Lexington County, South Carolina Genealogy
|Lexington County, South Carolina|
Location in the state of South Carolina
Location of South Carolina in the U.S.
- Not to be confused with the Lexington County that existed 1785-1791.
- 1 Quick Dates
- 2 County Courthouse
- 3 History
- 4 Places/Localities
- 5 Resources
- 5.1 Research Guides
- 5.2 African Americans
- 5.3 Cemeteries
- 5.4 Census
- 5.5 Church
- 5.6 Court
- 5.7 DNA
- 5.8 Genealogy
- 5.9 Land
- 5.10 Local Histories
- 5.11 Maps
- 5.12 Migration
- 5.13 Military
- 5.14 Newspapers
- 5.15 Periodicals
- 5.16 Probate
- 5.17 Taxation
- 5.18 Vital Records
- 6 Archives, Libraries, and Museums
- 7 Societies - Genealogical, Historical, Lineage
- 8 Family History Centers
- 9 Web Sites
- 10 References
Lexington County's civil records start the following years:
Lexington County Courthouse
205 E. Main St.
Lexington, SC 29072
Clerk of Court
205 E. Main St.
Lexington, SC 29072
Register of Deeds
212 South Lake Drive, Suite 301
Lexington, South Carolina
205 E. Main St., Suite 134
Lexington, SC 29072
Probate and marriage records
8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday
History Lexington County lies in the Dutch Fork region of the state.
1804--Lexington County was created in 1804 from Orangeburg District.
County seat: Lexington 
"Rotating Formation South Carolina County Boundary Maps" (1682-1987) may be viewed for free at the My South Carolina Genealogy website. The maps rely on AniMap 3.0 software.
In February 1865, advancing federal troops destroyed pre-1839 records of the clerk of court; the destruction included deeds and virtually all probate records.
The preceding list of places includes incorporated cities and towns, unincorporated towns and communities, and place names that may have been used in family histories. Some have well-organized records and even have web sites. Some are simply social communities with no official records, but which may be referenced in small-town newspapers. The list is provided to help researchers identify localities within the county. As records or histories of these localities are identified, a page will be added for each of these place names.
- South Carolina Archives Summary Guide: Lexington County, available online, courtesy: South Carolina Department of Archives and History.
The 1860 slave schedule is abstracted in:
- Trotter, Shirley F. Johnson. 1860 Census, Lexington County, South Carolina: With a Complete Index of Names Including the Mortality Schedule and the Slave Schedule. Lexington, S.C.: S.F.J. Trotter, 1991. FHL Book 975.773 X2t 1860
Known plantations South Carolina Plantations:
- Burnt Mill
- Chalk Hill
- Fox - Lexington
- Little Hope
- Poor Hope
- Red Tavern
- Rising Hope
- Seawright Beaver Creek
- Silver Hill
There are more than # burial grounds in the county. To view a list, see Lexington County, South Carolina Cemeteries.
|Source: "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau.|
1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 federal population schedules of Lexington County are available online. For tips on accessing census records online, see South Carolina Census. If you're having trouble finding your ancestors in online indexes, try checking printed indexes. Created by local experts familiar with the area's families, these indexes are often transcribed more accurately than online nationwide indexes.
See South Carolina Population Schedule Indexes: Fiche, Film, or Book for more information about statewide printed indexes.
- National Archives. Indexes to Manufactures Census of 1820. 1920; reprint, Knightstown, Ind.: Bookmark, 1977. FHL Collection 973 X2m 1820; digital version at Lineages. [Includes this county.]
1839 State Census
- "The 1839 State Census of Lexington District," The South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, Vol. 25, No. 3 (Summer 1997):137-143. FHL Book 975.7 B2sc v. 25
1840 Revolutionary War Pensioners
- A Census of Pensioners for Revolutionary or Military Services: With their Names, Ages, and Places of Residence, as Returned by the Marshalls of the Several Judicial Districts, Under the Act for Taking the Sixth Census. Washington, D.C.: Blair and Rives, 1841. FHL Collection 973 X2pc 1840; FHL Collection 2321; digital version at Google Book. [See South Carolina, Lexington District on page 142.]
Census takers uncharacteristically recorded the birth town or county of residents on the first page of enumeration for this census year.
The returns have been published twice:
- Harwell, Carolyn Lewis and Lexington Genealogical Association. Lexington County, South Carolina 1850 Census with Genealogical Data on Many Families. 1985. FHL Collection 975.773 X2h 1850
- Buff, L.H., Margaret L. Hollis, Janice GartmanLee and Lexington Genealogical Association. Lexington County, South Carolina 1850 Census, Second Edition: With Genealogical Data on Most Families. FHL Collection 975.773 X2h 1850 1998
- Jones, Marvin D. 1860 Census, Lexington County, South Carolina. 2000. FHL Collection 975.773 X2j 1860
- Trotter, Shirley F. Johnson. 1860 Census, Lexington County, South Carolina: With a Complete Index of Names Including the Mortality Schedule and the Slave Schedule. Lexington, S.C.: S.F.J. Trotter, 1991. FHL Collection 975.773 X2t 1860
- Trotter, Shirley F. Johnson and South Carolina Genealogical Society. Dutch Fork Chapter. 1870 Census, Lexington County, South Carolina with a Complete Name Index. Chapin, S.C.: Dutch Fork Chapter of the South Carolina Genealogical Society, 1989. FHL Collection 975.773 X2t 1870
Lexington County has court records from 1800 that are held in the office of the Clerk of Court. Lexington County was a part of the Orangeburg district from 1785-1800.
It is anticipated that this bibliography will eventually identify all known family histories published about residents of this county. Use this list to:
- Locate publications about direct ancestors
- Find the most updated accounts of an ancestor's family
- Identify publications, to quote Elizabeth Shown Mills, about an ancestor's "FAN Club" [Friends, Associates, and Neighbors]
Surname indexes to Leonardo Andrea's Files | Folders | Resources are available online, courtesy: The Andrea Files: South Carolina Genealogical Research. Learn more.
- Gregg, E. Stuart. Miller, Lewis, King, Smith, Shealy--Some Families of the Old Lexington District Certain Lines of Descent from South Carolina Settlers, George Peter Miller, Charles Clark, David King, John W. Lewis, Henry Smith, Johann Caspar Mantz, Hans Amacher, Thomas Minnick, Hans Adam Summer, Johann Shely, and Some of Their Scions. Hilton Head Island, S.C.: E.S. Gregg, 1988. FHL 929.273 M614g
- Hammond, Wanda Amick and Lexington Genealogical Association. Lexington Lineage Charts, Volume 1 [South Carolina]. Lexington, S.C.: Lexington Genealogical Association, 1987. FHL 975.7 D2h
- Lexington County, SC Family History and Genealogy Message Board (Ancestry)
- Lexington County, SC Genealogy Forum (GenForum)
- [Ballington] Ballington, Lewis Clinton. The Ballington Family of Lexington County, South Carolina. S.C.?: L.C. Ballington, 2007.
- [Butler] Memoirs of General William Butler: Including a Brief Sketch of His Father and Brother, Who Fell in the Revolution, at Cloud's Creek, Lexington District, S.C. Atlanta, Ga.: Jas. P. Harrison & Co., Printers and Binders, 1885. Digital version at Internet Archive.
- [Fox] Steadman, Joseph Earle. Ancestry of the Fox Family of Richland and Lexington Counties, South Carolina. FHL 929.273 F83sj
- [Hamiter] Hamiter, David L. "The Hamiter Family of South Carolina," The South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, Vol. 23, No. 1 (Winter 1995):3-12. FHL Book 975.7 B2sc v. 23
- [Langford] Langford, George Shealy. Langfords in America Sketches on Early Arrivals and Migrations: Genealogical Recording on Descendants from Early Saluda River, South Carolina Families (Lexington, Newberry, Saluda and Old Edgefield Counties), 1773-1975: Some Related Families [of] Holley, Waters, Shealy, Timms, Robertson. College Park, Md.: Langford, 1977. FHL 929.273 L263a
- [Mathias] Hammond, Frederick L. The Family Heritage of Long John Mathias and Quilla Bouknight Mathias of Lexington County, S.C. Typescript. FHL 929.273 M426h
- [Shealy] Nichols, Carl W. "Shealy Family Gets a Biologic Birth Certificate," The South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, Vol. 36, No. 1 (Winter 2008):3-12. FHL Book 975.7 B2sc v. 36
- [Spence] "The Wife of James Spence of Lexington County," The South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, Vol. 32, No. 4 (Fall 2004):186. FHL Book 975.7 B2sc v. 32
- [Wise] Bauer, William Rudolph. Reconstruction of the Genealogy of the Wise Family of the Congarees. Columbia, S.C.: W.R. Bauer, 2001. FHL 929.273 W754b
Because of South Carolina’s history as an agricultural state many residents owned land. For more information abou types of land records see South Carolina Land and Property.
Tracing records through South Carolina county and district changes can be difficult. In general, for earliest records begin by searching the Charleston District, then your ancestor’s residential district, then neighboring districts, then the residential county, then neighboring counties. Not all districts and counties kept records. The following chart shows where you may best expect to find land records for Calhoun County:
|1804-1839||Lexington County Records Lost**|
|1785-1804||Records Lost* **|
|1670-1710||Proprietary Land Grants|
* Some Orangeburg District deeds were recorded in Charleston District and were not destroyed
** Orangeburg District and Lexington District records destroyed by fire in 1865. Only Lexington County deeds after 1839 survive.
Plats For State Land Grants 1784-1868
This series consists of recorded copies of plats for state land grants for the Charleston and the Columbia Series with their certificates of admeasurement or certification. All personal names and geographic features on these plats are included in the repository's On-line Index to Plats for State Land Grants
The South Carolina Constitution of 1790 required the surveyor general to maintain offices in both the new capital at Columbia and in Charleston. The surveyor general began to use separate volumes for recording plats in his Columbia office in 1796. Before that, all plats were recorded in the set of volumes begun in Charleston in 1784. After 1796, most plats for land grants in the Upper Division of the state were recorded and filed in Columbia. The surveyor general chose to make the Columbia volumes a continuation of the state plat volumes begun in Charleston and gave the initial Columbia volume the number thirty-six to correspond with the number of the volume that had then been reached in the Charleston series. As a result, there are volumes numbered thirty-six through forty-three from each office, but the records in them are not duplicative.
Also included are the Plan Books containing Plats and Plans.
- Harman,Godfrey M. Uncle Josh : Remembrances of Old Lexington County, South Carolina. (Lexington, South Carolina : Lexington County Historical Society, c1990),85 pages. "In late 1870 Uncle Josh [Godfrey M. Harman] began publishing the Lexington Dispatch.... In 1922 at the age of 77 he undertook a series of articles describing his world as it was in the previous century. Book at FHL 975.773 H2h and Other Libraries.
Early migration routes to and from Lexington County for European settlers included:
- "Lexington District militia petition, 1825," South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, Winter 2003, Volume 31, Issue 1. Brent Holcomb : Columbia, SC. FHL Collection
- "Militia list, 1847," Lexington Genealogical Exchange, Summer 1985, Volume 5, Issue 1. Lexington County Genealogical Association : Lexington, SC. FHL Collection
- "Saxe Gotha and Dutch Fort revolutionary patriots," Lexington Genealogical Exchange, Spring 1985, Volume 4, Issue 4. Lexington County Genealogical Association : Lexington, SC. FHL Collection
War of 1812
- List of Pensioners on the Roll, January 1, 1883; Giving the Name of Each Pensioner, the Cause for Why Pensioned, the Post-Office Address, the Rate of Pension Per Month, and the Date of Original Allowance... Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1883. FHL Collection 973 M2Lp v. 5; digital versions at Google Books and Internet Archive. [See Vol. 5, South Carolina, Lexington County, p. 186. Identifies War of 1812 veterans living in this county in 1883.]
- "Pension records applications," Lexington Genealogical Exchange, Winter 1996, Volume 15, Issue 3 and Winter 1995, Volume 14, Issue 3. Lexington County Genealogical Association : Lexington, SC. FHL Collection
Civil War service men from Lexington County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies and regiments that were formed with many men from Lexington County.
- - 3rd Regiment, South Carolina Infantry
- - Company H
- - 6th Battalion, South Carolina Reserves (Meriwether's)
- - 13th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry,
- - Company H
- - Company K
- - 14th Battalion, South Carolina Cavalry
- - Company C
- - Company D
- -15th Regiment, South Carolina Militia
- - Company A
- - Company H
- - 16th Battalion, South Carolina Cavalry,
- - Company B
- Lexington County, Clerk of Court. Confederate Pension and Veterans Records, 1861-1948. (Columbia, South Carolina : South Carolina Department of Archives and History, 1971). Most volumes are alphabetically arranged by surname. Four microfilms (1) Pension applications of Confederate veterans and their widows (some later) 1861-1919 Pension rolls (some years are missing) 1918-1948-FHL film 20685, (2) Confederate pension record 1888-FHL film 1027231, (3) Enrollment book of Confederate veterans 1903-1905, 1908-FHL film 1027232, (4) Confederate pension roll 1896, 1901-1919, 1923-FHL film 1027251 Microfilm copies at FHL 206855
The Library of Congress has identified the following historic newspapers for Lexington County, South Carolina on their Chronicling America website. For publication details, including dates of publication, frequency, preceding and succeeding titles, and to find out which libraries have holdings, click on the newspaper title.
- Batesburg-Leesville News (Leesville, S.C.) 1921-1924.
- Leesville News (Leesville, S.C.) 1906-1911.
- Leesville Sun (Leesville, S.C.) 1905-1906.
- Leesville Twin-County News (Leesville, S.C.) 1913-1921.
- Lexington County Chronicle (Lexington, S.C.) 1992-current.
- Lexington Dispatch-News (Lexington, S.C.) 1917-1919.
- Lexington Telegraph (Lexington C.H., S.C.) 1853-1856.
- Our News Letter (Summit, S.C.) 1894-1906.
- Semi-Monthly Tribune (Leesville, S.C.) 1889-1890.
- South Carolina Temperance Advocate and Register of Agriculture and General Literature (Columbia, S.C.) 1841-1854.
- South Carolina Temperance Standard (Lexington, S.C.) 1854-1855.
- South Carolina Temperance Standard (Lexington, S.C.) 1877-1877.
- Southlan (Brookland, S.C.) 1895-1896.
- The Batesburg Advocate (Batesburg, S.C.) 1901-1911.
- The Batesburg Herald and the Leesville News-Advocate (Batesburg, S.C.) 1913-1918.
- The Batesburg Sentinel (Batesburg, S.C.) 1889-1889.
- The Carolina News (Chapin, S.C.) 1896-1904.
- The Cayce-West Columbia Journal (West Columbia-Cayce, S.C.) 1987-1988.
- The Chapin Times (Chapin, S.C.) 1976-current.
- The Congaree Chronicle (West Columbia, S.C.) 1941-1942.
- The Dispatch-News (Lexington, S.C.) 1919-current.
- The Enterprise (Batesburg, S.C.) 1910-1915.
- The Independent News of Irmo (Irmo, S.C.) 1980-current.
- The Irmese Independent (Irmo, S.C.) 1978-1980.
- The Journal (West Columbia, S.C.) 1960-1987.
- The Leesville Lancet (Leesville, S.C.) 1897-1898.
- The Lexington County Journal (West Columbia, S.C.) 1987-1987.
- The Lexington Dispatch (Lexington, S.C.) 1870-1917.
- The Lexington Flag (Lexington, S.C.) 1857-1861.
- The Lexington News (Lexington, S.C.) 1915-1917.
- The News-Advocate (Leesville, S.C.) 1911-1913.
- The Peoples Advocate (Batesburg, S.C.) 1895-1895.
- The Southern Headlight (Batesburg, S.C.) 1924-1924.
- The Summerland Headlight (Batesburg, S.C.) 1924-1925.
- The Summit Courier (Summit, S.C.) 1876-1879.
- The Twin-City News (Batesburg, S.C.) 1925-current.
- The Weekly Advocate (Batesburg, S.C.) 1895-1896.
- The Weekly News (Lewiedale, S.C.) 1885-1888.
- This Way (Batesburg, S.C.) 1894-1897.
- Lexington County Chronicle and The Dispatch-News (Lexington, S.C.) Online edition.
Tap into the minds of local experts. Editors of genealogical periodicals publish unique sources that researchers new to their area may not encounter. Periodicals at various levels (county, region, and state) may carry articles useful to research in this area. For this county, see:
- Lexington Genealogical Exchange (Family History Library book 975.773 D25l .)
- South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research (Family History Library book 975.7 B2sc .)
Probate is the “court procedure by which a will is proved to be valid or invalid” and encompasses “all matters and proceedings pertaining to the administration of estates, guardianships, etc.” Various types of records are created throughout the probate process. These may include, wills, bonds, petitions, accounts, inventories, administrations, orders, decrees, and distributions. For further information see probate records in South Carolina.
The South Carolina Department of Archives and History has microfilms or typescripts of wills, inventories, bills of sale, power of attorneys, bonds, notes, administrations, judgments, and sales records. This collection includes estate papers of the court of ordinary and probate courts from 1865-1900, with indexes from 1856-1940. Statewide Will Transcriptions for 1782 to 1855 is available online, with searchable index by name, and the image is available.
Early probate records for Lexington County may be found in now-extinct Orangeburgh District. Estate papers of Lexington County probate court are available on microfilm from 1863-1900. FHL Film 2365805 Other probate records available in the county probate court and court of equity. Other microfilm probate record collections:
- Will books, 1865-1908; index to estate papers, 1865-1940, Probate Court, Lexington County, South Carolina. Columbia, S.C.: South Carolina Department of Archives and History, 1971. FHL Film 1027239
- Administrators and guardians records, 1809-1902, Probate Court and Court of Equity, Lexington County, South Carolina. Columbia, S.C.: South Carolina Department of Archives and History, 1971. FHL Film 1027233
Lexington County Probate Court Online Indexes (Estate and Marriages)
Male Marriage (1911-1987)
Female Marriage (1936-1987)
Tax-related records are kept by the offices of the county Assessor, Auditor, Sheriff, and Treasurer. Taxes were levied on real and personal property and can help establish ages, residences, relationships, and the year an individual died or left the area. They can be used as substitutes for missing or destroyed land and census records.
- South Carolina Department of Archives and History tax lists for Lexington County.
Tax duplicate books survive. Copies of years 1868-1876: FHL Films 1027168-1027173.
- Tax Executions, 1803, Carolina Herald and Newsletter, Vol. 30 (Jan. 2002).
Birth, marriage, and death records were not recorded by South Carolina until the 1900s, thus leaving a lack of vital records. Substitute records, when available, are used to obtain this information. These substitute records including newspapers, court records have been added to this section, when applicable.
State-wide birth registration began in 1915. For a copy of a birth from 1915 or later, contact the South Carolina Department of Health. The Lexington County Health Department also has copies but they provide only an abbreviated form with limited information. For more information, see the South Carolina Vital Records page.
In South Carolina, marriage licenses were not required by local governments until 1 July 1911. However, in the 1700s, the Church of England parish churches were required to record all marriages - even if the couple were not members of the denomination. Not all churches recorded these marriages and some have not survived. See South Carolina Vital Records for more information.
The Lexington County probate court holds marriage licenses issued from 1 July 1911 to the present. Statewide registration of marriages began in July 1950 and the South Carolina Division of Vital Records has copies of licenses issued after 1 July 1950 through November 2009.
Newspapers are used as a substitute to locate marriage information. See South Carolina Newspapers.
Marriages - Indexes and Records
- Marriages of Lexington, Newberry, and Orangeburgh [sic] Counties, South Carolina by Martha H. Spivey  WorldCat - index
- 1911-1987 - Probate Court Marriage Records Index - index
- 1911-1958 - Lexington County, South Carolina Marriage Licenses, 1911-1950; Indexes, 1911-1958  FHL Collection - index and records
- There are several online marriage indexes containing miscellaneous marriage records found in some counties of South Carolina listed on the South Carolina Vital Records page.
State-wide death registration began in 1915. For a copy of the death certificates from 1915 or later, contact the South Carolina Department of Health. The Lexington County Health Department only has copies for deaths occurring in the last 5 years. For more information, see the South Carolina Vital Records page.
Deaths and Death Substitutes - Indexes and Records
- 1890-1910 - Inquisition Books, 1890-1910  FHL Collection
- 1914-1960 - State-wide South Carolina Death Indexes. There are several online death indexes covering all of South Carolina listed on the South Carolina Vital Records page.
Archives, Libraries, and Museums
Societies - Genealogical, Historical, Lineage
Family History Centers
- Lexington County, SCGenWeb
- Family History Library Catalog
- Lexington County, South Carolina Genealogy and Family History (Linkpendium)
- Lexington County, South Carolina History, Records, Facts and Genealogy (My South Carolina Genealogy)
- "List of counties in South Carolina," Wikipedia.
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
- Voice of Phillip Stalvey, resident of Myrtle Beach, S.C. (2011).
- "South Carolina Counties with Burned Courthouses" in FamilyHistory101.com at http://www.familyhistory101.com/southcarolina.html#extinct (accessed 10 May 2011).
- Alycon Trubey Pierce, "In Praise of Errors Made by Census Enumerators," National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 81, No. 1 (March 1993):51-55. FHL Book 973 B2ng
- Schweitzer, George K. , South Carolina Genealogical Research (Knoxville, Tennessee: s.p. 1985), 39-42, FHL book 975.7 D27s
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 847-61. (FHL Book 973 D27e 2002) WorldCat entry., and William E. Myer, Indian Trails of the Southeast. (Nashville, Tenn.: Blue and Gray Press, 1971), 12-14, and the book's pocket map "The Trail System of the Southeastern United States in the early Colonial Period" (1923). (FHL Book 970.1 M992i) WorldCat entry.
- Henry Campbell Black, Black's Law Dictionary, 5th ed. (St. Paul, Minnesota: West Publishing Co., 1979), 1081, "probate."
- Spivey, Martha H., Marriages of Lexington, Newberry, and Orangeburgh Counties, South Carolina, Lexington, SC (P.O. Box 1262, Lexington 29072): WeSearch Publications, ©1999.
- South Carolina. Probate Court (Lexington County), Lexington County, South Carolina Marriage Licenses, 1911-1950; Indexes, 1911-1958, Salt Lake City, UT: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 2002-2003.
- Lexington County (South Carolina), Coroner, Inquisition Books, 1890-1910, Columbia, SC: Georgia Department of Archives and History, 1971.