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South Carolina Archives
Series Description

Renunciations of Dower Books, 1726-1787


CALL NUMBER:        S 136009

CREATOR: Court of Common Pleas.

TITLE: Renunciations of dower books

DATE: 1726-1787

VOLUME: 23.00 volumes and 1.00 microfilm reel

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.

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), and date. This series includes both volumes of original recordings of the documents and Works Progress Administration typescripts of those volumes.

The names of the persons involved in the transactions 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. The original and most typescript volumes also contain internal indexes. A separate computer output microfilm index for the volumes covering 1726-1775 was also produced by the repository in 1975; the 1775-1787 volume was then cataloged and indexed with the successor Charleston District and County renunciations.

ADDITIONAL FORM: A duplicate set of the Works Progress Administration typescripts is available at the South Carolina Historical Society in Charleston, S.C. The volumes of typescripts beginning in 1743 are also available on microfilm produced by the Genealogical Society of Utah. By agreement with the Genealogical Society, the repository has obtained a reproduction duplicate of this film and has the right to sell research copies.

This series is continued in the Charleston County Court of Common Pleas Renunciations of Dower Books, 1786-1885. After 1785 most other 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.

Forms part of the records of the Court of Common Pleas.