Edgefield is a town and the county seat of Edgefield County in South Carolina. Edgefield County is located on the western border of South Carolina, along the Savannah River, across from Augusta, Georgia.
Edgefield District was formed in 1785 from the Old Ninety-Six District. In 1868, the administrative designation changed from Edgefield District to Edgefield County. Beginning in 1871, portions of Edgefield County were divided to form other counties, specifically, Aiken County in 1871; Saluda County in 1895; Greenwood County in 1897; and McCormick County in 1916.
The 1870 U.S. Census is the first census to list all Americans of African descent by first and last names. For family historians researching their Edgefield ancestors, one of the best resources to consult is the Map of Edgefield County, S.C. (1871) by Isaac Boles. This map depicts Edgefield County prior to the formation of Aiken County.
This map is a wonderful resource for several reasons. First, the map clearly defines the geographic area of Edgefield and lists the bordering counties (Abbeville, Newberry, Lexington, and Barnwell) and bordering state (Georgia). Second, the map depicts all townships in Edgefield (such as Norris, Gray, Pickens, and Schultz). The township where one’s ancestors resided in 1870 can be found by consulting the map. The family historian will learn, for example, where within Edgefield County Pickens Township was located. Third, there are names of individuals on the map. These individuals paid to have their names placed on the map. This feature will aid the family researcher. Fourth, the map lists places such as churches, mills, creeks, rivers, and ferries.