Thanks for reading and commenting about my blog postings. My goal is to accurately document the genealogy of my family and allied families living in Chesterfield County, SC and Anson County, NC. If you have a Chesterfield County surname you are interested in please send me an e-mail.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday~W. T. Brock

William T. “Bill” Brock, was born May 17, 1854 and died July 22, 1913. The only known source of William T. Brock birth and death dates is this tombstone in Zoar United Methodist Church Cemetery.1

32096660_122891645938 - W. T. Brock
Photo Courtesy of Julious Burr

In fact, this tombstone is in conflict with what is known from the 1860 and 1900 Population Census. 2

Hugh Brock Family, 1860, Chesterfield

Then we have the 1900 Population Census3 where William and his family is listed and where his birth is listed as May 1857 and his age is listed as 43.

William Brock, 1900, Chesterfield

William is a son of Hezekiah Brock and his wife Sarah Morris. We can see that in 1860 William was listed as 3 years old and in 1900 he is listed as 43.

Clearly, census evidence suggests that William T. Brock was in fact born in May 1857 and not in May 1854 as indicated on his tombstone.

Compounding events over the past 150 years has resulted in a major gap in records for Chesterfield County, South Carolina.

  • March 1865 – The courthouse and all civil records were destroyed by the Northern Army – Courthouse and records burned. 
  • Chesterfield County newspapers prior to 1900 are very minimal. Almost all county specific newspapers, of that era, have been destroyed. Some news events are recorded in the Charleston, Georgetown and Columbia newspapers of the time period.
  • Tax records for the late 1700 through the early 1900 are not available; if there are I haven’t found them.
  • Most land deeds prior to March 1865 were destroyed during the War. Some were  re-recorded after the Civil War; most were not.
  • William T. Brock died before the mandatory requirement for state wide recording of births and death.
This is a prime example of the difficulty of research in Chesterfield County, South Carolina. Major gaps exist in early pre civil war historical records for the County making research in the county very problematic.

As stated previously, William T. Brock was the son of Hezekiah Brock and Sarah “Sallie” Morris, my 2nd great grandparents. Therefore, William T. Brock is my Great Grand Uncle.   

[1] 1860 U. S. Census, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, population schedule, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, Page 117, Line 18, Dwelling 328, Family 327, Household of "Hugh" BROCK; digital images, ( : viewed 2000); citing National Archives Microfilm M653_1217.
[2] 1900 U. S. Census, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, population schedule, Court House, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, enumeration district (ED) 0037, Page: 9B/93 (stamped); Line 58, Dwelling 166, Family 171, Household of William T. BROCK; digital images, ( : viewed 16 June 2013); citing National Archives Microfilm  T623_1523.
[3] Jim Tipton, Find A Grave, digital image,; Headstone for W. T. Brock; (17 May 1854–22 July 1913); Memorial # 32096660; Record of the Zoar United Methodist Church Cemetery; Brocks Mill, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, USA; Accessed on 16 June 2013.

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