Barrow County Militia Districts

outline map of militia districts

Georgia, like other states, has political divisions that are smaller than counties. In some states, for example North Carolina, they are called townships. In others, such as Virginia, they are simply districts. In Georgia, they are called militia districts. Even though the militia, as a military organization, does not exist as it did in the 18th and early 19th centuries, Georgia continues to call its “minor civil divisions” militia districts. They are still relevant for such things as the boundaries of election districts and the taxation of property. For genealogists, it is important to note that these minor civil divisions are used extensively in the U. S. Census and publications based on it.

Originally, the names of these districts changed from time to time as the name of the captain in charge of the local militia changed. The numbers were generally consistent over time and were assigned in the order that the districts were created. When new counties are created from old ones, as Barrow was, militia districts that “move” more or less unchanged to the new county seem to keep their old names and numbers. However, new districts must often be created when the new county boundary cuts through old districts. So, for example, old district #562 (Cains) in Gwinnett County was split by the new line between Barrow and Gwinnett Counties. Part became new militia district #1744 in Barrow County, but still using the name Cains. The remainder became new militia district #1749 (Duncans) in Gwinnett County.

The table below shows the militia districts in Barrow County and my best estimate of the counties from which they came. It should not be understood to mean that there were no boundary changes with respect even to those militia districts that retained their original designations.

Number Name Formerly Part of
243 House Jackson County
246 Chandler Jackson County
249 Cutoff or Bethlehem Walton County
316 Ben Smith Gwinnett County
1740 Auburn Gwinnett County
1741 Jones Jackson County
1742 Statham Jackson County
1743 Pentecost Jackson County
1744 Cains Gwinnett County

The map at left shows the militia districts for Barrow County as of 1950. Similar maps for other Georgia counties are available here.
Sources:
Atlas of East and Coastal Georgia Watercourses and Militia Districts, by Paul K. Graham
Georgia Militia Districts, by Alex M. Hitz;
Thirteenth census of the United States, 1910: Population by counties and minor civil divisions, 1910, 1900, 1890 , United States, Bureau of the Census
Fourteenth census of the United States, Volume 1, United States. Bureau of the Census, William Lane Austin, Ray Palmer Teele