I have been to the SC Archives in Columbia just last July. The deed records I found for 1 of my ancestors came to light as I was looking through the Conveyance books for ANYONE with the first surname VANCE of interest. I looked at the deed on microfilm and recognized information that could and later did become important. I don't know why the Archive librarian would tell you there would be no genealogy information available, unless you asked about SPECIFIC information. Many people call by phone and staff hours have been cut. So they are all multi-tasking. Traveling and housing can be expensive with gas costing $3 plus per gallon.
1. A genealogy society will help MEMBERS to get information they request. Become a paid member for 1 year. It's worth it. The societies and other Genealogy workshops, such as the AAHGS-DC hold workshops yearly. Attend one. There are people from all over the USA and foreign countries that attend these workshops and share information they may have whether it's from your state of interest or another. We all basically have to do the same thing to find information. It's the 'How' part that is tedious. It will always cost something to be a member of or attend a large workshop. Instead of Christmas, Mother's day or Birthday gifts, I ask for the amount of money the persons would spend for me, so I can save to attend a workshop or conference. Hotel cost are always reduced for Society members. Every discount helps.
2. If all records were burned, look for the 'white surnames' and see where they lived before coming to Georgetown. Look for all family members of the white family.
3. Follow each Deed, each name of that family up to where you know your family might have been. Nothing is free. There will be a cost. Even if you went to the Archives and found the information on microfilm, you still will have to pay to get a copy and it won't be issued on the day you find it. They will give you the options. Always get copies of originals. Sometimes when you reread it you will see something new that was overlooked. Ex. A name Naomi had been spelled from birth until about 1930 different ways--Nomi, Nami, finally Naomi. She disappeared off the census. I later just started looking for the first name ANYWHERE and with the right birth year(close) and the help of a Afrigeneas Angel an newspaper obit was found. I sent written copy of Naomi Vance Gibbs family tree to all church secreteries and a church secretary, called me back and filled in a big whole. I had mailed it to every church in that area-I also print information on different colors of paper so when it is opened it won't look like a 'bill'. Lordy I could have jumped through the phone and hugged that lady forever. I don't call people-I use snail mail.
4. There is a book FINDING A PLACE CALLED HOME by D. Woodtor,you can find it in a library. She gives step by step rules on what to do. Read it cover to cover. Finding information is not easy for black people. It's hidden in letters, manuscripts and innuendo's.
It took me many years to find what information I have been successful at. So be patient when the ancestor's can 'pry' those doors opens to help you, then and only then will you find what you need.
Everyone here on these forums have and is traveling down a road that you or going. We all want stuff right now and ask, why isn't it there. You have to keep remembering, 'black people' were never looked at as anything but 'property'. Not human beings with feelings. I had no idea my ancestor's could save any money to purchase land. Times got hard for those x-slaveholders. No laborers and they were not use to WORKING. No valued personal property, that was what slaves were. And a lot of them depended heavily on those slaves to do the planting and caring of crops. No income coming in and bills to be paid. Sort of like now. HAPPY HUNTING