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City Guide: Atlanta
Your genealogical research will flourish if you follow our pointers for tracing your Atlanta ancestors.
In 1847, Atlanta, Ga., was "a dreary collection of cabins" with a single storefront. But within 25 years, bragged the Appletons journal in 1872, Atlanta became home to nearly 500 stores that sold $25 million in merchandise. Today the Atlanta area still booms, doing $270 billion of business a year. Your genealogical research will flourish, too, if you follow our pointers for tracing your Atlanta ancestors.

Rise of the Gate City
Creek natives roamed the shores of the Chattahoochee River long before European colonists built Fort Standing Peach Tree on the future site of Atlanta in 1813. The Creek ceded ownership in 1821, and land was immediately distributed by a state-run lottery. Settlements quickly sprang up, but Atlanta (originally named Terminus, then Marthasville) didn’t grow until a railway terminus was built and trains began to run in 1845.

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