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South Carolina Archives
Series Description

Conveyance Books, 1776-1785


CALL NUMBER:        S 363001

CREATOR: Register of Mesne Conveyances.

TITLE: Conveyance books

DATE: 1776-1785

VOLUME: 16.00 microfilm reels and 0.01 microfilm reel

ARRANGEMENT: Series arranged roughly chronologically in letter-designated volumes.

BIOGRAPHICAL/HISTORICAL NOTE: The South Carolina Constitution of 1776, section 22, provided that the Register of Mesne Conveyances would "be chosen by the General Assembly and legislative Council, Jointly by Ballot and Commissioned by the President and Commander in Chief during good behaviour, but shall be removed on address of the General Assembly and legislative Council." George Sheed, Esq., was duly elected and commissioned as the first Register of Mesne Conveyances on March 27, 1776.

The 1778 Constitution provided for "Registers of Mesne Conveyance in each District" that were to be chosen "by the Senate and House of Representatives, jointly, by Ballot, in the House of Representatives, and commissioned by the Governor and Commander in Chief for two Years." Despite the latter provision for dispersed offices, the Charleston Register of Mesne Conveyance functioned as the state's recording officer of conveyances and deeds until 1785 when Beaufort and Georgetown districts received registers. The county court act of 1785 provided for the registration of deeds throughout the state.

Charleston fell to British forces during the American Revolution in May 1780. During the British occupation of the city, which did not end until December 1782, Henry and William Rugeley served as registers, and most registrations were by persons in the Charleston area. The first recording by a South Carolina Register of Mesne Conveyance after the occupation is by Daniel Mazyck in February 1783. The General Assembly elected Mazyck on February 8, 1783.

SUMMARY SCOPE NOTE: This series consists of recorded copies of leases and releases, mortgages, leases for a specified period of years, assignments, quit claim deeds, deeds of gift, and other forms of conveyance. Most are for real property. Powers of attorney, bonds, plats, and occasional renunciations of dower rights are also present. 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 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.

This series is commonly called the "Charleston Deeds." This series and its alphabetical volume designations continue on from the earlier Conveyance Books kept by the Public Register, 1719-1776. It is itself followed by the volumes 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. 5M; Vol. 5N has been placed in the successor series.

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, and place names and also include indexes of occupations.

Names of the principal parties to the transactions are indexed in the repository's On-line Combined Index to Multiple Record Series, 1675-1919. These index entries are also included in a one reel computer output microfilm (COM) index to this series and to the Conveyance Books of the Public Register, 1719-1776, produced by the repository in 1980. The entries are also in the Combined Alphabetical Index produced by the repository on computer output microfilm in 1991. The numeric codes 0016 001 and 0017 001 were 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. Volumes 4T through 5B are dated only to the dates of the volumes, not the 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 available in Brent H. Holcomb, abstracter, South Carolina Deed Abstracts, 1773-1778, Books F-4 through X-4; South Carolina Deed Abstracts, 1776-1783, Books Y-4 through H-5; and South Carolina Deed Abstracts, 1783-1788, Books I-5 through Z-5, published by SCMAR in 1993-1996.

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

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

ASSOCIATED MATERIAL: South Carolina's earliest conveyances are
contained in the Conveyance Books series, 1673-1719, of the Register of the Province.

GENERAL NOTE: Some volumes filmed with Charleston County, Register of Mesne Conveyances, Conveyance Books.

By agreement with the Genealogical Society of Utah, the repository has acquired reproduction negative microfilm of this series and the right to produce and sell further copies, but some of these negatives may not produce legible duplicates.

HIERARCHICAL NOTE: Forms part of the records of the Register of Mesne Conveyances.