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Reason for "Black Hole" in SC history sought

Reason for "Black Hole" in SC history sought

Posted: 31 May 2013 12:15PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Brooks, Padgett, Ray, Tuck
Does anyone know why it is so very hard to find records of people living in SC in the early 1800s? If you can provide some guidance as to how to find useful information on people who were migrating through this state in the late 1700s through mid 1800s, I would greatly appreciate it.

Re: Reason for "Black Hole" in SC history sought

Posted: 31 May 2013 4:35PM GMT
Classification: Query
Civil War burned courthouses

Re: Reason for "Black Hole" in SC history sought

Posted: 6 Jun 2013 6:22PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Brooks, Thomas
We have the same problem. My husband's 5th great grandfather Jeremiah Brooks was born 1776 in Person County, but we have been unable to identify his parents. We understand that a lot of records were burned during the war with the British. Jeremiah's wife was Elizabeth Thomas, born PA

Re: Reason for "Black Hole" in SC history sought

Posted: 6 Jun 2013 7:51PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: brooks
Selby: Person Co is in NC, not SC. Jeremiah BROOKS is a
brick wall for me, for at least 30 years. Please contact me
direct. Charlie Weaver, Winston-Salem 336-765-9635
patchas@triad.rr.com

Re: Reason for "Black Hole" in SC history sought

Posted: 18 Jun 2013 11:52AM GMT
Classification: Query
I just got back from a trip to Pennsylvania, where Union and Confederate forces swapped occupation of some towns and counties as many as 50 times, yet records dating as far back as the 1740s still remain. We too often take "civil war burned the couthouse" as an easy excuse for the lack of records in the South; but I'm not sure that is even close to the truth. I suspect that the Reconstruction period saw more records being destroyed for various reasons than the war itself.
Has anyone ever published a commentary on facts regarding why so few records remain?

Re: Reason for "Black Hole" in SC history sought

Posted: 18 Jun 2013 11:53AM GMT
Classification: Query
I just got back from a trip to Pennsylvania, where Union and Confederate forces swapped occupation of some towns and counties as many as 50 times, yet records dating as far back as the 1740s still remain. We too often take "civil war burned the couthouse" as an easy excuse for the lack of records in the South; but I'm not sure that is even close to the truth. I suspect that the Reconstruction period saw more records being destroyed for various reasons than the war itself.
Has anyone ever published a commentary on facts regarding why so few records remain?

Re: Reason for "Black Hole" in SC history sought

Posted: 18 Jun 2013 11:53AM GMT
Classification: Query
I just got back from a trip to Pennsylvania, where Union and Confederate forces swapped occupation of some towns and counties as many as 50 times, yet records dating as far back as the 1740s still remain. We too often take "civil war burned the couthouse" as an easy excuse for the lack of records in the South; but I'm not sure that is even close to the truth. I suspect that the Reconstruction period saw more records being destroyed for various reasons than the war itself.
Has anyone ever published a commentary on facts regarding why so few records remain?

Re: Reason for "Black Hole" in SC history sought

Posted: 18 Jun 2013 5:10PM GMT
Classification: Query
South Carolina keeps many probate and land records at the state rather than local level. Courthouses did burn, but the biggest problem is that no birth or death records were commonly kept in the time period you are interested in (and that was the same for most of the south and midwest until after the 1900s). People recorded those in family Bibles. The tombstones might be around if they had money to buy them...but likely very weathered by now. In the frontier, marriages were often performed by interant preachers who may or may not have "filed" the returns...and often counties or states away when they got around to it. Unlanded people didn't write wills or have probates. It was pretty simple back then.
Try this website for an overview... http://www.scgenealogy101.com/

Re: Reason for "Black Hole" in SC history sought

Posted: 18 Jun 2013 6:04PM GMT
Classification: Query
And for an even earlier and more overarching view, consider that for the 200+ years preceding the Civil War destruction, literacy was not a priority in the American South. In the founding days of the Virginia colony, it was actually discouraged as something that would act as an unwanted "leveling" influence on the stratified society. Early Virginia (and the other Southern states modeled themselves after Virginia) was set up as an aristocratic society, with large estates for aristocratic planters and wholesale import of indentured servants to work for these planters. While Puritan New England, in contrast, took explicit action to limit aristocratic privilege, Anglican Virginia extolled it and supported it through taxation and legislation. The Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony enacted laws requiring every small town of a certain size (originally 50 households) to provide and support a public school, because it was held that every Christian should be able to read the bible; while Virginia's Anglican oligarchy acted explicitly to limit education to the (white) upper classes who could afford private education. In this sense, today's Southern genealogist incurs the "sins of the fathers" who paid little or no attention to records other than those of property. I recommend the excellent thumbnail sketch of the Cavalier culture, including its educational mores, to be found in "Albion's Roots," by David Hackett Fischer of Brandeis University, a leading colonial historian.
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