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How to Research Families in South Carolina Records
Here is a typical scenario. Crawford Evans was a hard-working man employed by the Fulton Cotton Mills on DeKalb Avenue in Atlanta. His education took him to the third grade. Yet, during his generation, no one asked for a college degree before hiring, nor seemed to care too much about any education level. The person was trained on the job. Crawford was reared in Abbeville, South Carolina where his father and grandparents were born. When I visited the court house some years ago, I discovered lots of old books stacked on dusty shelves inside a small office (or vault). Actually, the records in that county seemed to be rather complete. The thing is with South Carolina records is that one must be certain to research all of the equity records (deeds) in addition to probate records, because while the average farmer owned land, the likelihood of a recorded will or estate is not that good. At first, Abbeville was part of the Anderson District, so a search of Anderson County might also be necessary. I was about eight years old when Crawford Evans died. In those days, people did not collect social security or have a retirement plan. (Social Security did not begin until 1935). So the relatives took the old folks in. That was the situation in our family. There was a memorial service for him in St. John's Catholic Church in Atlanta, and the notice was published in the newspaper. If there was a headstone over the grave, I never found it. Everyone has kin with similar circumstances. And we must realize that the era of the 1930s bore a poorly depressed economy when vital records were coming into being. It was an era when people gathered around the kitchen table and read the family bible and that this bible served as an important family record of births, marriages and deaths, replete with newspaper clippings.
Duel in Vienna, South Carolina
"A duel was fought at Vienna, S.C. on the 27th of September, in which Mr. Smyth, one of the editors of the Augusta Constitutionalist, was wounded by a ball through the thigh from the pistol of his antagonist, Dr. Thomas of Augusta. The meeting grew out of a newspaper controversy, Smyth taking offense at an article in the Chronicle of which Thomas avowed himself the author. Another duel, with a still more serious result took place in Brownsville, Texas, on the 8th. The parties were Mr. W. H. Harrison and Mr. W. G. Clarke, who met in the street with five-barreled pistols. Clarke fell at the second fire, receiving (the ball of) his near the heart. Mr. W. Laughlin, an alderman in the city of New Orleans, and a very respectable and influential citizen, was killed by William Silk, another alderman, on the 29th of September: the affray grew out of political differences."
Source: Harper's New Monthly Magazine, v. 3, Number 18
Gold in the Dorn Mine
During the 18th and 19th centuries, gold was discovered in a belt of country running from the Saluda River (in Edgefield County) to the Savannah River. It touches the Saluda near Higgins Ferry and runs in a southwesterly direction near Richardsville, then crosses Mountain Creek in the lower part of Abbeville and crosses the Savannah River into Georgia. Dorns Mine, located in lower Abbeville (now McCormick County) was operated by William Dorn who excavated nearly one million dollars in gold. It was was first stuck in 1852 and was exhausted during the late 19th century.
In 1869, the mine was sold to inventor Cyrus McCormick. In 1882, McCormick ended his futile search for gold and began selling his land which would become the town of McCormick.
The Past was more Glamorous than Today
The fashions of yester year are interesting because they reflect the lifestyles of an era which no longer exists. And vehicles such as farm tractors and old automobiles go right along with it. My sisters and I used to sit in a swing on the front porch and count the various autos which passed. During the 1940s and 1950s, each automobile possessed a uniquely easily- identifiable styling which is not seen today. This generation is not leaving behind such a luxury nothing but square autos that I can see. And where are the gorgeous fedora hats, hair soods and fascinators with net veils? And the hem-line of the voile dresses? Everything seemed to be swooped away during the 1960s as people dressed down and cared less for style. As we trace the lineage of former days, there is a certain appreciation for those who employed glamour in their daily lives.
Remember Home Spun?
During the 18th century, there were no closets, and women confined themselves to two dresses, one for daytime, and the other for special occasions, such as attending church and parties. The dress was folded in a cedar chest at the foot of the bed. When it became too worn, the seams were torn apart and the old dress used as a pattern to make a new one. When the cotton crop was harvested, the ladies spun cotton into thread. And sewed with their hands the clothing for all the family.
Online Images of Wills and estates
Names of Families in Abbeville County Genealogy Records: Wills, Estates, Minutes, Land Grants
Abbeville County was part of Ninety-Six District where the old deed may be found. It became Abbeville County in 1785, with parts later divided into Greenwood (1897) and McCormick (1916) counties. The county and the county seat were both named for the French town, Abbeville. The county was settled primarily by Scotch-Irish and French Huguenot farmers in the mid-eighteenth century. After the treaty with the Cherokee Indians signed in 1777 at Dewitt's Corner (now Due West) with a flux ofScotch-Irish and French Huguenot farmers. Abbeville played a major role in the secession from the union of the southern states, and it is the site where the last Confederate council was held.
Early settlers: Andrew Hamilton, James Jordan, Patrick Forbis, James Moore, William McCaleb, William Young, James Maxwell, Thomas Coker, Tucker Woodson, William Brown, John Lawrence, Ralph Wilson, William Love, Thomas Shockley, William Love, Barnard Putnam, James Shirley, William Anderson, Richard Sadler, Benjamin Alderidge, John Nash, Adam Crain Jones, William Love, Joseph Brown and others.
- Abbeville County Land Grants
- Abbeville Minutes of the Court of Ordinary, Book B (1776-1783)
- Index to Abbeville
County Will Book A 1782-1868
- Index to Abbeville County Will Book B 1815-1839
- Index to Abbeville County Will Book C 1839-1855
Transcripts of Wills (1787-1815) Adams, William ; Agnew, Samuel ; Alexander, Aaron ; Alexander, William ;
Astin, James ; Baird, John ; Baird, Thomas ; Baker, Caleb ; Banks, Rivers ; Barksdale, Elizabeth ; Barksdale, Higgason ; Baskin, Hugh ; Bates, Fleming ; Bates, Stephen ; Bayle, Mary ; Bealey, Jane ; Bell, Mathew ; Beraud, John ; Boles, John ; Bond, Robert ; Bouchillon, John ; Bouchillon, Joseph ; Bowman, John ; Bowman, William ; Boyd, William ; Branson, Eli ; Brazbach?, William ; Bredden, Margery ; Brooks, Christopher ; Brown, Cornelius ; Brown, William ; Brownlee, James ; Brownlee, John ; Buchanan, Mary ; Caein, Richard ; Caldwell, John ; Calhoun, Hugh ; Calhoun, James ; Calhoun, Patrick ; Campbell, John ; Campbell, Margery ; Cane, Mary ; Carmichael, William ; Carson, William ; Caruthers, Martha ; Chambers, John ; Chandler, Jesse ; Chiles, James ; Chiles, John ; Chiles, Jonathan ; Chiles, William, Sr. ; Clark, John Huston ; Clark, Samuel ; Clark, William ; Clarke, Benjamin ; Clarke, Mary ; Cochran, Andrew ; Coldwell, John ; Collins, Edward LWT (1837) ; Couey, Samuel ; Covington, William ; Cowan, Andrew ; Cowans, John ; Crozier, James ; Cunningham, David ; Cunningham, James ; Davenport, John ; Davis, Martha ; Delechaux, Sarah ; De La Howe, John ; Delechaux, Jacob ; Donaldson, Mathew ; Drummond, Benjamin ; Edmiston, John ; Edwards, Andrew ; Edwards, James Cumton ; Elgin, Ann ; Eymerie, John ; Gable, Herman ; Gaines, William ; Gamble, Samuel ; Gantt, Benjamin ; Gantt, William (1809) slow loading ; Gill, Daniel ; Glover, Frederick ; Gorley, James ; Gowedy, Robert ; Gray, James ; Green, Peter ; Guttry, Thomas ; Hamilton, Archibald ; Hamilton, Thomas ; Hanks, Luke ; Hannah, Jean ; Harris, John ; Harris, William ; Hathorn, Ann ; Hawkins, John ; Heard, Isaac ; Hemphill, Andrew ; Houston, John ; Houston, John ; Huggins, William ; Hughs, Caterene ; Huston, James ; Hutchinson, William ; Jeffries, Nathaniel ; Jones, Harris ; Kennedy, Joseph ; Kerr, William ; Kaise, Elizabeth ; King, Benjamin ; Lewallen, Richard ; Liddell, George ; Liddell, James ; Little, William ; Livingston, George ; Logan, Andrew ; Marck, John Balthaser ; Marshal, John ; Martin, William ; Mathews, Victor ; Maxfield, Susanna ; Mayson, John ; Mathew, John ; McBride, Thomas ; McCarter, Benjamin ; McElwee, John, John ; McFarlin, Charles ; McGowan, James ; McKee, Marthy (1813) ; McKee, Thomas ; McKinley, Esther ; Mebin, John ; Mecklin, David ; Meriwether, Francis, LWT ; Miller, John ; Mills, Gilbert ; Milroy, William ; Mitchell, Isaac ; Mitchell, Randle ; Mitchell, Tanner ; Morris, William ; Morrow, George ; Morrow, John ; Moseley, Arthur ; Mott, Andrew ; Mouchet, Samuel ; Mulherrin, Charles ; Murdoch, James, Estate, 1837 (image) ; Nash, John ; Nicholas, Julius ; Noble, James ; Norwood, John ; Norwood, Samuel ; Norwood, Theophilos ; Oliver, James ; Owens, John ; Paterson, Robert ; Patterson, James ; Patterson, Samuel ; Pettigrew, James ; Pollard, Richard ; Porter, John ; Prince, John, 1782 ; Pulliam, John ; Ragland, Samuel, John ; Ralston, James ; Ravlin, John ; Ray, Thomas ; Reid, George ; Reighley, William ; Robartson, John, Sr. ; Roger, Ann ; Roger, Peter ; Rosemond, John ; Ross, Robert ; Ross, William ; Russel, John ; Russell, Timothy ; Seawright, James ; Shaw, William ; Shelly, Agnes transcript ; Sims, Nathan ; Smith, Harry ; Stalsworth, Joseph ; Steel, Aaron ; Stewart, Andrew ; Strain, John ; Swanzy, Robert ; Tatom, William ; Taylor, Thomas ; Thornton, Samuel ; Tinsley, Thomas ; Turk, John ; Van Swearingen, Joseph ; Vernon, James ;
Vernon, James ; Vickrey, William ; Wallace, James ; Waller, Benjamin ; Waller, Elizabeth ; Waller, John ;
Ward, Joseph ; Wardlaw, Hugh ; Wardlaw, John ; Wardlaw, Joseph ; Waters, Mary ; Wedgeworth, William ;
Webb, James ; Weed, Nathaniel ; Weed, Reuben ; White, Francis ; White, James ; White, John ;
Williams, Simeon ; Wilson, Hugh ; Wilson, John ; Wilson, Michael ; Wilson, Nathaniel ; Wilson, William ;
Winn, Thomas ; Woodin, Rebekah ; Woods, William ; Yeldell, Robert ; Young, James ; Zimmerman, Mary
- Marriages, Estate Notices and Obituaries from The Abbeville Banner 1847 to 1848
- Some Land Grants
- Minutes of the Court, Book B 1776 to 1783
Indexes to Equity Cases (Deeds) 1791 to 1906
Indexes to Wills
- Will Book A 1782 to 1868
- Will Book B 1815 to 1839
- Will Book C 1839 to 1855