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Today’s Georgia counties did not always exist in the present form. They went through many different changes in the space of a few short years.
Georgia Colonial Counties
The Province of Georgia was founded in 1732, as the last of the 13 Colonies and was named for King George II of Great Britain.
On April 15, 1741, the Georgia Trustees divided the Georgia Colony into two counties, Savannah County (with William Stephens as executive) and Frederica County (with James Oglethorpe as executive).
However, because of concern about a Spanish invasion, Frederica County was never organized. After the Georgia Trustees surrendered their charter in 1752, Georgia became a royal colony.
By an act of March 15, 1758, the colonial legislature created seven parishes. These were:
- Christ Church Parish – included the Town and District of Savannah.
- St. Matthew Parish – included the District of Abercorn and Goshen, plus the District of Ebenezer.
- St. George Parish – included the District of Halifax .
- St. Paul Parish – included the District of Augusta .
- St. Philip Parish – included the Town of Hardwick and the District of Ogeechee, including the island of Ossabaw.
- St. John Parish – included the Sunbury in the District of Midway and Newport to the south branch of Newport, including the islands of St. Catherine and Bermuda .
- St. Andrew Parish – included the Town and District of Darien, to the Altamaha River, including the islands of Sapelo and Eastwood and the sea islands north of Egg Island.
- St. James Parish – included the Town and District of Frederica, including the islands of Great and Little St. Simons, along with the adjacent island.
An act of March 25, 1765, Georgia’s colonial assembly divided the territory south of the Altamaha River into four new parishes. These were
- St. David Parish
- St. Patrick Parish
- St. Thomas Parish
- St. Mary Parish
By the time of the American Revolutionary War, Georgia consisted of 12 parishes. In 1777 the original eight Georgia counties were created.
However, they only covered a small part of the present-day area that is Georgia. Soon, more Native American land was acquired, leading to the formation of new counties.
Georgia’s first constitution was ratified in February 1777. Georgia was the 10th state to ratify the Articles of Confederation on July 24, 1778.
Georgia officially became the 4th state in the Union on January 2, 1788.
Georgia Counties Today
Fun Facts about Georgia Counties
Counties by Year
- Burke, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Richmond and Wilkes Counties was the original 7 counties created on February 5, 1777.
- Peach County was the last county created on July 8, 1924.
County Size Facts
- Ware County (903 sq mi) is the largest county in Georgia.
- Clarke County (121 sq mi) is the smallest county in Georgia.
County Population Facts
- Taliaferro County (1,680) is the least populated county in Georgia.
- Fulton County (1,041,423) is the most populated county in Georgia.
Georgia City Facts
Georgia’s 10 largest cities (2010 est.) are:
- Atlanta (420,003) is in DeKalb County and Fulton County
- Augusta-Richmond County (195,844) is in Richmond County
- Columbus (189,885) is in Muscogee County
- Macon (155,447) is in Bibb County
- Savannah (136,286) is in Chatham County
- Athens-Clarke County (115,452) is in Clarke County
- Sandy Springs (93,853) is in Fulton County
- Roswell (88,346) is in Fulton County
- Albany (77,434) is in Dougherty County
- Johns Creek (76,728) is in Fulton County
Boundary Changes of Georgia Counties from 1758-1932
This Interactive Map of Georgia Counties show the historical boundaries, names, organization, and attachments of every county, extinct county and unsuccessful county proposal from 1758 to 1932.
List of Georgia Counties
|County||Created||Created From||Named For||County Seat||Notes|
List of Old Former / Extinct Georgia Counties
Georgia contains some counties that no longer exist because they were discontinued, renamed or merged with another county. These are important for genealogy research purposes.
The below counties formerly within the area of the State of Georgia no longer exist:
Campbell County, Georgia
Created on December 20, 1828 from Carroll, Coweta, Dekalb, and Fayette Counties. Campbell county was named for Duncan G. Campbell, one of the U.S. commissioners responsible for the Treaty of Indian Springs.
The original county seat was Campbellton and Fairburn became the county seat in 1870. It merged into Fulton County on January 1, 1932.
Cass County, Georgia
Frederica County, Georgia Colony
Created on April 15, 1741 by the Georgia Trustees by dividing the Georgia Colony. Frederica county was never organized and was dissolved in 1742.
Milton County, Georgia
Old Randolph County, Georgia
Created on December 10, 1807 from Baldwin County. Randolph County was named for Virginia congressman John Randolph (1773-1833).
Savannah County, Georgia Colony
Created on April 15, 1741 by the Georgia Trustees by dividing the Georgia Colony. Savannah County was dissolved in 1742.
St. George, St. Mary’s, St. Thomas, St. Phillip, Christ Church, St. David, St. Matthews, St. Andrew, St. James, St. Johns, and St. Paul parishes were all dissolved in 1777, and all of other counties were established later.