The following announcement was written by Lowcountry Africana and The South Carolina Department of Archives and History:
Under the new agreement, Colonial and Charleston, South Carolina estate inventories dated 1732-1867 will be digitized and indexed in detail, including the names of more than 30,000 slaves. Inventories of estates in early South Carolina probate records often listed slaves in family groupings. They also detail the material possessions so important for researchers of social and cultural history. "South Carolina has one of the richest sets of early government records of any of the original states,” said Charles Lesser, Senior Archivist at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.” This new cooperative effort will revolutionize access to an especially important segment of those records," concluded Lesser.
More than 14,000 South Carolina bills of sale, most of them bills of sale for slaves, will also be digitized for online viewing. These documents, dating from 1773 to 1872, are already indexed on the South Carolina Archives website but have not yet been digitized.
"Digitizing these records will open new avenues for African American genealogy research by forming, in many cases, a seamless paper trail from Emancipation to the 1700's," said Toni Carrier, Founding Director of Lowcountry Africana. "And Charleston's role as a port of entry during the Atlantic Slave Trade means that many thousands of African Americans have at least one ancestor who came from, or through, South Carolina."
When complete, the index and digital images of the documents will be available for free on Lowcountry Africana (www.lowcountryafricana.com), and within the On-line Records Index for the South Carolina Department of Archives and History (www.archivesindex.sc.gov).
Anyone may volunteer to help index the records by visiting www.afriquest.com, Lowcountry Africana's new, central Internet home for free records of African American genealogy and history. Afriquest will officially launch at the end of February but volunteers may sign up now to participate.
Copies of the microfilms of the original historic documents were donated by FamilySearch International.
For further information, please contact Toni Carrier at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the South Carolina Department of Archives and History
About Lowcountry Africana
About FamilySearch International