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Georgia in Colonial America, 1540-1740

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  • Thomas Bosomworth (c.1700 - d.)
    Brief Biography BOSOMWORTH, Thomas, clergyman. He came to America with General Oglethorpe's regiment of Highlanders in 1736. About 1749 he married Mary Musgrove, or Mathews, a woman of the Creek nati...
  • Adam Bosomworth (c.1700 - d.)
    agent for Indian affairs in Carolina. Links
  • Coosaponakesee (Mary Musgrove) (c.1700 - c.1767)
    Mary Musgrove Bosomworth (ca. 1700- ca. 1767), sometimes called the Empress of the Creek Nation , [fn1] played a vital role in the founding of Georgia in colonial America. The daughter of a Creek India...
  • John Musgrove, Jr., Indian Trader (1695 - 1735)
    John Musgrove Jr. was born in South Carolina around 1695 and died at "Cowpen Plantation," north of Savannah, Georgia on 12 June 1735, of a fever (probably malaria). " ... a well-educated member of the ...
  • Jacob Matthews (b. - 1742)
    Jacob Matthews ... had been an indentured servant [of Mary Musgrove's late husband John Musgrove]. Jacob was a colorful figure known as a critic of English authority, a successful planter, and a heavy ...

The coast of what is now the State of Georgia, from Savannah River as far as St. Andrews Sound, was known to the Spaniards as "the province of Guale" (pronounced Wallie), based on the indigenous peoples met by Hernando de Soto, the Spanish explorer, who first traveled parts of Georgia in 1540.

British claims later conflicted with those of Spain. After obtaining a royal charter, Gen. James Oglethorpe established the first permanent settlement in Georgia in 1733. In 1742, Oglethorpe defeated Spanish invaders in the Battle of Bloody Marsh. And thus began the Colonial American era.

This Project's scope is to explore and document the peoples from that first European contact through 1743, when William Stephens becomes President of Georgia.

To join, send a message to the project collaborators - and then bring your ancestor's profiles.


  • 1721: Colonel John BARNWELL, of South Carolina, builds Fort King George at the mouth of the Altamaha River. This is the first British settlement in what will be Georgia.
  • 13 Feb 1730: First written mention of Georgia. Earl of Egmont's journal. Georgia purchased Egmont's Journal of the Transaction of the Trustees for $16,000 in 1946. It is known as Georgia's birth certificate.
  • 17 Nov 1732: James Oglethorpe and the 114 chosen colonists embark on the Ann from Gravesend, England. Two children die on the voyage. Four are born.
  • 12 Feb 1733: English colonists led by James Oglethorpe founded Savannah, Georgia. General James Edward Oglethorpe sailed up the Savannah River with 144 English men, women and children and in the name of King George II chartered the Georgia Crown Colony. He created the town of Savannah, based on a grid of streets around six large squares.
  • 6 Apr 1733: The death of Dr. William COX is the first recorded English death in Georgia.
  • 8 Jan 1734: The Purrysburg sailed from Dover, England carrying 73 new Georgia colonists. Of the group, most were German Lutherans who had fled persecution in the Catholic region of Salzburg, which was located between Bavaria and upper Austria. This was the first of three shiploads of Salzburgers that would settle in Georgia.
  • 10 Jan 1736: The Prince of Wales arrived at Savannah. Aboard were Hugh MACKAY and a group of Highlanders he had recruited in Scotland to erect a settlement on Barnwell Bluff on the north banks of the mouth of the Altamaha River. Here, near the site where Fort King George had been built 15 years earlier, the Highlanders laid out what would become known as Darien.
  • Oct 1739: England declares war on Spain.
  • 15 Apr 1741: Trustees divide Georgia into two counties: Savannah and Frederica. William STEPHENS is appointed president of Savannah at a salary of £80 per year.
  • 7 Jul 1742: A Spanish force invading Georgia ran headlong into the colony's British defenders. A handful of British and Spanish colonial troops faced each other on a Georgia coastal island and decided the fate of a colony. General James Edward Oglethorpe led a victory over the Spanish at Bloody Marsh on St. Simons Island off the coast of Georgia.
  • 25 Jul 1742: First Thanksgiving Day in Georgia.
  • 11 Jul 1743: William Stephens becomes President of Georgia