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South Carolina Archives
Series Description

Conveyance Books, 1719-1776

 


CALL NUMBER:        S 372001


CREATOR: Public Register.

TITLE: Conveyance books

DATE: 1719-1776

VOLUME: 93 microfilm reels and 0.01 microfilm reel

ARRANGEMENT: Series arranged roughly chronologically in letter-designated volumes. Volume G, 1727-1729, is omitted and mistakenly listed as never created on the most recent Charleston County Archives and Records Center microfilm. Pages 411-799 of Volume 3G, 1767, are omitted on the most recent Charleston County Archives and Records Center Microfilm but are present on earlier film.

BIOGRAPHICAL/HISTORICAL NOTE: The requirements of the Lords Proprietors of Carolina in their Fundamental Constitutions and instructions and of colonial statutes to "register" land conveyances were in advance of English practice at the time. S.C. Statute 1698(2)137, an Act to Prevent Deceits by Double Mortgages and Conveyances, provided that a deed was not valid until it was proved by oath of two witnesses and recorded.

In Proprietary Era South Carolina, the office of register was often ancillary to the secretary's office, but at the time of the revolt against the Proprietors' government in 1719 the Public Register's function and duties were clearly separated from the secretary's office. S.C. Statute 1731(3)289, the Quit Rent Act, contained a provision forbidding the recorder or register of deeds and conveyances of land from holding any other office. The General Assembly thus established the integrity of the Public Register's office and the principle of separation of the Crown's delegation of authority to grant land out of the royal domain from the settlers' right to regulate the transfer of land and improvements on it.

SUMMARY SCOPE NOTE: This series consists of recorded copies of leases and releases, mortgages, deeds of feoffment, deeds of sale, deeds of gift, and other forms of conveyance, mostly for real property. Powers of attorney and bonds are also present. Over 100 of the mortgages in the earlier volumes of the series include slaves among the mortgaged property. At least thirty two transactions in the earlier volumes include the sale of slaves, and sixteen manumissions or apparent de facto manumissions are also present in the earlier volumes of the series. Information includes the names of the parties to the transactions; descriptions of the property or power being conveyed; the payment or other form of consideration for which the transfers are being made and conditions, if any, of the transfers; dates of the transactions; and names of witnesses to the transactions.

Property descriptions for real estate usually include acreage; physical location including natural features, boundaries, and surrounding landholders; buildings and other improvements on the property, if any; and previous owners of the property. The descriptions of previous owners (chains of title) sometimes provide a history of property ownership back to the original land grant. Family relationships among parties to transactions are sometimes specified and provisions of wills of deceased former owners cited. In some cases these probate references are the only extant record of provisions in wills that do not survive.

This series is commonly called the "Charleston Deeds" and is continued in the Conveyance Books series, 1776-1785, of the South Carolina Register of Mesne Conveyances and, following that, in the Conveyance Books series, 1785-1915, of the Charleston County Register of Mesne Conveyances. For cataloging purposes, this series is considered to end with Vol. 4S; Vol. 4T has been placed in the successor series.

In some instances older microfilm of this series may depict documents that are now missing or severely damaged and not legible on the most recent microfilm. The series includes microfilm of some handwritten or typed transcript copy volumes that also may preserve text now gone or illegible in the original volumes.

INDEX/FINDING AID: The most complete finding aid to this series is contained in the indexing to the published abstracts cited below under Additional Form. These indexes include all personal names, including witnesses; names of ships; and place names.

Names of the principal parties to the transactions and, through volume 3A (1763-1764), broad geographic locations are indexed in the repository's On-line Combined Index to Multiple Record Series, 1675- 1929. After Volume 3A descriptions of the property are generally not given in the index abstracts and only names of principal parties are indexed. The topics slave mortgages, slave sales, slave manumissions, and town lot sales were also used and allow retrieval of those types of transactions from the earlier volumes with more thorough indexing. Slave names, however, were not indexed. When included, plantation and barony names were indexed as topics, not as geographic locations.

These index entries are also included in a computer output microfilm (COM) index produced by the repository in 1980 that also includes the Conveyance Books series of the South Carolina Register of Mesne Conveyance, 1776-1785. The entries are also in the Combined Alphabetical Index produced by the repository on computer output microfilm in 1991. The numeric code 0007 001 was used to designate this series in the computer output microfilm indexes. The entries in these indexes produced by the repository were derived from existing indexes and are dated only by volume dates, not dates of individual transactions. There is also a published index to the names of the principal parties: An Index to Deeds of the Province and State of South Carolina, 1719-1785, and Charleston District, 1785-1800 (Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1977).

ADDITIONAL FORM:
Abstracts of this series are available in Clara A. Langley, abstracter, South Carolina Deed Abstracts, 1719-1772, 4 vols., published by Southern Historical Press in 1983 and in Brent H. Holcomb, abstracter, South Carolina Deed Abstracts, 1773-1778, Books F-4 through X-4, published by SCMAR in 1993. The volume abstracted as Vol. La, 1726-1728, in the Langley abstracts is actually a duplicate of Vol. F.

REPRODUCTION NOTE: Series available in the repository only on microfilm produced by the Southern Microfilming Co., the Genealogical Society of Utah, the repository, and the Charleston County Archives and Records Center.

LOCATION OF ORIGINALS: Original volumes are at the Charleston County Register of Mesne Conveyance Office in Charleston.

ASSOCIATED MATERIAL: Earlier conveyances are contained in the Conveyance Books series, 1673-1719, of the Register of the Province.

GENERAL NOTE: Vol. XX, 1761-1762, filmed with Charleston County, Register of Mesne Conveyances, Conveyance Books, Vol. 10Q, 1836- 1837, on Dept. of Archives and History microfilm. Vol. 4S, 1775, filmed with South Carolina Register of Mesne Conveyances, Conveyance Books, Vol. 4T, 1775-1778, on Charleston County Archives and Records Center microfilm. Vols. 4Q-4S, 1775, filmed with South Carolina Register of Mesne Conveyances, Conveyance Books, Vol. 4T, 1775-1778, on Genealogical Society of Utah microfilm. Vols. 3Z, 1772, and 4M, 1774, also filmed with Charleston County, Register of Mesne Conveyances, Conveyance Books, Vol. 5M, 1775-1785.

By agreement with the Genealogical Society of Utah, the repository has acquired reproduction negative microfilm of their film of this series and the right to produce and sell further copies, but many of these negatives will not produce fully legible negative diazo duplicates.

The South Carolina Department of Archives and History deacidified and restored most of the original volumes in this series by the W. J. Barrow method of lamination between 1969 and 1972.

HIERARCHICAL NOTE: Forms part of the records of the Public Register.