Monday, August 1, 2011

Life Records

South Carolina began issuing statewide birth certificates in 1915 and there is a 100 year delay for public access. We won't see our first birth certificate until 2015!

A significant component has been added to the Richland County Public Library obit index to help address this problem. Yesterday I uploaded 800+ birth records into the index. This is a small portion of an index that has over 500,000 obit records but more records will be added as volunteers input the data.

The records come from birth announcements in the Columbia Record, Columbia's afternoon paper. We started with 1969 because that seems to be when the newspaper regularly published birth announcements. Eventually we will go backwards but now we will be moving forward.

So far we are only seeing announcements from Columbia Hospitals and I am not sure if they include African American births. I will have to do some research to determine when hospitals integrated. Also, we have only seen announcements for husband and wife unions not single mothers. My guess is that most adoptions occurred with single mothers but we will understand the records better as more records are added.

Try searching Waters, D G in the Name Browse search to see how the birth records look.

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