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Why Genealogists Need to Identify the Neighbors
Tips by Jeannette Holland Austin
The tax digest is a solid means of identifying the neighbors of ancestors. Each district has a representative (usually a captain) who lists the names and acreage in his neighborhood. And it is certainly worth the effort to make a copy of this neighborhood, because these people will confirm that you have the correct ancestor. Example. Suppose that your ancestor was one of the John Smith's in the county. A search of the deeds, wills, estates and marriages could easily create a disaster. That is why the names of the neighbors are so important. They witnessed documents, deeded properties, and married daughters and sons. A deed for John Smith which contains some of the names from your ancestor's district will help clarify that you have the correct John Smith. Common names were frequently used in the old days and it is easy to get confused. Now, suppose there is a daughter who married a John Smith. It is very important to ascertain his exact birth and death dates, and the local church graveyard is a good source for this. One must be exacting in the details, because confusion is always nearby!
Thomas Blackstock was born in Belfast, Ireland and died in Union County, South Carolina; buried on the old Blackstock Plantation. He came down through Pennsylvania before finally settling in Union County. The home of his son, William Berry Blackstock is shown.
Union County Wills and Cemeteries
Union County was created from Ninety Six District in 1785 and was part of the Pinckney District from 1791 to 1800 when it became a separate district. Later, in 1897, part of it went to form Cherokee County. It was named for the old Union Church, which served both the Presbyterian and Episcopal congregations in the area. The church was erected in 1765 near the present day town of Union, the county seat. 1800 and became a separate district when Pinckney was dissolved in 1800. The first settlers to this area were migrating Scotch-Irish families from Virginia and Pennsylvania. During the Revolutionary war, many skirmishes occurred in the county, including the battle of Musgrove's Mill on August 18, 1780 and the battle of Blackstocks on November 20, 1780.
Early settlers: Francis Welchel, Dominic Hollan, Francis Hollam, Robert Lusk, Phillip Holcom, Thomas Brandon (1741-1802), Joseph McJunkin (1755-1846), William Henry Wallace (1827-1905), and others.
Wills and Estates, Records Available to Members of South Carolina Pioneers
Indexes to Union County Probate Records
- Index to Union County Minute Book A of the Probate Court (1783-1791)
- Index to Union County Will Book A (1777-1814)
- Index to Union County Will Book A (1815-1849)
Transcripts of Union County Wills (1777-1800) Testators: William Blackstock, Joseph Hughes, Thomas B. Hunt, James Kennedy,Joseph Lee, Daniel Prince, David Prince, James Savage, Capt. John Savage, Adam Fincher, Benjamin Holcombe, Benjamin Johnson, Benjamin Woodson, Charles Clanton, Charles Thompson, Daniel Comer, Daniel Howell, Daniel McBride, Daniel Nogher, David Chisolm, David Stockton, Edward Porter, Elijah Cooper, Elizabeth Cooper, Elizabeth Miller, Ephram Pucket, Francis Drake, George Crosley, George Harland, George Norman, Henry Clark, Isaac Gregory, James Addington, James Bankhead, James Benford, James Gibbs, James Hawkins, James Parnell, James Sims, James Thomas, James Townsend, James Woodson, Jeremiah Cooper, Jesse Paty, John Buford, John Clark, John Cole, John Harington, John Huey, John Jasper, John Taylor, John Wilson, Magnus Simonson, Mary Frost, Moses Weldon, Nathaniel Dabbs, Nathaniel Davis, Randolph Alexander, Rebecca Fincher, Renney Belue, Renney Belue, Jr., Robert Good, Robert Wallace, Samuel Cooper, Samuel Torbert, Solomon Whitsen, Susannah Bailey, Thomas Harris, Thomas Haslewood, Thomas Henderson, Thomas Layton, Thomas McDonald, Thomas Wright, Thomas Young, Turner Rountree, William Farr, William Hendley, William Lee, William McJunkin and William Plummer.
- Union County Cemeteries (burials)