About This Collection
Today’s featured collection is South Carolina, Charleston County, Charleston, Birth Registers, 1901-1926.
About This Collection
This collection contains birth registers for the city of Charleston, South Carolina, 1901-1926. The original handwritten ledgers are available in the City Archive in the South Carolina Room at Charleston County Public Library’s South Carolina Room. You can learn more about the contents and arrangement of these record by consulting Charleston County Public Library’s finding aid Return of Births in the City of Charleston, 1877–1926. You can also consult the collection’s Learn More page.
What’s in This Collection
The records contain the following information for each birth listed:
- Date of birth
- Names of parents
- Surname of child and possible given name
- Sex of child
- Birthplace of both parents
- Residence of parents
- Occupation of father
Researching from This Collection
How wonderful to have this primary resource for your ancestor. These birth registers give the names of their parents. So, you do not to need to rely on the death record of your ancestor as the main source for this information. 1901-1926 is rather late, and most would consider the information would be known by descendants. If you consider that enslavement ended only in 1865, many of these records represent the first generation or second generation born outside of enslavement. South Carolina, Charleston County, Charleston, Birth Registers, 1901-1926 can assist many African Americans who are unsure about the parentage of their ancestor born between 1901 and 1926.
In addition to who the parents were, the record gives the birth date. With knowledge of the birth date, you can pinpoint where the family was living if they moved from this area after the birth. They also could have been living someplace else before this birth and the child’s birth date becomes the first documentation in this area.
You are given the surname of the child. Surnames are important because some children had different fathers so their surname would be different. Sometimes at death the informant did not know this information, and the wrong information is recorded on the death certificate. You will also find the given name of the child, and that might be the only place it was used. The US Census, and other records might record a different version of their name.
Let’s look at the Good baby girl born on August 12, 1905:
A midwife assists with her birth. The midwife was S. Williams, and her address was 21 E. St. She could be researched. The birth took place at 18 D. St. Baby Good’s father is Charles Good. Her mother is named Eliza. Eliza was a Mortan or Morton. They were said to be living near the city of Charleston. They were from Greenwood. Charles was a laborer. This record was entered in this book on December 4. 1905.
Where I Would Go from Here
I would look this family up on the US Census in 1910 and in city directories for as long as I can. Then, I would try to find them at the previous location of Greenwood. I would look on the US Census’ prior to 1910 while they were still together. Then I would try to find both Charles and Eliza at home with their parents.
Explore More: Related Resources
The FamilySearch Wiki page African American Resources for South Carolina offers an in-depth look at African American genealogy research in South Carolina.
The website Lowcountry Africana contains tutorials, record transcriptions and other resources for African American genealogy research in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
The South Carolina Department of Archives and History’s Online Records Index is a great place to start searching for records held at the state archives in Columbia,
To learn more about researching in South Carolina, you can view BlackProGen LIVE Ep19: North and South Carolina Genealogy Research.
More FamilySearch Wiki Resources for African American Genealogy
Researching African American Genealogy provides step-by-step guidance for beginning your ancestor search, as well as links to online resources.
Quick Guide to African American Records contains information on beginning research tips, links to suggested guides for beginning your search for African American ancestors, overviews of major record sets, tips for finding the slaveholder, links to tutorials for African American genealogy in the FamilySearch Learning Center, and links to other online and offline resources.
Southern States Slavery and Bondage Collections will help you locate digitized searchable collections as well as digitized microfilms in the FamilySearch catalog related to slavery and bondage. The page is arranged by state.
African American Genealogy provides links to Wiki pages for researching African Americans in each U.S. state.