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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tub of Water and Scrub-Board

By Jeannette Holland Austin
In the old days my father had an insurance route and traveled over North Carolina and South Carolina. It was the summer of 1937 when we settled temporarily in a little white clapboard house in Abbeville, South Carolina. The house desperately needed screens in the windows to keep out the gnats. Abbeville was a typical rural village of open meadows and yards of chickens and dogs running loose. We had an ice box but had to fetch water from the well which was used to fill ice trays and a backyard tub with a scrub board for washing clothes. An ordinary life-style for those days. One custom was to sit around a fireplace in the evenings and read the Holy Bible, a work which contained names and dates of children and relatives. The local coat house had dark wood planked floors and oak shelves built in to the walls of small rooms. The business of keeping county records was incidental to farmers who did not always record deeds, and to traveling evangelists who did not bother to record marriages either. It was the years of depression; people worked hard to survive. It had not been too long since the State of South Carolina mandated the recording of such instruments. Meanwhile, some three hundred years of living in the State had passed without impor#FFF8DCce. All that one had for sure was his bible. There were no public birth or death records. Occasionally you find a local DAR chapter or historical society who has a small collection of such bibles. They have them because their members went out into the countryside and asked for old bibles. Tsk. Tsk. So much has been lost. We no longer record family names inside our bibles. Every State Archives has a collection of old bible records. In Georgia, they are found on microfilm, as well as loose inside folders. Also, the DAR made a collection during the 1930's and these typed records are scattered throughout each chapter book. Some years ago I found some old North Carolina and South Carolina Bible records and incorporated them into a book called North Carolina-South Carolina Bible Records. After this book went out-of-print, I added the collection to the following websites, available to members:
South Carolina Pioneers and North Carolina Pioneers. The index to these bibles are found here Indexes

Jeannette Holland Austin, Author of over 100 family histories and genealogies
Georgia Pioneers

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