EXTRACTS FROM FLORENCE COUNTY CORONER'S INQUISITIONS, 1889 – 1915, by Robert
M. DeFee. Many genealogical researchers are discouraged because of the lack of vital records relating to South Carolina. On the state level, death certificates were not issued until 1915. Researchers have used many substitutes to obtain information on deaths. One such substitute has been the use of coroners’ inquisitions. Florence County was created by an act of the South Carolina General Assembly, signed by Governor John Richardson on December 23, 1888. The new county was formed from portions of
Clarendon, Darlington, Marion, and Williamsburg Counties. The first extant coroner's record from Florence County begins December 1, 1889. The extracts presented in this book provide the basic information contained within each inquisition. Each extract provides the date of the inquisition, the name of the deceased (if known), a determination of the cause of death, and any family relationships contained within the record. Each recorded inquisition may extend three or more pages in length. These recorded inquisitions contain additional details concerning the cause of death and should be consulted. These records provide a valuable insight into Florence County in the late 19th and early 20th century. Because Florence was a center of railroad activity, many of the deaths recorded relate to railroad accidents. Alcohol and altercations between quarreling parties also contributed to a significant number of deaths. In some cases the cause of death was reported as “by natural causes” or “by providence of God.” Each extract contained within provides the researcher with evidence that can be used to conduct additional research. The newspapers published in Florence and surrounding areas provide an excellent companion resource to these coroner's records. The compiler of these coroner's records, Robert M. DeFee, has also abstracted and published similar information from thousands of individual issues of Florence County newspapers. It is suggested that the researcher fully utilize this resource as well. © 2001, 91 pages, soft bound, full name index, Price $20.00 plus $4.00 shipping and handling. Order from Old Darlington District Chapter, SCGS, PO Box 175, Hartsville, SC 29551-0175.
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