Rockdale County, Georgia

Rockdale County, Georgia

Infobox U.S. County
county = Rockdale County
state = Georgia

map size = 225
founded = 1870
seat = Conyers | largest city = Conyers
area_total_sq_mi =132
area_land_sq_mi =131
area_water_sq_mi =2
area percentage = 1.14%
census yr = 2006
pop = 80332
density_km2 =207
web =

Rockdale County is a county located in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of 2000, the population was 70,111. The 2007 Census Estimate shows a population of 82,052 [] . The county seat is Conyers, GeorgiaGR|6.

Major highways


Adjacent counties

*Gwinnett County, Georgia - north
*Newton County, Georgia - east
*Walton County, Georgia - east
*Henry County, Georgia - south
*DeKalb County, Georgia - west


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 70,111 people, 24,052 households, and 18,880 families residing in the county. The population density was 537 people per square mile (207/km²). There were 25,082 housing units at an average density of 192 per square mile (74/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 75.74% White, 18.22% Black or African American, 0.26% Native American, 1.91% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 2.53% from other races, and 1.26% from two or more races. 5.96% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 17.7% were of American, 10.2% English, 9.3% Irish and 9.0% German ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 24,052 households out of which 39.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.60% were married couples living together, 12.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.50% were non-families. 16.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.87 and the average family size was 3.20.

In the county the population was spread out with 27.50% under the age of 18, 8.80% from 18 to 24, 30.50% from 25 to 44, 24.00% from 45 to 64, and 9.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 98.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $53,599, and the median income for a family was $60,065. Males had a median income of $41,087 versus $29,189 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,300. About 5.70% of families and 8.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.00% of those under age 18 and 7.70% of those age 65 or over.


Rockdale County was created on October 18, 1870, by act of the Georgia General Assembly and received its name from [ Rockdale Baptist Church] (est. 1846), which was named after the granite strata that rests under the county's red clay top soil. A bill introduced by John F. Hardin and John Harris carved Rockdale out of the northern portion of Newton County; parts of Rockdale County also came from neighboring Henry, Walton, Gwinnett, and DeKalb counties. Conyers, Rockdale's only incorporated town and urban center, became the county seat.

Prior to Rockdale becoming a county, the land had been inhabited by the Creek and Cherokee; the boundary between the two native nations, the Hightower Trail, ran directly through area. Burial remains have been discovered in the Honey Creek and Hi-Roc areas. Whites began migrating to the area in the early 1800s and initial white settlers suffered from Indian raids. Early white settlements developed along Big Haynes Creek in the northern part of the county, the Yellow River in the middle portion of the county, and Honey Creek in the south. Communities formed around grist mills newly formed churches such as Haralson Mill, Costleys Mill, Dial Mill, Zacharys Mill, McElroys Mill, Union Grove Baptist Church, Ebenezer Methodist Church, Philadelphia Methodist Church, Salem Baptist Church, Smyrna Presbyterian Church, Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, Bethel Christian Church, Honey Creek Baptist Church, Other communities included Magnet and Zingara. These settlers were largely subsistence farmers.

During the American Civil War, General William Tecumseh Sherman marched the Union army north of Conyers on his way to Covington from Lithonia. The usual seizure and destruction of property accompanied the army's march through the area. Many of the residents of Conyers, fearing Sherman would raze the city, fled to nearby Social Circle in Walton County, since Conyers was an important stop on the Georgia Railroad. Conyers remained unscathed by the war, and the city is a fine example of residential and commercial architecture from the nineteenth century. According to a historical marker on U.S. Highway 278 west of Conyers, Major General Joseph Wheeler of the Confederate army and part of his staff were captured by Union troops pursuing Jefferson Davis on May 9, 1865. Wheeler was later released in Athens only to be recaptured again. He was wounded three times, had his horse shot out from under him sixteen times.

During Reconstruction, Conyers and Rockdale County experienced tremendous growth. According to the local newspaper, "The Weekly Farmer", the population of Conyers increased from 300 to 2,000. The number of stores, businesses, schools, and churches of the county rapidly multiplied as well. Parts of the county were infamous for moonshining and the county became dry in 1882, prohibiting the sale and manufacture of liquor except by a licensed pharmacist as prescribed by a physician. The economy of the county was still based primarily on agriculture into the early 1900s.


*Salem High School
*Rockdale County High School
*Heritage High School
*Young Americans Christian School
*Victory Christian School
*General Ray Davis Middle School
*Memorial Middle School
*Edwards Middle School
*Conyers Middle School
*Rockdale Career Academy
*Rockdale Magnet School
*Dominion Stone Academy School

Famous Rockdale Countians

*Jill Arrington, ESPN college football reporter
*Cartel's Will Pugh, Joseph Pepper, Jeff Lett, Nic Hudson, & Kevin Sanders - Rock Band
*David Chandley, WSB-TV, Channel 2, meteorologist
*Todd Q. Chapman - "Shaggy" from the 2 Live Stews, producer
*Kyle Burger - Television Sports Anchor
*David Elder, professional baseball player
*Dakota Fanning, actress
*Elle Fanning, actress
*Holly Hunter, actress
*John Mark Karr, JonBenét Ramsey Falsely Claimed Murderer
*Clint Mathis, World Cup soccer player
*Jack McBrayer, actor
*Andy Mitchell, professional baseball player
*W. L. Peek, Populist party candidate for governor
*Marcus Printup, jazz trumpeter

Tourist Attractions

* Georgia International Horse Park []
* Black Shoals Lake and Covered Bridge
* Old Towne Conyers Historic District
* Monastery of the Holy Spirit []
* Salem Campground []
* Smyrna Campground
* Milstead Historic Mill Village

Cities and towns

* Ebenezer (unincorporated)
*Honey Creek (unincorporated)
*Lakeview Estates (unincorporated)
*Magnet (unincorporated)
*Milstead (unincorporated)
*Pleasant Hill (unincorporated)
*Princeton (unincorporated)
*Salem (unincorporated)
*Smyrna (unincorporated)
*Union Grove (unincorporated)
*Zingara (unincorporated)
*Oak Hill (unincorporated)


*Margaret G. Barksdale, E. L. Cowan, Francis A. King, eds. "A History of Rockdale County" (Conyers, Ga., 1978).
*"The Heritage of Rockdale County, Georgia" (Waynesville, N.C., 1998).

External links

* Rockdale County Historic Maps []
* Rockdale County Courthouse []
* "The Rockdale Citizen" []
* "The Rockdale Neighbor" []
* Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce []
* Conyers Convention and Visitor's Bureau []

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