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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||Date Formed||Parent County||County Seat|
|Appling||1818||Land ceded by the Creek Indians in theTreaty of Fort Jackson in 1814 and the Treaty of the Creek Agency in 1818.||Baxley|
|Atkinson||1917||Clinch and Coffee Counties||Pearson|
|Bacon||1914||Appling, Pierce and Ware Counties||Alma|
|Baldwin||1803||Creek cessions of 1802 and 1805.||Milledgeville|
|Banks||1858||Franklin and Habersham Counties||Homer|
|Barrow||1914||Gwinnett, Jackson and Walton counties.||Winder|
|Bartow||1832||Created from a portion of Cherokee County in 1832 and originally called Cass County after General Lewis Cass.||Cartersville|
|Ben Hill||1906||Irwin and Wilcox counties.||Fitzgerald|
|Berrien||1856||Coffee, Irwin, and Lowndes counties.||Nashville|
|Bibb||1822||portions of Houston, Jones, Monroe, and Twiggs counties.||Macon|
|Brantley||1920||Charlton, Pierce, and Wayne counties.||Nahunta|
|Brooks||1858||Lowndes and Thomas counties||Quitman|
|Bulloch||1796||Bryan and Screven Counties||Statesboro|
|Burke||1777||Originally organized as St George Parish.||Waynesboro|
|Butts||1825||Henry and Monroe counties.||Jackson|
|Calhoun||1854||Early and Baker counties.||Morgan|
|Camden||1777||St Mary and St Thomas Parishes.||Woodbine|
|Candler||1914||Bulloch, Emanuel and Tattnall counties.||Metter|
|Carroll||1826||Created by the state legislature from lands ceded by the Creek Indians in 1825 in theTreaty of Indian Springs.||Carrollton|
|Catoosa||1853||Walker and Whitfield counties.||Ringgold|
|Chatham||1777||Christ Church and St Philip Parishes.||Savannah|
|Chattahoochee||1854||Muscogee and Marion counties.||Cusseta|
|Chattooga||1838||Walker and Floyd counties.||Summerville|
|Cherokee||1831||Cherokee Cession of 1831.||Canton|
|Clay||1854||Randolph and Early counties.||Fort Gaines|
|Clayton||1858||Fayette and Henry counties.||Jonesboro|
|Clinch||1850||Lowndes and Ware counties.||Homerville|
|Coffee||1854||Clinch, Irwin, Telfair and Ware counties.||Douglas|
|Colquitt||1856||Thomas and Lowndes counties.||Moultrie|
|Coweta||1826||Created on Creek lands ceded in 1825 in the treaty of Indian Springs and Creek Cessions of 1826.||Newnan|
|Dawson||1857||Gilmer and Lumpkin counties.||Dawsonville|
|De Kalb||1823||Early County.||Bainbridge|
|Decatur||1822||Henry, Gwinnett, and Fayette counties.||Decatur|
|Dodge||1870||Montgomery, Pulaski and Telfair counties.||Eastman|
|Dooly||1821||Creek Cession of 1821.||Vienna|
|Douglas||1870||Campbell and Carroll counties.||Douglasville|
|Early||1818||Creek Cession of 1814.||Blakely|
|Echols||1858||Clinch and Lowndes Counties||Statenville|
|Effingham||1777||St Mathew and St Philip Parishes.||Springfield|
|Emanuel||1812||Bulloch and Montgomery Counties||Swainsboro|
|Evans||1914||Bulloch and Tattnall County||Claxton|
|Fannin||1854||Gilmer and Union Counties||Blue Ridge|
|Fayette||1821||Creek Cession of 1821.||Fayetteville|
|Franklin||1784||Cherokee and Creek Cessions of 1783||Carnesville|
|Fulton||1853||DeKalb County + the former Campbell and Milton Counties and a portion of Cobb County||Atlanta|
|Glynn||1777||St David and St Patrick Parishes||Brunswick|
|Gordon||1850||Cass (now Bartow) and Floyd Counties||Calhoun|
|Grady||1905||Decatur and Thomas Counties||Cairo|
|Gwinnett||1818||Cherokee Cession of 1817 and Creek Cession of 1818.||Lawrenceville|
|Habersham||1818||Cherokee Cessions of 1817 and 1819||Clarkesville|
|Hall||1818||Cherokee Cessions of 1817 and 1819||Gainesville|
|Hancock||1793||Greene and Washington counties||Sparta|
|Haralson||1856||Carroll and Polk Counties||Buchanan|
|Harris||1827||Muscogee and Troup counties||Hamilton|
|Hart||1853||Elbert and Franklin counties||Hartwell|
|Heard||1830||Carroll, Coweta and Troup Counties||Franklin|
|Henry||1821||Creek Cession of 1821||McDonough|
|Houston||1821||Creek Cession of 1821||Perry|
|Irwin||1818||Creek Cessions of 1814 and 1818||Ocilla|
|Jasper||1807||Baldwin (FKA Randolph County 1807 €“ 12)||Monticello|
|Jeff Davis||1905||Appling and Coffee counties||Hazlehurst|
|Jefferson||1796||Burke and Warren Counties||Louisville|
|Jenkins||1905||Bulloch, Burke, Emanuel, and Screven Counties||Millen|
|Johnson||1858||Emanuel, Laurens and Washington counties||Wrightsville|
|Lamar||1920||Monroe and Pike Counties||Barnesville|
|Lanier||1920||Berrien, Clinch and Lowndes Countries||Lakeland|
|Lee||1826||Creek Cessions of 1826||Leesburg|
|Liberty||1777||St Andrew, St James, and St John Parishes||Hinesville|
|Lumpkin||1832||Cherokee, Habersham, and Hall Counties||Dahlonega|
|Macon||1837||Houston and Marion Counties||Oglethorpe|
|Madison||1811||Clarke, Elbert, Franklin, Jackson and Oglethorpe Counties||Danielsville|
|Marion||1827||Lee and Muscogee Counties||Buena Vista|
|McDuffie||1870||Columbia and Warren||Thomson|
|Meriwether||1827||Formed form Troup County||Greenville|
|Miller||1856||Baker and Early Counties||Colquitt|
|Monroe||1821||Creek Cession of 1821||Forsyth|
|Montgomery||1793||Washington County||Mount Vernon|
|Muscogee||1826||Creek Cession of 1826||Columbus|
|Newton||1821||Henry, Jasper, and Walton Counties||Covington|
|Peach||1924||Houston and Macon Counties||Fort Valley|
|Pickens||1853||Cherokee and Gilmer counties||Jasper|
|Pierce||1857||Appling and Ware Counties||Blackshear|
|Polk||1851||Floyd and Paulding Counties||Cedartown|
|Quitman||1858||Randolph and Stewart counties||Georgetown|
|Rabun||1819||Cherokee Cession of 1819||Clayton|
|Richmond||1777||St Paul Parish||Augusta|
|Rockdale||1870||Henry and Newton counties||Conyers|
|Schley||1857||Marion and Sumter counties||Ellaville|
|Screven||1793||Burke and Effingham Counties||Sylvania|
|Seminole||1920||Decatur and Early Counties||Donalsonville|
|Spalding||1851||Fayette, Henry, and Pike County||Griffin|
|Stephens||1905||Franklin and Habersham Counties||Toccoa|
|Taliaferro||1825||Greene, Hancock, Oglethorpe, Warren, and Wilkes Counties||Crawfordville|
|Taylor||1852||Macon, Marion and Talbot Counties||Butler|
|Terrell||1856||Lee and Randolph Counties||Dawson|
|Thomas||1825||Decatur and Irwin Counties||Thomasville|
|Tift||1905||Berrien, Irwin and Worth Counties||Tifton|
|Toombs||1905||Emanuel, Tattnall, and Montgomery Counties||Lyons|
|Towns||1856||Rabun and Union Counties||Hiawassee|
|Treutlen||1917||Emanuel and Montgomery Counties||Soperton|
|Troup||1826||Creek Cession of 1826||Lagrange|
|Turner||1905||Dooly, Irwin, Wilcox and Worth Counties||Ashburn|
|Upson||1824||Crawford and Pike Counties||Thomaston|
|Walton||1818||Creek Cession of 1818||Monroe|
|Warren||1793||Columbia, Hancock, Richmond, and Wilkes Counties||Warrenton|
|Washington||1784||Creek Cession of 1783||Sandersville|
|Wayne||1803||Creek Cession of 1802||Jesup|
|Webster||1853||Stewart County (Formally Kinchafoonee)||Preston|
|Wilcox||1857||Dooly, Irwin, and Pulaski counties||Abbeville|
|Wilkes||1777||Cherokee and Creek Cessions of 1773||Washington|
|Wilkinson||1803||Creek Cessions of 1802 and 1805||Irwinton|
|Worth||1853||Dooly and Irwin Counties||Sylvester|
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.