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South Carolina Archives
Series Description

Renunciations of Dower Books, 1786-1855


CALL NUMBER:        L 10044

CREATOR: Court of Common Pleas (Charleston County)

TITLE: Renunciations of dower books

DATE: 1786-1885; (bulk 1786-1855)

VOLUME: 12.00 volumes

ARRANGEMENT: Series arranged chronologically.

BIOGRAPHICAL/HISTORICAL NOTE: Under English and American common law every married woman was entitled to a life interest in one- third of the lands of which the husband was seized in fee at any time during their marriage.  In order to convey free title in a property transfer, the married woman had to renounce this right. In South Carolina renunciations of dower continued to be required in property transfers until the late twentieth century.

SUMMARY SCOPE NOTE: This series consists of renunciations of dower, whereby a wife renounces all dower claims she has to specified lands. Information includes name of husband and wife, name of individual receiving the lands in whose favor the renunciation is being made, details of the renunciation (including location and amount of land), date, judge's signature, and attorney's signature. This series includes both volumes of original recordings of the documents and Works Progress Administration typescripts of those volumes.

INDEX/FINDING AID: The names of the wife and the parties to the conveyance are included in the repository's On-line Combined Index to Multiple Record Series, 1675-1929. These index entries are also included in the Combined Alphabetical Index produced by the repository on computer output microfilm (COM) in 1991 and in a separate one reel COM index to the series produced by the repository in 1977. The COM indexes include one volume, 1775-1787, as a part of this series that is now classified and housed with the predecessor South Carolina Court of Common Pleas renunciation series.

ADDITIONAL FORM: A duplicate set of the Works Progress Administration typescripts is available at the South Carolina Historical Society in Charleston, S.C.

ASSOCIATED MATERIAL: This series is a continuation of the South Carolina Court of Common Pleas Renunciations of Dower Books, 1726-1787, contained in series S 136009. After 1785 most districts and counties recorded renunciations of dower in their conveyance books. Series L 10045 contains renunciations of dower for properties mortgaged in 1788 under a City of Charleston paper medium loan.

HIERARCHICAL NOTE: Forms part of the records of the Court of Common Pleas for Charleston County.