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May 13, 2011

Press Release: South Carolina Records Online

Free Online Records Cast Historic Light on South Carolina

SALT LAKE CITY—FamilySearch, a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization in charge of the world’s largest genealogy repository, announced today rich new online resources that will certainly be of interest to South Carolina residents, Civil War buffs, and family historians with Southern roots. FamilySearch’s free resources consist of new historic records and image collections and anin-depth online help center (wiki) for South Carolina genealogy resources. The information can be found at The announcement coincides with the National Genealogical Society’s 33rd annual family history conference in Charleston this week.

FamilySearch’s newest South Carolina collections are South Carolina Probate Records, Files and Loose Papers, 1732-1964, and South Carolina Probate Records, Bound Volumes, 1671-1977. Probate and estate records typically include wills, bonds, property inventory, and court petitions.

“These types of records are extremely valuable to genealogists because they may be the only known source of an ancestor’s death date, name of a spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, associates, relatives, and their place of residence,” said Mary Lynn Sharpe, FamilySearch project manager.

The new collections include hundreds of thousands of digital images of the original historic documents that can be browsed online at using a digital viewer.

“For example, let’s say your ancestor was Jasper Crooks, and you knew he lived in Oconee County South Carolina,” said Sharpe. “A review of the historic probate records online will reveal that his wife, Sallie Crooks, petitioned the court for permission todivvy up his estate. The records show Jasper Crooks’ death date was November 1, 1897, and personal property deemed most valuable at the time—right down to the mouse grey mule, old two horse wagon, 4 rocking chairs, 3 padlocks, wash pot, and a corn sheller.”

Also in FamilySearch’s free online collection of South Carolina records are South Carolina Deaths (1915–1955) and Civil War Confederate Service Records (1861–1865)—the two collections comprise millions of searchable records.

FamilySearch has also introduced a South Carolina section to its free online research wiki. Using the information from the wiki, patrons can quickly find out what other historical records exist by county and where. There are also links to free online genealogy courses and a free forum for asking personal research questions. The help services are supported by volunteers.

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