basis for this book. The court minutes also contain numerous original signatures–such as those required from all county civil and military officers–to the 1799 oath of allegiance to the state constitution.
Volume VII of Inferior Court Minute transcriptions is based on the original Minute Books 10, 11, and 12 and carries the series forward from October 26, 1835, through May 20, 1868. Volume VII is the concluding volume in this series, and it is, by far, the largest one. It also encompasses the tumultuous years of the antebellum period and U.S. Civil War. Georgia’s Inferior Courts were abolished in 1868 by the new state constitution of that year. Researchers will find a full name index at the conclusion of the volume.