Today’s featured FamilySearch collection is South Carolina, State and Territorial Censuses, 1753–1920. This searchable collection consists of several state and local census records for South Carolina, including City Council of Georgetown census, 1920; South Carolina state censuses, 1829-1875; Union County census, 1869; City Council of Aiken census, 1868; and Village of Edgefield census, 1891.
State and territorial census records can help you pinpoint your ancestor’s location and household demographics for years between Federal Census years, and can be helpful for filling in the 20 year gap between the 1880 and 1900 U.S. Census.
Most important for African American genealogy research, these records can help you locate your ancestor before 1870. Knowing your ancestor’s location before 1870 may lead you to other records such as Freedmen’s Bureau records, Southern Claims Commission records and other Reconstruction era records that are organized by location.
What’s in This Collection
This collection is made up of a variety of records, so information within the records is variable. Information in these records may include:
- Full name of your ancestor
- Others living in same household
- Relationship to others in household
- Color or race
- Numbers of individuals in the household grouped by age and race
- Military service
- Number of children born/living
- Ability to read/write
To learn more about this collection and how to use it in your research, please see the collection’s Learn More page.
Researching from This Collection
If you find an ancestor in these records, first add the information to your ancestor’s timeline. To learn how keeping a timeline for your ancestor can help in your genealogy research, please see the articles Timelines Keep your Genealogy Research Moving Forward by Dr. Shelley Viola Murphy and Finding Documentation for Your Ancestor’s Timeline by Robin Foster.
Then, use the information in the records to search for more records for your ancestor.
Example: Kingsale Pringle, 1869 State Census
Let’s look at an example for Kingsale pringle, who was enumerated in the 1869 State Census in Georgetown, South Carolina:
From this record, we learn that Kingsale Pringle was living in Georgetown, South Carolina in 1869. His household consisted of:
- one black male between the ages of 6 and 16
- one black female between the ages of 6 and 16
- one black male over 21 years of age
- Total number of black males of all ages: 2
- Total number of black females of all ages: 2
Let’s search for Kingsale Pringle in Georgetown to see if we can locate more records.
Kingsale Pringle, 1880 Census, North Santee
We found Kingsale Pringle in the 1880 U.S. Census living on North Santee in Georgetown, South Carolina. In his household were:
Reltn. = Relationship to head of household, Status = Marital Status
Name Race Gender Age Reltn. Status Birth Place
Pringle, Kingsale Black Male 46 Head Married SC
Pringle, Bella Black Female 35 Wife Married SC
Pringle, Cuffy Black Male 14 Son Single SC
Knowing the names of Kingsale Pringle’s family members will help us search for more records for this family. Let’s search for Kingsale Pringle with the names of his family members.
Freedmen’s Labor Contract, Kingsale and Bella Pringle
We searched for Kingsale and Bella Pringle and found a Freedmen’s Labor Contract. On January 18, 1867, Kingsale Pringle, Bella Pringle and 60 Freedmen entered into a labor contract with Edward and Arthur M. Manigault at White Oak Plantation on the North Santee River in Georgetown County (please click on images to view larger):
Were Edward and Arthur M. Manigault Slaveholders?
If you find your ancestor in a Freedmen’s labor contract, this may be a clue to the identity of a former slaveholder as many freed people entered into labor contracts with their former enslaver in the earliest years following the Civil War. Kingsale and Bella were working for Edward and Arthur M. Manigault.
We can search the FamilySearch collection United States 1860 Census Slave Schedules to see if either Edward or Arthur Manigault were former slaveholders. We did find both holding enslaved people in Georgetown, South Carolina. Edward Manigault is listed as holding two enslaved people. A.M. Manigault held many more:
Name: A M Manigault
Event Type: Census
Event Date: 1860
Event Place: Georgetown, South Carolina, United States
Event Place (Original): 2, Prince George, South Carolina
Relationship to Owner: Owner
|A M Manigault|
Line Number: 21
GS Film Number: 000805235
Digital Folder Number: 005170543
Image Number: 00303
“United States Census (Slave Schedule), 1860”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:W8MX-S6ZM : 16 October 2019), A M Manigault, 1860.
Kingsale Pringle, Freedman’s Bank Record
Our search for Kingsale, Bella and Cuffy Pringle also revealed a Freedman’s Bank record for King S. Pringle, made in April of 1870. His residence was North Santee, Georgetown, South Carolina, where he was farming for Col. Manigault. The Freedmen’s labor contract above is between Kingsale and Bella Pringle and Edward and Arthur M. Manigault, so the information in this record agrees with that of the labor contract. We also see wife Bella and son Cuffy listed here:
We learn from this record that King Pringle was born at Drayton Hall Plantation on the Ashley river in Charleston. We also learn the names of his parents, Renty and Susan and his siblings Frank, Georgiana, Nancy and Delia.
Record for: King S. Pringle
Date of Application: April 13 1870
Where Born: Ashley River Drayton Hall
Where Brought Up: do [ditto]
Residence: North Santee
Age: 40 yr.
Works for: Col. Manigault
Children: Cuffy & Georgiana (dead)
Father: Renty Pringle (dead)
Mother: Susan Pringle (dead)
Brothers: Frank Pringle (dead)
Sisters: Georgiana Steward & Nancy (dead) Delia (dead)
Remarks: Cuffy Remiden came with him
Signature: King S. Pringle X His Mark
King S. Pringle stated that he was born at Drayton Hall on the Ashley River in Charleston. The owner of Drayton Hall during Kingsale’s lifetime was Charles Drayton.
Probate Records, Charles Drayton
Charles Drayton, the owner of Drayton Hall during Kingale’s younger life, died in 18201. In his will, he bequeathed Drayton Hall to his son Charles Drayton, Jr. You can read his entire will on FamilySearch here.
Charles Drayton, Jr. died in 18442 without leaving a will. His estate inventory appears to list Kingsale and his family:
Kingsale Pringle, Drayton Family Plantation Records
Kingsale Pringle and his family were listed at Drayton Hall in the 1844 estate inventory of Charles Drayton, Jr. Can we find Kingsale and his family in Drayton Hall plantation records?
Among the Drayton Family Papers held at the South Carolina Historical Society, we found a list of enslaved people, listed in families, dated 1858. You can view the original list at the South Carolina Historical Society. One of the families appears to be Kingsale, his parents and siblings:
Family Group, 1858 List
Let’s compare this family’s information to the 1870 Freedman’s Bank record:
Family Group, Freedman’s Bank Record, 1870:
- Father: Renty
- Mother: Susan
- Brother: Frank
- Sister: Georgiana
- Account Holder: King S. Pringle
1860 Cloth and Blanket List, Drayton Hall
The College of Charleston’s Lowcountry Digital Library has digitized the collection Drayton Family Papers, 1837-1869. Among those papers is a Slave and Clothing Inventory dated 1860, listing enslaved people at Drayton Hall who received cloth and blankets. Kingsale is not listed there. Those listed there were:
- Frank Driver
- Moses Joe K
- Able Sr.
- Able Jr.
- Nanny Dr. Wife
- Linda old
Kingsale Pringle Timeline Gap, 1858-1860
Kingsale, his parents and siblings were listed in Charles Drayton, Jr.’s estate inventory in 1844 and again in a list of enslaved at Drayton Hall in 1858, but Kingsale does not appear on the Drayton Hall 1860 cloth and blanket list. Could Kingsale’s move to the Manigault family’s White Oak Plantation have occurred during slavery?
Manigault and Drayton Family Connections
Let’s see if there was any connection between the Drayton family and Edward and Arthur M. Manigault, owners of White Oak Plantation in North Santee. In his will, Charles Drayton, Sr. also bequeathed property to his daughter Charlotte, “now Mrs. Joseph Manigault.”
A glance at Charlotte Drayton Manigault’s will reveals that Edward and Arthur M. Manigault were her sons. You can read her entire will on FamilySearch here.
Our search for Kingsale Pringle who was listed in the 1869 South Carolina State Census led us to census records with the names of Kingsale Pringle’s family members. Searching for Kingsale and his family members led us to Reconstruction era records that revealed that Kingsale Pringle was born at Drayton Hall Plantation on the Ashley River in Charleston. We were able to locate several antebellum records that appear to list Kingsale, his parents and siblings during slavery.
There is a gap In Kingsale’s timeline between 1858, when he was listed with his family at Drayton Hall, and 1867, when he was living and working at White Oak Plantation in North Santee, Georgetown County, South Carolina. Perhaps the family ties between the Drayton family and Edward and Arthur M. Manigault of White Oak Plantation led to Kingsale’s move from Drayton Hall to White Oak Plantation, and this move may have occurred during slavery, as Kingsale Pringle does not appear in a list of enslaved people at Drayton Hall in 1860. This remains a subject for further research.
The FamilySearch Wiki page African American Resources for South Carolina provides an in-depth look at resources for African American genealogy research in South Carolina.
To learn more about African American genealogy research in South Carolina, you can view BlackProGen LIVE Ep19: North and South Carolina Genealogy Research.
More Wiki Resources for African American Genealogy
Researching African American Genealogy provides step-by-step guidance for beginning your ancestor search, as well as links to online resources.
Quick Guide to African American Records contains information on beginning research tips, links to suggested guides for beginning your search for African American ancestors, overviews of major record sets, tips for finding the slaveholder, links to tutorials for African American genealogy in the FamilySearch Learning Center, and links to other online and offline resources.
Southern States Slavery and Bondage Collections will help you locate digitized searchable collections as well as digitized microfilms in the FamilySearch catalog related to slavery and bondage. The page is arranged by state.
African American Genealogy provides links to Wiki pages for researching African Americans in each U.S. state.
 “South Carolina Probate Records, Bound Volumes, 1671-1977,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:939L-JJ9W-WD?cc=1919417&wc=M6N4-NNL%3A210905601%2C211880901 : 21 May 2014), Charleston > Wills, 1818-1826, Vol. 034 > image 365 of 438; citing Department of Archives and History, Columbia.
 “South Carolina Probate Records, Bound Volumes, 1671-1977,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:939L-JD98-QQ?cc=1919417&wc=M6NW-123%3A210905601%2C211135201 : 21 May 2014), Charleston > Inventories, Appraisements, Sales, 1839-1844, Vol. A > image 321 of 325; citing Department of Archives and History, Columbia.