Misc. Clarendon County Coroner Inquisitions
The office of the coroner was an ancient institution, brought over from England. The coroner conducted inquests in cases of violent or unexplained death. A special jury would view the body, under the coroner's direction, and decide whether it was a case of accident, suicide, or murder: whether the person "dyed of Felony, or by Mischance and Accident. And if of Felony, whether of his own or anothers. And if by Mischance or Misfortune. Whether by the act of God or Man. And if he dyed of Felony, who were Principals, and who were Acessories".
Testimony was taken from neighbors, friends, acquaintances who knew the person or may have witnessed the incident. Testimony from family members could prove to be quite important to the genealogist searching for missing pieces to his or her puzzle. Some of the testimonies would give information from mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers, sometimes giving age as well as the entire name. These testimonies sometime give residence of the victim at time of death.
Perhaps the Coroner will give you some insight into the where abouts of your ancestor. Perhaps he will give you some insight as to what happened to some 698 residents, men, women and children, of the County of Clarendon from 1866 until 1949. Perhaps he will tell you nothing, but some of you will learn some unknown facts.
These records are from the Clarendon County Coroners Inquisitions that were found in a box at the S. C. State Archives that were not microfilmed and are not indexed. I have recorded 698 deaths that occurred in the County and they are indexed in my book. The earliest Inquisition was in 1866 up to 1949. Not all Counties recorded or kept Inquest. Not all County Inquest survived. The State of S. C. did not record deaths until 1915, which makes this another valuable resource.
(Freedman, William Dec 20 1866, inq. # 37, came to his death from a wound in the neck by accident or misfortune from a pistol at the hands of Dixon Freedman, said pistol firing accidentally.
Adger, Ellison Aug 28 1911, inq. # 228, died from alkaline poisoning by his own hands while in custody for the murder of Tossie Felder and Eugene King.
Bass, Robert Jan 5 1878, his death was hastened by the improper and imprudent removal of him, when in a dying state, from the house of Lucinda Holmes, to the house of Robert Brown, a distance of two miles in a cart by one Samuel Holmes, the said removal was cruel and censurable and culpable.
Blackwell, Mary Sep 18 1933, inq. # 28, came to her death from a shotgun wound inflicted at the hands of John Davis her son in law, who also murdered his wife and the daughter of Mary, Inez Blackwell-Davis.
Brown, Abraham Feb 5 1883, came to his death from heart disease.
Brown, Boston Dec 10 1899, came to his death from wounds suffered in the accidental discharge of a pistol in his own hands.
Caldwell, Joseph Oct 14 1901, came to his death when shot accidentally by Moses Oliver while playing with the gun, he didn't know the gun was loaded, the baby was 2 years old, Moses was 5 years old. They lived 17 miles from Manning.
Davis, Inez Sep 18 1933, inq. # 281, came to her death from knife wounds inflicted by her husband, John Davis, who also murdered her mother, Mrs. Mary Holliday-Blackwell with gun shots.
DuRant, Stepney Dec 31 1908, came to his death from gunshot wounds accidentally fired at he hands of Lawson June, when they went hunting in the woods.
Evans, Tisby Nov 11 1870, death was from neglect by the proper authorities in charge. Also known as Tiby Singleton. Death was attributable from an abortion or miscarriage, plus she had no food and was very malnourished.
Evans, January Feb 5 1880, came to his death by means unknown to the jury of inquest.
Felder, Tossie Jul 2 1911, was murdered by Ellison Adger after he and Eugene King borrowed or rented a mule and buggy and returned it late. Ellison Adger was so furious that he met the two and shot and killed them both. Ellison Adger was arrested and placed in safekeeping. While in custody he committed suicide, by alkaline poisoning. Hariot King, the mother of Eugene King states in her testimony: My son told Judge Richbourg when they met Ellison Adger that Ellison told them to get out of the buggy and he (Ellison Adger) held the mule by the bridle with one hand and shot them with the other, it was about 9 o'clock. He said he didn't know which one was shot first. They had got out of the buggy and then he shot them.
Green, Ben Jr. Jul 8 1921, inq. # 88, came to his death from rifle shot wounds accidentally, the gun being in the hands of parties unknown.
Green, James Nov 23 1881, came to his death when he burned in a fire on the plantation of Mrs. Elleanor M. Rhames.
Green, John Nov 23 1881, came to his death when he burned in a fire on the plantation of Mrs. Elleanor M. Rhames.
Harrison, Clara Dec 25 1908, died when she was shot by someone unknown.
Hatfield, Lela Oct 24 1880, came to her death at Osborn Hatfields house by accidentally catching fire while trying to roast a potato.
Haynesworth, Isham Apr 26 1888, inq. # 72, died from injuries suffered from a limb falling from a lodged tree which he cut down, striking him in the head and breaking his neck, killing him instantly.
House, Boaddie Dec 16 1883, son of James and Phebe House, age about three years old, came to his death when a fire broke out in the house while sleeping, and he burned to death.
House, Harper (James) Dec 16 1883, son of James and Phebe House, age about five years old, came to his death when a fire broke out in the house while sleeping and he burned to death.
House, Hester Dec 16 1883, daughter of James and Phebe House, age about seven years old, came to her death when a fire broke out in the house while sleeping and she burned to death.
House, John Dec 16 1883, son of James and Phebe House, aged about eleven years old, came to his death when a fire broke out in the house while sleeping and he burned to death. Testimony of Phebe House: I worked yesterday at Mr. Sabb Canteys. I had my children with me in the evening. I sent them home. Told John to give them something to eat and take care of them until I got home. I went by Spring Hill and about nine oclock when on the way home I got the news that my house and four children were burned. My husband was working out several miles from home. Dont come home very often did not come home last night till after the children was burned. I was in the habit of trusting my children with John when I am working out. Have always found him to be very careful. Believe that the burning of my four children was accidental.
Jayroe, Sip Apr 7 1920, inq # 78, came to his death accidentally by falling into Potato Creek and drowning.
Johnson, Napoleon, Dec 3 1913, inq. # 343, came to his death from gunshot wound at the hands of Arthur Cubbage, who shot him because he told some "God D------Lie".
King, Eugine Jul 3 1911, inq. # 225, died from gunshot wounds inflicted on him and Tossie Felder by Ellison Adger on Jul 3 1911 when they returned a mule and buggy late. Ellison Adger was so furious, that he told them to get out of the buggy and he then shot them dead. Ellison Adger was taken into custody where he later commited suicide by alkaline poisoning.
Miller, Infant Nov 20 1868, inq. # 68, this was a premature birth, the baby's mother, Binky Miller, miscarried while working in the field digging potatoes, and went back to work. The body was found by children in the field.
Nelson, Rose Feb 02 1888, came to her death from the accidental falling of a house.
Parker, Maggie Watson Sep 09 1921, inq. # 93, came to her death from gunshot wounds at the hands of her husband Robert Parker, who after the incident, said his goodbye's to his family, and then went into the woods and took his own life.
Parker, Robert Aug 31 1921, the jury of inqusition found that Robert Parker came to his death by gunshot wounds inflicted by his own hands with suicidal intent.
Pleasant, El Feb 13 1909, came to his death after a boating accident and drowned, aged 33 years.
Ragin, Washington Sep 07 1878, died when he was caught in a gin wheel accidentally, he was found by William Ragin.
Richbourg, Henry B. Sep 13 1879, came to his death by the accidental discharge of a gun in his own hands.
Severence, Isaac Apr 13 1911, inq. # 213, came to his death from falling in the lake and drowning.
Singleton, Israel Jan 29 1903, inq. # 290, came to his death from having a fit and falling into the water and drowning.
Stukes, Camilla Jul 10 1913, inq. # 313, came to her death from wounds suffered when house burned down.
Thomas, Isaac Jul 14 1873, died during a rain storm when he climbed into a hollow tree that was later struck by lightning.
Tindall, Moses Aug 23 1899, felled tree accident, Simon Johnson was a witness.
Unknown Baby Mar 29 1913, inq. # 285, born alive then murdered.
Unknown, Negro Feb 01 1915, inq. # 355, came to his death from the Atlanic Coastline through his own carelessness.
Unknown, Negro Jul 26 1901, shot gun wound at the hands of S.Y. , killing was justifiable, Barnes.
Unknown, Negro Oct 01 1936, inq. # 421, came to his death when struck and run over by a car or truck, driver unknown.
Unknown, Negro, unknown negro robber killed by Capt Bames.
Unknown, Negro Jul 02 1922, death was from natural causes near Ox Swamp.
Williams, Minnie Jan 28 1907, came to her death from natural causes.
Williams, Moses Dec 24 1915, inq. # 389, came to his death due to freezing.
Williams, Primus May 19 1912, came to his death from apoplexy.
Williams, Prince May 19 1912, inq. # 246, death was from natural causes.
Clarendon County Coroner Inquisitions
Cost: $22.50 includes shipping & handling
E-mail request for instruction & payment address