County records go live

Published 10:05 pm Monday, February 10, 2014

The Register of Deeds launched a new website last week, giving the public access to many records that previously would have taken a trip to the Beaufort County Courthouse.

“It’s something the public’s been asking for and we’re one of the few counties that didn’t have our records available online,” said Register of Deeds Jennifer Whitehurst, who described the site as a service to the community.

Indexes for birth, death and marriage records can be located on the new website, a search for which will turn up where each hardcopy can be located in the Register of Deeds office. Searches on the website for real estate transactions go one step farther by making images of actual documents accessible.

The online records date back two decades, so finding older documents will still require a visit to the county courthouse.

“We have records that go back to 1995 — that’s when we started using the computer system,” Whitehurst said. “We’ll probably try to make other records available in the future, but we thought that was a good starting point.”

As images of real estate records dating from 1995 to 2001 were taken from microfilm, Whitehurst said quality varies in the online documents.

“If someone finds a document that can’t be read (online), we can use the other copy,” Whitehurst said.

Having the capability to find indexes online arms document seekers with book and page numbers that point the way to specific documents among the many records books in the office.

“I think it will be a great help to individuals that need access to certain documents,” Whitehurst said. “We still have the hard copies available, so people can come in and look at those, as well.”

The website can be found at