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Research Library

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.

What's New

New FamilySearch Collection ~ South Carolina Freedmen's Bureau Records, 1865-1872

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Looking for personal advice on your family research? Have resources or wisdom to share? Come join our Research Community on Facebook!

1 Get Skills

Beginning Genealogy

Want to research your ancestry but not sure how to start? Our Beginning Genealogy page will help you learn the skills you need for a successful ancestor search!

Research Methods

By Michael Hait

Michael Hait's Research Methods page will help you refine your skills and stay on track with sound research principles.

2 Get Organized

3 Get Going

Got Tools?

By Robin Foster

Organize your research. Clear out paper clutter. Back up your files. Take your data on the road. Got Tools? by Robin Foster will help you discover tools for putting it all together.

Let's Research!

The articles and records below are organized by state.

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

Tracing Barbados Roots: The Barbados - Carolina Connection

South Carolina Freedmen's Labor Contracts

Freedmen's Bureau Land Reports, Combahee Ferry, South Carolina, 1865

Freedmens Bureau Field Reports, Colleton County, SC: Entire Microfilm (1,431 Pages)

Freedmen's Bureau Register of Destitutes (Rations Lists) by Plantation, Moncks Corner Subdistrict, SC, 1867 List of Elders from 112 SC Plantations

Freedmen's Bureau Transportation Requests, SC, 1865

Freedmen's Bureau Transportation Requests, SC, Jan 2 to Feb 8, 1866

Freedmen's Bureau Transportation Requests, SC, Feb-Dec, 1866

Drayton Family Research Update: Kingsale Pringle, Born at Drayton Hall Plantation

Index of Crop Liens, James Island, Charleston County, SC, 1885 to 1894

Beaufort County, SC 1868 Voter Registrations, Beaufort Election Precinct

Beaufort, SC 1868 Voter Registrations, Bluffton Precinct

Beaufort County, SC 1868 Voter Registrations, Gray's Hill Election Precinct

Beaufort County, SC Voter Registrations, Peeple's Election Precinct, 1868

Beaufort County, SC Voter Registrations, Pocotaligo Election Precinct, 1868

Beaufort County, SC 1868 Voter Registrations, St. Helena Church Election Precinct

Beaufort County, SC Voter Registrations, Whippy Swamp Election Precinct, 1868

Georgetown, SC Voter Registrations, Carver's Bay and Brown's Ferry Precincts, 1868

Georgetown, SC Voter Registrations, Hope Chapel Precinct, 1868

Georgetown, SC Voter Registrations, Old Church Club House Precinct, 1868

Georgetown, SC 1868 Voter Registrations, Sampit Muster Shed

Charleston, SC Voter Registrations, St. Andrews Parish, 1868

Edisto Island, SC Voter Registrations, Charleston County, 1868

400 Slaves Freed from the Washo, Cape and Oak Grove Plantations of Arthur Middleton Blake, Charleston, South Carolina shared by Fold3.com

Mazyck Family Slave Records Charleston and Columbia, SC

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

History of the Freedmen's Bureau in South Carolina

Mazyck Family Slave Records Charleston and Columbia, SC

South Carolina: Research Guides and Finding Aids

NEW! Accessing and Navigating the New FamilySearch Collection "South Carolina, Freedmen's Bureau Records, 1865-1872"

African American Genealogy: Searching Online Records in SC? Don't Forget These Valuable Resources!

Newly Released SC Probate Records: a Treasure Trove for African American Genealogy

Georgia Resources

Georgia Freedmen's Labor Contracts

167 Emigrants to Liberia from Darien, GA and Charleston, SC

Birth Records of African American Cunningham Family, Oglethorpe, GA

1850 Federal Census Slave Schedules - Georgia

1860 Federal Census Slave Schedules - Georgia

Georgia: Research Guides and Finding Aids

Searching Online Records for Georgia? Don’t Forget These Valuable Resources!

Florida Resources

1850 Federal Census Slave Schedules - Florida

1860 Federal Census Slave Schedules - Florida

Florida: Historical Contexts

The Freedmen's Bureau in Florida

Florida: Research Guides and Finding Aids

Searching Online Records for Florida? Don’t Forget These Valuable Resources!