Duke University Library collection on Greene County (Ga.)
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Duke University Library collection on Greene County (Ga.)

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Duke University. Library. Manuscript Department.
Title: Duke University Library collection on Greene County (Ga.)
Dates: 1785-1900
Extent: 0.3 cubic feet (15 microfilm rolls)
Identification: MS 1536

Biographical/Historical Note

Greene County, Georgia was created from a portion of Washington County by the state legislature in 1786. The county comprises lands originally settled by the Creek Nation. It was named after General Nathanael Greene. The county seat is Greensboro.

The Duke University Manuscript Department was established in 1931, and the Rare Book department was formally organized in 1942. Between 1989 and 1992 the two departments were combined into the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library.

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of records from Greene County, Georgia. Included are land records, estate books, dockets, Superior Court records, a volume of retail liquor licenses, constable bonds, warrants and indentures, tax returns, and a slave importation register (1820-1821).

The collection also contains loose papers, 1798-1900 which include primarily depositions by materials witnesses taken as evidence in civil cases heard in the Greene County Superior Court. Usually these papers are composed of the following: an order by the presiding judge appointing persons to interrogate the witness; a list of the questions or interrogations, posed by attorneys for one of both of the parties to be put to the witness; a list of cross-interrogations posed by opposing counsel; and an affidavit by the persons commissioned to interrogate the witness in which they give the answers of the witness. The papers are filed in chronological order. Most of the cases seem to relate to disputes over the ownership of slaves, the payment of debts, and the settling of estates. A few other Greene County records are included: election returns, affidavits, receipts, and inventories and appraisements of estates. Also, there are a number of items included that appear not to be Greene County records. The period 1798-1820, for instance, contains some records relating to Pendleton District, South Carolina. The period after 1850 contains a few summonses and other court records of Pickens District, South Carolina. There are some personal letters of a John Cowan of Newton County, Georgia, covering the period from 1838-1847.

These records were microfilmed by the Georgia Department of Archives and History in 1978.

Index Terms

Duke University. Library. Manuscript Department.
Estate records.
Greene County (Ga.)
Judicial records.
Slavery--Georgia--Greene County.
Tax returns.

Location of Originals

Original records in the Manuscript Department of the Duke University Library, Durham, North Carolina.

Physical and Technical Access Restrictions

A microfilm reader is required to access this collection.

Administrative Information

Custodial History


Preferred Citation

[item identification], Duke University Library collection on Greene County (Ga.), MS 1536, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information



Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Georgia Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Division of Library and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Georgia Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.


Encoding funded by a 2012 Documenting Democracy grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Container List



1X-1536-01. Probate Court. Land Records: administrator's estate book (Isaac Harrison Watts), 1815-1825; land lottery books, 1806, 1825, 1829; appearance dockets, 1729-1857


2X-1536-02. Superior Court. Dockets: judgment dockets, 1803-1805, 1812-1818; bar dockets, 1811-1814. Criminal docket, 1882-1889. Superior Court minutes, 1792-1806


3X-1536-03. Superior Court. Record books: record book A, 1801-1803; record book F, 1803-1805; record book G, 1805-1809


4X-1536-04. Superior Court. Record books A, F, G (continued from roll 3). Inferior Court: Appearance Docket, 1791-1794; Appearance Docket, book C, 1800-1805; Appearance Docket, book D, 1806-1810. Probate Court: Inferior Court minutes, book A, 1792-1797 (marked Judgment Docket); Inferior Court minutes, 1790-1791. Inferior Court record book A, 1797-1802


5X-1536-05. Inferior Court: Index to volume 29 (not in collection), book H; record book B, 1803-1805; record book, 1806; record book, 1807-1809. Probate Court: Estray books, 1799-1809, 1822-1835; Retail Liquor Licenses, 1820-1829; Constables bonds, 1848-1864. Justice Court: judgment dockets, 1809. Land Court: land warrants (marked judgments), 1791, 1791-1795; minutes, 1794-1798. Superior Court: land indentures book A, 1785-1787


6X-1536-06. Superior Court: land indentures book A2, 1792-1793; land indentures book B, 1787-1789; land indentures book C, 1785-1790; land indentures book D, 1789-1792; land indentures book E, 1791-1793


7X-1536-07. Superior Court: land indentures book F, 1792-1798; land indenture book M, 1798-1802


8X-1536-08. Superior Court: land indentures book P, 1794-1801; land indentures book AA, 1803-1804


9X-1536-09. Superior Court: indices to land indentures books A-F, BB, P, AA, CC, 1787-1818; land indentures book CC, 1809-1810. Probate Court: tax returns, 1788-1789, 1793, 1796, 1797, 1798, 1799


10X-1536-10. Probate Court: tax returns, 1793, 1796, 1797, 1798, 1799 (continued from roll 9), 1801, 1802, 1804, 1805, 1806, 1807, 1808


11X-1536-11. Probate Court: tax returns, 1809, 1810, 1811, 1812, 1813, 1814, 1815, 1822


12X-1536-12. Probate Court: tax returns, 1824?, 1825, 1828, 1834, 1837, ca. 1829-1830, 1859. Sheriff's Office: tax execution docket, a list of persons that did not pay taxes, 1889-1890


13X-1536-13. Probate Court: 2 indexes, records and dates unknown. Superior Court: slave register, list of slaves to the brought into the state, 1820-1821. Miscellaneous loose papers, 1798-1900


14Miscellaneous loose papers, 1798-1900 (continued from roll 13)


15Miscellaneous loose papers, 1798-1900 (continued from rolls 13 and 14)