I have spent the past week looking deeper into my family history; however, to my surprise, I was able to find a lot more information on my family without even using a computer. Luckily, my grandma has kept a large bin full of family records (deeds, letters, awards, etc.) at her house that were uncovered from my family’s plantation home in Silverstreet, SC. So, to get a hands on look at these I ventured down to Newberry, SC the other day to go through all of these family files. This has probably been my greatest method of research so far on my family, as it has provided me with a ton of information as to what my family did instead of simply telling me who they are. I found deeds to land and houses that date back to the early 1800s, and all that was written perfectly in cursive. One thing that amazed me so much, as I was looking at these documents, was how perfect all of their handwriting was back then, and how document looked almost like a piece of art, written in cursive.
I was able to find several fascinating documents in this bin. First, I was able to find lots of my great-great grandfathers confederate war medals, which we found in a book. In addition, we even uncovered old confederate money ($5), which we had no idea was even hidden amongst all these documents. It was found inside of one of his books, and fell out as we were skimming through the box. In addition to these finds, we also found a deed to a room at the plantation home in Silverstreet, SC. Fortunately, this helped us partially confirm a family story that I have always been told regarding the plantation home in Silverstreet. The story was that my 3rd great grandmother was apparently a pretty feisty woman, and requested to have her own deed to her private room at this house, which had restricted access. When this plantation home was passed down in a will, it underwent many renovations to restore the house, and one was to open up access to this room. It was blocked off from the rest of the rooms, and the only access to it was to exit the house and enter this room from its own private door outside. I thought this was a pretty interesting find.
Lots of my other research has been done by searching through old family documents, and I have actually spent more time actively reading old letters, and deeds than I have working online to uncover my family history. In addition, I have been able to use books on my families history to discover the missing names in my family tree. As soon as I get access to a working scanner in my apartment I plan on uploading many of these documents to Ancestry.com, so there should be many pictures and documents to come!