My ancestor, James Harkins and his wife Christian Oglesby had children in Edgefield District, South Carolina in the early 1800’s. We can find several Harkins families including two James, a John, a William, and others in Edgefield District in the 1790 Census, but we can’t find any information prior to that. What can we do?

Heirlines Professional Genealogy Tip:
Following the American Revolution Edgefield District, South Carolina, began keeping major county records in 1784(after 1868 districts were called counties). If the Harkins family moved into Edgefield after 1784, search State Land Grants in Columbia County, where the Land Grants were filed. Search Indexes and actual grants. There may be surveys and other land documents that will be helpful, as well.

If they settled before 1784, search in Charleston District for Colonial Land Grants, as well as for deeds and probate records. The English government in South Carolina worked on the premise that the countryside of the Broad and PeeDee Rivers was too much of a bother because of bugs, heat, and other issues to spread government responsibilities, and so required the citizens to come to them in Charleston. These records date back to the 1600’s, and are available on microfilm through the LDS Family History Centers www.familysearch.org. Specific titles such as “Charleston District, South Carolina Wills Index 1671-1850”, are available at www.Ancestry.com, and “South Carolinians in the American Revolution” can be found at www.WorldVitalRecords.com.

Answered by, James W. Petty, AG, CG
Professional Genealogist