Abbeville Equity Records
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The Equity Records have TONS of information. Fabulous Information. It is so rich, it's like a miracle. But the index that comes with the record is TERRIBLE. It gives you no hint of the great stuff in the cases. I include the index on this site. But don't use it. Go straight to the abstracts. I have been reading the cases, one by one, and have listed in this database every name I can stand to list. If you are a serious researcher, there may be answers to questions here you've been trying to find for years. Just use your FIND function to search.
quick and dirty abstracts of equities
Please Read the Following before trying to use this database:
There are few records left for Abbeville County, South Carolina. But we do have a mess of Equity Court records that hold a wealth of information. These records include probates, bonds, mortgages, court actions, guardianships and reports on guardianships, powers of attorney - all kinds of wonderful stuff. The rub is that the index for these things is awful. The only names mentioned in the index are the complainor and the complainee, while there may be many more folks mentioned in the actual record referred to. For instance, I have found a huge amount of information on my Anderson family in one single record that didn't even mention the name of the person for whom I had been searching. I found siblings, parents, spouses and children. Look for the words "et al" and when you find them, you know there are a lot of people involved in the business of that record.
Basic form: Complainor, Complainee, box#, Parcel #, type, date.
AN ESSENTIAL LESSON IN GENEALOGICAL RESEARCH: Never assume you know how to spell the name. First of all, a name is only spelled the way a clerk decides to spell it. Consider under how many names your junk mail comes to you. Second, historically, names were very liquid - not that many people knew how to read or write, so names were spelled every which way, every which time. Just because a surname doesn't match the documentation you might already have does not mean it is not the name you are looking for. I cannot make this too clear. Names in aged records are almost never spelled the same way twice.
As you search this index, use every awful spelling you can think of. Hand write the name you want to find, and do it badly - then use your imagination. It is almost impossible in many places to tell the diff between "r," "m," "n," "o," "s," "e," "i," "u," "c..." You get the picture—they all look the same in this clerk's handwriting. I've done my best to interpret. If you find mistakes, please, please post me and I will make the correction. And if you find a record, send me a good abstract and I will post it here. I hope that someone will find this useful. The work has taken me over a year - but I think that, if you use the index carefully (or carelessly)enough, you will find that it will, indeed, be helpful.
The index is offered in three forms: alphabetized by Complainor (Name), Complainee ( VS. Name) and by Box and Packet number. I will try to add other names to the index as I gather abstracts. Boxes are not numbered chronologically. In the first index, this was the case, but something possessed them to redo the index, and when that happened, I do not understand how things were supposed to be structured - if there was, indeed, any structure to it. Dates all over the place. Types of records scattered sometimes, grouped sometimes.
So, go through the alphabetizing - from beginning of your letter to end (usually, the first letter of the Name column will be dependable. But only usually). Look for anything close. The VS. Name column is less dependable. Also try using your find function - but search for only parts of your name. Maybe search by first name, or by first two initials. Anyway, don't give up easily or too early. Many names show up often. Some only once. I find that I can only use the find function if I select something on the page. So just try and see what works.
Sometimes you will find an indication of what type of record you've found, and even more rarely, the date of the record. After you have found this information, you are ready to search the equities, which you must do either at the Abbeville courthouse (or wherever the originals may be found), or at an LDS Family History Center, where you may order the microfilm for the box in question. It usually takes about three weeks for the Microfilm to reach your library, and you may use them for several weeks. If you wish to find such a family history center, check the LDS.org site and I believe they have listings. Or the FamilySearch site.
Other fine references for Abbeville are the wonderful
Abbeville County Marriages 1780-1879 Implied in Abbeville County South Carolina Equity Records by Barbara R. Langdon, a saint among genealogists, (Langdon and Langdon Genealogical research 132 Langdon Road Aiken, SC 29805-9536) and
Abstracts of Old Ninety-Six and Abbeville District Wills and Bonds, by Pauline Young Southern Historical Press.