Welcome to the Restore the Ancestors Project!

This project is a collaboration between Fold3 (Formerly Footnote.com), the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, FamilySearch and Lowcountry Africana, to digitize every surviving estate inventory for Colonial and Charleston South Carolina from 1732 to 1872, as well as selected Bills of Sale for the same period, in a FREE collection.

When the project is complete, the names of more than 30,000 enslaved ancestors from Charleston and surrounding counties will be restored to history in a free online collection, preserved for generations to come.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Power of YOU: Volunteers Are Restoring 140 Years of Seamless African American History

What's so special about SC Estate Inventories, 1732-1872, the new FREE Footnote Collection you can help index?

This week we'll be talking about all the ways this collection is helping restore the African American past in South Carolina. Today we start with the most remarkable aspect of this new collection:

This is the entire run of estate inventories for 140 seamless years of SC history! The collection contains every surviving estate inventory for Colonial South Carolina and Charleston District, from 1732-1872.

If an Ancestor was ever listed in an estate inventory in Charleston and that document survives, it is in this new, FREE Footnote collection.

Ponder 140 years of seamless history for:

  • Enslaved Communities on South Carolina plantations
  • Free African Americans in Charleston
  • European American families in South Carolina

140 years of history. Generations of enslaved and free Ancestors. Records for enslaved communities on specific plantations across one and 1/2 centuries.

These documents were hibernating on microfilm until now - until YOU. We may never know the full impact of your indexing efforts because they will continue to unfold for future generations. That's a pretty good thought to begin our series exploring this incredible document collection.

Did we mention that Footnote.com is our hero? They took on the expense of digitizing and hosting the 23,000 pages in this collection without placing a single image behind a subscription wall. These records are free, and will remain free. :0)

Here's where you can view the new FREE collection SC Estate Inventories, 1732-1872.

Most important, it is through your volunteer efforts that these records will be indexed and made searchable on Footnote.com and Internet search engines such as Google. If you have volunteered to index records, please accept our sincere gratitude. If you are ready to volunteer, you can go right here to sign up!


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