Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Charleston Documents Disclose the Origins of its First Settlers

17th century Dutch vessel
Our ancestors left records for us to discover their origins and families. All that we need to do is to read the old last wills and testaments.  The traffic between Charleston and the West Indies during the 17th and 19th centuries is reflected in the old wills and estates in Charleston.  The port of Charleston energized a flurry of trade between Europe and the West Indies.  This trade produced deeds, affidavits, bonds and old Wills an Estates. The colonists found it more practical to trade with the dutch, and it was so lucrative with that the mother country (England) enacted strict trade restrictions, fees and laws, finally forbidding trade with the dutch altogether.  If your ancestors were in the American colonies during this period, it is likely that they had some dealings in Charleston and owned plantations in New Providence, Jamaica or Barbados where cotton and sugar crops were produced on a large scale. The ports of entry were Boston, New York, Charleston and Savannah.  People were busily engaged with relatives in the British Isles as well as the West Indies.  The only way to learn what was really happening is to read the actual Charleston wills, wherein lies the clues.  If you wish to learn where people migrated from and trace further back,  the old last wills and testaments is the answer. All of the old colonial wills are available to members of South Carolina Pioneers as well as the "Origins" of the first settlers.
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  7. (Graduates database from ca 1830 to 1925)
  8. (Digitized Wills in counties of: Carter 1794-1830; Jefferson 1802-1810;Johnson 1839-1900;Unicoi 1878-1887; Washington 1779-1800)
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