In history, we can locate evidence of the many fires in South Carolina which destroyed records. We also have other obstacles to overcome. While some of the records are getting online, and mind you, the available records are so much better now than when I started looking some 16 years ago, it can still be a source of frustration.
One book I have in my possession that I find an interesting read at times is "St James Santee Plantation Parish" by Anne Baker Leland Bridges and Roy Williams III. While I don't think any of the names pertain to me, the location is really close to where my blood flows.
There are stories, marriages and baptisms to be found for the parish. While there isn't a slave listing, some names are mentioned from time to time.
One example is found on page 269 where the negro "November" is mentioned as being made the keeper of an old head board that would not fit on the ship. Apparently, November was to ship the head board at a later time. November did not send it on. Today, this head board, which is made of cypress and marked the grave of Jonah Collins is in the Charleston Museum. The inscription on the head board reads:
Stranger who now are passing by,
As you are now,
So once was I:
As I am now,
So shall you be,
Therefore prepare to follow me.
Ahh genealogy. Strangers who have gone before us sometimes bring us great joy as we find a trace of our blood.
Bridges, Anne Baker Leland and Williams, Roy III. St James Santee Plantation Parish, 1997.