Footnote and Lowcountry Africana Announce Slave Records Project

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Wonderful news!  We’ve received word from Toni Carrier, Founding Director of Lowcountry Africana, that a joint project with Footnote has been undertaken: to index a collection of records from the South Carolina Department of Archives and History containing estate inventories and bills of sale for Colonial and Charleston South Carolina from 1732 to 1872.

While Family Search International has donated the images and Footnote is helping to make them accessible, your help is needed in creating an index of these 30,000 documents.  Take a minute to visit the Lowcountry Africana site and sign up to index at least 10 records.  Then post the badge above at your blog to help spread the word about this project.

Here is the official press release:


Newly Digitized Records Preserve the Names of More Than  30,000 Slaves –

SALT LAKE CITY – July 19, 2010 – Today ( and Lowcountry Africana ( announced the launch of a new free collection of historical records from the South Carolina Department of Archives and History containing estate inventories and bills of sale for Colonial and Charleston South Carolina from 1732 to 1872.  FamilySearch International donated the copies of the microfilm of the original historical documents.

Charleston’s role as a port of entry during the Atlantic Slave Trade means many thousands of African Americans may have ancestors who came from, or through, South Carolina. This new collection on will assist African American genealogy research by forming, in many cases, a seamless paper trail from Emancipation to the 1700s.

“Research about African American history and genealogy has often been especially difficult because of limited access to primary source material,” says Henry Louis Gates Jr., Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research.

“ is spearheading a revolution in access to the black past by digitizing major portions of the black archive, and making these records available on the Internet.  The publication of these records from South Carolina in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries is the latest example of their bold commitment to resurrecting the African American past.” provides an experience where visitors can access historical records and interact with those records and members of the Footnote community.

Visitors to can enhance these records from the South Carolina archives through various activities including:

  • Creating and sharing web pages about the documents and their discoveries
  • Adding their own insights and comments to the documents
  • Uploading and connecting their own photos, letters and documents
  • Annotating information on the documents, which creates a searchable database

“We are excited that Footnote has joined this collaboration because they offer family historians the ability to turn public records into personal history,” said Toni Carrier, Founding Director of Lowcountry Africana. “Nowhere else on the Internet can readers interact with historical records in such a meaningful way.”

“South Carolina has one of the richest sets of early government records of social and cultural history, said Charles Lesser, Senior Archivist at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. “This new cooperative effort will revolutionize access to an especially important segment of those records.”

Lowcountry Africana has established an online volunteer program to create the searchable index for this collection.  To learn more about this volunteer program or to sign up to be a volunteer, visit the Lowcountry Africana site.

To view these South Carolina records, please visit

©2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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About Thomas MacEntee

What happens when a “tech guy” with a love for history gets laid off during The Great Recession of 2008? You get Thomas MacEntee, a genealogy professional who’s also a blogger, educator, author, social media connector, online community builder and more. Thomas was laid off after a 25-year career in the information technology field, so he started his own genealogy-related business called High Definition Genealogy. He also created an online community of over 3,000 family history bloggers known as GeneaBloggers. His most recent endeavor, Hack Genealogy, is an attempt to “re-purpose today’s technology for tomorrow’s genealogy.” Thomas describes himself as a lifelong learner with a background in a multitude of topics who has finally figured out what he does best: teach, inspire, instigate, and serve as a curator and go-to-guy for concept nurturing and inspiration. Thomas is a big believer in success, and that we all succeed when we help each other find success.

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