The Library of Congress recently added 33,000 new SC newspaper pages to Chronicling America. For researchers in the midlands the addition of newspapers from the Winnsboro area will be particularly rewarding. This update also includes the first batch of antebellum newspapers from Edgefield newspapers.
Read the latest post from the SC Digitial Newspaper
blog for specifics. Also the link to Chronicling America is provided in the "Online Newspapers" section to the right of this post.
Finding public records and making them accessible is a painful process. Whenever internet access is mentioned the territorial curtain goes up. Every now and then, however, someone does something that make my "open access heart" soar. On a lark, I called someone at the SC Dept of Mental Health about the sanitorium records. I found a remarkable public servant who has a passion for the history of the instutition and happily shares with others. In fact she shared with me a nearly 10,000 record survey of burials in SCDMH cemeteries and gave me permission to put the list online.
Right now the survey is available as a list only. I promise to get it into our obituary index soon so it is keyword searchable but the Ancestry list can be searched with "Control-f". I am not overly fond of our arrangement with Ancestry to store records but for the purpose of getting this doc accessible quickly it worked fine.
Records are sealed for 75 years. Records earlier than March 15, 1938 (tomorrow it be from March 16, etc) can be obtained at the SC Dept of Archives and History. Records 75 years to present will have to be obtained from the SCDMH.
You can contact Katherine Roberts (803) 898-8304.
I asked the archives to look up four records from the list. They found something on all four. Available records and information will vary.
1.Allen Leard: #13714 Admitted September 19, 1908 Died July 18, 1909 (Record of Deaths S190038 Vol. 2 (1904-14) pp. 76-77
2. Mattie Graves #15335 Admitted April 28, 1911. Died May 9, 1911 (Records of Deaths S190038 Vol. 2 (1904-14) pp. 104-105
3. Willie Tisdale #16428 Admitted October 1, 1912. Died December 27, 1912 (Record of Deaths S190038 Vol. 2 pp. 142-143
4. Meg/Mag Anderson #4510 Admitted June 18, 1885 Died November 3, 1899 (Record of Deaths S190038 Vol. 1 (1893-1903) pp. 58-59
Previous SCDMH records post
Just a couple of updates today. The SC Death Index for 1950-1962 is back up and they have added 1962. Hurrah! Previous post here
Also, HeritageQuest has started to add the 1940 census. Not every state is indexed, including SC, but they state that indexing will be completed in 2013. Now what about the indexing for 1930...?
It has been a very interesting research month. I have had the distinct pleasure of researching and learning about the South Carolina Equity Court records at the South Carolina Archives. What an interesting set of records these turned out to be.
Let me give you a bit of background on SC Court records. During the antebellum period there were three civil courts: Common Pleas, Probate and Equity. The Equity court, essentially, covered everything the other two didn't want to deal with. The Equity records are complicated Amazingly enough the Equity Court records are indexed on the Digital Library on American Slavery.
Before you jump to the index let me tell you what it can and can not do. For this research I was looking for information about someone who died intestate around 1814. The will was needed to determine lineage. A name search in the Digital Library on American Slavery came up with a hit in 1816. Because he died intestate the family had to go through the Equity Court to settle the estate. Nice, being intestate was not a dead end!
The indexed American Slavery record does not list all the names in the equity file but it does list all of the slave names. In this case the son was listed in the will but I had to look at the original document to determine he was there.
There is a microfilm index at the SC State Archive of all the court records. It is in the original handwriting so can be tough to look through but it does list every name in the file so the son was indexed in the microfilm index but not the American Slavery site. Slave names are indexed in the American Slavery site but not the microfilm index.
Phew! The SC State Archive
staff can look up the record from the American Slavery citations. In my case 1 out of every American Slavery records had a poor citation. I was able to locate the miscited records by looking through the microfilm index. Be prepared to pay a fee for the SC Archive to locate the record. Don't complain. I spent alot of time researching the citations, probably three hours, and time is money.
So there it is. This is a great set of records for genealogical research.