Completing a family tree and identifying all potential owners of the property is the first and most essential step to resolving heirs property issues. If, after the intake process is complete, the Center decides to move forward with you as a “Pending Applicant”, you will be required to provide:
- A Family Tree showing all heirs and how they are related, and
- Family Tree Information Sheets with specific information about each family member that may be needed to resolve your heirs property issue.
The format of each Pending Applicant’s Family Tree will be different. You may base your Family Tree on the template provided by the Center or create your own. Several websites offer free templates, including FamilyTreeTemplates.net. There are also companies that offer free websites or software for creating a family tree, including Family Eco and MyHeritage.com. Regardless of the format you use for your Family Tree, you will also need to provide information about each person using the Family Tree Information Sheets.
Below are some resources that you can use in preparing your Family Tree and Family Tree Information Sheets. In addition to these resources, you should ask other family members to assist you in collecting information. It will also be helpful for you to get copies of documents relating to the people listed in your family tree, such as family bibles, birth or adoption certificates, death certificates, newspaper or church obituaries, family reunion materials, marriage certificates, and divorce decrees.
- Genealogies, county histories, newspapers, tax digests, private papers, church records, cemeteries, Bible records, a few municipal records, census, maps, land plats, photographs,Georgia Confederate service and pension records, colonial, headright, and bounty land grants, and land lottery records
- Some materials are available online at Georgia Archives Vault
- Birth, marriage and death certificates from 1919 to present
- Certificates can also be requested in person or via mail at the main office in Atlanta, at the vital records office in the county where the birth or death occurred, or online. You must provide a photo identification when requesting records
- Cost is typically $25 per certificate request (credit card fees may apply if purchasing certificates online)
- Covers Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee
- Censuses and indexes 1790-1930, immigration ship passenger arrivals for the Eastern and Gulf Coasts 1820-1982, military service records, pensions, bounty land warrants, and indexes 1775- 1902, Federal naturalization records of U.S.
- District Courts, land records, bankruptcies 1940- 1998, passport applications, Native American 1893 Dawes Commission records, and African American records including Freedmen's Bank depositors, Freedman's Bureau records, and slave manifests in Mobile 1820-1860, and Savannah 1801-1860
- Free access to subscription sites like Ancestry.com, Footnote.com, and HeritageQuestOnline.com
Regional and County Public Libraries
Many regional and county public libraries offer free access to genealogy websites and other materials, and often librarians are available to assist you in your research. Below are several regional and county libraries that provide free access to genealogy databases and other records. We recommend that you call ahead to confirm services and hours. A full list of Georgia public libraries can be found at GeorgiaLibraries.org
LDS Family Centers
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has local Family History Centers located throughout thestate. Volunteers are often available to assist you with the Family History Center resources.
Please Note: The Family History Centers are typically located in church meetinghouse facilities, but you do not have to be a member of the church to use a Family History Center. Services and hours differ for each Family Research Center, so please call ahead to confirm. To determine the closest location to you, visit Family Search: Locations
There are a number of websites that offer searchable databases and online family tree forms incorporating information that you find in their databases. Below are just a few examples of online databases.
For a complete list, visit the Family Search website at Family Search: Georgia Genealogy
- Free trials require that you provide credit card information. You must cancel the trial before the end of the offered term or you will be automatically billed.
- The information available through websites like Ancestry.com, Ancestry Library Edition, Find-AGrave, FamilySearch.org and other websites should be verified by evidence if possible.
Free 14-day Trial
- Includes databases not found in Ancestry Library Edition and provides family tree builders and forms
- Search 154 million graves
- Internet’s oldest and largest free genealogical community with searchable databases and internet family trees
Free 14-day Trial
- Access to US censuses, vital records and older US newspapers
- Volunteers provide free resources for most counties in Georgia (quality and depth depend on volunteer)
- Library of Congress website featuring digital newspapers (1836- 1922)
Free with Password from Participating Libraries
- Provides access to U.S. census records, books, periodicals, Revolutionary War service records, and Freedman's Bank depositor records – (contact your library for log-in information)