South Carolina, Charleston Public Library Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

From FamilySearch Wiki

FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records scheduled to become available at



Record Description

These records include images of birth and death registers, indentures, pensions, and city poor records from the alms house, orphans house, and house of corrections. The collection includes records from 1790 to 1900. These records are located in the Charleston Public Library.

This collection is being published as images become available.

You will be able to browse through images in this collection when it is published.

Record Content

The record content varies by record type. It may include any of the following pieces of information:

  • Name of primary individual
  • Event date
  • Event place
  • Residence
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Names of parents
  • Biographical information about parents such as date and place of birth
  • Names of heirs, such as spouse, children, other relatives, or friends
  • Names of the executor, administrator, or guardian
  • Names of witnesses
  • Dates the documents were written and recorded (used to approximate event dates since a will was usually written near the time of death)
  • Description and value of property or land
  • Occupation

How to Use the Record

To begin your search it is helpful to know

  • Name of your ancestor
  • Identifying information such as birth or death date or residence

Search the Collection

To search the collection by image
⇒ Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒ Select the appropriate "Record Category"
⇒ Select the appropriate "Record Type, Record Description and Year Range" which takes you to the images

Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination. Keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.

Using the Information

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Save a copy of the image or transcribe the information. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details. Add this new information to your records of each family. You should also look for leads to other records about your ancestors. For example:

  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth of each partner to find a couple's birth records and parents' names.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the residence to locate church and land records.
  • Use the parent’s birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800s.
  • There is some variation in the information given from one record to another record.
  • Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname. This is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have been born, married, or died in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.

Unable to Find Your Ancestor?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Look for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby localities.

Related Websites

Charleston Public Library

Related Wiki Articles

South Carolina

How You Can Contribute

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.

Citations for This Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.  

Collection Citation:

“South Carolina, Charleston Public Library Records, 1790-1926.” Images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2015. Citing the Charleston Archive, Charleston Public Library, Charleston, South Carolina.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record will be available with each record once the collection is published.


Need wiki, indexing, or website help? Contact our product teams.

Did you find this article helpful?

You're invited to explain your rating on the discussion page (you must be signed in).

  • This page was last modified on 12 August 2015, at 16:23.
  • This page has been accessed 826 times.