How to Find South Carolina Birth Records

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How to Find United States Birth Records Gotoarrow.png South Carolina Births

Statewide registration of births began in 1915 in South Carolina.

Next Step: When did the birth occur?

Choose a time period to search for your ancestor's birth record:

Learn more about U.S. Birth Records

Births before 1915

Before 1853, no births were recorded by the county or state. You must search substitute records to locate your ancestor’s birth date and place.

  Records that give birth information:
Death Records
Cemetery Records
Bible Records
Church Records
Military Records
Tax Records
Return to top: Choose another birth year

Births after 1915

In 1853, Virginia passed a law requiring counties to record births, although not all counties complied or continued to record them on a consistent basis. Birth registers during the Civil War period (1861-1865) are incomplete. From 1896-1911, births were not recorded. Delayed birth registrations for the years 1896-1912 exist. If you cannot locate your ancestor in the databases below, try searching for birth information in other records.

For births that exist during the time period, try the following databases.

Includes Index Only
Try 1st:
Virginia Births, 1853-1917 FamilySearch - Free; most counties go to 1896
Try 2nd:
At FamilySearch Centers/Libraries:

Virginia Births, 1853-1896 Ancestry Library edition - free at FamilySearch Centers and Libraries; Find your local FamilySearch Center
Use Your Ancestry subscription:

Virginia Births, 1853-1896 Ancestry subscription version - $, to sign up for a subscription; Obtain a subscription to Ancestry
Can't find your ancestor in the index? Tips for searching indexes
No birth record for your ancestor? Other records with birth information

Obtain the Certificate

With full names, dates and places of an event, you can order a copy of the birth certificate for a fee from the Virginia Division of Vital Records (PDF file) or VitalChek.

Restrictions for persons born within the last 100 years:
To obtain a copy of the birth certificate for those born within the last 100 years, you must be:

  • The person on the certificate
  • The parent or grandparent of the person on the certificate
  • The spouse of the person on the certificate
  • The child of the person on the certificate
  • The sibling of the person on the certificate
  • The legal guardian of the person on the certificate
  • Anyone who has legal interest in the certificate
NOTE: A copy of the birth certificate cannot be obtained by anyone except those listed above until 100 years have passed from the date of the birth.

If you do not want to order the birth record, there are other records with birth information you can search.

Return to top: Choose another birth year

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