Tips for Researching Your Upstate South Carolina Roots

Aull couple pic 61st anniversary

Jacob Luther Aull and Julia Ann Haltiwanger Aull celebrate their 61st wedding anniversary in Newberry county, S.C. in 1917.

The Reunion of Upcountry Families is happening this week in Easley, S.C. and, in honor of the conference, we want to share some resources that might help you hard working genealogists who are researching your family history in upstate South Carolina.

The SCDNP has digitized many historic newspapers from the western counties of SC including newspapers published in Abbeville, Anderson, Easley, Laurens, Newberry, Pickens, Walhalla, and Winnsboro. To see the full list of SC papers that are available for searching and browsing in Chronicling America, visit this link.

manholdingbaby

Mr. R. G. Smith of Dry Creek Dairy Farm in Newberry, S.C. holding his son, circa 1915.

There is a wealth of genealogical data in the newspapers ranging from wedding anniversary announcements, obits, birth announcements, marriage notices, community snapshots, veteran bios, local happenings columns, family reunions, and much more. You might be surprised to find gems of family history in the biographical pieces of more than 125 local townsmen of Anderson county in the 1896 Souvenir edition of the Anderson Intelligencer. Or find a male ancestor who was featured in a 1910 Memorial Day edition in the Fairfield news and herald (Winnsboro, S.C.) titled Living Fairfield Veterans, Brief Sketches of their Lives Together with Many Incidents of the War as Told by Themselves, Containing Much History Never Published Before.

elamtempletonhenry

Private Elam Templeton Henry who was wounded at 1st Manassas in the Civil War. One of more than 100 bios of Fairfield County, S.C. veterans featured in a 1910 memorial edition.

In this fascinating edition, more than 100 veterans’ lives and experiences of the Civil War (I know…War Between the States) are captured. Could one of them be your ancestor? Some kinsmen moved north and west from South Carolina and can be found in newspapers in other states who contribute content to Chronicling America. For example, native South Carolinian Kelly Miller of Fairfield county, a contemporary of W.E.B. Dubois and Booker T. Washington, is covered in many newspapers across the nation but very few in SC newspapers of the time. Other citizens who left South Carolina like the famed Manse Jolly of Anderson county who moved to Texas and died shortly after the war. Manse Jolly’s obit is a good reminder of close family connections that were kept between relatives who stayed in South Carolina and those who moved elsewhere. Less notorious citizens might be discovered in the pages of other state’s newspapers.

All of this content is both keyword searchable (advanced searching available) and browseable (ability to read whole issues cover to cover). For tips on how to search Chronicling America, read one of our previous posts on Using Historic Newspapers for Genealogical Research.

We are continuing to add content from the upstate for this latest round of NEH funding. We will be adding digitized newspaper content from upstate communities like Greenville, Union, Spartanburg, and York. To see a full list of the titles we will be adding in 2014 and 2015, visit our SCDNP website at http://library.sc.edu/digital/newspaper.

Good luck diving into this rich, free resource. Let us know if you find a fascinating new lead on your family history!

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