Researching African American ancestry is challenging for even the most experienced researcher. The Lowcountry Southeast presents additional challenges because of its long and complicated history.
Our Research Library provides resources you will need for a successful ancestor search in the Lowcountry, as well as historical background for envisioning the lives of ancestors.
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South Carolina Resources
Who Lived This History?
The 33rd United States Colored Troops (USCT)
The capture of Port Royal, South Carolina by Union forces in November 1861 set in motion a series of events which would lead to one of the largest social transformations in the history of the Lowcountry Southeast: the emancipation of ten thousand enslaved people on South Carolina's sea islands.
Port Royal was also the staging ground of the first African Americans mustered into the United States military: the 1st South Carolina Volunteer Infantry, which later became the 33rd United States Colored Troops (USCT). MORE...
Who Lived This History?
The Combahee Raid
In the early morning hours of June 2, 1863, Union troops based at Port Royal, South Carolina conducted a daring raid up the Combahee River, which winds inland from Port Royal Sound. Union Naval forces had captured Port Royal in November of 1861. Led by Colonel James Montgomery, African American troops of the 2nd South Carolina Regiment advanced upon the Combahee River plantations, destroying several plantations and carrying away more than 700 enslaved people.
Who were the African American men, women and children who witnessed, or were freed by, the Combahee Raid? Let's Go See...
South Carolina Records
South Carolina Slaveholders: Genealogy and Records Genealogy and plantation records for South Carolina slaveholders
1850 Federal Census Slave Schedules - South Carolina
1860 Federal Census Slave Schedules - South Carolina
Freedmen's Bureau Register of Destitutes (Rations Lists) by Plantation, Moncks Corner Subdistrict, SC, 1867 List of Elders from 112 SC Plantations
Drayton Family Research Update: Kingsale Pringle, Born at Drayton Hall Plantation
South Carolina: Historical Contexts
Sierra Leone to South Carolina: Priscilla's Homecoming by Andrew Jenner
Cow Hunters of Colonial South Carolina by Christine Bell
Freedmen's Labor in Coastal South Carolina by Christine Bell
South Carolina: Research Guides and Finding Aids
1850 Federal Census Slave Schedules - Georgia
1860 Federal Census Slave Schedules - Georgia
Georgia: Research Guides and Finding Aids
1850 Federal Census Slave Schedules - Florida
1860 Federal Census Slave Schedules - Florida