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South Carolina, Charleston District, Bill of sales of Negro slaves - FamilySearch Historical Records

Charleston County
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South Carolina, Charleston District, Bill of sales of Negro slaves, 1774-1872
This article describes a collection of records at
Charleston, South Carolina, 
United States
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Flag of South Carolina
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Location of South Carolina
Record Description
Record Type Bills of Sale
Collection years 1732-1872
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
South Carolina Department of Archives and History

What is in This Collection?Edit

In some of the records, slaves did not have surnames and may need to be located using the name of the slave owner. Other records may include the slave's American and African names. This collection contains bills of sales of Negro slaves from 1774-1872. Because slaves were considered property, a bill of sale was filled out when they were sold, making this collection an excellent resource for finding slave ancestors. who were considered property at that time. Additionally, there are records of free African Americans, which provides a glimpse into their lifestyles and possessions. This collection is part of a joint project with the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, FamilySearch, and the Lowcountry Africana group.

What Can These Records Tell Me?Edit

  • Court name and place
  • Defendents name
  • Sex
  • Event day
  • Plaintiff's name

Collection ContentEdit

Sample ImagesEdit

How Do I Search This Collection?Edit

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • Name of enslaved person
  • Name of slave owner

Search the IndexEdit

Search by name by visiting the Collection Details Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

How Do I Analyze the Results?Edit

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?Edit

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?Edit

  • Use the date of sale along with the name of the owner to find additional plantation records.
  • Use the the slave owner's residence and slave name(s) of the parents to locate probate,land and court records.

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?Edit

  • Look for variant spellings of the slave name(s). You should also look for additional names the slave might have had and the slave owner(s) 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 counties.

Research HelpsEdit

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the state of South Carolina.

Related CollectionsEdit

Citing This CollectionEdit

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?Edit

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