South Carolina Pioneers

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Edgefield county Records Available to Members of South Carolina Pioneers

  • Edgefield County Wills, Bks A, B and C, 1775-1835 (abstracts)
  • Index to Edgefield County Will Book D, 1836-1853
  • 1817 Map of Edgefield County

Miscellaneous Edgefield County Wills, Deeds, etc. (Images and Transcripts)

  • Adams, John (LWT) 1823
  • Adams, John Deed to William McDaniel (1816)
  • Adams, John Deed to Joel McLemore (1819)
  • Adams, John Deed to Henry Anderson
  • Adams, John Deed to John Hinson(1824)
  • Ballentine, Hugh, 1809 Promise
  • Bolger, Elizabeth
  • Bush, Isaac
  • Cary, William
  • Ferguson, William
  • Garrett, Edward
  • Hagens, William
  • Hamilton, William
  • Hammond, Charles Sr.
  • Mims, Beheatherland
  • Mock, George Sr., LWT (1790)
  • Morgan, Evan
  • Neyle, Daniel, 1750 Land Grant
  • Ramage, James
  • Richardson, Jefferson
  • Savage, John Land Grant, originally the Land Grant of Benjamin Harris
  • Self, Daniel
  • Strum, Henry Bond to Jeremiah Burnet of Liberty County, Georgia
  • Sullivan, Pressly
  • Swearington, Van
  • Tate, Henry
  • Williams, Roger
  • Youngblood, Mary

Willington Academy, a School for Boys

Willington Academy During 1801 a famous school for boys was built along the banks of the Savannah River, on the Carolina side, about forty-five miles from Augusta and six miles from Willington. This was a time when the Broad River joined the Savannah on the Georgia side and a wagon trail led off into South Carolina. It was called the Willington School, named by his founder, Dr. Moses Waddel. Dr. Waddel was a Presbyterian minister who later became the president of the University of Georgia. This was a time when the basic studies were taught in the field schools.

Valley Forge

Valley Forge Charles Lavender was a resident of Amherst County, Virginia when he enlisted in the American Revolutionary War. He fought under General George Washington and was at Valley Forge in 1777. He was man six foot three inches tall who had 22 children by two wives. However, at the time of his death in Edgefield District at the age of 99 years, only three of his children were living.

Search for the Ancestors in the Weeds

As we trace further back in time and attempt to fill the gaps for want of records, logic and reasoning is employed. Now is the time to get out the history books. But where is the written history of long ago? Archaeologists rely upon hiergyphics written upon the walls of the tombs of the Pharoahs for information. However, the life-styles of everyone else is a conjecture of old data. The example I am thinking of is how they built the pyramids. One supposition is that the workers dragged those boulders across the desert. Yet, a visit to the Atlanta Civic Center to view the wealth from the tomb of Tutankhamun was an eye-opener. In plain view was a small replica of a perfect set of "gears." It follow that surely they used mechanisms with gears to lift heavy loads! In recent years, iron has been discovered in the earliest Egyptian and Chinese dynasties. Also, it appears that brass plates were used to preserve valuable records. These plates have been discovered in China as well as middle-eastern deserts Because of the difficulty of writing on brass, words were abbreviated and condensed, all writing being familiar to that generation. Hmmm, seems our ancestors could read and write after all. Before some of the more recent discoveries emerged, mankind was painted in the history books as being dumb and uneducated. What I am saying here is that our old history books are wrong, wrong, wrong! The researcher already has a taste of errors in history books when reviewing items such as correspondence kept by colonial municipalities and pension records.

Families are important to us, so we are interested in facts. Sometimes we make mistakes because of the similarity of names. Parents continued family traditions with the use of family names, even if it was the same name over and over again. It is as though they are telling us something. But if John Henry is found in 300 years of family history, we have to sort things out. The first thing which I seek to learn is the birth and death date of my John Henry. It must be exact as possible, because his cousins will also have that name. Next, the deed records and tax digests. Because that cousin of the same name might be in the same neighborhood, I want to understand which deeds and transactions belonged to my ancestor. The deeds and tax records are useful in determining when the land was purchased, sold or divided between the heirs. Sometimes other members of the family later show up in the same location.

Edgefield County Wills, Estates, Deeds

1890 EdgefieldThe county was formed in 1785 as part of Ninety Six District; parts of Edgefield later went to form Aiken (1871), Saluda (1895), Greenwood (1897), and McCormick (1916) counties. The county seat is the town of Edgefield. The northern part of the Ninety Six was previously inhabited by Cherokee Indians. The southern part adjoined the Savannah River and was used as hunting grounds by the Creeks, Savannahs and other tribes. Edgefield country was trafficked by white men who created a lucrative trade with the Indians for their buffalo and beaver skins and who exported as many as two hundred and fifty thousand skins a year from the state. It was not until 1748 that permanent settlements were made along the Savannah River. Families trickled in from England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Germany, Holland and France as well as from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina. Others settled in Georgia along the Savannah River. The first Scotch families settled on the Saluda side of Edgefield south of Chappells Ferry. The site was located near a hill where large chestnut trees grew. Later, the Baptist Church of Chestnut Hill was later organized and built. They called the settlement Scotland. Among the first Scots was Joseph Culbreath, born near Plymouth Scotland in 1747, who was brought to Edgefield by his father, Edward Culbreath in 1756. The father died a year later, leaving his sons, Joseph, John, Daniel and Edward. The sons all lived to be over the ages of 70. The family of Harry Hazel came with the Culbreaths to the new country. In 1770 a ferry was established over the Saluda River on the land of Robert Cunningham and another one over the Savannah River, opposite to Augusta in Georgia. Edgefield was the site of several Revolutionary War skirmishes and was defended by those who had settled from North Carolina and Virginia. One such family was that of William Abney who had settled about a mile or so from Scotland in 1772. Nathaniel Abney served as a captain of a militia company under Major Andrew Williamson at Ninety Six. Opposing the patriots was the Stewart family whose homestead was located on Tosty Creek on the Saluda.

Early settlers: Peter Finson, Francis W. Pickens, Benjamin Tilman, General Martin Witherspoon Cary, Allen Bailey, Nathan Melton, William Daniel, William Tobler, Spencer Hawes, George Miller, Jeremiah Lamar, Robert Gardner, David Pitts, Arthur Watson, Nathaniel Abney, Jesse Griffin, George Bender, Michael Burkhalter, Thomas Spraggins, Mathew Devore, Allen Burton, George Kyser, Nathaniel Bacon, Wright Nicholson, Joseph McGinnis, John Oliphant, John Blalock, Benjamin Buzbie, Robert Jennings, Jessy Rountree, Amos Richardson, Hezekiah Gentry, Benjamin Hightower, Thomas turk, Stephen Garrett and others.