South Carolina Records Details and Resources

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South Carolina began statewide registration of births and deaths in 1915, marriages in July 1950, and divorces in July 1962. The Division of Vital Records can supply copies of all four records. Vital records offices in the county health departments handle birth and death records only. Several county health departments or courthouses hold birth and death records from the late 19th century. Vital records at the state archives are listed at

The state did not require marriage licenses until July 1911. Some pre-1911 marriage records and settlements (prenuptial agreements) exist, and evidence of marriages can be found in other county records and newspapers. For marriage records from 1911 to July 1950, contact the county probate office that issued the license. Before 1949, divorce was illegal and rarely granted. For divorce records since April 1949, contact the county clerk where the case was filed. Records available at the state archives and/or other research facilities include the following:

  • Mills’ Atlas of the State of South Carolina, 1825
  • Several series of the Draper Manuscripts, especially V, TT, and UU, dealing with South Carolina, kept at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin and on microfilm at major libraries
  • Voter registrations, 1867-1868
  • Records of depositors in South Carolina’s two branches of the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company (FHL microfilm 928587-89)
  • Confederate pension applications, 1919-1938
  • Indexes to various records series, including Confederate pensions, online at
  • Agricultural censuses (1868, 1875) and state censuses (1829, 1839, 1869, 1875), various counties, various years


  • Citizens and Immigrants — South Carolina, 1768 by Mary Bondurant Warren (Heritage Papers, ca.1980)
  • A Compilation of the Original Lists of Protestant Immigrants to South Carolina, 1763-1773 by Janie Revill (1939; Genealogical Publishing Co., 1968)
  • First Settlers of South Carolina 1670-1700 by Agnes Lelans Bladwin (Southern Historical Press, 1985)
  • Scotch-Irish Migration to South Carolina, 1772 by Jean Stephenson (Shenandoah Publishing House, 1971)
  • South Carolina Immigrants, 1760 to 1770 by Jack Moreland Jones and Mary Bondurant Warren (Heritage Papers, 1988)
  • South Carolina Naturalizations, 1783-1850 by Brent H. Holcomb (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1985)


  • Early South Carolina Settlers, 1600’s-1800’s (Broderbund CD-ROM, 2000)
  • An Index to Deeds of the Province and State of South Carolina 1719-1785 and Charleston District 1785-1800 by Silas Emmett Lucas Jr. (Southern Historical Press, 1977)
  • Index to South Carolina Land Grants, 1784-1800 by Ronald Vern Jackson (Accelerated Indexing Systems, 1977)
  • Miscellaneous Land Records, 1731-1882 from the South Carolina Secretary of State’s Office (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1951)
  • North Carolina Land Grants in South Carolina, 2 vols., by Brent H. Holcomb (Brent H. Holcomb, 1975, 1976)
  • Petitions for Land from the South Carolina Council Journals by Brent H. Holcomb (South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, ca. 1996-ca. 1999)
  • The Promised Land: The History of The South Carolina Land Commission 1869-1890 by Carol K. Rothrock Bleser (University of South Carolina Press, 1969)
  • Records of the Secretary of the Province and The Register of the Province of South Carolina, 1671-1675 by Alexander S. Salley (Historical Commission of South Carolina, 1944)
  • South Carolina Deed Abstracts, 3 vols. by Brent H. Holcomb (South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, 1996)
  • South Carolina Memorials, Abstracts of Land Titles by Jesse Hogan Motes (Southern Historical Press, 1996)
  • South Carolina Memorials, 1731-1776: Abstracts of Selected Land Records from a Collection in the Department of Archives and History, 2 vols., by Katie-Prince Ward Esker (Polyanthos, 1973-1977)
  • South Carolina as a Royal Province, 1719-1776 by William Roy Smith (Macmillan, 1903)
  • Warrants for Land in South Carolina 1672-1711 edited by A.S. Salley Jr. and R.N. Oldsberg (University of South Carolina Press, 1973)


  • Atlas of the State of South Carolina, 1825 by Robert Mills (Southern Historical Press, 1980)
  • Names of South Carolina, vols. 1-12, edited by Claude H. Neuffer (University of South Carolina, 1967; Reprint Co., 1976)
  • Palmetto Place Names from the Work Projects Administration (1941; Reprint Co., 1975)
  • Post Offices of Yesteryear by Olin J. Salley (filmed by the Family History Library, 1974)
  • South Carolina County Maps compiled by C.J Puetz (Thomas Publishing Co., 1989)
  • South Carolina Waterways As They Appear in Mill’s Atlas by Mariam D. Cropper (Accelerated Indexing Systems, 1977)


  • Colonial Soldiers of the South, 1732-1774 compiled by Murtie June Clark (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1983)
  • A Copy of the Original Index book Showing the Revolutionary Claims Filed in South Carolina Between August 20, 1783 and August 31, 1786 by Janie Revill (1941; Genealogical Publishing Co., 1969)
  • The Militia in Antebellum South Carolina Society by Jean Martin Flynn (Reprint Co., ca. 1991)
  • Records of the Regiments of the South Carolina Line compiled by Alexander S. Salley (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1977)
  • Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution by Bobby Gilmer Moss (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1983)
  • South Carolina in the Mexican War by Jack Allen Myer (South Carolina Dept. of Archives and History, 1996)
  • South Carolinians in the Revolution, with Service Records and Miscellaneous Data 1775-1855 edited by Sara A. Ervin (1959, Genealogical Publishing Co., 1971)
  • South Carolina Revolutionary Records, Selected Final Pension Payment Vouchers, 1818-1864 by Alycon Trubey Pierce (Iberian Pub. Co., 1996)
  • South Carolina Troops in Confederate Service by A.S. Salley Jr. (R.L. Bryan, 1913-30)
  • Stub Entries to Indents Issues in Payment of Claims Against South Carolina Growing Out of the Revolution, 12 vols., from the South Carolina Department of Archives and History (1919-57)


  • Abstracts of the Wills of the State of South Carolina, 3 vols., by Carolina T. Moore and Agatha Aimar Simmons (the compilers, 1960-69)
  • A Genealogical Collection of South Carolina Wills and Records, 2 vols., by Willie Pauline Young (1955; Southern Historical Press, 1981)
  • Indexes to the County Wills of South Carolina compiled by Martha Lou Houston (1939; Genealogical Publishing Co., 1964)
  • Probate Records of South Carolina, 3 vols. by Brent H. Holcomb (Southern Historical Press, 1977)
  • Records of the Secretary of the Province of South Carolina, 1692-1721 by Caroline T. Moore (R.L. Bryan Co., 1978)
  • South Carolina Begins: The Records of a Proprietary Colony, 1663-1721 by Charles H. Lesser (South Carolina Department of Archives and History, 1995)
  • South Carolina Jury Lists, 1718 through 1783 by Mary B. Warren (Heritage Papers, 1977)
  • South Carolina Wills, 1670-1853, or Later (Heritage Papers, 1981)
  • South Carolina Wills and Other Court Records by Katie-Prince Ward Esker (filmed by the Genealogical Society Of Utah, 1998)


  • Cemetery Records of Confederate Soldiers Buried in South Carolina (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1947)
  • North and South Carolina Marriage Records by William M. Dlemens (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1981)
  • South Carolina Marriages: 1688-1799, 3 vols., by Brent H. Holcomb (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1980-81, 1984)
  • South Carolina Marriage Settlements, 1785-1889 (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1950)
  • Supplement to South Carolina Marriages, 1688-1820 by Brent H. Holcomb (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1984)

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Also available: the State Research Guide Book, State Research Guides CD and The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy.