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Bulloch Genealogy with Roger Allen - Rawls settle in Bulloch and Screven
roger allen
Roger Allen

      The family name Rawls comes from the "Olde German" name 'Rolf.' This in turn comes from the Viking clan Hrolfr," which translates roughly to '"Fame-Wolf." The Rawls name didn't show up in England until the 13th Century.
      The first recorded instance of what became the Rawls family name being recorded was that of Turstinus Filius Rolf in the 1086 Domesday Book of Norfolk. complied while King William 1 (William The Conqueror) reigned between 1066 - 1087.
      Today the "Rolf" clan has spread out into some thirty modern family lines, including Ralfe, Rall, Ralls, Ralphs, Ralphson, Rave, Raw, Rawll, and Rawls.
      The first recognized Rawls ancestor is William Rawls, who was born around 1720, supposedly in Virginia. According to records William died in December of 1759 in Halifax County, North Carolina.
      The second generation of what became the Bulloch County Rawls was his son John Sr. Thought to have been born circa 1740 in either Virginia or North Carolina, John is mentioned in the will of his father in 1760.
      John Sr. married Patience Cotton in the mid 1750's, probably in Halifax County, North Carolina. Their children were William, John Jr., and Cotton. John Sr. took his family and settled in Beaufort District, South Carolina just as the American revolution was beginning.
      The Rawls family moved to Beaufort District, South Carolina, where William Rawls fought during the Revolutionary War.
      He served in Captain John Garvin's unit from June 19, 1779 until June 5, 1781 along with his brothers John Jr. and Cotton. He fought at the battle of Kings Mountain under Colonel Williams.
      William Rawles appears on a list of Revolutionary Claims filed in South Carolina between August 20, 1783 and August 31, 1786.
      For his service, William received a grant of 500 acres of land in Screven County in the first Georgia Land Lottery of 1805. In 1807, William received two additional grants, of 200 and 150 acres, also in Screven County.
      John Jr. married Sarah Frances "Frankey" McCall in South Carolina. In 1788, John Jr. also received a grant of 200 acres in Effingham County, Georgia.
      He later sold this land on the Great Ogeechee River opposite the area known as Flatford to Jesse Bell.
      When Bulloch County was formed from lands in Screven and Bryan Counties, John Jr. was listed as a resident. Appointed a Justice of the Inferior Court, he received another grant in 1796, this time for 500 acres in Effingham.
      John Jr.'s name appears in numerous Bulloch County records until his death in 1823. John Rawls Jr. died sometime between February 4 and April 25 of that year, for that is when the inventory of estate was begun.
      John and Sarah's six children were Mary, who married Allen Denmark; Thomas, who married Sarah Ryall; Harriet, who married Morgan Brown; Allen, who married Rebecca Ryall; James, who drew land in the 1832 Georgia Lottery; and John Rawls III.
      John Sr.'s son Cotton was born around 1760 in Halifax County, North Carolina. He served with his brothers William and John in the Revolutionary War, and his name appears on a list of Revolutionary Claims filed in South Carolina between August 20, 1783 and August 31, 1786.
       In 1794, Cotton received a grant of 720 acres in Effingham County. Cotton's name appears on the 1805 Georgia Land Lottery as a resident of Screven County, Georgia.
      From these three Rawls', the Bulloch County and surrounding area's Rawls families sprung.

Roger Allen writes a genealogy column once a month. E-mail Roger at roger

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