… a new online resource

There’s nothing The Legal Genealogist likes better than doing research.

Into my family.

At 3 a.m.

In my bunny slippers.

3 a.m. slippers

So it’s an absolute joy to know that — with an announcement Monday from the South Carolina Department of Archives and History — I can do just that into one key branch of my family.

The names are ones I know well:

Gentry, Elijah.

Gentry, Cain.

Gentry, John.

Gentry, Simon.

As far as I know, they’re all brothers, all sons of David and Sarah (Brooks) Gentry of Virginia1 and, later, of the original Colleton County, South Carolina, a part of the Palmetto State that was a county in name only and ceased to exist in 1768.2

And they share one more thing in common.

As of just this week, records helping to establish their patriot status in the Revolutionary War have become easily available, free, online at the website of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.

Meaning I won’t have to take one minute of my valuable research time here in Columbia, South Carolina, to look up their entries in the microfilm of the record series “Accounts Audited of Claims Growing out of the Revolution in South Carolina 1775-1856.”

The series — 165 rolls of microfilm — is described on the Archives website this way:

This series, consisting of a microfilm edition of more than ten thousand files, is made up of documents that were presented by citizens to the treasury to support their claims for military service, supplies, and other contributions rendered the state during the latter part of the Revolutionary War. Generally included are auditor’s papers, interest-bearing certificates called principal indents, and treasury and legislative papers that were related to claims.

Most files contain an auditor’s cover paper giving the name of the claimant, a brief description of the service provided, the amount of the claim and its adjusted value, and, if an indent was issued, its number and the claimant’s signature verifying its receipt, and occasionally, remarks by the auditor or by one of the commissioners appointed to receive and adjust the claims outside Charleston.

In addition, files may contain receipts and affidavits that attest to the validity of the claim and documents concerning the disposition of indents. Claims for military service are often supported by documents that show the dates and places of service and the name of the commanding officer. Claims for civilian service usually include a list of the supplies provided or describe the nature of the service as well as when, where, and to whom the service was given. Many files contain documents that authorize the treasurers to deliver an indent to a third party. Some files, however, may only contain the auditor’s cover paper and a scrap of paper to support an individual’s claim.3

My guys’ papers are pretty straightforward: no big affidavits or anything like that. But they’re clear, downloadable PDFs and, in at least one cases, include more or at least better copies of the documents than I was sent years ago when I ordered some of these directly from the Archives.

So if you’ve got South Carolina patriots in your ancestry, or think you might, check out these records. The Archives says to do it this way:

To view the record series, please visit the Online Records Index (http://www.archivesindex.sc.gov/) and using the Advanced Search option, choose the Record Group “Combined Index to Records Series, 1675-1929” and the Series “S108092: Accounts Audited of Claims Growing Out of the Revolution.”

But it’s almost as much fun to head to that index search page (here), simply enter the individual name in the search box for Individual and let the search go just to see what else might be lurking in the records.

Thanks to the South Carolina Department of Archives and History for putting these priceless records where we can all get to them so easily.

Even at 3 a.m.

In our bunny slippers.


SOURCES

  1. See “SONS OF NICHOLAS GENTRY, IMMIGRANT: Part 4. David-II Gentry,” Journal of Gentry Genealogy (http://www.gentryjournal.org/ : accessed 17 July 2018).
  2. See FamilySearch Research Wiki (https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/), “Colleton (1682-1768) County, South Carolina Genealogy,” rev. 11 Mar 2017.
  3. Series Description, “Accounts Audited of Claims Growing out of the Revolution in South Carolina, 1775-1856,” South Carolina Department of Archives and History (http://www.archivesindex.sc.gov/ : accessed 17 July 2018).
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