What Residents Did During the evacuation of Atlanta
In 1864 when General Sherman was en route to Atlanta, its citizens were panicking to leave. The general exit plan was to hide all precious commodities, such as silver and coins and this was usually done by digging holes in the garden. Some families carried precious items on the train to Kennesaw and when word came that the enemy was nearby, the train stopped and allowed people to hide their stuff. One known stop was along the Chattahoochee River near the Atlanta Water Works. Afterwards, they returned to sweep up the ashes of a burnt city and to suffer the repression of Northern politicians during Reconstruction Days. Fulton County Historical Articles and Genealogy Resources
DeKalb County was created in 1822 after the Muskogee (Creeks) Indians
ceded the lands by treaty and was taken from Henry, Gwinnett and
Fayette Counties. It was named for Baron Johann DeKalb, a German hero of
the American Revolution. In 1853 Fulton County was created from the
northern portion of DeKalb County. Many of the settlers to DeKalb County
were in search of new lands and were farmers. When researching DeKalb
County, Henry (the parent County) and Fulton Counties should also be
researched. Unfortunately, the estate records do not begin until 1840.
If you have an ancestor who resided within the boundaries of the
present-day Atlanta, those records will be found in DeKalb County.
Remember, the journey from Atlanta to present-day Decatur to file a
deed, will, or other record was quite a trip.
If you wish to discover the first families in Atlanta, Oakland Cemetery
is the place to look. It was founded in 1850 and is the final resting
place of those who built Atlanta. The beautiful tombs and vaults set in a
garden atmosphere are but a memory of days long since past. The
cemetery was closed to burials sometime before 1890, however, people who
owned lots were buried there afterwards. Margaret Mitchell, the author
of Gone with the Wind is such a person. The book History of Fulton County
lists the early residents of Atlanta in their various political
capacities. It is fun to recognize some of the names in this cemetery.
In essence, if your family resided near downtown Atlanta in the old
days, best do a walk-through.
"About dark this evening, Sam Weller, the yard engineer of the Western
and Atlantic railroad, ran over Dr. John S. Wilson, a real estate agent
of this city, and mashed off his legs just below the knees. The accident
occurred at the Whitehall street crossing, and Dr. Wilson was in the
act of crossing the track when the engine struck him. Tonight his
condition is regarded critical. Dr. Wilson came to Atlanta from Augusta
many years ago and for some time was a member of the drug firm of
Pemberton, Willson, Taylor & Co." Source: The Headlight, published
Gray, Georgia, August 11, 1888.