Kinsearching November 12, 2006




Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     A set of Brent H. Holcomb's books concerning data from the Palmetto State has just been reissued: SOUTH CAROLINA MARRIAGES, 1688 - 1799 (which lists approximately 6,500 records), SOUTH CAROLINA MARRIAGES, 1800 - 1820 (which contains around 2,000 records), and SUPPLEMENT TO SOUTH CAROLINA MARRIAGES, 1688 - 1820 (which has more than 1,000 records). Since the current marriage license law did not go into effect until 1911, the scarcity of South Carolina marriage records has posed a huge stumbling block for genealogists. This set helps many researchers to overcome that obstacle.

     Holcomb's compilations come from a variety of scattered resources excluding marriage notices in newspapers since many of them have already been published in book form. The marriage records from 1688 through 1799 primarily pertain to inhabitants of the coastal areas of South Carolina because theirs are largely the only records that have survived. He extracted data mainly from parish registers. Other sources included Quaker Meeting records, marriage settlements, court records, bonds and licenses, and the diary of Baptist minister Evan PUGH. However, the volume does include some up-country marriage information located in county court records and in a small number of church records.

     Details about marriages from 1800 through 1820 also come from a variety of scattered and miscellaneous materials. A main source for this particular volume are the marriage settlements from the so-called "burnt districts," primarily Beaufort, Colleton, and Georgetown. Since the marriage settlements usually contain information like names of deceased relatives, family researchers will want to get a copy of the entire document in order to glean as many facts as possible.

     Based on an assortment of resources from around the state, the supplement contains marriage data that was overlooked in the first two volumes. It also contains material that came to light after the publication of the previous books.

     As one would expect, the entries in each volume provides the names of the couple, the date of the marriage, and the source of the record. Some entries also supply miscellaneous details such as name of the officiant or a relative.

     In each volume all marriage records are arranged alphabetically by the surname of the groom. A full name index furnishes the names of the brides and other persons mentioned in the documents. Individuals who do a lot of research in South Carolina and libraries that do not have these books will want to get this fine set of Holcomb's work for their genealogical collections.

     SOUTH CAROLINA MARRIAGES, 1688 - 1799 (order item #2774) has 349 pages and costs $30.00 while SOUTH CAROLINA MARRIAGES, 1800 - 1820 (order item #2775) contains 171 pages and costs $25.00. Composed of 57 pages, the SUPPLEMENT TO SOUTH CAROLINA MARRIAGES, 1688 - 1820 (order item #2776) costs $12.00. Although the SUPPLEMENT is paperback, the other two volumes are hardback. To the price of the books, buyers should add the cost for postage and handling charges. For U.S. postal mail, the cost is $4 for one book and $2.00 for each additional copy; for UPS, the cost is $6 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional book. The volumes may be purchased by check, MasterCard, or Visa from Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, Maryland 21211 (for phone orders, call toll free 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website

     Older men marrying younger women is certainly nothing new. This interesting example comes from the 25 June 1936 issue of the newspaper The Ballinger Ledger, published in Ballinger, TX: "R. W. NETTLEFORD, aged 74, a retired lamplighter, and Miss Gwendoline STEPTOE, aged 26, were married recently in London." This announcement from England was dated June 24.