First Steps In Genealogy at the John’s Island Regional Library

Have you ever thought of tracing your family’s history and wondered, “Where do I begin?” Let Marianne Cawley of the South Carolina Room show you how to take the first steps in climbing your family tree. No registration required.

When: Wednesday, March 29th at 11 a.m.

Where: John’s Island Regional Library, 3531 Maybank Highway

Resources for African American Genealogy

resources-for-african-american-genealogy-2017-02Success in genealogy is often a matter of discovering where to look for information. Come explore some useful sites and sources for learning about your African American ancestor with Marianne Cawley, manager of the South Carolina Room. For more information about the event, contact the South Carolina Room at or 843-805-6956.

When: Saturday, February 25th, 2017 at 3 p.m.

Where: John’s Island Regional Library, 3531 Maybank Highway

Trace African American Roots Beyond the 1870 Census

African American family historians may have difficulty locating information on their ancestors before the 1870 Federal Census. Learn some helpful tips and techniques for successful genealogy research during a presentation by Marianne Cawley, manager of CCPL’s South Carolina Room. For more information about the event, contact the South Carolina Room at or 843-805-6956.

When: Thursday, February 9, 2017 at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Cooper River Memorial Library, 3503 Rivers Avenue


African American Genealogy for Beginners: Strategies and sources for tracing your lineage

Join local genealogy expert Wevoneda Minis and CCPL historians Christina Shedlock and Dr. Nicholas Butler for an overview of research strategies, tips for overcoming complications in African American family research, and a discussion of helpful local resources. This event will take place in the Main Library Auditorium on Monday, September 26th at 6 p.m. and is free and open to the public. For more information, view the program flyer.

Sources for South Carolina Immigration

Researchers who are trying to find out when their ancestors arrived at the Port of Charleston are often frustrated to learn that there are no surviving records for the port prior to the establishment of the Ports Utility Commission and State Ports Authority in the twentieth century.  While this creates a hurdle for immigration research, there are several other materials available that can be useful, such as naturalization records, records for arrivals at other South Carolina ports, and census information, which often list the country of nativity.

Genealogists can fill in the gaps by tracking down embarkation records for the country their ancestors left from. Historic newspapers can also be helpful, and although they may not  list the names of every pasenger coming into the port on each ship, they often include the names of which ships have arrived in port and where they are coming from.  The S.C. Room staff has also compiled a file of ship passenger lists, with individual names, that have been collected from emarkation records held at other institutions.  They include an incomplete set of passengers spanning from 1752 into the ninteenth century.

For a finding aid of ship record and immigration sources that lists titles and CCPL call numbers, please click on the link below:

Genealogy Sources for Lowcountry Immigration