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Bulloch History by Roger Allen
Tale Male helps create Bulloch
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    With the founding of the Trustees Colony of Georgia in 1733, a method of land ownership was devised, which became known as the “Tale Male.” This meant that 50 acres of land was given to each male, with no more than 500 acres being owned by anyone grantee. This system also provided very little security, for there were nine ways in which the land granted to you could be taken away, including if there were no male heirs to inherit the land, or even the failure to attempt to grow Mulberry Trees.
    It was under the reign of Kings George the Second and George the Third that the Georgia Surveyor General Department began issuing these grants. The land sitters paid the Trustees a quitrent of four shillings per every one hundred acres. It wasn’t until 1756 that a “Devise of Inheritance” was created allowing for unqualified ownership of your granted land. With the Act of 1777, the quitrent was cut in half to two shillings per one hundred acres, and then in the Act of 1780 there was the creation of the “Femme Covert” which allowed for females to regain the right to hold property ( a possibility which they gave up at their marriage) once again after their husbands death.
    The Act of 1783 created the “Head Right Grants” and the “Bounty Grants” which increased the ownership amounts of land. With the Head Right Grants, a male head of the household could now own all of two hundred acres of land, with the possession of another fifty acres of land for each family member and slave. The cost of this land was between one and four shillings per acre, which was needed to cover survey costs and granting fees. As far as the Bounty Grants, if a male could show that he one conditions, he would be given land.
    This condition was that he must be able to prove he served in the militias of Bryan, Bulloch, Chatham, Effingham, Screven or Liberty Counties. The Land Grant Court that awarded these bounties consisted of at least five judges. Once given this land, the grantee must live on it for at least one year, must cultivate at least three per cent of his land, and must pay all applicable fees.
    The first land made available in 1784 was in the newly-created Franklin and Washington Counties, the first new counties established in post-Revolutionary War Georgia. They were cut from lands taken (although the official term used is ceded) by the Cherokees and Creeks in the Treaties of Augusta in 1783. The cost at first for this land was three shillings per acre. In 1785, the payment for these land grants was removed, and in 1786, the grants were ceased.
    Between 1803 and 1833, there were eight distributions of land, in parcels of either two hundred and two and one half acres or in parcels of four hundred and ninety acres. A single male, orphaned children and widows were to be given one draw in the lottery, while married widows with orphaned children and revolutionary war officers with children each were given two chances.
    Most of the founding families of Bulloch County earned their inheritance through just these means. The Tale Male and Head Right Grants of Effingham and Bryan Counties came to form much of what is now Bulloch County. In addition, the Ceded Lands of Washington County were used to create new counties including Montgomery, which for the longest time served as a western part of Bulloch. As the state expanded west, so moved many of Bulloch County’s earliest families.

    Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look at Bulloch County's historical past. E-mail Roger at roger
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