Rabun County, Georgia Genealogy

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 United States  > Georgia > Rabun County

County Courthouse


Parent County

1819--Rabun County was created 21 December 1819 from Cherokee Indian lands. County seat: Clayton [1]

Boundary Changes

Record Loss


Populated Places

Neighboring Counties






Land records in Rabun County are incomplete.  Many of the land transactions were not recorded at the county seat.  Land was traded between family members and neighbors for generations without official records being kept.  In 1911, Congress passed the Weeks Law which authorized the purchase of timbered land on a large scale.  Some of this land was located in Rabun County, Georgia.  Officials were sent into Racun County in 1912 to start purchasing land.  Proposals of sale were secured and surveyors were sent to locate lands on which options had been secured. Their reports were turned over to title examiners who had to pass on the deeds before the lands could be purchased. The titles to most of the lands were so poor that proceedings of condemnation were taken before the Federal Court before good titles could be obtained.  A Federal Court was established in Clayton for that purpose. 

The condemnation process required that an attempt be made to locate all parties who might have an interest in or claim to the land in question.  Advertisements were placed in the local paper listing the descendants of the last clear land owner in order to find anyone who might have claim to the land. Sometimes this was the first land owner when the county was created.  Therefore every known descendant was listed down to the time the land was condemed. Over 6,000 names arranged in up to six generations of family genealogies are listed in these court cases. The data this process produced in invaluable to the researcher.  Information was accumulated that has not been found in any other records to date. Both the maiden and married names of many female family members can be found.  The addresses of those who had moved away also offer possible migration locations for family members. The exact method by which the names were compiled is not known.  It is likely they were acquired in many ways, including deeds, newspaper advertisements, personal interviews, and other public records available at the time.

The original court case files are located at the National Archives, East Point, Georgia.  The original land acqusition files are located at the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest Office, Gainesville, Georgia.  These groups of records have not been organized or microfilmed. There is a book that was published in 2001 that gives the genealogies in many of these cases and has a name index, "Genealogy Extracted from Forest Service Court Cases in Rabun County, Georgia", by Susan Lewis Koyle.  This book is located in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

Local Histories

Sketches of Rabun County History by Andrew Jackson Ritchie. Located in Family History Library in Salt Lake.

Rabun County Georgia and its people, vol. 1 & 2 , 1992.

A Pictorial History of Rabun County by Cuba and Archie McKay, 2003.






Vital Records

Societies and Libraries 

Web Sites

  • USGenWeb project. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county. Select the state, then the county.
  • Family History Library Catalog


  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).