South Carolina, United States Genealogy
United States South Carolina
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Guide to South Carolina ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
South Carolina Information
South Carolina is a state in the southeastern portion of the United States. It is divided into 46 counties.
Getting Started with South Carolina Research
Links to articles on getting started with South Carolina research.
South Carolina Research Tools
Links to articles and websites that assist in South Carolina research.
South Carolina Clickable Map
Many genealogy records are kept on the county level in the United States. Click on a county below to go to the county Wiki article listing more information.
Extinct or Renamed Counties: Bartholomew · Berkeley (1682-1768) · Berkeley (1785-1791) · Carteret · Charleston (1785-1791) · Claremont · Clarendon (1785-1800) · Colleton (1682-1768) · Colleton (1785-1791) · Craven · Granville (1708-1768) · Granville (1785-1791) · Hilton · Kingston · Lewisburg · Lexington (1785-1791) · Liberty · Lincoln · Marion (1785-1791) · Orange · Pendleton · Salem · Shrewsbury · Waccamaw · Washington · Winton · Winyah
Overarching Districts:Beaufort District · Camden District · Charleston District · Cheraw District · Georgetown District · Ninety-Six District · Orangeburgh District · Pendleton District · Pinckney District · Washington District
Districts that became Counties 1800–1868: Abbeville District · Anderson District · Barnwell District · Beaufort (1800-1868) District · Charleston (1800-1868) District · Chester District · Chesterfield District · Clarendon District · Colleton District · Darlington District · Edgefield District · Fairfield District · Georgetown (1800-1868) District · Greenville District · Horry District · Lancaster District · Laurens District · Lexington District · Marion District · Marlboro District · Orangeburg (1800-1868) District · Newberry District · Pendleton (1800-1826) District · Pickens District · Richland District · Spartanburg District · Sumter District · Williamsburg District · York District
Counties or Districts
To find South Carolina records, it helps to understanding the history of their counties and districts:
- Early - Until the 1760s the predominant court was in Charleston. Parish and township records were kept, but records at counties not so much. Early counties were used more to describe locations than as record keeping jurisdictions.
- 1769 - Seven circuit court districts were established. Record keeping in district seats became more important. Parishes continued. All counties were abolished.
- 1785 - The seven overarching districts were sub-divided into three to six counties each. Provisional counties in several older southern districts never built courthouses, never functioned, and were counties in name only. The other newer northern districts were often settled by people accustomed to county government who eventually erected courthouses, and fully functioning counties. Some of the county names (or similar names) from this period were used for later counties with different county boundaries.
- 1791 - The 14 provisional counties within Charleston, Beaufort, and Orangeburg districts and several others were dissolved for failure to thrive. Two new districts with six counties inside those new districts were reorganized from parts of previous districts and counties in the far north.
- 1800 - All overarching districts were abolished. Three of the previous counties were abolished. Seven new counties were created and added to the other remaining counties. However, all South Carolina counties were also called districts until 1868.
- 1868 - Any remaining so-called districts were officially changed to counties.
All Saints · Christ Church · Prince Frederick · Prince George · Prince William · St. Andrew's · St. Bartholomew's · St. David's · St. George Dorchester · St. Helena's · St. James Goose Creek · St. James Santee · St. John's Berkeley · St. John's Colleton · St. Luke's · St. Mark's · St. Matthew's · St. Michael's · St. Paul's · St. Peter's · St. Philip's · St. Stephen's · St. Thomas and St. Denis
Amelia · Congaree · Edisto · Fredericksburg · Hillsborough · Kingston · Kings Town · Londonborough · New Windsor · Orangeburgh · Purrysburg · Queensboro · Queensborough · Saxe-Gotha · The Welsh Tract · Williamsburg
South Carolina Migration Routes
Savannah River · Augusta and Cherokee Trail · Augusta-Savannah Trail · Augusta-St. Augustine Trail · Camden-Charleston Path · Catawba and Northern Trail · Catawba Trail · Charleston-Ft. Charlotte Trail · Charleston-Savannah Trail · Cisca and St. Augustine Trail (or Nickajack Trail) · Coosa-Tugaloo Indian Warpath · Fall Line Road (or Southern Road) · Fort Charlotte and Cherokee Old Path · Fort Moore-Charleston Trail · Great Valley Road · King's Highway · Lower Cherokee Traders' Path · Lower Creek Trading Path · Middle Creek Trading Path · Occaneechi Path · Old Cherokee Path · Old South Carolina State Road · Savannah-Jacksonville Trail · Secondary Coast Road · Tugaloo-Apalachee Bay Trail · Unicoi Trail · Upper Road · Ports: Beaufort · Charleston · Georgetown · Atlantic Coast Ports
Below are FamilySearch resources that can assist you in resourcing your family.
- Facebook Communities - Facebook groups discussing genealogy research
- Learning Center - Online genealogy courses
- Historical Records - databases and record images on FamilySearch
- Family History Center locator map
- Cyndi's List - South Carolina genealogy sites on the internet
- South Carolina Genealogy Trails - collection of transcribed data for the state of South Carolina
- Access Genealogy – Genealogy guide for South Carolina
- Ancestorhunt.com - resources for South Carolina genealogy research
- Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness - Guide to Ancestry and Family Tree Records for South Carolina
- South Carolina Research Outline – Original Family History Library research outline; contains many out of date links
- Every Name Index