Chester County Wills and Estates Find Records of Your Ancestors

Chester County and its county seat, the town of Chester, were named for Chester County, Pennsylvania. The county was formed in 1785 as part of the more extensive Camden District but was later transferred to Pinckney District (1791-1800); it became a separate district in 1800. Scotch-Irish settlers from Pennsylvania and Virginia moved into this upstate region beginning in about 1755. During the Revolutionary War, American forces under General Thomas Sumter were defeated here at the battle of Fishing Creek in August 1780; the Americans were victorious at Fishdam Ford in November of the same year. The Landsford Canal was built in 1823 to allow boats and barges to bypass rapids on the Catawba River; this canal is now open as a state park. In later years, the availability of hydroelectric power encouraged the establishment of textile mills in the area. South Carolina governor, United States senator, and judge Donald S. Russell (1906-1998) lived in Chester as a boy.
Early settlers: Price, Akin, Hamilton, Love, Boyd, Featherstone, Griffin, Love, Cherry, Harbison, Dugan, Bell, OBrient, Grisholm, Head, Roden, Hatfield, McLonen, Jordan, Owens, McDaniel, McCannon, McDonald, Harper and Carib, William Bell.

Chester County Will Book A (1779-1797)

Chester County Will Book B (1792-1802

How the Scotch-Irish Settled in Chester, South Carolina

Tips by Jeannette Holland Austin
During the Royal Period, there was a great migration of Scottish and Irish persons into South Carolina. They landed in Charleston as well as in Philadelphia. However, the Indian raids along the Pennsylvania frontier presented problems, and many Scottish and Irish families took to the Great Wagon Road from Pennsylvania through the Shenandoah Valley down to North Carolina and South Carolina. The Scotch-Irish virtually settled the backcountry before the Revolutionary War. The more significant portion was Protestant. The Irish in Northern Ireland came down a little later.

Fishing Creek Presbyterian Church

The Scots-Irish settlers who immigrated from Chester, Pennsylvania, in about 1755 named the county of Chester. Also, interestingly, Chester, Pennsylvania, was named after Chester, England, so this might be a clue as to the origin of some of the ancestors who settled in Chester County. Many belonged to the Fishing Creek Presbyterian Church, which still stands today. However, the original building is veneered over with brick.

Irish Emigrants Landed in Pennsylvania

Where to find Irish records

Irish Names

Irish in Rhode Island and New York

Irishin the Revolutionary War

The Irish Tract of Land in the Carolinas

Irishin the Revolutionary War

Irish Butter

Transcripts of Chester County Will Book A (1779-1795)

Testators: Archer, Alexander;Archer, William;Attabery, William;Bell, John; Bond, Isom;Bradford, Robert;Braidy, Alexander;Brown, James;Brown, Katharine;Carter, Benjamin;Colvin, John;Cooper, Hugh;Crosby, Richard; Crosby, Thomas;Culp, Peter;Dods, John;Donly, Hugh;Flemming, John; Franklin, Thomas;Gaston, John;Gill, John;Gore, Elizabeth;Haroer, Daniel;Henderson, Edward;Hitchcock, John;Hitchcock, John(2);Hughes, Thomas;Kidd, John;Knox, John;Loveing, Christopher;Marrick, John; Martin, William;McDonald, Timothy;McKinney, Patrick;Moffet, William; Moor, James;Moor, James;Morris, Thomas;Neely, James;Nisbet, James; Quinton, Samuel;Rainey, Robert; Rives, Nathaniel;Roberson, James; Rogers, John;Sadler, Isaac;Sealey, John;Sleeker, George;Steavenson, David;Steel, James;Stephenson, James;Stewart, Robert; Strong, James; Taylor, William;Walker, John;Walker, Robert;Wall, Drury;Weer, William; Weir, William (2)

Indexes to Probate Records

  • Book C (1803-1805)
  • Book (1789-1819)
  • Book A (1789-1817)
  • Book E (1810-1814)
  • Will Book F (1817)
  • Will Book F-2 (1815-1817)
  • Will Book G (1817-1822)
  • Will Book H (1820-1825)
  • Will Book I (1824-1826)
  • Will Book J (1826-1828)
  • Will Book K (1829-1831)
  • Will Book L (1832-1833)
  • Will Book P (1838-1839)
  • Will Book 3 (1833-1853)

Old Purity Presbyterian Church

Old Purity Presbyterian Church ca 1787. Apparently, there were a fair number of Scotch-Irish settlements near Chester, since those persons in the region today appear to be descendants. Ultimately, most of these families were involved in the Revolutionary War. (now Catholic) has burials dating back to the Revolutionary War.

Adair Families

William Ludwell Lee

Lee Families