|The Substance of Genealogy = Old Wills and Estates|
There is more personal family information and clues contained in old wills and estates than a census record. And it is more accurate because it was written by an ancestor who wished to be remembered, and found later in time; after he had gone. It usually provides all yhe names of the children and their spouses, grandchildren, siblings, parents and could even include the names of relatives residing in foreign countries. Reading an old last will and testament, along with its inventories, sales, annual returns and other estate data is an open book into the life experiences of another person. Also, it provide multiple clues to discovering other relatives, should we examine it more closely. Not only do we get the whereabouts of family members, but also origins. One mention of a relative in a foreign country, for example, is worth thousands of research hours. Actually, estate details provide a parcel of clues in the Annual Returns. These returns commence with the last illness, funeral details, and as additional returns are filed (annually until the final settlement), tidbits appear of personal data appears, such as letters received from relatives in other places and all sorts of clues where to search next. Names of relatives, neighbors and friends are plastered all over those records. And do not forget to search for receipts! If you do this much, more family members will emerge and as well as a pattern of clues.
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Edgefield, South Carolina ca 1890 The 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, forbidden to deal in slavery, fled from Georgia to make their plantations 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.
Edgefield county Records Available to Members of South Carolina Pioneers
Miscellaneous Edgefield County Wills, Deeds, etc. (Images and Transcripts)
- 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
- 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
Pictured is the Horry Court Court House and an old home in the County. Horry County was incorporated in 1801 and was taken from the Pee Dee region of the State. It was named after Peter Horry, who was born in South Carolina ca 1743, Revolutionary War Hero who was elected captain, later elected to the Provincial Congress of South Carolina to serve the 1st and 2nd Regiments. In 1790, he was assigned to the South Carolina Militia under Brigadier General Francis "Swamp Fox" Marion. The county itself was completely surrounded by water, which forced the inhabitants to survive virtually without any assistance from the "outside world". This caused the county residents to become an extremely independent populace, and they named their county "The Independent Republic of Horry&uot;.
Probate Records Available to Members of South Carolina Pioneers
Horry County Wills (transcripts), 1799-1818
- Horry County Administrator's Bond 1803-1818
- Index to Horry County Wills
- Index to Horry County Will Book A (1799-1818)
- Index to Horry County Will Book B (1819-1821)
- Index to Horry County Will Book C (1841-1857)
Testators: Robert Anderson, Joseph Atwater, William Bryan, Michael Clardy, Robert Daniels, Samuel Dawsey, James Elks, John Foley, Samuel Foxworth, B. W. Gause, John Grainger Sr., Samuel Grainger, Thomas Grainger, John Hardy, Robert Jordan, William Jordan Sr., Thomas King, Daniel Kirkland, Daniel Lewis, Rachel Lewis, William Lewis, William Henry Lewis, Thomas Livingston, Robert Lowremore, David McKelduff, Daniel McQueen, Peter Nicholson, William Norton, William Parker, Arthur Pinner, William Pips, Joel Pitman, Thomas Ready, John Rogers, Richard Singleton, William Snow, Josias Tillman, Charles Vereen, William Vereen, William Waller.