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South Carolina research a popular genealogy topic

By Victoria Advocate
March 23, 2010 at midnight
Updated March 23, 2010 at 10:24 p.m.


BY MARTHA JONES

Many Texans proudly claim ancestors, who after the War of 1812, migrated from South Carolina through Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and eventually into Texas. Genealogy and family history research in South Carolina is a popular topic in state and national genealogy conferences.

Now Brent H. Holcomb, noted South Carolina researcher, genealogist, lecturer and author, recently published two new books on the subject: "South Carolina's Royal Grants, Volume Five: Grant Books 21 Through 39 1735-1776 and Marriage" and "Death Notices From the Southern Presbyterian, Volume II: 1865-1879." This volume also contains many early records from Georgia.

The land grant volumes are found in the South Carolina Archives and History Center in Columbia, and Volume 5 contains abstracts of more than 2,987 grants. In 1731, the first Royal Grants were issued, the colony having been returned to the crown from the Lords Proprietors. Holcomb's book contains an excellent index of the grants, which were not in alphabetical nor chronological order. This saves researchers hours of poring over hand-written records.

Since death records were not recorded at the state level in South Carolina until 1915 and in Georgia until 1919, the marriage and death reports in the Southern Presbyterian are treasures of early documents found only in scattered pastoral records. All records are important and in the South, many were lost because of burned courthouses or water damage. This book contains marriage and death records from South Carolina, Georgia, across the South and even some in Texas. Also, the records are not limited to Presbyterians.

I checked with Holcomb and asked if our readers could e-mail him to request that he check the index for one or two surnames of interest. He graciously replied, "I am willing to search one or two names in the indexes to specific books. Yes, you may include my e-mail address in your article. Please include my Web site address, as well: www.scmar.com."

While you are online, look at the numerous other publications by Holcomb. His e-mail address is scmar@juno.com. What a generous offer.

When researching books such as the new Holcomb volumes, be sure to read the book's introduction before researching names or events. Introductions offer background information about how and why the author wrote or compiled the book and often includes the history of the area particularly in regard to what was happening at that time. After checking for surnames of interest, review the bibliography at the close of the chapters or at the end pages of the book for additional information.

"South Carolina's Royal Grants, Volume Five: Grant Books 32 through 37 1735-1776" is hard cover, 340 pages, indexed. The price is $45 plus mailing. "Marriage and Death Notices from the Southern Presbyterian, Volume II: 1865-1879" is hard cover, 580 pages, indexed. It sells for $50 plus mailing. Both books cost $4.50 for mailing for the first copy and $1.50 for each additional book. Order from: Brent H. Holcomb, P.O. Box 21766, Columbia, SC 29221.

Happy Researching.

E-mail genealogy queries to mjones@vicad.com. VCGS members will research queries requiring extensive study.

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