Murray County Administrators & Guardian Bonds – a Research Plan

by Tonia Kendrick on March 27, 2013 in Research

Murray County GA Administrators & Guardian Bonds 1844-1856Several months ago, I discovered that the (non-indexed) images of Georgia Probate records had been added to FamilySearch.  I started searching through the Administration & Guardian Bonds for Murray County and immediately hit pay dirt with a guardianship bond for my 3rd great-grandfather, Andrew B. Baxter.  I also found a guardianship bond for the children of a 2nd great-grandfather, J. Y. Hemphill.

Last night, I was reviewing what I had found.  I thought I had searched the entire record and found nothing else, but I was jumping around in the images online and found at least two more records.  I realized that I need to be more organized and methodical about searching these images.  I also realized while at the Family History Library last week that I need a list of relevant surnames for each locality that I’m searching; I can’t rely on my memory anymore, because there are simply too many names to remember, especially in the counties where I have a lot of people, such as Murray County, Georgia.

So, here’s my research plan for searching this record.


Search the “Administration and Guardian Bonds 1844-1896″ records of Murray County, Georgia for the following surnames:

Adair, Alexander, Bailey, Baxter, Beamer, Black, Botten, Bradford, Bright, Bruer, Butler, Campbell, Carter, Caylor, Chable, Childers, Coffey, Couch, Dillard, Dwight, Ellis, Elrod, Fouts, Goodwin, Green, Greenlee, Haney, Harris, Harrison, Headrick, Heartsill, Hemphill, Henderson, Johnson, Jones, Kendrick, Kilgore, Langford, Langston, Lankford, Lawson, Littlefield, Love, Lowery, Lytle, Manley, Matthews, McClure, McEntire, McIntyre, McKinney, Moreland, Morgan, Mullinax, O’Neal, Osborn, Patterson, Poteet, Ridley, Roberts, Rogers, Sampler, Saunders, Sharp, Shields, Stanfield, Stanford, Stroud, Stuart, Terry, Thompson, Townsend, Tucker, Vineyard, Wallace, Ward, West, Whitener, Wofford.

Yes, that’s 79 surnames.  I don’t know why I thought I could keep them all in my head and associate them with Murray County.

To come up with the list of surnames, I did a people search in RootsMagic on the following criteria:



  • “Any fact” place contains Murray and Georgia – this gives me a list of people have any event associated with Murray, Georgia.
  • Color coding is not Yellow – this is how I designate people outside my research mission, which is direct ancestors and two generations of descendants.  People who are color-coded yellow might be three or more generations away from my ancestors or parents of spouses, etc.
  • “Any fact” date is after 1843 and before 1897 – the date range for this record set is 1844-1896, so I want to exclude people who died before 1844 or were born after 1896.  By searching on the “any fact” field, I don’t inadvertently exclude people for whom I have other information, but don’t have a birth or death date.

This search turned up 305 names.  I exported the report, pulled it into Excel, and ran the Remove Duplicates tool to trim the list down to one instance of each surname.

My next step is to review the handwritten name index in the books and then start paging through, image by image, with the list of surnames by my computer.

I bet I find more records that I’ll be interested in.  But even if I don’t, I’ll know that I didn’t miss anything important.


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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer Sepulvado March 27, 2013 at 9:55 pm

That is a good idea to color code people who are distantly removed. I never thought of that before. I like to do research on all the collaterals and such, but sometimes it is helpful to be able to identify them quickly so that you can easily exclude them when you are doing certain types of research.
Jennifer Sepulvado´s last blog post ..The Genealogical Journey of a 30-Something


Tonia Kendrick March 28, 2013 at 6:16 pm

Hi Jennifer! The color-coding has been very helpful. It keeps me from spending time where I don’t want to spend it.


Jennifer Dunn May 5, 2013 at 9:29 pm

Thanks for linking to this, Tonia! Like I think I told you before, I haven’t been doing much work on my Dunns/Berrys (and many more!) of Murray County, Georgia just because a cousin who came before has really worked that line hard. That said, this is amazing and I bet he hasn’t gotten to this yet. ;)
Jennifer Dunn´s last blog post ..Census Sunday: What Became of Isaac Suthard?


Tonia Kendrick May 10, 2013 at 7:41 pm

You bet! I never knew how great guardianship bonds could be. The ones I have found are worth their weight in gold.

My mom’s first cousin is married to a Dunn, btw. I bet he’s a relative of yours.


Jennifer Dunn May 10, 2013 at 9:03 pm

If he’s from up that way I’m certain he is. Especially if his name is Daniel, James, Thomas, or William. Those Dunn’s have always been infuriatingly uncreative with the naming :p
Jennifer Dunn´s last blog post ..Follow Friday: Scalping, Slaveholder Fraud and Roy Acuff’s Accent

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