The Genealogy ClockThe time which one spends searching for the ancestors cannot be measured. That is because long before the body takes off on a field trip or searches records, the brain is forever working problems, ascertaining facts, recalling dates and places, and trying to discover answers. Searching for the ancestors is a blessed gift, because it teaches us to "remember." Anyone who researches a particular lineage does not have to continuously refer to notes. That is because the genealogy clock is always on duty, reminding. Reminding. How handy is it to visit the archives and while examining books and microfilm, recognize your people? As long as the dates are correct, we stay on track. Because it is so easy to get confused while we are tracing a generation of folks not within the scope of the correct time-frame. Because we remember the roads to the old ancestral homes, this sense of direction, combined with easy recall of dates and the frequent search for answers, spills over into brain power which is a good thing because it enhances the memory!
Consider Using a Genealogy Work-Around!Sometimes all that we need is a few good ideas (or clues) as to where to search next. Many complaints evolve around unfound marriage records and estates (or wills). Yet there are "work arounds" for all genealogy issues. While one cannot always complete the puzzle, they can form the surrounding pieces. Picture an incomplete farm house, then search for the barns, roads, fences, wells, trees, flowers, etc. The farm house represents the family itself, while the surrounding areas complete the neighborhood structure with friends, relatives and community affairs. Actually, it is the neighborhood which is so revealing of the family tree. Local churches and graveyards identify the neighbors and in-laws that you could not find in the marriage records. Most States did not require marriages to be filed at the court house until after 1900. That means that those which do appear on the records (before 1900) are but a small sampling of what "lshould be." Small farms were building their homes upon virgin lands. The neighbors were few and far between. Who else would the daughters marry, unless they traveled some distance to visit other relatives? Clues do exist. The secret is familiarizing oneself with the surrounding puzzle pieces. This type of familiarity can begin by carefully reading all of the tombstones in the old section of church graveyards, even photographing them for later reference. The names which appear in the old section also appear on the deed records of that county. They are buying and selling land; and, importantly, witnessing deeds and other transactions of the ancestors. How much land did these guys own, and whose names were on the farms? The tax digest is also helpful because it helps to clarify adjoining properties, and whether or not one is a "juniior" or "senior." When the father died, his farm lands were divided between the sons. Up until the time of his death, however, the tax digest list exact acreages. Later, after the property is divided, odd amounts of acreage can be seen listed by his sons. If the death occurred prior to the 1850 census when the names of children were recorded, this method is an alternative to locating other heirs. The old-timers did not always write a last will and testament. Instead, they divided their property between the children prior to death in the form of "Deeds of Gift." If the widow remarried, the deeds could turn up a Marriage Contract which provides even more details concerning the disposition of the estate, and, relationships. All estate records should be examined carefully. That is, wills, inventories, sales, annual returns, appraisements, guardianships, bonds and receipts. None of these items are in one place in the probate court. The reason is that such documents were written in the clerk's book as they were filed of record. Thus, once the last will and testament is found, a scan of the next several probate books is indicated. During the examination of the estate records, it is also important to take note of the names of witnesses and purchasers of items from the estate sale. If you have a relic which was passed down through the families, the inventory is the place to search for its origin.
From South Carolina? You are probably of Scotch-Irish or German ExtractionSome of the most difficult genealogical research is in South Carolina. But the State has its own unique history based primarily upon religious groups who settled certain areas en mass. If we think of it in this manner, then there is a good chance of discovering the origins of our ancestors. Early in the 18th century, groups of Scotch-Irish landed in Philadelphia and took the old wagon road south into the Carolinas. It is safe to say that the Scotch-Irish were the predominant settlers in South Carolina. For example, settlers from Aberdeen, Scotland settled in Laurens County. A marble tablet was placed by the DAR on the front inside wall of the Duncan Creek Presbyterian Church of those who served during the Revolutionary War, namely: Joseph Adair, Sr., Joseph Adair Jr, James Adair Sr. Leonard Beasley, J. Bell, John Copeland, John Craig, James Craig, Robert Hanna, Thomas Holland, Robert Long Thomas Logan, Thomas McCrary Joseph Ramage, William Underwood and George Young Sr. Also, consider Edgecombe County because that is where Germans from the Palatinate and Switzerland settled. There are many stories surrounding the immigrants. Since some of the old church records survived, that makes it worth our time to do a thorough research of religious groups and follow the trail of those names from Pennsylvania into South Carolina by examining ship passenger lists.
Salters PlantationBefore he died in 1833, William Salter built a plantation on land which was situated south of the Black River. It was on this spot that he owned over 4,000 acres; however, by 1860, more than 5,000 acres comprised the acreage of a plantation which was rich in cotton, rice, corn, sweet potatoes, and live stock owned by his heirs at that time.
During the World War I, Americans wore stylish clothes. As the battle wore on and hardships were prevalent, food stamps were issued and the ladies donated flour sacks to the cause, also using the sacks to make dresses.
Williamsburg County South Carolina Wills and Estates
In 1730 Governor Robert Johnson was ordered by King George to develop the back country of the Carolina Province. The townships were to consist of 20,000 acres. The township was named after William of Orange. The first settlement was in 1732 when a colony of forty Scots-Irish led by Roger Gordon came up the river by boat and settled the region. Early Settlers: John Witherspoon, Patrick Cormack, William James Cooper, George Burrows and Samuel Bradshaw.
Williamsburg, South Carolina Wills Available to Members of South Carolina Pioneers
Transcripts of Williamsburg County Will Book A (1802-1820)Testators: Barr, James, Sr. | Barrineau, Isaac | Benton, Moses | Benton, Robert | Bostwick, Jonathan | Bradley, James | Bradley, Mary | Bradshaw, Samuel | Buford, William | Buford, William | Burdick, Eliphalet | Burgess, James | Burgess, John | Burrows, George | Calhoon, Jesse | Campbell, Rebecca | Campbell, William | Clark, Alexander | Coachman, Joseph | Coleman, Jacob | Connor, John | Cooper, William | Durant, Benjamin | Dickey, Catherine | Eaddy, James | Ervin, J. | Ervin, Joseph | Ewit, Eliphaleth | Fleming, John | Gamble, Robert | Gibson, Ebenezer | Gibson, John | Glass, Alexander | Gotea, John | Gowdy, James | Graham, Hugh | Graham, John, Dr. | Hamilton, Margaret | Hawthorn, George | Heaselden, Samuel | Hickson, John | Howard, Edward | James, Gavin | James, Jane | Jaudon, Paul | Jones, Samuel | Keels, John | Kelty, John | Leger, John | Lowry, John | Matthews, Isaac | McBride, James | McClam, Solomon | McCollister, John | McConnell, George | McConnell, James | McCormick, Patrick | McCrea, Thomas | McDonald, William | McElroy, William | McIlveen, William | McKee, Elizabeth | McKee, Joseph | McMurray, John | Michau, Paul Sr. | Moore, William | Mouzon, Susanna | Mouzon, Suzannah | Nesmith, Samuel | Owens, Lucy | Owens, Stephen | Paisley, Hannah | Patterson, Jannet | Presley, John | Price, Henry | Rhoddus, Solomon | Rogers, Thomas | Scott, Jennett | Scott, John | Smith, Abner | Snowdon, Samuel | Stretch, Mary | Strong, Samuel | Turner, Benjamin | Walsh, Francis | Watson, Andrew | Watson, Sarah | Wilson, Samuel | Wilson, Samuel Sr. | Witherspoon, Elizabeth | Witherspoon, Gavin | Witherspoon, Robert | Zuill, James
Transcript of Williamsburg County Will Book B (1827-1840)Testators: Barr, George | Barr, Jane Sr. | Barrett, Agness | Bennett, Henry | Bennett, Robert | Bird, Joel | Britton, Benjamin | Britton, Thomas | Brockinton, William | Brown, Mary | Cade, Robert | Cantey, Joseph | Cockfield, Joseph | Cockfield, Josiah | Daniel, James | Dickey, Catherine | Epps, Daniel | Folly, James | Fulmore, John | Frierson, Robert | Frierson, William | Gamble, James Sr. | Gordon, Benjamin | Graham, Charles | Graham, Elizabeth | Graham, John | Graham, Sarah | Johnson, Jacob | Keels, George | Keels,Isaac | Knox, Samuel | Lesesne, Charles | Lifrages, William Sr. | Lister, Robert | Lowrey, Robert | McCants, Ann | McClary, David | McClary, John | McConnell, George | McConnell, Thomas | McConnell, William | McCotry, Mary | McCrea, Thomas | McCutchen, Thomas | McGill, Elizabeth | McKinsey, Daniel | Montgomery, John | Murphy, Archibald | Murphy, Jane | Nessmith, Robert | Owens, Sealy | Paisley, Hugh | Pressley, James | Presley, William | Singletary, John | Singleton, Sarah | Singleton, Thomas Sr. | Speights, Evander | Steele, Thomas | Steele, Thomas | Strong, Ann | Ward, James | Wilson, Elizabeth McGill | Wilson, Mary | Wooddy, John
Transcripts of Williamsburg County Will Book C (1820-1841)Testators: Belin, John | Blake, James | Brockinton, Martha | Campbell, James | Eddy, Samuel | Ferdon, Joanna | Gibson, James | Graham, William | James, Elizabeth | James, Gavin | James, John | Johnson, William Sr. | McConnell, Rachel | McCutchens, George Sr. | McDaniel, James | Montgomery, John | Nessmith, Lemuel | Parsons, Martin | Perritt, Ann | Spring, Robert | Staggers, Martin | Sutton, Robert | Watson, John | Wilson, Elizabeth
Transcripts of Williamsburg County Will Book D (1842-1854)Testators: Barr, Jannet | Barrineau, Margaret | Bennett, Samuel | Braveboy, Morris | Brockinton, John | Brown, Abner | Brown, William | Brown, William Sr. | Buford, William | Campbell, Archable | Carter, William | Chandler, Hannah | Cockfield, W. W. | Connell, R. E. | Douglass, Elizabeth | Eaddy, Edward | Ellis, Mary | Epps, Martha | Feagin, Richardson | Ferdon, William | Gamble, James | Gamble, William | Gibson, George | Graham, James | Graham, Susannah | Green, George | Hanna, Hugh | Hanna, William | Hicks, Jesse Sr. | Jolly, Susanna | Lesesne, Francis | Lowry, Sarah | Matthews, John | McAlister, John | McCrea, Esther | McClam, Bryant | McCutchen, Hugh | McCutchen, Mary Baxter | McElveen, Joseph | McFadden, James | McGill, Mary Ann | McGill, Mary Ann (2) | Montgomery, James | Montgomery, Samuel | Morris, Robert | Morris, Robert (2) | Mouzon, Samuel | Oliver, Peter | Paisley, Jennet | Pendergrass, Sarah | Perdrian, Ann | Perdrian, John | Pressley, Mary | Rogers, John | Salters, Sarah | Singletary, Samuel | Stone, Leonard | Strong, Robert | Wilson, David | Young, Martha
Indexes to Probate Records
- Index to Williamsburg County Will Book A (1802-1820)
- Index to Williamsburg County Will Book B (1827-1840)
- Index to Williamsburg County Will Book C (1820-1841)
- Index to Williamsburg County Will Book D (1842-1854)
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