Carnesville isn’t well-known outside the area, and is one of the smaller county seats in Georgia, with between 500-600 residents. As county seats should, it sits smack dab in the middle of Franklin County, which was the first county in the state established after the Revolutionary War [much larger at the time, encompassing multiple modern counties]. While the location of Franklin County’s first seat of government is lost to history, Carnesville gained that designation in 1807.
It was named for Thomas Petters Carnes (1762-5 May 1822), whose service as a colonel in the Maryland Line during the Revolutionary War earned him a land bounty in Franklin County. He served in the Georgia House of Representatives, as a state court judge, Attorney General of Georgia, and in the U. S. House of Representatives, from 1793-1795, representing Athens [located at that time in Franklin County].