Georgia Genealogy Trails

Liberty County, Georgia
History and Genealogy
Volunteers Dedicated to Free Genealogy
Part of the Genealogy Trails Group
Always Free, Always Updating

Welcome to the Liberty County, Georgia Genealogy Trails site! I am your host, Stacy Ashmore Cole. My 5th great-grandfather, Strong Ashmore, was an original settler of Liberty County in the mid-1750's.

Do you have an interest in Liberty County genealogy or history? Then this site is for you. It contains transcriptions and summaries of original documents -- wills, biographies, court documents, etc -- and is updated frequently. See the menu on the left to browse this data. (Check out the "wills" section in particular, as it is the most complete.)

If you have Liberty County information you would like to see put online for everyone to see, please send it to me! E-mail me by clicking here, and I will make arrangements to get it from you, transcribe if necessary, and put it online here.

You will be doing a service for your descendants--and your ancestors! Please check your attic, ask relatives, and pull out those albums. We want to see what you've got!

Georgia Genealogy Trails is part of the Genealogy Trails group, which has similar sites for all U.S. counties.

Recent Updates

August 2018: Added newspaper article about Robert Sallette.

July 2018: Added an index for record set called "Miscellaneous probate records 1850-1863 vol C and L" and summaries/transcripts for the wills listed from 1850-1863.

July 2018: Added lists of Liberty County court officials in the 1880's and court abbreviations. Added account of formation of 14th District.

June 2018: Added indexes for Liberty County estate inventories and appraisals for 1790-1823 and 1824-1850.

June 2018: Added a compilation of names of people who were summoned to serve on petit and grand juries from 1786 to 1834 (not including all years). List is arranged alphabetically and gives insight into all the different spellings and abbreviations used for these names.

June 2018: Added an index to the record sets for Liberty County wills from about 1848 to 1966, in alphabetical order.

June 2018: Added an obituary for Joseph Ashmore (1819-1889), probate court judge for Liberty County.

June 2018: Summaries or transcripts of almost all Liberty County wills from 1790-1865 have been added to the "Wills" section. Each will has an alphabetized list of all enslaved persons named.

Liberty County History

The area comprising Liberty County, located on the Georgia coast, has a rich and complex history. The Guale Indians had inhabited that area from prehistoric times, and in the eighteenth century the tribe became a part of the Muskogee or Creek Confederation. The Spanish placed a mission on St. Catherines Island in the late sixteenth century among the Guale Indians.

In the early 1750s, after slavery became legal in Georgia, English settlers, including a group of Congregationalists from Dorchester, South Carolina, located in the area between the Medway and Newport rivers, bringing with them large numbers of enslaved people of African descent to labor in the new rice and cotton fields.

In the period before the American Revolution, a number of people who later became prominent in the new state and republic settled there, including Nathan Brownson, Mark Carr, James Dunwoody, John Elliott Sr., Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, Lachlan McIntosh, James Screven, and Daniel Stewart. In the 1770s William Bartram traveled through the area during his famous expedition.

In 1775 St. John's Parish, one of three parishes that would eventually make up Liberty County, was the first area in Georgia to send a representative to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia.

In that year the citizens of St. John's Parish gathered in the Congregational Church in Midway, where they elected Lyman Hall to represent them in the Continental Congress. They sent several wagonloads of rice with him to feed the Continental troops surrounding Boston. (The Midway Congregational Church was rebuilt in 1792 and can still be seen today. The nearby Midway Museum presents the history of the area.)

In 1777, Liberty County was one of the seven Georgia counties created from the original colonial parishes.  Because St. John's Parish was the first in Georgia to vote for liberty, the new county created from this parish was given the name Liberty.

Throughout Liberty County's history, residents of different races, ethnicities, genders, and social status have had their own paths and stories. Most of the historical record that has survived is oriented toward white, upper class settlers, but every effort is being made here to discover and publish a diverse set of records. If you have data of any kind to submit, please click below. You can also join the Genealogy Trails mailing lists if you want to find out when updates have been made.

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