Area Resources

Clarke and Oconee counties are located in Northeast Georgia. Clarke County was created Dec. 5, 1801 from Jackson County. Watkinsville was the county seat until 1872 when Athens was made the county seat. Oconee County was created Feb. 25, 1875 from Clarke County; Watkinsville is the county seat of Oconee County.

Learn more about Clarke and Oconee counties in the FamilySearch wiki and New Georgia Encyclopedia.

Georgia outline map used with permission from the Carl Vinson Institute of Government © Carl Vinson Institute of Government, University of Georgia

Courthouses

Clarke County Courthouse

The Clarke County Courthouse is located in downtown Athens, Georgia. Parking is available in a parking deck that adjoins the courthouse. Metered parking is available on the surrounding streets. In addition to the Washington Street entrance, there is an entrance from the parking deck. At either entrance, you must pass through a security gate.

Clarke County Courts
325 East Washington Street
Athens, GA 30601

Clarke County Probate Court

Probate Court has wills, estate administrations, minor guardianships, marriages, oaths of office, and firearms licenses from the county’s formation (1801) to the present time.

The staff does not do lookups, but if you know the location of the record you want (book and page number) they will send you a copy for a fee. A Probate Court Records Finding Aid is available online.

Judge of Clarke County Probate Court
Clarke County Courthouse
325 East Washington Street
Suite 200
Athens, GA 30601
Phone (706) 613-3320
probatecourt@accgov.com

Clarke County Superior Court

Superior Court has land, Civil Court (including divorce), and Criminal Court records from the county’s formation (1801) to the present time.

The staff does not do lookups, but if you know the location of the record you want (book and page number) they will send you a copy for a fee.

Clerk of Clarke County Superior Court
Clarke County Courthouse
325 East Washington Street
Suite 450
Athens, GA 30601
Phone (706) 613-3190

Oconee County Courthouse

The Oconee County Courthouse is located in downtown Watkinsville, Georgia. Public parking is available behind the courthouse. Look for “Visitor Parking” and “Public Parking” signs. Limited one-hour parking is available in front and near the building in the back.

Oconee County Courts
23 North Main Street
Watkinsville, GA 30677

Oconee County Probate Court

Probate Court has birth, marriage, and death records as well as wills, estate administrations, and minor guardianships from the county’s formation (1875) to the present time.

Judge of Oconee County Probate Court
PO Box 54
Watkinsville, GA 30677
Phone: (706) 769-3936

The Probate Court office is located in Room 304 of the Oconee County Courthouse at 23 North Main Street in Watkinsville, GA.

Oconee County Superior Court

Superior Court has land, Civil Court records (including divorce), and Criminal Court records from the county’s formation (1875) to the present time.

Clerk of Oconee County Superior Court
PO Box 1099
Watkinsville, GA 30677
Phone: (706) 769-3940

The Clerk of Courts office is located in Room 208 of the Oconee County Courthouse at 23 North Main Street in Watkinsville, GA.

Libraries

Athens-Clarke County Library

Athens-Clarke County Library is a member of the Athens Regional Library System and the PINES public library automation and lending network.

Athens-Clarke County Library
2025 Baxter Street
Athens, Georgia 30606

Athens-Clarke County Library Heritage Room

The Heritage Room has a significant collection of print, microform, and CD holdings as well as access to online resources for genealogical research in Clarke and other Northeast Georgia Counties. The collection also includes materials for researchers interested in other areas of Georgia, the Southeast, the United States, and other countries. 

Additionally, the Athens-Clarke County Library Heritage Room provides researchers the opportunity to use limited-access databases as a FamilySearch Affiliate Library.

The on-line catalog can be searched on the Internet http://gapines.org/eg/opac/home.

Athens Clarke County Library Heritage Room
2nd floor, 2025 Baxter Street
Athens, Georgia 30606
(706) 613-3650 ext. 350 heritageroomref@athenslibrary.org

Regular Hours for the Heritage Room:
Wed. – Thurs. 10:00 am to 8:00 pm
Fri. – Sat. 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
Sun. 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Mon. – Tues. closed
(closed most holidays)

Oconee County Library

Oconee County Library is a member of the Athens Regional Library System and the PINES public library automation and lending network.

Oconee County Library
1080 Experiment Station Road
Watkinsville, GA 30677

Oconee County Library
Ivy Room for Genealogy and Local History

The Oconee County Library contains a significant, although eclectic, collection of books and periodicals of value in genealogical research. Much of the Ivy Room collection is comprised of personal libraries donated by retired genealogists and thus reflects the varied but selected interests of those people. The collection also provides materials related to the history of Watkinsville/Oconee County in particular and of Georgia in general.

The Oconee Library holdings are included in the Athens Regional Library System’s main on-line catalog at http://gapines.org/eg/opac/home.

Oconee County Library
P.O. Box 837
1080 Experiment Station Road
Watkinsville, GA 30677
(706) 769-3950.

The library is located a couple of blocks west of downtown Watkinsville on Georgia Highway 53.

Regular hours of operation:
Mon. and Wed. 10:00 am to 9:00 pm
Tues., Thurs., – Sat. 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Sun. 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm
(Closed most public holidays)

Download the Ivy Room brochure for more information.

University of Georgia Libraries

University of Georgia Libraries are composed of many collections including the Main Library with its worldwide collection of historical and genealogical material, maps, and government documents; and the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

University of Georgia Main Library

University of Georgia Main Library has several collections of interest to genealogists.

The fourth floor shelf area houses an extensive collection of books and periodicals of genealogical value for most states and several countries, plus a large collection of published genealogies.

Map and Government Information Library (MAGIL) is located in the sub-basement of the Main Library on North Campus. 

The UGA Libraries serves as Georgia’s regional depository for documents published by the Federal government as well as the official depository for documents published by the State of Georgia. Cartographic resources include maps, aerial photography and remote sensed imagery, atlases, digital spatial data, and reference materials, with a particular emphasis on the State of Georgia. 

UGA Main Library
320 S. Jackson Street
Athens, GA 30602
706.542.3251

View operating hours online
for UGA Libraries:
libs.uga.edu/all-hours

The nearest publicly available parking is in the North Campus Parking Deck. (Rates and more information)


Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, which includes the Georgiana Collection, contains rare books and manuscripts plus an extensive collection of history and record books for Georgia, its counties and cities. For research in Georgia, this is a major source. Additional information about this collection can be found at their website libs.uga.edu/hargrett.

You are encouraged to review the Hargrett Library Reading Room Rules before arriving.

The Hargrett Library is located in the Russell Special Collections Building at 300 South Hull Street in Athens, Georgia.

Hargrett Library
Richard B. Russell Building
300 S. Hull Street
University of Georgia
Athens, Georgia 30602
706-542-7123

View hours of operation online for UGA Special Collections Libraries:
galib.uga.edu/scl/visit/hours.html

Parking for off-campus visitors is available in the Hull Street deck. Enter at the south entrance near Baxter Street. Library visitors can bypass the pay machine on the 3rd level and proceed directly to the front desk inside Special Collections to sign in with their vehicle tag number. Handicapped parking is located on Level 3 of the deck as well as a pedestrian bridge connecting the parking deck to the quad in front of the Special Collections Library.

University of Georgia Law Library

UGA Law Library

The Alexander Campbell King Law Library is located within the School of Law on the north quadrangle of the University of Georgia campus, not far from UGA’s Main Library.

To access the Law Library, enter the main entrance facing the quad. 

Alexander Campbell King Law Library

The Alexander Campbell King Law Library serves the public welfare through cooperative efforts to collect, access, and preserve information at the regional, national, and international levels.

In addition to their collection and resources, genealogists may find the links to the Historic Georgia Digests and Codes on UGA Law Library’s Digital Commons website helpful. As a genealogical researcher, you must understand what the law was at the time and in the place you are researching to accurately analyze and understand the records you find or are unable to find.

Alexander Campbell King Law Library
225 Herty Drive
Athens, GA 30602-6018
(706) 542-1923

View operating hours online
for the UGA Law Library:
www.law.uga.edu/library-hours-operation

The nearest publicly available parking is in the North Campus Parking Deck. (Rates and more information)

Notable Historic Collections in Georgia Public Libraries

Many public libraries in Georgia are home to unique historic collections that highlight the history of local communities. A list is available through the Georgia Public Library Service.

Be sure to take a look at the Georgia’s Treasures booklet (available for download) which highlights several significant genealogy and history collections found in public libraries. “As you visit the libraries and history rooms spotlighted in this brochure, you will find much more than books; many of our libraries collect museum-quality art and artifacts that highlight the cultural history of Georgia and its residents. Some have earned national acclaim; all have devoted local and regional followings. Each of them offers collections that are specialized, important and often captivating — whether you are tracing your family tree or delving deeply into one of the many rich periods of Georgia history.”

Additional Resources

Clarke County Health Department

Clarke County Health Department has birth and death records from January 1919. Birth records are only available to close family members; however, death records are generally available to all.

Clarke County Health Department
345 North Harris Street
Athens, GA 30601
Phone (706) 389-6921

Online Resources

GALILEO https://www.galileo.usg.edu
G
eorgiA LIbrary LEarning Online is an online library portal to authoritative, subscription-only information that isn’t available through free search engines or Web directories. While on campus, IGHR attendees will have access to the databases at the University of Georgia Libraries.

Digital Library of Georgia https://dlg.usg.edu
The Digital Library of Georgia (freely available online) is a GALILEO initiative based at the University of Georgia Libraries that collaborates with Georgia’s Libraries, archives, museums, and other institutions of education and culture to provide access to key information resources on Georgia history, culture, and life.

Georgia Historic Newspapers https://gahistoricnewspapers.galileo.usg.edu
The Georgia Historic Newspapers Archive is a project of the Digital Library of Georgia (DLG), a part of Georgia’s Virtual Library GALILEO and is based at the University of Georgia Libraries. Since 2007, the DLG has partnered with universities, archives, public libraries, historical societies, museums, and other cultural heritage institutions to digitize historical newspapers from around the state. The archive is free and open for public use and includes over one million Georgia newspaper pages between 1786 and 1986.

Georgia’s Virtual Vault http://vault.georgiaarchives.org
The Virtual Vault provides virtual access to historic Georgia manuscripts, photographs, maps, and government records housed in the state archives.