This is great. Footnote.com and Lowcountry Africana announced on Monday that they had teamed up to launch a new free collection of historical records from the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. This new collection contains estate inventories and bills of sale for Colonial and Charleston, South Carolina, 1732-1862. You can browse the new collection here. According to the Web site there 1,249 records here. They are free; you don’t even need to be logged in to see them.
If you’ve used Footnote.com before this’ll look familiar; records on the right with several options for narrowing down results on the left, including first name, city, and document type. I would not count the indexing as complete. In fact, Lowcountry Africana has announced a volunteer program to create a searchable index for the collection. You can learn more about that at http://lowcountryafricana.net/indexing-project-sc-estate-inv.asp.
At random, I looked at the documents from 1857. I found 58 documents, starting with an estate reckoning for George Brown (with a whopping 43 annotations, all as far as I could tell from Lowcountry Africana) and ending with what looks like a record of sales transactions (this one with over 50 annotations.)
Because of the time and the place, these inventory records and bills of sales include many records of slave trade. By indexing all the names in these documents, Lowcountry Africana is going to make a tremendous contribution to African-American genealogy. Great job from both Lowcountry Africana and Footnote.com .