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Thursday, March 13, 2014


How finding the will led to a deed

In Discovering Historical Records Up Close and Personal, I discussed finding the will of my great uncle, Lewis (sp) Johnson.  After I left the Greenwood County Probate Records Office where I had discovered the will, I visited the Clerk of Court down the hall.  I knew Arie Anna had been named the executor of his estate, so I figured her name would be among the records.

Searching the index

I started with searching the grantor deed indexes for the Johnson family surname. I discovered Arie Anna'a name.  As you can see below, the corresponding book (17), page (280), and year (1911) appear on the index.

Grantor deed index for Arie Anna Johnson, executor of estate of Louis Johnson, Greenwood County Courthouse

Locating the deed

All the deeds have been digitized, so with the book and page number I went over to the computer where the copies of deeds are stored.  A clerk assisted me with locating the electronic folder.  This is where I learned what happened to Lewis' property:

"Whereas, my husband, Louis Johnson, died on the 1st day of Oct. 1909, leaving a last will and testament which has been duly probated in the Office of the Judge of Probate for G'wood County and whereas, under the said will I have been appointed executive and have qualified as such and

Whereas one of the provisions of the said will empowers me to sell all real and person property for the purpose of paying debts and there is a mortgage on the said real estate which must be paid and it is for the best interests of myself and children that the said real estate be sold then."

Louis Johnson, Grantor Deed Book 17, page 280 (electronic file), Greenwood County Courthouse, Greenwood, South Carolina

More to learn

90 3/4 acres were sold for $2730.00 to pay debts.  For me this findings raised more questions and avenues of research:

  • Locate the purchase of this property or mortgage by Lewis.  
  • Determine if Lewis' name is spelled L-o-u-i-s or L-e-w-i-s.  I cannot assume the spelling is L-o-u-i-s from the deed because his wife's name is spelled wrong on the record.
  • Determine if an estate inventory exists.

At any rate, I am learning so much more about available records in this Greenwood County by researching the holdings at the library and the courthouse.  I have found so many more records offline than there are online.

I hope that everyone who reads this will take ample time to research the records in courthouses, libraries, and archives especially if online records have  not enabled you to realize your research objectives.  Be sure to submit your e-mail above so that you can keep up with my blog posts.


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