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  • #17 Royal Descents, Notable Kin, and Printed Sources: The South, Part 2: Virginia Sources, The Carolinas and Georgia

    Gary Boyd Roberts

    Published Date : March 20, 1987
    Today, almost a week since our successful and enjoyable seminar in Houston, I return to my consideration of geographical divisions and best sources for the American South. Having discussed Maryland and the geographical divisions of Virginia in the last column, we now turn to major printed works on the Dominion state.

    The exceptionally rich Virginia periodical literature--Virginia Magazine of History andBiography, The William and Mary College Quarterly, and Tyler’s Quarterly--have been splendidly consolidated into 14 vols. of Genealogies of Virginia Families, 6 vols. of printed primary data (Virginia Vital, Marriage, Will, Land, Military, and Tax Records), and Virginia Gleanings in England (all by GPC). The Virginia Genealogist (1957- present) has a one-vol. index to vols. 1-20 (an index to vols. 21-40 is underway), and Virginia genealogies have been well subject-indexed by Stewart (books to 1930) and Stuart Brown, 3 vols. (books, 1930-75 and manuscripts); Swem’s well known index, now largely superseded, covers all names in the first three above journals through 1930.

    Virginia research also benefits from a sizable number of collective genealogies or partial genealogical dictionaries. Adventurers of Purse and Person, 3rd ed. (1987) authoritatively covers the early Jamestowners (those there by 1625 and three generations of their descendants). Crozier’s Virginia Heraldica covers those "cavalier" and later plantation families that were armigerous. Hayden’s Virginia Genalogies covers many families of northern Virginia and its spillover into Maryland. Hardy’s Colonial Families of the Southern States of America covers many major plantation families but is generally mediocre. The works of J.B. Boddie--Virginia Historical Genealogies, Southside Virginia Families, 2 vols, and Southern Historical Families, - 23 vols. cover many smaller planter families of the "southside" below Richmond, but contain some errors. Also of note are E.P. Valentine’s Papers, duBellet’s Some Prominent Virginia Families, Foley’s James River Families, 2 vols., David Avant’s very fine Colonial Southern Families, 4 vols., and two good new GPC volumes, Tidewater Virginia Families and Maryland and Virginia Colonials. The best multi-ancestor Virginia work is Clayton Torrence’s Winston and Allied Families (commissioned by Mrs. C.S. Pillsbury, sponsor of the Holmans in New England), and recent volumes of printed primary data include Cavaliers and Pioneers, 5 vols. (abstracts of all land grants), Lloyd Bockstruck’s Virginia Colonial Soldiers, and M.J. Clark’s Loyalists in the Southern Campaign of the Revolutionary War, 3 vols. The centennial edition of the DAR Patriot Index, 3 vols., lists more soldiers from Virginia, I believe, than from any other colony.

    North Carolina divides into the Albemarle Tidewater, the Piedmont center, and the eastern mountains. There is enormous 18th century Scots-Irish immigration and a large spillover from Southside Virginia (the Piedmont and Raleigh) and from the Shenendoah Valley (esp. after 1750, Pennsylvania Germans/Moravians to Winston-Salem). The Southside Virginia spillover continues into upcountry South Carolina and the Scots-Irish,Germans, and Welsh continue into eastern Tennessee and Knoxville. There is also some New England Quaker immigration, from Cape Cod and Nantucket, to Guilford, Jones, and Carteret counties; often these Quakers move later to Ohio and/ or Indiana.

    Major sources for North Carolina include its Colonial Records, Journal of North Carolina Genealogy, 1955-74, and the North Carolina Genealogical Journal since 1975 (both journals published or still print primarily source records). Useful guides include Draughton’s and Johnson’s North Carolina Genealogical Reference, 1966 (with lists of all researchers then tracing any North Carolina family), and Leary’s and Stirewalt’s North Carolina Research, 1980. Since the 1976 bicenntenial a large number of modern "mugbooks" have included the results, usually undocumented, of much recent research. Brent Holcomb’s marriage volumes cover many counties and the pre-Civil War marriages are available on microfilm (at NEHGS and elsewhere). The famous North Carolina "core collection," a filmed copy of all courthouse data for the entire state, is at the State Library in Raleigh, at the Fort Wayne and Allen County Library in Indiana, and at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

    The major fact about South Carolina genealogy is the sharp division between Low Country Charleston and "upcountry" District 96, etc. Low Country Charleston is a third major planter culture, after Maryland and Virginia; "upcountry" contains largely spillover Southside Virginia planters and Scots-Irish pioneers from North Carolina. The Charleston planter elite was colonially quite heterogeneous--English (Alston, Bull, Fenwick, Gibbes, Middelton, Lowndes, all with English gentry connections and frequent Caribbean ties, esp. to Barbados); Scots (Cuthbert, Kinloch); Anglo-Irish (Pierce Butler); French Huguenot (Bellinger, Huger, Manigault, Ravenal); and Iberian "grandee" Jewish. Within the planter elite there were many intercolonial marriages and connections to Savannah, Philadelphia, Yale, and Newport, R.I.; some major Revolutionary or seccessionist figures were Henry Middelton, Thomas Lynch, Jr., Washington Allston, R.Y. Hayne, R.B. Rhett, and Calhoun. After the Civil War the Charleston planter elite became insular and regional, with few migratory or non-Social Register descendants.

    The genealogies from the South Carolina Historical (and Genealogical) Magazine have been consolidated into Genealogies of South Carolina Families, 5 vols. The other major journals are Transactions of the Huguenot Society of South Carolina (unindexed), and South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research (since 1973, with an index to vols. 1-10, largely source records for "upcountry") . Four vols. of S.C. wills by Caroline T. Moore cover 1670 to 1800, and Brent Holcomb’s South Carolina Marriages, 2 vols., covers those to 1820. Brent has compiled many other vols, of newspaper notices, etc., and the Biographical Directory of the South Carolina House of Representatives, in several vols., authoritatively covers all colonial and early 19th century legislators. Also note several Caribbean sources--Genealogies of Barbados Families, Bermuda Settlers, and Barbados wills and VR vols. by Sanders.

    Early Georgia residents include a small, largely Scottish Highland elite associated partly with Savannah (Baillie, Bulloch, Irvine [ancestors of Theodore Roosevelt’s mother], Houston, McIntosh, this last including a noted Native American leader ). A large post-Revolutionary and post-Indian Wars migration from Virginia and the Carolinas contributed most ancestors of contemporary Georgians, who are usually not descended from Oglethorpe’s followers or the Savannah Highlanders. "New South" Atlanta has attracted many migrants from other areas but also a large number of Georgians from county seats or small towns. Major sources include Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, the several land lotteries vols., works of Folks Huxford (Wiregrass Georgia, 6 vols., covering the southernmost coastal counties, the GeorgiaGenealogical Magazine, etc.), various vols. by Jeannette H. Austin (will abstracts, intestate records, The Georgians, etc.), and Gnann’s Georgia Salzburgers and Allied Families (on the state’s major German immigrants).

    I hope readers have enjoyed this survey of the Atlantic coastal South. Next week we will look at Kentucky; Tennessee; the "cotton kingdom" and delta and Creole cultures of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana; the Mississippi River culture; and Texas.
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