What is Next after Census Records?Census records provide but a small amount of information about the family, beginning about 1790 through 1840. The names and ages of all family members are not listed until 1850 forward. That means that the average researcher's visit to the past in census records is only about 167 years. Next, is search court house records, many of which survived back to the origin of the county. In Virginia and South Carolina this is early 1600. In Georgia it is 1771. All of Chatham County records survived in Georgia and all of Charleston, South Carolina. Henrico and Essex Counties represent some of the earliest surviving records in Virginia. Between 1600 and 1850, there is a lot of researching ahead! County records are the answer. The researcher should examine old wills, estates, marriages, tax digests, deeds and any and everything in which his ancestor may have been involved. The Inferior Court records reveal tidbits of information concerning those persons who worked on the roads, personal squabbles, etc. The Probate Court contains marriages, wills, and estates and are quite revealing. The Circuit Courts and Court of Common Pleas also contain a wide variety of information. The next stop is usually the parish records in England which are written in Latin and the old Colonial Script.
Index to South Carolina Wills and Estates