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How to Use the Newspaper Obituary Index, 1882- May 1984, October 2007 -- present
 

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Table of Contents:

OBITUARY SERVICES

POLICY
(Revised July 1, 2006)

The online index does not include the actual text of the obituary notices. It lists only dates and newspapers in which the notices appear. We limit our obituary service to providing a photocopy of an obituary notice for a deceased individual as found in our local newspaper microfilm. This is a fee based service. We do not search obituary files of other newspapers.

Please bear in mind that there is no legal requirement in the State of South Carolina that an obituary for a deceased individual is published in a newspaper.

Each request for this fee based service is handled as a separate transaction.

Each customer is limited to one obituary per request for obituary assistance.

Most requests for assistance are completed within fourteen working days of the receipt of the request.

There is no limit on the number of separate requests that can be submitted. Each request, however, incurs the charge applied to that level of service (that is, whether or not the deceased individual is listed in our Online Obituary Index). Each request is handled as a separate matter and payment must be received before a subsequent request can be processed.

NOTE: These fees are subject to change.

FEES
(Revised July 1, 2006)
Graphic Version of the Fee Structure

Our obituary reference service fee structure has two levels based upon the degree of staff time necessary to fulfill your request:

1) For deceased individuals listed in our Online Obituary Index
and
2) For deceased individuals not listed in our Online Obituary Index.

Please check our Online Obituary Index for the individual's name. Click here for the a-b-c arrangement of the names of deceased individuals listed in the Online Obituary Index (http://www.bcgov.net/bftlib/obit.htm)

For deceased individuals listed in our Online Obituary Index:

If the deceased individual is listed within the current index 1862-1984 (see "Range" of indexing below), please indicate the citation as given in the Online Obituary Index within your request for assistance.

The charge for our obituary service when the deceased person is listed in our Online Obituary Index is five dollars in US currency ($5.00 US). Fees must be paid in US currency.
The $5.00 fee is payable upon receipt of the obituary.

Payment for each obituary must be received before an additional obituary can be processed.

For deceased individuals not listed in our Online Obituary Index:

If the deceased individual is not listed within the current index 1862-1983 (see "Range"
of indexing below), it will be necessary to provide a precise date of death with your request. We cannot perform this service without an exact date of death.

Sometimes, there is no published obituary notice for a deceased individual within our local newspaper microfilm. In this case, a customer will receive a report listing the names of those deceased persons as given in the seven subsequent issues of the local newspapers starting with the date of death provided by the customer.

A customer must pay for the search whether or not a published obituary is found during the staff time devoted to reading the newspaper microfilm.

The charge for the obituary service for a person not listed in our Online Obituary Index is ten dollars in US currency ($10.00 US). Fees must be paid in US currency.

The $10.00 fee is payable upon receipt of the obituary.

Payment for each obituary must be received before an additional obituary can be processed.

HOW TO ORDER OBITUARIES
(Revised July 1, 2006)

Graphic Version of the Fee Structure

Obituary Orders submitted by e-mail or postal mail are preferred.

Submit orders by e-mail to: cseabrook@bcgov.net.

Submit requests by postal mail to:

Beaufort District Collection
ATTN: Charmaine S. Concepcion
Beaufort County Library
311 Scott Street
Beaufort, SC 29902 (USA
)


Telephone requests can be submitted by leaving a voicemail message at (843) 255-6468.
Please speak clearly and slowly, carefully spelling out the surname of the deceased person. Leave your telephone number so that staff can return your call to verify your address and the name of the deceased.

HOW TO USE THE NEWSPAPER OBITUARY INDEX
Return to Table of Contents

(A) INTRODUCTION TO THE OBITUARY INDEX

Sources

This obituary index is substantially drawn from the microfilmed newspaper collection of the Beaufort County Library.  However, some local newspapers have started up since 2006 for which there are no microfilm archives. We capture published obituaries via the online version of the Beaufort Today, Bluffton Today, Hilton Head Island Today local newspapers within 6 weeks of publication.  The collection consists of newspapers published in Beaufort County (SC) but is not complete. There are no holdings prior to 1862, and the holdings of some titles, especially those of the nineteenth century, are incomplete. 

Range

The newspaper collection includes papers from 1862 to the present. At this time, the obituary index consists of citations to select Beaufort County newspapers from 1862 - May 15, 1984, October 2007 -- present. This is an ongoing project with new citations being added on a regular basis.  Our goal is to provide obituary indexing for all our local newspapers but the task is arduous.  We are working towards full coverage.  Contact the Beaufort District Collection for more information. 


(B) INDEX ENTRY FORMAT

The obituary index is arranged by family name. Each entry has two parts, the name and the citation. These parts are separated by a colon. The citation consists of an abbreviation representing the name of the newspaper (see the key to the newspaper abbreviations, below), followed by the date of publication and the page number where the entry occurs. The date of publication and the page number are separated by a semicolon.

A standard entry is given below:

Grant, Jeremiah L.: BG December 17, 1907; p. 1.

NOTE: An abbreviated newspaper title symbol always comes before each date. Consult the list below for the full title corresponding to each symbol. The dates given in the list indicate the Beaufort County Library's holdings of each newspaper (because there may be gaps in coverage or missing issues, the Library's holding dates are not necessarily the same as the beginning/ending dates for publication of each newspaper).

Not all of these newspapers are represented in the obituary index yet. Data mining continues on a regular basis.  See symbols with asterisks below for specific newspapers included in the current index listings.

BEAUFORT COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY
LOCAL NEWSPAPER HOLDINGS LIST

Current Obituary Indexing

(1862 - 1984, bulk 1882 - 1984, October 2007 -- present)

in select newspapers from the following list:  

BC = Beaufort Catalyst (May 22, 1993 - December 31, 1995)

*BG = Beaufort Gazette (July 16, 1903 - Present)

BP = Bluffton Packet (January 1994 - December 1995)

* BR = Beaufort Republican (October 12, 1871 - October 16, 1873)

* BT = Beaufort Times (June 21, 1944 - December 20, 1945)

*BEAT = Beaufort Today (Obituaries indexed November 2007- present)

*BLUT = Bluffton Today (Obituaries indexed November 2007- present)

* CD = County Democrat (July 20, 1910 - December 1, 1911)

HHN = Hilton Head News (January - December 1993; January - December 1996)

HHR = Hilton Head Report (January 1986 - March 1988)

HHS = Hilton Head Sun (February 1988 - May 1989)

*HHIT = Hilton Head Island Today (Obituaries indexed November 2007- present)

*IP = Island Packet (January 1974 - Present)

LL = Lowcountry Ledger (December 1988 - December 1991)

* PH = Palmetto Herald (March 17, 1864 - December 29, 1864)

* PP = Palmetto Post (January 5, 1882 - December 27, 1906)

* PRC = Port Royal Commercial and Beaufort County Republican (October 23, 1873 -
April 1874)

SI = Sea Islander (September 13, 1968 - December 1974)

NOTE:

* (One- asterisk symbol) indicates that entries for at least some of the issues of the newspaper are in the obituary index.


(C) MULTIPLE-DATE ENTRY

Multiple-date citations for the same individual are listed on one line, joined by "and", as in the following example:

Smith, Abigail: BG December 17, 1907; p. 1 and PP December 24, 1907; p. 8.

Bellows, W. C.: BG December 17, 1907; p. 3 and BG December 24, 1907; p. 1.

The earlier comes first in any citation. When two or more newspapers are cited for the same date, the citations are in alphabetical order within each date.

The two-letter title abbreviation appears before each date even in cases of repetition. It is not impossible to have several dates and several titles within a single entry, as below:

Robertson, Michael M.: BG November 12, 1907; p. 1 and PP November 12, 1907; p. 8 and BG November 19, 1907; p. 3.

NOTE: In the actual obituary card file, there will be separate cards for each date and/title listed on the multiple-date entry in this index. For example:

For the multiple-date entry, Robertson, Michael M.: BG November 12, 1907; p. 1 PP and November 12, 1907; p. 8 and BG November 19, 1907; p. 3, there will be three separate cards in the file, under the citations:

Robertson, Michael M.: BG November 12, 1907; p. 1.

Robertson, Michael M.: PP November 12, 1907; p. 8.

Robertson, Michael M.: BG November 19, 1907; p. 3.


(D) MULTIPLE-PAGE ENTRIES

Notices appearing in a newspaper on several pages and on the same date follow this format:

Kinard, Woodrow Wilson: BG August 22, 1968; p. 1 and p. 3.

NOTE: In the actual obituary card file, there will be separate cards for each page listed on the multiple-page entry in this index. For example:

Kinard, Woodrow Wilson: BG August 22, 1968; p. 1.

Kinard, Woodrow Wilson: BG August 22, 1968; p. 3.


(E) PROFESSIONAL, MILITARY AND PERSONAL TITLES

All professional, military and personal titles appear in parentheses directly after the last name:

Adams, (Col.) Joseph P.: BG December 17, 1907; p. 1.

Zetty, (Mrs.) Pearl: BG December 17, 1907; p. 1.

Dimsdale, (Rev.) Clyde Jason: BG December 17, 1907; p. 1.

Peters, (Miss) ----- (sister of Josephus R.): BG December 17, 1907; p. 1.

NOTES:

1) For separate MARRIED NAMES for women, see the following Section (E).

2) This index does not include the title, "Miss", even when it appears in the obituary notice.


(F) MARRIED NAMES FOR WOMEN

There are two types of entry for women's married names:

The first type of entries includes the first name of the married woman as well as the husband's name. Separate married names for women are given in parentheses following the last name:

Wingo, Wilhelmina (Mrs. Paul R.): BG December 17, 1903; p. 1.

NOTE: Contrast with the following example, in which the husband's name does not appear:

Zetty, (Mrs.) Pearl: BG December 17, 1903; p. 1.

The second type of entry excludes the woman's name and simply attaches the title, (Mrs.) in parentheses to the husband's name. In these instances, it is the name without the (Mrs.) that comes first, regardless of obituary dates:

Scheper, F. W.: BG November 17, 1955; p. 1.

Scheper, (Mrs.) F. W.: BG May 16, 1929; p. 1.

This rule applies regardless of the number of years separating the obituary notices:

Smalls, Robert: BG March 24, 1966; p. 5-C.

Smalls, (Mrs.) Robert: PP November 7, 1895; p. 3.


(G) MAIDEN NAMES

These entries appear only when the newspaper obituary notice has made mention explicitly (by statement that the deceased was the daughter of a named individual or by naming brothers of the deceased) that the "maiden name" was the name of the family into which a woman was born (as opposed to her husband's family name):

For example, the entry:

Zettler, Annie Sofia, see: Seckinger, Annie Sofia Zettler (Mrs. Elmo Murray): BG February 10, 1966; p. 2.

refers to the original main obituary notice for:

Seckinger, Annie Sofia Zettler (Mrs. Elmo Murray): BG February 10, 1966; p. 2.

Where the woman's first and middle names are unknown, the entry follows the below format:

Walpole, -----, see: Marcher, (Mrs.) John (née Walpole): BG August 29, 1957;
sec. C, p. 3.

Where the woman's married name and maiden name are identical, two separate records exist, following the below format:

Watkins, Fannie, see: Watkins, Fannie Watkins (Mrs. J. C., Sr.): BG November 28, 1968; p. 4.

Watkins, Fannie Watkins (Mrs. J. C., Sr.): BG November 28, 1968; p. 4.


(H) MISSING LETTERS

An asterisk [*] represents each discernable missing or illegible letter of a name.

A**on, Theodore Lawrence: BG December 17, 1903; p. 1.

***les, R. T.: BG December 17, 1903; p. 1.

When an asterisk begins an entry, each asterisk appears as a letter of the alphabet preceding "A". See the following sequence, for example:

***les, R. T.: BG December 17, 1907; p. 1.

Aaronson, "Billy": BG December 17, 1907; p. 1.

Abrams, L. L., Jr.: BG December 17, 1907; p. 1.

NOTE: See further below for examples of missing first names and questionable names.


(I) MISSING FIRST NAMES

Whenever only a last name is mentioned in an obituary, five dashes appear directly after the last name in an entry. This is often followed by a relationship note (As in the second example; see Section H for more information):

Bessinger, -----: BG December 17, 1907; p. 1.

Childers, ----- and ----- (daughters of Gregory and Sarah): BG December 17, 1907; p. 1.

Entries with missing first names appear in strictly chronological order:

Jones, -----: PP August 31, 1882; p. 3.

Jones, ----- (son of Adam): PP October 8, 1896; p. 3.

Jones, ----- (mother of Dr. Burns Jones): BG February 20, 1948; p. 1.

Jones, --- (infant son of Mr. & Mrs. David): BG January 28, 1965; p. 2.

Jones, -----, see: Hatcher, Mrs, Walter E., Sr. (née Jones): BG November 11, 1965; p. 2.


(J) MIDDLE INITIALS AND MIDDLE NAMES

In some cases, separate entries exist for an individual that include the middle name and middle initial:

O'Bryan, Ernest Barkley: BG July 11, 1968; p. 8.

O'Bryan, Ernest B.: BG July 18, 1968; p. 7.

When it is reasonable to conclude that the entries refer to the same person, the index gives a single entry following the Multiple-Date format, using the full middle name:

O'Bryan, Ernest Barkley: BG July 11, 1968; p. 8 and BG July 18, 1968; p. 7.

NOTE: The index would employ "O'Bryan, Ernest B." instead of "O'Bryan, Ernest" in cases where one entry included a middle initial and another cited no middle-name information at all.


(K) NICKNAMES

Nicknames that appear instead of first names appear in quotation marks:

Cheyney, "Uncle": PP January 3, 1895; p. 3.

Glover, "Queenie" Adams (Mrs. Josiah): PP August 24, 1905; p. 3.

This is also the practice in those rare cases when a nickname stands in place of an entire birth name:

"Maum Susan": BG February 3, 1911; p. 1.

Nicknames that appear in addition to first names appear in quotation marks and within parentheses (or within brackets if the name is already contained within parentheses, as in the last example below):

Cooler, George Michael ("Uncle Jack"): BG October 22, 1953; p. 5.

Kistler, ("Uncle") Paul: PP July 18, 1901; p. 3.

Green, Ben ("Bubb" or "Bubber"): BG February 16, 1933; p. 8.

Jarrell, Iris, see: Morris, Iris Jarrell (Mrs. R. M. ["Buck"]): BG November 21, 1963; p. 2.


(L) QUESTIONABLE NAMES

Questionable names are those for which it has been possible to make an "educated guess" (unlike the case of missing letters and missing names). They appeared in the original newspaper obituary notice with partially defaced characters. These are indicated by a question mark in parentheses following the name in question. In most cases, however, the index compilers will use the asterisk to indicate missing letters in cases of uncertainty.

Examples of questionable name entries:

Cerull, John (?): PP May 12, 1900; p. 1.

Smyth (?), -----: PP August 23, 1896; p. 8.


(M) RELATIONSHIP NOTES

Brief relationship notes in parentheses will often provide the family context when the deceased person’s first name is absent from the obituary (as in the case of an unnamed infant):

Bessinger, ----- (daughter of Edward and Elsa): BG December 17, 1903; p. 1.


(N) "Jr.", "Sr.", etc.

"Junior" and "Senior" abbreviated, placed after the first name/middle initial and preceded by a comma. Numerical designations are indicated by a Roman numeral directly following the first name/middle initial:

Anderson, Matthew B., Jr.: BG February 3, 1923; p. 2.

Gleason, Reginald III: PP July 4, 1889; p. 5.


(O) INDIVIDUALS WITH IDENTICAL NAMES

When one or more individuals share an identical name as a main entry, the obituaries with the earliest dates appear first:

Barnwell, James L.: PP May 12, 1892; p. 3 and PP May 26, 1892; p. 3.

Barnwell, James L.: BG February 22, 1924; p. 5.

This rule applies to person with nicknames:

Brown, Abraham ("Hamp"): BG March 17, 1966; p. 5-C.

Brown, Abraham: BG December 1, 1966; p. 7-B.

The rule also applies for "maiden name" entries, regardless of the name that appears after the "see:" reference:

Youmans, Mary, see: Polk, Mary Youmans (Mrs. Normandus M.): BG August 21, 1941; p. 1.

Youmans, Mary, see: Brooks, Mary Youmans (Mrs. Peter Richard): BG April 28, 1966; p. 2.


(P) SPACING OF LAST NAMES

Names with spacing between elements (e. g., "Von Harten") are alphabetized as spellings of the same name without spacing ("Vonharten"):

Von Harten, Ida Savage (Mrs. William H.): BG April 16, 1948; p. 1.

Vonharten, Josephine Katherine, see: Roberts, Josephine Katherine Vonharten (Mrs. William): BG June 14, 1962; p. 2.

Von Harten, Lillian: PP December 28, 1905; p. 3.


(Q) "IN MEMORIAM" NOTICES

"In memoriam" (or "In memory of ..." and "Memorial") notices appear as substitute entries only in the absence of an actual obituary notice.  One finds these most often when the deceased's passing was mentioned within a larger newspaper article regarding the circumstances of the person's death. 


(R)EXCEPTION NOTES

Exception notes are usually used for clarification, or to correct errors found in the original newspaper obituary notice. They are placed in parentheses at the end of the entry:

Bates, Abraham Lewis: BG October 1, 1931 (NOTE: Misdated September 24); p. 1.

Beaubien, Cassandra: PP May 1, 1888 (Supplement).

Please contact the Beaufort District Collection for additional information if you find an exception note in the Online Obituary Index confusing.  We will try to help you.


(S) OTHER NOTES

  • The index employs an ampersand to join personal names: (infant daughter of Demos S. & Phyllis)
  • This index employs."and" to join all other elements: Smith, Abigail: BG December 17, 1907; p. 1 and PP December 24, 1907; p. 8.
  • The abbreviation for "page" is "p.", and for "pages" is "pp.".
  • The abbreviation, Sec., indicates a section of the newspaper other than the first. If no section number is given, the first section is implied.
  • Numbers joined by a hyphen indicate an unbroken sequence (e. g., "pp. 1-4" means "pages one through four, inclusive"). Numbers joined by "and" indicate individual pages (e. g., "pp. 1 and 4" means "page one and page four -- but not pages 2-3").

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