Sunday, November 27, 2011

Interruptions and Accomplishments

We interrupt these colonial era posts for a brief announcement from NaNoWriMo:

I won!

Now for another trip, this one in the present (not back in time), followed by somewhat-regularly scheduled blogging in December.

Thank you.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Trip to the Past - Part 2

Friday I drove over to Camden with the vague goal of finding some original documents that Cousar had referenced in his book. One of them mentioned Edward Flin. My ancestor Thomas English married Margaret Flynn (or Flinn), daughter of Edward and Ann, who was "a cousin of Lord Cornwallis." I have not yet found Ann's maiden name or how exactly she was related to the British general, nor have I found anything about her and Edward, including their deaths, except for the land record where they first arrived in South Carolina from Ireland.

I started in the Register of Deeds office. Unlike library archives, they didn't mind if I took pictures, which helped speed up note-taking.

Yes, this is how I spend my vacations!
I found some land records with Englishes in them, and other names in early Camden that are starting to become familiar to me. But I didn't find the book of "Pleadings and Judgments, Book F" that I was looking for. The lady at the counter told me that this building was for Camden records, and I need to go across the street for Kershaw County records.

After going through the metal detector at the courthouse and asking very nicely for photography permission, I walked back through the cold wind to the car and got my camera. The office for intestate (no will) cases is upstairs and the testate records are downstairs. The old books were jumbled around, but I finally found Book F.

And there was the record! A lovely case of two generations who died without a will — the granddaughter's husband wanted to buy the land, so his case included the death dates of Edward and Ann Flin, the names of their children (Margaret and Jean), their grandchildren (Margaret and Thomas English's children), Jean and Thomas' death dates, and more details.

Oh, and Edward was a blacksmith. A primary document with many of my colonial family members and their connections in it — Wonderful stuff!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Trip to the Past - Part 1

The first week in November I took a trip back in time.

Actually, I took the camper down to South Carolina to attend a Revolutionary War re-enactment in Camden. My ancestors lived in Camden, during the Revolutionary War — I had to go! This was a perfect opportunity to glimpse what their lives would have been like.

I took a few extra days to research my English family. Thursday I went to the South Caroliniana collection at the University of South Carolina. I wanted to find two sources that books on the English family had referenced: John Cousar's book, Quaker Turned Presbyterian, and Elisabeth Doby English's Descendants of Joshua English. I was excited to finally see them with my own eyes. The former turned out to be a book and the latter was a manuscript.

The South Caroliniana Collection

You can't take pictures of documents in the collection, and I wished I could have taken Cousar's whole book home, there was so much information in it! I wrote notes like crazy and was quickly overwhelmed. The book has paper covers and looks like something that would have had a small print run (i.e. not easy to find a copy).

English's book was more of an extensive family tree, and I took some notes and decided to order copies of the pages with my part of the family, and the branches that lived in the area near the time of the Revolution.

I looked at a few microfilms and then ran out of time. Since parking is difficult at USC and I found the two books that were my goals, I decided to spend tomorrow researching in Camden.