How to Find South Carolina Death Records

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How to Find United States Deaths Gotoarrow.png South Carolina Deaths

Statewide registration of deaths began in 1915 in South Carolina. Counties have copies of these records.

Next Step: When did the death occur?

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

Learn more about U.S. Death Records

Deaths before 1915

Before 1915, no deaths were recorded by the county or state. The cities of Charleston, Georgetown, Spartanburg, and Union City are exceptions. Learn more. In most cases, you must search substitute records to locate your ancestor’s death date and place.

  Records that give death information:
Cemetery Records
Probate (wills, etc)
Church Records
Bible Records
Return to top: Choose another death year

Deaths from 1915 thru the present

The state of South Carolina began recording deaths in 1915.

STEP ONE: Find Death Information

For deaths that exist during this time period, try the following databases. Try each link.

South Carolina Deaths Databases - Includes Index and Digital Images
Try 1st:
1915-1943 - At Free; coverage data is not provided
Try 2nd:
Choose one of the following:

1821-1955 - use at FamilySearch Centers/Libraries Free at FamilySearch Centers and Libraries; Find your local FamilySearch Center

1821-1955 - use your Ancestry subscription $, To obtain a subscription to Ancestry; Ancestry is often available through your local public library for free
Can't search the index listed above? Go to Step Two listed below and order a search for your ancestor from the West Virginia Department of Health State Office.
Can't find your ancestor in the index? Tips for searching indexes
No death record for your ancestor? Other records with death information

STEP TWO: Obtain the Certificate

If the image was not included in the index entry above, you can order a copy of the death record for a fee from the following locations:

To Order Death Certificates
From County of Death From WV Dept. of Health State office
Pros Cons Pros Cons
May be less expensive and faster than ordering from the state County websites can be more difficult to use Offers a search of the state index for an additional fee May be more expensive than ordering from the county

If you do not know the exact date or place of death:
For a fee, the West Virginia Department of Health office will do a 3 year search (click on the death certificates tab).

Restrictions for persons who died within the last 50 years:
To obtain a copy of the death certificate for those who died within the last 50 years, you must be:

  • The parents and grandparents of person on the certificate
  • The wife or husband of the person on the certificate
  • The children and grandchildren of the person on the certificate
  • The brothers or sisters of the person on the certificate
  • Funeral director
  • Anyone who has legal interest in the certificate
NOTE: A copy of the death record cannot be obtained by anyone except those listed above until 50 years have passed from the date of the death.

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

Return to top: Choose another death year

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