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Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Sad Case of South Carolina Marriages

Marriages were not filed in South Carolina court houses until the 19th century.  And there are but a few to find.  For some reason, the ministers did not place their marriages on record.  Life on the plantations usually included marriages to neighbors and a local parish priest performing the ceremony in his church or in the home. Therefore, I usually have low expectations to find the much sought-after marriages.  For this reason, I search diligently in the wills and deeds to see if there is mention of a marriage contract or other proof. People were always passing land on to relatives, and even the witnesses to deeds can be significent.  Digging in the miscellaneous estate records, such as inventories, sales, vouchers, etc. is a good practice because you never know what will turn up. The South Carolina Archives in Columbia, South Carolina has a vast collection of microfilm for genealogists. The names of records are a little different. For example, deeds are called Equity Records. A collection of typed transcripts of old wills is found on South Carolina Pioneers and it cost only $30 for a 3-month subscription.  Another good addition there is the old bible records collection.

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