- Will Robinson
The Spanish were the first Europeans to encounter Native Americans in South Carolina, a region that the inhabitants referred to as Chicora. During one of the explorers’ incursions on the coast they abducted a native man, whom they named Francisco de Chicora, and brought him to Spain. On the return voyage, Francisco dove overboard and returned to his nation, escaping from a life of slavery. Native Americans had occupied South Carolina since the Pleistocene era, originally as bands of hunter gatherers following the migrating herds of large game. Over the millennia these bands settled into more permanent villages, and inhabitants on the coast of the state were the first to develop pottery in North America. By the time that the Spanish first made contact, the Native Americans of South Carolina had coalesced into tribes, lived in small towns, and were experienced farmers of the three main domesticated crops of squash, maize and beans. At the this time there were 29 named tribes in South Carolina. Sadly, initial encounters with Europeans brought these Native tribes in contact with Old World diseases such as small pox and influenza, which devastated their populations. By the time the English founded Charles Town in 1670; Native American society in South Carolina had already been altered dramatically. Furthermore, outside groups such as the Yamassee and Westo entered and took advantage of the weakened tribes. These new tribes were eventually defeated by the English colonists and the Catawba and Cherokee became the dominate Native American powers. During the Revolution the Catawba became fierce allies of the colonists while the Cherokee, fearing encroachment on their lands by the Americans, sided with the British. The Indian Removal Act of 1830 forced the Cherokee to move from their ancestral lands in South Carolina while the Catawba were allowed to stay.
Richland Library has a diverse collection of historic photographs organized into sets on Flickr. This collection includes late 19th- and early 20th-century photographs of Columbia, the Columbia Army Air Base, historic places of Eastover, and images of obituaries from World War I servicemen published in The State newspaper. Please contact the Walker Local and Family History Center at (803) 929-3402 for permission to use these photographs.
The Confederate Rolls of South Carolina is a rare, searchable ledger listing Confederate servicemen by name and divided by company and regiment. It includes age, rank, county, and remarks on their service. Compiled in 1898 for the Historian of the Confederate Records. Digital edition hosted by South Carolina Digital Library.
This searchable collection of Columbia City Directories from 1859 is an invaluable source for historians and genealogists. City directories offer an alphabetized listing of residents and businesses as well as a street-by-street listing of occupants. This collection is made possible through by Richland Library and University of South Carolina Libraries. Check back often this collection is always growing.
- Debbie Bloom
Cloudy, rainy weekends are great to curl up and do some genealogy research. This weekend I used HeritageQuest and discovered that the 1940 census has just been added. Not every state is indexed but all of the images are available. South Carolina, of course, is one of the states not indexed but HeritageQuest indicates on their site that all indexes will be available in 2013. Many other states are indexed so take a look and see if there is one you can use.
- Melissa Thigpen
How do I find them now? We know that change can be hard, especially when your favorite things have moved and you can't find them. But our goal at the library is not to make finding the things you need hard. We want to make getting what you need easy so we have collected a list of the most used online resources for your convenience. Just click on the links below to get started.
Richland Library staff have compiled this database indexing articles related to Columbia and South Carolina from selected local publications:
Provides a keyword searchable collection of genealogical research materials for tracing family history and American culture. Includes over 25,000 family and local history books, the complete United States Federal Census 1790-1930, PERSI (the Periodical Source Index), a subject index to over 6,500 genealogy and local history periodicals and Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files.
Access full-text articles published in The State (from 1987 to present) and 187 other newspapers from around the country. Also provides obituaries and death notices, and some news magazine coverage.
Researching your family history?
Stop by the Walker Local and Family History Center for:
- Family history document beginner packets.
- Advise and recommendations to further your research efforts.
- Search the online local obituary index and request retrieval of archived obituaries.
- Search the genealogy databases listed below. Free to Richland Library card holders.
The Local History digital collection includes several resources including Columbia City Directories and the newly discovered Confederate rolls.
Need an obituary from the Columbia area?
- Stop by the Walker Local and Family History Center for: