Using This Book

This book is organized by county, then district and land lot, and includes all lots distributed through the 1805 Land Lottery process, including whole lots, fractions, and islands. Each record includes the following information: the name of the person who won the lot and his residence, the party who was ultimately granted the lot and his residence, the grant date, and the book and page reference to the recorded grant. Many records include information specifying relationships, such as “widow,” “orphan,” or “son of.” A full name index is included.

Fractional lots, which were not included in the drawing, are denoted by Fraction in the fortunate drawer column. Fraction records include the total acreage of the lot. The residence of fraction grantees is not recorded on the grant, but was obtained from the ledger of the commissioner’s sale of fractional lots.

In order to determine the name of the fortunate drawer of each lot, the Numerical List was consulted. This information was then compared with the List of Persons Entitled to Draws and the List of Fortunate Drawers. To maintain consistency, the name of the fortunate drawer as it appears in the List of Persons Entitled to Draws was used as the fortunate drawer, no matter how it is spelled in other records. The name as it is spelled on the grant appears as the grantee. There are instances when the name recorded in the List of Persons Entitled to Draws was transcribed incorrectly by the clerks, and later was corrected by executive order. In these situations, the incorrect spelling appears as the fortunate drawer and the corrected name as the grantee. The executive order is included as an endnote.

Researchers should note that the residence of fortunate drawers included in this book reflects their location between May 1803 and 1 March 1804, not where they resided during the land lottery in the summer of 1805. A participant’s registration information was not changed at any time during the land lottery process, and grants, even those issued ten years after the land lottery, include the fortunate drawer’s location during the registration period, not their residence on the date of the grant.

In general, the clerks’ handwriting is excellent throughout the land lottery records. The chance of spelling error has been reduced by comparing each name between at least four sources. Two sets of letters, lowercase i and e, and lowercase a and d, are consistently difficult to distinguish in the land lottery records. The names contained in this book have been indexed as they are spelled and researchers are, as usual, encouraged to look under any possible name variations.

County names are spelled in a variety of ways in the record, such as Bullock, Clark, and Scriven County. All county names have been changed to today’s accepted spelling, e.g. Bulloch, Clarke, and Screven County.

While it is impossible to address all of the errors and inconsistencies inherent in the land lottery process, footnotes and endnotes have been used to address specific problems and help clarify each lot’s history. In general, short notes related to grants are contained in footnotes and transcriptions of executive orders and original documents are included as endnotes. All notes contain information important to the interpretation of the land lottery record.