Yes..Burke CO is not easily researched. I came across some info at rootsweb and will copy/paste it for you. A lot of info on early families of Burke CO has been either gleaned from deeds and other probate records from neighboring counties, implied by census, found in limited marriage records, and apparent documented interviews in the late 1800s with individuals "in the know". I'm in the same boat as you are with limited options for finding out about my Deal line of Burke County. Good luck.
Copied from rootsweb:
Burke County Georgia Research Tips
Table of Contents page: http://www.rootsweb.com/~usgenweb/ga/burke.htm
Georgia Table of Contents: http://www.rootsweb.com/~usgenweb/ga/gafiles.htm
"The Families of Burke County, 1755-1855, A Census, "
compiled by Robert Scott Davis, Jr. and Rev. Silas Emmett
Burke county Georgia is some of the most rocky ground a
genealogist can have to plow. The above book has a lot
of lists of Burke county citizens from state and federal
I would recommend using the 1820 forward federal
censuses. Note everyone by your surname who appears on
any census as well as the neighbors about 10 houses in
each direction. With luck you can locate where a group
of families moved in from unless the family is an early
The TELAMON CUYLER COLLECTION University of Georgia
Athens has documents relating to Burke county in a
private manuscript collection.
EVENTS IN THE LIVES OF BURKE COUNTY FOLKS as published in
"The True Citizen" 1882 - 1900. by Jo Goodson Knight.
BURKE COUNTY FOLKS 1882-1900 This has newspaper abstracts
on Burke county families. Why would a newspaper in the
1880s help with an old family? Recollections of the
oldest settlers were published in the 1870s and 1880s as
nostalgia articles that contain lots of pre courthouse
fire information. This also is the case for Washington
and Wilkinson counties. Georgia is doing a good job of
Another older book is History of Burke County, Georgia
1777-1950 by Albert M. Hillhouse.
Check the land lotteries for Georgia to see if your Burke
county family moved. The census can help with this as
well. Sometimes a family relative will move to a county
that hasn't suffered multiple courthouse fires like
Burke. It may not be your direct line but they can
Burke county land was distributed by British crown grants
in St. George Parish and by Georgia state headrights.
Lists of these have been published. Someone in Atlanta
needs to get the metes and bounds descriptions of all the
land granted in Burke so they can be plotted on a modern
map. This would allow a partial atlas of landowners to
replace the lost deed books. The archives charges too
much for us out of state folks to work on this.
If you have an early Burke county ancestor before 1800 check also in Screven formed 1793 and Jefferson formed 1796. These counties were formed from Burke and still have their records.
Court clerks can help you get married, probate a will, or
record your property but they have virtually no
experience in genealogy or history. Some will also tell
you the courthouse burned to get rid of you.
Davidson's History of Wilkinson County has a lot of
information on early families.
The deeds before 1854 burned in the fire. You still can
get marriage records, probate records and court records
back to 1820. There are censuses from 1820 forward and
land lottery records. I believe 1805 covered Wilkinson
county. You should also look for published newspapers and
Don't overlook the 1850 - 1880 federal census
agricultural schedule and the 1850 - 1860 slaveowners
schedule of the census. These tell you a lot of
information about a family's land and slave ownership and
farming activities found nowhere else.
Burned counties aren't hopeless but they cost you a lot
of money and time to trace a family there. You have to
collect EVERY mention of the family along with relatives
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