South Carolina Black Research Aided by New Addition to

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Southern research is notorious for its difficulty, especially when there seems to be more burned counties than surviving. The records of Blacks Found in the Deeds of Laurens & Newberry Counties, South Carolina: 1785 – 1827, were abstracted by Margaret Peckham Motes in an effort to help ease this problem. These records come from “deeds of gift, deeds of sale, mortgages, born free, and freed,” sections of Laurens County, SC Deed Books A-L and Newberry County, SC Deed Books A-G. All of the records in this collection are free for ten days.

When researching backwards in time from the present, methods used to find black ancestors often stop at the 1850 census due to this census’s use for the first time of names of all members of the household. Customs of the first half of the nineteenth and prior centuries often relegated blacks to a societal status where they would often be recorded as property. This, in turn, makes deed books and other similar volumes highly useful when trying to find out what happened to particular families. Blacks often have to trace the families of slave holders to find out what happened to their own ancestors, making deed books also extremely timely.

This is part of the most recent addition to the collection, volumes from Genealogical Publishing Company, including volumes from Virginia, Kentucky, Georgia, and dealing with other ethnicities such as Irish, German, and Swiss. New light on ancestors can be shed from these books for researchers to find their families, and in turn, to make connections to the past that otherwise may be unavailable.

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