Sunday, September 4, 2016

New links

  • Republished from April 15, 2016 & updated Sept 4, 2016

Hi all,
Thanks to Jane and Carol for passing on information about these new links.

The Lexington Public Library obituary index is back online. Here is what they say it includes: 

The Lexington Dispatch was founded on September 17, 1870 by Godfrey M. Harman, who served as editor for its entire history. On March 7, 1917, it merged with The Lexington News (which was published from May 26, 1915 to February 28, 1917) to form the Lexington Dispatch-News. The newspaper facility burned on April 25, 1894 and again on March 27, 1916. In October, 1992, The Lexington County Chronicle was published October 7, 1992 to March 29, 2001. The Lexington County Chronicle and the Lexington Dispatch News combined into one publication on April 5, 2001.
Much of the first two decades of the paper no longer exists or was in poor condition when microfilmed. Between 1914 and 1917, records for both Lexington Dispatch and the Lexington News are again sketchy with many issues/months missing.

Also, there is a new site that is attempting to get all the SC probate and marriages in one site called South Carolina Probate.  It does not include Richland or Lexington County so you will still have to check here for those links. Update: I used the site for a Beaufort County 1923 probate.  The site only provided a file number. I called the number listed on the bottom of the page, Icon Software, and asked why there wasn't more info.  They said that Beaufort Probate didn't allow more info and I would have to call them.  They kindly gave me a contact number and I ordered the probate directly.  Unfortunately Beaufort County does not give their historic records to the SC State Archive. Neither do they preserve them. They just sit off site and rot away.

I am toying with the idea of having a separate "SC Court Records" section so maybe look for that soon.

The links to the Lexington Library obit index and South Carolina Probate are listed thataway --->.

missing content

Well, the Deadlibrarian is missing all the 2015 and 2016 content.  I will work on it this weekend so if the blog starts to look weird you will know why.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Freedmen Bureau records with SC indexing

Last week FamilySearch released an interesting collections update for the week of August 15, 2016. The update included several Freedmen Bureau record groups that have updated indexing for South Carolina.  As many of you know FamilySearch houses digitized Freedmen Bureau records that are only browsable but, recently, they have undertaken a crowdsourcing project to index the records and make them keyword searchable.

As a reminder, the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands (often called the Freedmen’s Bureau) was created in 1865 at the end of the Civil War to supervise relief efforts and to assist the newly freed slaves in building new communities. The aid effort included: education, medical facilities, jobs and work contracts. The record groups that include SC indexing so far include: complaints, ration records and records from the Superintendent of Education.

In previous posts about this record group I’ve reiterated that this record group is not just for African American research. It is an important record for anyone doing SC local and family history research. For example, while experimenting with the records I found the complaint of Clara Ann Adams, a white woman from Anderson County. Clara had recently given birth. Unable to find a job she was looking for assistance. The child’s father was a black man, Wayne Donald, who worked on the nearby David Donald plantation. Before he was free he worked (i.e.: was a slave) on the plantation of Clara’s uncle. Clara lived with her uncle because her mother died when she was young. Whoa! There is a hot mess of genealogical information in that letter.

Not all the record groups, including the powerful labor contracts, have SC indexing available, yet. Use the above updated records to experiment with searching techniques to squeeze as much as you can out of the documents. There is more information to be revealed in upcoming releases. 

Friday, May 23, 2014


Last night, May 22, I read an article about a nifty app called Scanbot.  The iphone app scans good quality images, easy and fast then uploads them to your cloud. In my case that is Google Drive.  For a limited time it is available for free. It will be so handy when I head up to the National Archive this summer.  Jump on this!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Records search at SC Archives

I use the SC Department of archives and History site a lot but have always struggled to find what resources are available for a particular SC county.  My search would give me (for example) the deeds records for all the counties or the probate records for all the counties.  Then I would scroll through the pages to find the unique county resource I was looking for but, of course, many resources were easily missed.

The staff at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History recently gave me a “finding county records” tutorial.  It has changed my life! Now I can find an easy to read list of individual county resources.  

Here are the steps: 
                1. Select the Research & Genealogy tab
                2. Select Online Research
                3. Select Guide to Collections
                4. Select Summary Guide to Local Record and then Summary Guide to County                              Records

Once you select your county there will be a list of resources. If you want detailed information about a specific resource copy the series number ("L 01001"  "L1001001"  "S 102001"  "B 800101"  “C 700001"  “F 600210"  “P 900001"  "O 800210").  Make sure you keep track of the space it is necessary to include that in the catalog search. 

Next, go back to Online Research and select SCArchcat. Click the advanced search and type in series number with the space and in quotes in the Series number search window.  This will give you a detailed finding aid about the resource.  

Thursday, February 27, 2014

More southern revolutionary war stuff...

My friend and colleague, Will Robinson, created a blog for Wilson County, NC research.  He is the local history librarian at their public library.  Coincidentally he just put up a post about Revolutionary War research and he recommended this website for research: Southern Campaign Revolutionary War Pension Statements & Rosters. I thought it fit very well with my previous post.

Here is a link to Will's blog if you have interest in that area:

Friday, February 7, 2014

Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution

Finding proof of Revolutionary War service is a challenge for SC patriot researchers.  As Bobby Gilmer Moss wrote, “through ignorance of the law or because of pride” patriots often did not apply for a pension. Recently I had the opportunity to explore the records in Moss’s abstraction of SC patriot records, “Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution”. 
Moss, in his book, studied the SC records that provide information about service in the Revolutionary War. He provides a list of sources but they include: audited accounts, federal pensions, bounty land warrants, stub indents.

My research was to find proof of service for a James Adams. Moss’s book lists 5 James Adams who served with these units: 3rd regiment, horseman with Capt. Dunlap, Marion’s brigade, St. Tilles expedition, and the Waxhaw expedition. None of the 5 had federal pensions or land warrants (however, one was referenced in another pension).  All of the records came from the Audited Accounts at the SC Department of Archives and History (SCDAH). I visited the SCDAH to look at the original records.  They are not digitized.

I learned from the archivist that 5 listings does not mean 5 different James Adams’ because they may have served with more than one unit.   For example, someone serving in the Waxhaw expedition could also have been with Marion’s brigade.    

First I located the Audited Account series information from the SCDAH database search. Because the common name I limited the search to the Combined index to records, 1675-1929. I found the Audited Account file # (31) that led me to the right microfilm reel.  The microfilm is in good shape.  I was able to find the file right away and could read every image. 

All of the files referenced in the Moss book were in the file (except the reference to the federal pension mentioned above which I found in HeritageQuest).  However, genealogical information was poorly indexed.  For example, only one wife was listed in the Moss book. Her name was Mary and she was identified as the wife of the James Adams who served as a horseman to Capt. Dunlap.   

However, my interpretation of the file was that the wife was Deborah and Mary was either a daughter or sister to James.  There was also another file that listed a wife named Elizabeth.When the wives were mentioned it was because that James Adams was deceased and the pension was part of the estate.   

The Moss book also doesn’t indicate if the file is part of a probate.  It’s important information! If the Audited Account is part of an estate dated 1785 and you are looking for a James Adams who died in 1820 then he can be eliminated.

Out of those five listings I could only identify 2 different James Adams though the genealogical information.  The genealogical information is the only way to distinguish individuals in the Audited Accounts unless you know the unit they served with.

As usual, the lesson is to check the primary document!  Moss’s purpose was to identify SC patriots not to get someone into the DAR or extend a family tree.   I would also recommend taking your iPad. It makes it much easier to copy images.  If you can’t visit the archive you can request a search. The archives will contact you about the cost before they undertake the request.