The county was formed in 1785 as part of Ninety Six District and Camden County; parts of Edgefield later went to form Aiken (1871), Saluda (1895), Greenwood (1897), and McCormick. The town of Winnsboro, which was settled around 1755, is the county seat. It was settled both by Scotch-Irish immigrants from northern colonies, and by English and French Huguenot cotton planters from the low country. In the colonial period this area was a center for the Regulator movement, which sought to bring law and order to the backcountry. During the Revolutionary War, Lord Cornwallis made his headquarters in Winnsboro from October 1780 to January 1781.
Early Settlers: Mobley, Killpatrick, Maple, Walker, Hendrix, Austin, Woodward, Williams, Sights, Gibson, Andrews, Thompson, Brown, McKinstry, Alston, Marple, McCaulley, Durham, Davis, McMorris, Martin, Bell , Minor Winn, James Robertson, Benjamin Cleveland, and others.
Wills and Estate Records Available to Members of South Carolina Pioneers
Fairfield County Will Book A (abstracts)
Fairfield County Will Book 1: Transcripts (1787-1791)Testators: Arledge, Moses; Beasley, Jacob; Belton, Sarah; Briggs, Frederick; Brown, Jacob; Carden, Larkin; Carledge, Isaac; Colfman, Charles; Dods, John; Fellows, Mathias; Graves, James; Hill, William; Hornsby, Leonard; Lewis, John; Lowe, Isaac; Marple, Thomas; McCreight, William; McMaster, Hugh; Miller, Alexander; Neal, Samuel; Owens, Thomas; Peay, George; Phillips, Robert; Robertson, Henry ; Rogers, John; Routledg, Thomas; Scott, George; Starns, Peter; Young, JohnFairfield County Will Book 2: Transcripts (1792-1795)Testators: Aiken, Charles; Andrews, James; Andrews, John; Auston, Elizabeth; Bell, Thomas; Bennett, Sarah; Boney, Jacob; Brown, Robert; Burns, Dennis; Camron, Joseph; Cassity, Peter; Cockrel, Moses; Coleman, Robert; Colhoun, James; Colhoun, William; Collins, Moses; Cook, Esther; Cork, John; Dods, Joseph; Evans, David; Frazer, William; Funderburgh, Henry; Gamble, Hugh; Gamble, Samuel; Gibson, Jacob; Hardage, James; Hays, Mathew; Holles, Moses; Holmes, William; Hugeley, Henry; Johnson, James; Kirkland, Francis; Knighton, Moses; Lemley, Peter; Lewey, George; Littlejohn, Marcellas; Martin, George; McBride, Robert; McClurken, John; McColloch, John; McCreight, David; McDowell, Alexander; McFadden, Anne; McMullon, John; Mickle, Thomas; Neeley, Richard; Neely, Richard; Paul, James; Pettipool, Ephraim; Phillips, William; Porter, James; Robertson, Alexander; Robinson, Margaret ; Sanders, Nathan; Shaver, Philip; Waugh, Samuel; Whitted, WilliamFairfield County Will Book 4: Transcripts (1800-1803)Testators: Arskin, Peter; Austin, Elizabeth; Austin, James; Bell, George; Ewing, William; Henson, Bartlet; Husey, Isaac; Kincaid, James ; Lightner, John; Marple, Northrup; Miller, John; Mobley, Samuel; Morris, William; Paul, Arsbald; Richardson, Samuel; Robinson, James; Thompson, John; Walker, Henry; Woodward, Elizabeth; Woodward, HenryFairfield Will Book A (abstracts)Index to Fairfield County Will Book 1 (1787-1791)Index to Fairfield County Probate Records, 1787 to 1868, Surnames A to Z
Index to Fairfield County Will Book 2 (1792-1795)
Index to Fairfield County Will Book 4 (1800-1803)
Index to Fairfield County Will Book 5 (1804-1805)
Index to Fairfield County Will Book 6 (1806-1807)
Index to Fairfield County Will Book 7 (1815-1816)
Index to Fairfield County Will Book 8 (1822-1823)
Index to Fairfield County Will Book 9 (1824-1829)
Index to Fairfield County Will Book 10 (1828-1829)
Index to Fairfield County Will Book 12 (1829-1830)
Index to Fairfield County Will Book 11 (1836-1837)
Index to Fairfield County Will Book 13 (1831-1833)
"Fortune", the Beloved Servant of Captain John Buchanan
By Jeannette Holland Austin
Captain John Buchanan and his brother, Robert, came to this country from Ireland a few years before the Revolutionary war. The brother, Robert resided in Charleston and taught a classical school. Robert served as a lieutenant in the Revolutionary War and was captured at the fall of Charleston and died on board a British ship.
Captain John Buchanan raised a company in Fairfield and fought in the battle of Cowpens and other battles. He was stationed at Georgetown, and upon the landing of Marquis LaFayette, was the first American officer to welcome and entertain the gallant Frenchman who helped to achieve the liberties of America. The captain had the honor of presenting LaFayette with a fine horse. As it was, Captain Buchanan had a body servant named Fortune. His name is attached to a spring in a fine grove near Winnsboro, where Fortune cultivated a rice patch. When LaFayette visited this country in 1826, Fortune traveled to Lancaster to visit him. At first, the sentinel refused to admit the old African, but he persisted, and was admitted by order of General LaFayette who recognized him and was glad to see the servant of his old friend. Nearly fifty years had passed since Fortune had blacked his boots. This is not the only time Fortune appeared in public. It is also said that during the French Revolution, the Captain sometimes wore his full military uniform on public occasions, and mount his war steed to ride up and down the main street of Winnsboro, followed by Fortune.
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