September 10, 2009

(Click image to enlarge)
The Dr. Ira Ellis Smith mansion, 1968

The above photograph shows the original plantation owned and built by Dr. Ira Ellis Smith, Soapy's grandfather, as it looked in 1968. It was taken either by my uncle Joe or his son (my cousin) Jim. Crops can be seen still growing here. Boy would I love to spend a weekend going over this property with a metal detector.

As usual, while looking for something else, I came across a site hosted by Rootsweb called Bits and Pieces that had some interesting information regarding the land auction in which Ira Ellis won the land.

According to the sources I used in the two books from the Newnan/Coweta Historical Society the auction took place on March 25 1828 however the website I found has the year at 1827. Here is some of what the new source says.

Seven times between 1805 and 1832 Georgia used a lottery system to distribute the land taken from the Cherokee or Creek Indians. These lotteries were unique to the state; no other state used a lottery system to distribute land. Lot size varied widely, even in the individual lotteries. The largest lots distributed were 490 acres in the 1805 and the 1820 land lottery. The smallest lots were the 40-acre gold lots distributed during the Gold Lottery of 1832.

Authority: Act of June 9, 1825 Year of Drawing: 1827.
Coweta County: 9 districts
Size of land lots: 202-1/2 acres
Grant Fee: $18.00 per Land Lot
Persons Entitled to Draw:
  • Bachelor, 18 years or over, 3 year residence in Georgia, citizen of United States - 1 draw
  • Married man with wife and/or minor son under 18 and/or unmarried daughter, 3 year residence in Georgia, citizen of United States 2 - drawings
  • Widow, 3 year residence in Georgia - 1 draw
  • Wife and/or child, 3 year residence in Georgia, of husband and/or father absent from state for 3 years - 1 draw
  • Family (one or more) of minor orphans, residence in state since birth - 2 draws
  • Widow, husband killed in War of 1812, or Revolutionary War or Indian Wars, 3 year residence in Georgia - 2 draws
  • Orphan, father killed in Revolutionary War, War of 1812 or Indian Wars - 2 draws
  • Wounded or disabled veteran of War of 1812, or Indian Wars, unable to work - 2 draws
  • Veteran of Revolutionary War - 2 draws
  • Veteran of Revolutionary War, who had been a fortunate drawer in any previous Lottery - 1 draw
  • Child or children of convict, 3 year residence in Georgia - 1 draw
  • Male idiots, lunatics, or insane, deaf and dumb or blind, over 10 years and under 18 years, 3 year residence in Georgia - 1 draw
  • Female idiots, insane or lunatics or deaf and dumb or blind, over 10 years, 3 year residence in Georgia - 1 draw
  • Family (one or two) of minor illegitimates, residence since birth in Georgia - 1 draw
  • Family (three or more) of minor illegitimates, residence since birth in Georgia - 2 draws
Persons Excluded:
Any fortunate drawer in any previous Land Lottery.









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