Friday, June 28, 2013

Stumbling upon things and wondering...

Yesterday, Vince and I headed back to the Archives to renew our search. I promised a look at the research room where we sit so here it is!!

There are two tables in this room plus a desk with a computer and about six chairs. Those books back there have an index of wills, some records of land sales, and other interesting things!
Another view of the file vault! My favorite place! It's very cold in here to protect the documents. Had I known about this place as a teenager, I'd have spent my summers in here! All of these white boxes are Estate files....thousands upon thousands of them.

Very neatly organized and just waiting for me to have a spare moment...or lifetime! go through them.
Vince working with one of the big plat books. These things are massive. You can see the vault door back there open a bit and some of the file cabinets in the research area.

This week, I started with Sophia Boatwright's will. Now, Mrs. Sophia had 6 children. Their names in order of age from oldest to youngest were James, Elijah, Benjamin, Sarah, Faust, and Sumpter. I knew that my property had been sold to the DuBose family long before Mrs. Sophia departed this life, but I had hoped to....well, I don't know....learn something else about Ms. Sophia, I guess. I really am starting to feel like I know those people, at least a little bit. Sometimes, in reading all of these documents, I stumble upon something and wonder if that person never thought, "Gee, someone 100 years from now is going to see this..." That happened to me yesterday as I was looking over Ms. Sophia's will which was filed on 10/27/1890. I read the first part of the document which stated, "My beloved children Benjamin Boatwright, Sarah Boatwright, and Sumpter Boatwright." I knew she had more than 3 kids so I continued reading to find this....
Ouch, Ms. Sophia!
I'll transcribe that for you:
"The names of my three beloved children Faust Boatwright, James Boatwright, and Elijah Boatwright are purposely omitted as (something I can't decipher) under this my last will and testament it being my intention that they shall not share in my estate real and personal."
I'm not sure why they were cut out of the will. Obviously, as a mother, she loved those children. They were all grown adults when she passed. I'm sure she never thought 123 years after her death that some stranger would be reading her will and wondering what they did to upset their mother so. Other than that tidbit, I didn't learn anything I didn't already know.
The will signed with Mrs. Sophia's beautiful signature.
The plat idea for the one land purchase by BT that we thought may be our land was a bust. The plat was not done for BT, nor was it done for John Autrey when he bought the land from Mary Autrey. They were going by a plat that was done....get 1770!!! That plat is located in Columbia at the South Carolina Archives and History department in "Colonial Plats". Yes, a lot of those are available online but they sure are hard to search that way!!! We're hoping someone up there may be able to help us out.
Wonderful Ms. Trisha shows Vince the online archives. She is a fount of knowledge!! I think she's almost as interested in our research as we are!
Because I had run up on a block in my mental map of this whole thing, I just kind of wandered aimlessly around the vault to see what was there and to maybe spark an idea of another avenue to explore. I was wondering down a center aisle when.....
Hammond murder??? Coroners Reports??? DO NOT TOUCH??
But WHY???
OK, so I peeked. Yes, I did....right into the box that says "Hammond Murder and Culbreath Lynching". The report right on top.....

From the Augusta Chronicle dated September 23, 1885.
A murder mystery!! Oh well. I will dive into that box another day! I glanced in one or two of the Chattel Mortgage books, more for curiosity's sake than anything else. They look like this....

Ancient loan paperwork for the win!
What did people mortgage??
In this case,

"One (1) black horse mule named George, about 10 years old,
 One (1) dark jersey milch (sp) cow not named about 12 years old,
 One (1) one horse wagon, make unknown, in good repair,
 All my crops of cotton, cotton seed, corn, peas, hay, fodder grown or raised or to be grown or raised by me and for me during the current year 1948 upon about 24 acres of cleared land owned by me in the county of Edgefield in the state of South Carolina, the said 24 acres being a part of a tract of land containing 130 acres and is bounded by land of....."

It goes on to give a fairly accurate description of where the land was located. Interesting stuff in the historical sense. Absolutely boring in the "I work in a bank and see loan paperwork all the time" sense!

That's pretty much it for today folks! Tune in next week when I take a day off and hit this research thing a bit harder! Also, some actual work may get done on the house and maybe some more projects done. Oh! And we'll go over chimney capping: how it should NOT be done. This one will make you laugh....or cry....or both. Personally, I did both. Laughed because luckily, I did not pay the so-and-so who did this and cried because he did this and he ruined the parlor floor in my house. This is the home repair version of the old saying, "It takes thousands of bolts and screws to hold a car together and only one nut to scatter it all over the road."

I'll leave you with a photo of Chief enjoying a sunset graze with the Guest House in the background.

Have a WONDEFUL weekend!


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