This week a question was posted to the Richland County Facebook page that provided the perfect segue into a teaching-moment post. The question was, "Has anyone heard of a place called Goodwill, SC? How about Edgewall, SC?". There are two points that this post highlights.
1. Place Names in South Carolina (NISC) is my go-to resource for SC name info. Published between 1966-1971 it is indexed and relies on published resources as well as "oral history" to identify and define SC places in their historical context.
2. If you are researching from a distance make sure a librarian in your area of interest knows you!
The facebook question came from someone I have worked with alot. We have never met but I am very familiar with her and the area she is researching.
Goodwill was easy to identify. Both of us knew about Goodwill Baptist Church in lower Richland County but was it also a place? NISC made a couple of references to Goodwill Plantation. This plantation is in the area that she has been looking for ancestors so there is a likely chance that this is the place. It is common for lower Richland primary documents to refer to a plantation as the place of birth or death. I have seen plantations listed on the census as the place of birth.
Edgewall turned out to be a problem name. There isn't a NISC reference. Because I was familiar with this patron I knew she had not made a mistake in the name. So I checked several secondary and primary resources. The name did not come up so it is probably not a SC place name. However, there were several references to Edgehill. One Edgehill is in the Statesburg area (Sumter County) and one was located on land that is now Fort Jackson. My next step would be to ask the researcher if the transcription could be incorrect. It is likely that her family could have been from the Fort Jackson property.
Here are some of the documents I used to answer the quesion: