Re: Help with signatures - Steven Coker
Subject: Re: Help with signatures
From: Steven Coker
Date: May 26, 1999

Lee Adair wrote:
> ...what, if any, types of documents, ca. 1800, would have been
> filed with the State or county that would contain original signatures
> (and seals, possibly)? Petitions for Warrants of Survey, perhaps?

Good question.  The lists of categories of originals and categories of copies
could be long.  Perhaps some discussion and help from the readers can give more
examples and help us build those lists?  Also, I recommend asking the Archivists
at each archive where you do research what types of documents they hold which
contain original signatures rather than transcriptions. 

I think you are on the right track.  In general, documents created by or
submitted to the government most likely were originals (e.g. petitions,
certifications, stub indents, returns on estates, Indian records, tax records,
court records).  While documents which were "registered" with the government
would more likely be copies (e.g. deeds, bonds).

For those documents which were registered copies, I think that any surviving
originals are likely to be found in various historical collections, private
collections, archives, museums, or libraries.  If they still exist, tracking
down the originals can be difficult.  I would start by asking the Archivists at
the State Archives.  Next I would check with The South Carolina Historical
Society and The Caroliniana Library.  Then I would check with local and county
archives.  If none of these have, or know who has, the original, then odds are
it doesn't exist anymore.  But, it might be hiding somewhere in private hands. 
Or, it might be tucked away in some distant repository in Yankee Land, Great
Britain, Europe, etc.  

Other ideas anyone?  If so, post them.

Steve C.

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