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03 July 2019

Our Library Collections: South Carolina

One in a series by CGS member Chris Pattillo highlighting some of our holdings at the Library in Oakland. For a fuller listing of books, journals, and more, consult the CGS Library catalog in WorldCat.

South Carolina research guide published by
NGS. We have NGS guides for several states.
Ah, I have finally gotten to one of "my" states – my second great-grandmother Joanna Gaines is from Abbeville, South Carolina. The section starts with two sets of journals. The South Carolina Historical Magazine begins in 1955 and continues through 1982. The Carolina Herald and Newsletter begins with the September 1998 issue and continues through 2018. There are three additional sets of journals lower on the shelves.

One source I’ve seen in other states but not yet written about is the research guide from the National Genealogical Society. The one for South Carolina was written by Janis Walker Gilmore in 2011. These booklets follow a similar structure for each state. They are a good guide for where to find records. The preface of this particular copy begins, “Many genealogists find research in South Carolina daunting. Sometimes referred to as 'the black hole' of genealogical research.” I can confirm this statement. Abbeville is where the Civil War officially began and ended so for my ancestors the black hole is particularly deep. The reference includes a history of the state, information on where to find archives, libraries and societies and all sorts of records.

We have at least fourteen books for South Carolina marriages plus many other books of other compiled records. There is a Who’s Who in South Carolina 1934-1935 that lists five Gaines but none that are related to my Gaines. I did find a William Waller in Heads of Families First Census of the United States–1790 South Carolina. This could be one of the sixteen William Wallers in my database but I won’t try to figure out which one right now.
This book by Willie Pauline Young
helped knock down one of my personal
brick walls
I was pleased to see Abstracts of Old Ninety-Six and Abbeville District Wills and Bonds by Willie Pauline Young on our shelves. During my travels I found several genealogical books by Ms. Young and they are all excellent. This book helped me break down some of my brick walls so I know it is a great source. One of the opening pages offers this quote, “without genealogy, the study of history is comparatively lifeless.” --John Fiske.
Martha Wardlaw Hill-a possible family connection-
in Presbyterian Women of South Carolina
I was also glad to find Presbyterian Women of South Carolina by Margaret Adams Gist – not because I expected to find any ancestors chronicled in the dense tome but because it is always nice to find a book that acknowledges the existence of women and their role in history. This is a substantial book with over 770 pages. I suspect it has much to offer so I will come back to it later.
This book contains the 1790 census for
South Carolina

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