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Index to the Homestead Exemption Book 1868 -

Homestead Exemptions

Act of 1822

The State of Georgia passed a law in 1822 to protect the wives and children of insolvent debtors, This law set apart some of the debtor's property for the support of his family.

No matter the size of the family, they were allowed two beds, bedding and bedsteads, a spinning wheel and 2 cards, a loom, one cow and calf, tools of trade, ordinary cooking vessels and $10 worth of provisions. These were to be inventoried by the debtor, and the report was to be filed with the Clerk of the Inferior Court.

Act of 1834

In 1834 a modification was made, in which the Family Bible was added to the list of the items immune to sale for debts.

Act of 1835

In 1835 the law was changed to protect widows and their children. So long as the widow remained unmarried, her real and personal property were immune from seizure for debt.

Act of 1841

It was not until 1841 that the law offered additional protection due to the family size. At this time, the debtor could set aside 20 acres of agricultural land for his own support, plus 5 additional acres for each of his or her children under the age of 15. In addition, they were allowed one horse or mule valued at $50 or less, 10 head of hogs, and $30 in provisions. If the land was in a village or town, they could keep land valued not more than $200. Additionally, no married debtor could sell any of this "set aside" land unless the wife, of her own free will, signed the deed of the sell along with her husband.

Act of 1847

In 1847 an act provided that no widow or unmarried woman could thereafter be arrested or imprisoned, or otherwise deprived of her liberties on account of any debt against her.

Act of 1876

As the years passed, other modifications were made to this insolvent debtors law, so that by 1876, there was rather a long list of items exempt, such as a Family Bible, school books, family portraits, and religious books. A professional man could have $300 worth of his own library books exempted.

How These Records Can Help you

The Homestead Exemption Law records kept in the County can possibly reveal facts about your ancestors that otherwise would not be known. They may reveal the names and ages of children, list a Family Bible or portraits, and list the basic necessities they were allowed to set aside.
Butler vicinity (GMD 757) + Carsonville GMD 743 + Davidson 737 Butler Map

If you find dead links, please let me know: Virginia Crilley.

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