Fargot Password? / Help

Latest NewsWhat's Happening in Heritage Research


Lowcountry Africana News


Recent news
  • Search in Archive
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
Posted in: Heritage Research
Comments: No comments
April 11, 20123 years ago

Robin Foster's Role at Lowcountry Africana Expands to Co-Director


10 April 2012

Contact: Toni Carrier

10 April 2012 --- Lowcountry Africana, an all-volunteer research project and free website dedicated to African American genealogy and history in SC, GA and FL, is pleased to welcome Robin Foster to the position of Co-Director.

Robin is the creator of About Our Freedom, a website dedicated to interpreting the difficult aspects of history met by researchers of African American ancestors. Robin has served the online heritage research community for five years and is a prolific writer and lecturer. She is currently developing a free online beginning genealogy course entitled “How Do I Start My Family History?” which will be available soon; please follow Lowcountry Africana for its release.

Robin joined the Lowcountry Africana volunteer crew in July 2011 as Coordinator of Georgia Records and author of the blogs “Georgia Ancestors” and “Got Tools?” and has since applied her experience, expertise and blazing talent to many areas of Lowcountry Africana’s operations. She is an expert in using social media to raise awareness of nonprofit community service efforts and has made extraordinary contributions to Lowcountry Africana in this regard.

In her new role as Co-Director, Robin Foster will join Founding Director Toni Carrier and Co-Director Alana Thevenet in steering the Lowcountry Africana organization and determining its future direction. We are pleased to welcome Robin as Co-Director and look forward to many years of exciting collaboration!

February 24, 20123 years ago Partners with W.E.B. DuBois Institute to Publish the Patriots of Color Database

Exclusive data collection highlights the contributions of black Americans in the Revolutionary War

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Feb. 24, 2012 -- In honor of Black History Month,, a website devoted to making family history simple and affordable, today announced the launch of the Patriots of Color Database. is bringing this collection online for the first time, compiling years of research facilitated by the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. These records unveil new and invaluable information about some of the men and women of color who fought for American independence in such roles as soldiers, skilled craftsmen, and servants. This new collection, of critical importance to historians, academics, and the general public, is now available for free at

Henry Louis Gates Jr., the Director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute notes, "I was filming 'African American Lives' for PBS when historical researcher Jane Ailes shared a discovery that my fourth great-grandfather John Redman served in the Light Dragoons of the Continental Army from 1778-1784. I was astonished and delighted, and it drove me to want to learn more about other men and women of color who fought to win America's independence."

People of African descent were often not well documented in census records and traditional sources, making African family history research uniquely challenging. This Patriots of Color Database is a first large step in bringing to life the stories of early Americans of color and the contributions they've made to American history. Over two years of research has focused on verifying the service and complexion of patriots from each of the 13 colonies using primarily original records such as pension and bounty land application files, muster and pay rolls, lists of troops, court records, legislative records, census records, and more.

" is proud to publish this valuable historical information and make it freely available to family historians and historical researchers," said Director of Product Joe Godfrey. "This is ultimately just the beginning of a much more extensive project, and we're excited to encourage more research and exploration of this relatively unknown and underappreciated group of patriots."

Funding for this project has been generously provided by David Roux, Richard Gilder and the Gilder Lehrman Foundation, Joseph Dooley and the Sons of the American Revolution, and the W. E. B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. Jane Ailes has acted as the primary researcher. The database is a summary of a portion of the information so far collected for each Patriot. This is the beginning of an extensive project, and these data are being made available at an early stage to encourage more research and scholarship, with further information to be published in the future. The Patriots of Color database is free for anyone to search and explore at

About is a leading family history website that makes discovering family history simple and affordable. The company has assembled more than 2 billion historical records in a single location, and makes them available at a price that's up to 80 percent less than the leading competitor. Archives also partners with other leading family history websites to provide integrated record collections, discounted memberships, official certificates and other special promotions. is free to try for seven days, allowing anyone to explore the benefits of membership without risk or obligation. is owned and operated by Inflection, a fast-growing data commerce company. Find more information at

February 23, 20123 years ago

Civil Rights Historic Marker Poll to be Held February 23

CHARLESTON - Preservation Society of Charleston’s “Civil Rights Historic Marker Poll” will take place online at beginning Thursday Feb 23rd, 2012 as a part of the Seven to Save program. Sites on the poll have been chosen by the Preservation Society’s Charleston African American Preservation Alliance. It is important to document and publicize the Civil Rights sites whether they are schools, meeting halls, motels, private homes, etc. It is a task which must be a collaboration of efforts from different organizations and community involvement.

An often overlooked part of the city’s long history is the not-so-distant past surrounding the Civil Rights movement. Civil Rights Era sites in the Lowcountry region are endangered because of a lack of documentation and awareness of their significance. Please join us in protecting the history of Charleston; Vote for sites to receive Historic Markers.

We will begin by awarding five markers as a first step towards commemorating Civil Rights Era sites. This voting process intends to bring exposure to all sites and to inspire continued research and involvement in celebrating the Civil Rights Era in Charleston and the Lowcountry region. Below are the eligible sites of major importance to the Charleston Civil Rights movement:

(1) Morris Street Business District (2) Site of J. Arthur Brown House (3) The Progressive Club of John’s Island (4) Kress Building (5) Site of the Hospital Workers Strike (6) Judge J. Waites Waring House (7) Cigar Factory (8) James Simons Elementary School (9) County Hall (10) Site of the 1963 News and Courier Demonstration (11) Site of C.A. Brown High School (12) Site of the old Charleston County Library

The poll as well as photos, educational websites, videos and documents on the Charleston Movement can be found online at Voting will end on Saturday, March 19th 2012 at 5pm.

This event is a programmatic activity of Preservation Society’s 2011 “Seven to Save” program, which includes the funding of an Oral Histories documentary in conjunction with Tri¬dent Technical College-Palmer Campus, gathering the resources for 5 new historic markers and laying the founda¬tion for a Charleston African American Preservation Alliance.

For More Information

For more information, please contact:

Aurora Harris, Diversity Programs Manager

(843) 722-4630

February 7, 20123 years ago

African American Civil War Lecture Series

A lecture series to be presented by the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission (SCAAHC) will explore the way African Americans lived during the Civil War and the roles they played in the war.

The African American Civil War Lecture Series, which was made possible by a grant from The Humanities Council of SC will include 16 lectures at four locations by scholars, lay historians, and period re-enactors who will cover such subjects as the Causes of the Civil War, Slavery in South Carolina, The Ordinance of Secession, and Black Confederates.

Other Civil War lectures not funded by the grant will be held at the Old Exchange Building in Charleston on Thursday, February 23, and in Cheraw and Rock Hill on dates to be determined.

“The commission, with the support of the Humanities Council SC, is delighted to facilitate a broader and deeper understanding of the lives of African Americans during this critical period in our history and the actual roles they played in the Civil War,” said Bhakti Larry Hough of Hemingway, SCAAHC chairman. “Clearly, there is a desire among many in the state to get a more complete picture of this conflict, as interest in presenting the lectures are coming from entities not included in the grant. The need to schedule additional lectures is a good problem to have. It is a testament to the fact that people throughout the state are interested in the roles that African Americans played in the Civil War.”

Lecture Schedule

The lecture schedule supported by the Humanities Council SC grant is as follows:

The Penn Center

16 Penn Center Circle W. St. Helena, SC.

Thursday, February 9, 2012 from 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm in Darrah Hall.

  • Dr. Eric Emerson, Director of the SC Department of Archives and History:  “The Ordinance of Secession”
  • Dr. Abel Bartley, Professor of the Director of Pan-African Studies at Clemson University:  “The Causes of the War”
  • Nicole Green, Director of the Old Slave Mart Museum in Charleston: “Slavery in South Carolina”
  • Rosalyn Browne, Director of History and Culture at Penn Center:  “The Port Royal Experiment”

The Hartsville Memorial Library

147 West College Avenue, Hartsville, SC.

Thursday, May 17, 2012 from 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm.

  • Dr. Bernard Powers, Professor and Associate Chair of History, College of Charleston:  “Black Charlestonians”
  • Attorney Billy Jenkinson, Chair, SC African American Historical Alliance:  “Lieutenant Stephen Swails”
  • Donel Singleton, U.S. National Park Service Ranger:  “Resistance, Runaways and Slave Revolts”
  • Dr. Larry Watson, Associate Professor and Coordinator of History at SC State University:  “Black Confederates”

The Spartanburg Regional History Museum

200 E. St. John Street, Spartanburg, SC.

Thursday, August 23, 2012 from 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm.

  • Dr. Veronica Gerald, Professor of English, Coastal Carolina University; Gullah Geechee Heritage Commissioner:  “Grapevine: How African Americans Communicated During the Civil War”
  • Dr. Eric Emerson, Director of the SC Department of Archives and History:  “The Ordinance of Secession”
  • Nicole Green, Director of the Old Slave Mart Museum in Charleston:   “Slavery in South Carolina”
  • Dr. Abel Bartley, Professor of the Director of Pan-African Studies at Clemson University:  “The Causes of the War”

The South Carolina Department of Archives and History

8301 Parklane Road, Columbia, SC.

Thursday, October 25, 2012 from 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm.

  • Dr. Veronica Gerald, Professor of English, Coastal Carolina University; Gullah Geechee Heritage Commissioner:  “Grapevine: How African Americans Communicated During the Civil War”
  • Ernest Parks, President, Concerned Citizens of Sol Legare: “The Battle of Sol Legare”
  • Dr. Larry Watson, Associate Professor and Coordinator of History at SC State University:  “Black Confederates”
  • Jeannie Cyraique, African American programs coordinator, Georgia Department of Natural Resources:  “The Men at the Meeting with General Sherman”

Additional sponsors have ensured that the grant challenge is met and that additional lectures can be added.  They are the South Carolina African American Historical Alliance; Fort Sumter / Fort Moultrie Trust; and the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.

The mission of the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission is to identify and promote the preservation of historic sites, structures, buildings, and culture of the African American experience in South Carolina and to assist and enhance the efforts of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. The 15-member commission includes representatives from all regions of the state.

All lectures supported by the Humanities Council grant are free and open to the public.  Anyone needing additional information on the lectures should contact Joseph McGill, the project coordinator and of the SCAAHC commissioner at 843-408-7727.

Article Image: Detail from Morris Island South Carolina Headquarters of Field Officer of the Trenches Second Parallel Library of Congress LC-DIG-cwpb-04728. No known restrictions on publication.  
January 9, 20123 years ago

Charleston, S.C. Celebrates Black History Month with Special Events, Tours and Festivities

During the month of February, nationally recognized as Black History Month, Charleston, S.C. will honor African-American history and culture. All month long, visitors can immerse themselves in the rich sights, sounds and food of South Carolina’s famed Lowcountry region. They can learn about the area’s Gullah heritage, recognized for preserving the African linguistic and cultural traditions more than any other African-American community in the U.S., or partake in centuries-old practices such as sweetgrass basket-making.

While Charleston’s African-American history can be appreciated year-round in museums and historic walking tours, Black History Month also ushers in special events that travelers of all ages can enjoy. For a complete listing of Charleston attractions, special events, lodging and packages, please visit

Charles Pinckney National Historic Site:

This historic site was established to interpret Charles Pinckney's plantation, Snee Farm, his role in the development of the U.S. Constitution, and the transition of the U.S. from a group of colonies to a nation. Interpretive exhibits highlight these areas as well as the influences of African Americans in the development of Snee Farm. A series of free cultural programs will take place every Saturday at 2pm during February and March 2010. These Gullah programs include craft demonstrations, cooking, African drumming and story-telling and other musical performances. For more information, call 843.881.5516 or visit

Charleston Museum

On February 18, the museum will host a workshop titled “Sweetgrass Baskets: Hands-On History Workshop.” Visitors will have the chance to admire and purchase artisans’ work as they learn how sweetgrass basket-making was and is still done during the workshop. For additional details, call 843.722.2996

Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture

The Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture is part of the College of Charleston and was established in 1985 to serve as a source for community outreach for African American affairs. The Avery Research Center collects, preserves, and makes public the unique historical and cultural heritage of African Americans in South Carolina and the Lowcountry. Tours are available Monday – Saturday. For general information, call 843.953.7609

Old Slave Mart Museum

First constructed in 1859, the building now serves as a museum for African American history, arts and crafts and is the only known South Carolina building still standing that is a former slave auction gallery. This historical treasure is now a museum that documents the story of the trans-Atlantic slave trade between the 15th and early 19th centuries. The Old Slave Mart Museum is open Monday – Saturday. For more information, 843.958.6467


A wide array or tours are available throughout Charleston that explore the region’s rich African-American history. Sampling of tours:

  • Gullah Tours – Offers visitors the chance to explore the places, history and stories relevant to the wide-ranging contributions made by Charleston’s African American community. The Gullah language is also introduced and featured during much of the tour.
  • Sites & Insights Tours – Visitors can explore the Gullah / Geechee culture from an African American perspective stopping at sites such as Emanuel AME Church, Catfish Row, City Market and many others, during the motorized tour departing from the Charleston Visitor Center.
  • The mission of the Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is to unify and lead the local travel industry in marketing the Charleston area as an individual, meeting, incentive and group destination to both the domestic and international markets. For more information, visit

    Learn More

    To learn more about Black History Month events in Charleston, please visit Charleston: Where History Lives.

    Have a Black History Month Event to Share?

    Please use our Contact form to tell us about your upcoming Black History Month events!
    December 6, 20113 years ago

    Lowcountry Africana Becomes A National Partner in StoryCorps' National Day of Listening

    StoryCorps and Lowcountry Africana provide Do-It-Yourself tips for family historians to share and record stories on the day after Thanksgiving

    (11/3/2011) – Charleston, SC – On Friday, November 25, 2011, Lowcountry Africana will represent SC, GA and FL in the fourth annual National Day of Listening, a national holiday started by the acclaimed oral history nonprofit organization StoryCorps in 2008. The National Day of Listening is an effort to encourage all Americans to honor a friend, a loved one, or a member of their community by interviewing them about their lives.

    National Day of Listening participants are encouraged to record their National Day of Listening interviews using equipment that is readily available in most homes–from cell phones to tape recorders to computers or even pen and paper. StoryCorps has created a free Do-It-Yourself interview guide with equipment recommendations and interview instructions available online at

    Lowcountry Africana will be taking part in the 2011 National Day of Listening by recording interviews with local residents. Lowcountry Africana has also created special National Day of Listening pages at:

    “The idea of listening during the holiday season has clearly resonated with people across the country,” says StoryCorps founder and MacArthur “Genius” Dave Isay. “The National Day of Listening, which coincides with Black Friday–traditionally the largest shopping day of the year–provides a meaningful alternative to holiday consumerism and proves that simply listening to one another is the least expensive and most meaningful gift we can give.”

    “We are excited to become national partners in the National Day of Listening,” said Toni Carrier, founder of Lowcountry Africana. “We hope Lowcountry family historians will start a new holiday tradition by interviewing a loved one while the family is gathered for the holidays. We look forward to adding the National Day of Listening to our holiday calendar every year.”

    To see how more people across the country are celebrating this year’s National Day of Listening, visit:

    About StoryCorps

    Founded in 2003 by MacArthur “genius” Fellow Dave Isay, StoryCorps’ mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of their lives. Each week, millions of Americans listen to StoryCorps’ award-winning broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition. StoryCorps has published two best-selling books: Listening Is an Act of Love in 2007 and Mom: A Celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps in 2010. For more information, or to listen to stories online, visit

    About Lowcountry Africana

    Lowcountry Africana, sponsored by the Magnolia Plantation Foundation of Charleston, SC, is an all-volunteer research project and free website dedicated to African American genealogy and history in SC, GA and FL. For more information, please visit

    Pin It on Pinterest

    Share This