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Monday, April 9, 2018

Trends Change. Actual Images of Wills are Truer than Abstracted Records #southcarolinapioneersnet #scgenealogy #scancestors #wheretoreadwillsonline


Trends Change. Actual Images of Wills are Truer than Abstracted Records

Flattering by CandlelightDuring the 1940s, Rich's in downtown Atlanta had only one solid means of advertisement, and that was the Atlanta Journal. But things changed and now the trend is to shop over the internet. Likewise, genealogy is growing in this medium. It used to be that old wills and estate were transcripted (into books) and published. It was a simplier means of reading the records, rather than digging through old documents. But now the tedious and almost impossible task of locating old documents and reading them is becoming easier. They are beind digitized online. On South Carolina Pioneers, an easy name index provides links to the doccuments. Not that we should not continue to use the abstracts, however, there are issues, such as the fact that the clerk copied the original document into a ledger. Sometimes mistakes were made, misspelled names and names omitted. Yet, a great deal of information is lost by not having every word of the document. When someone died, the will was brought to the county court house where the decedent resided. The clerk then recorded the document in his own hand-writing, followed by the date of probate. There are lots of goodies recorded by the clerk. You get names of witnesses, codicils, petitions of heirs, surrogate courts where the will was also recorded, inventories, sales, annual returns, receipts and vouchers of heirs, and on and on. "The devil is in the detail." No truer statement applies than in genealogical research. So what happened to the original will? It was filed in a special place at the court house. These documents ended up in basements and storage areas until they mildewed and died. The handwriting of the clerk represented the style of the era, with all of its flourishes and dots. Best to learn that a character which resembles a p was probably a double s. Wills were filed in the order they were presented to the court. In other words, by deaths. So, what you are viewing is the deaths of friends, neighbors and relatives during their own particular era. 
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