Richland County, South Carolina Genealogy

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United States  Gotoarrow.png South Carolina Gotoarrow.png Richland County

Richland County, South Carolina
Map of South Carolina highlighting Richland County
Location in the state of South Carolina
Map of the U.S. highlighting South Carolina
Location of South Carolina in the U.S.
Founded 1799
County Seat Columbia

Quick Dates

Richland County's civil records start the following years:

Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1915  1911   1915   1790 1785  1787 

County Courthouse

Richland Judicial Center

Richland County Courthouse
1701 Main Street
Columbia, South Carolina 29202

Clerk of Court
1701 Main St., Room 205
Columbia, SC 29202
Phone: 803-576-1950
Court records

Probate Court
1701 Main St. Suite 207
Columbia, SC 29201
Probate and marriage records

Register of Deeds
1701 Main St.
P.O. Box 192
Columbia, SC 29202
Phone: 803-576-1910
Land records

8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday


The county is named after its rich soil.[1]

Parent County

1799--Richland County was created in 1799 from Kershaw District.
County seat: Columbia [2]

County Pronunciation

  1. Hear it spoken[3]

Boundary Changes

"Rotating Formation South Carolina County Boundary Maps" (1682-1987) may be viewed for free at the My South Carolina Genealogy website. They rely on AniMap 3.0 software.

Record Loss

  • A fire during the federal occupation of Columbia in February 1865 destroyed the courthouse and most of the records in it. Most of the equity and probate records, however, had been safely removed.


Populated Places

Arcadia Lakes Denny Terrace Killian Pleasant (hist.)
Arthurtown Dentsville Kingville Pontiac
Ballentine Dutch Fork Langfords Crossroads Ravenwood
Belmont Eastover Leesburg Saint Andrews
Butchertown (hist.) Eau Claire Lever (hist.) Sharp
Blythewood English (hist.) Lisbon (hist.) Sims
Boney Fairwold Littleton Spring Hill
Bookman Frost Lykes State Park
Boyden Arbor Gadsden McCrearys Quarter (hist.) Wateree
Bruner Garners Quarter (hist.) Montgomery Weddell
Calla (hist.) Hilton Munster Weston
Cedar Creek Hollywood Hills New Dublin (hist.) White Rock
Columbia Hopkins Olympia Woodfield
Congaree Horrel Hill Olympia Mills
Crane Forest Independents Pinewood

Neighboring Counties

Calhoun | Fairfield | Kershaw | Lexington | Newberry | Sumter


Research Guides

African Americans

United States African Americans Gotoarrow.png South Carolina African Americans


There are more than # burial grounds in the county. To view a list, see Richland County, South Carolina Cemeteries.


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1790 3,930
1800 6,097 55.1%
1810 9,027 48.1%
1820 12,321 36.5%
1830 14,772 19.9%
1840 16,397 11.0%
1850 20,243 23.5%
1860 18,307 −9.6%
1870 23,025 25.8%
1880 28,573 24.1%
1890 36,821 28.9%
1900 45,589 23.8%
1910 55,143 21.0%
1920 78,122 41.7%
1930 87,557 12.1%
1940 104,843 19.7%
1950 142,565 36.0%
1960 200,102 40.4%
1970 233,868 16.9%
1980 269,735 15.3%
1990 285,720 5.9%
2000 320,667 12.2%
Source: "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau.

1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 federal population schedules of Richland 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.

See Richland County, SC census assignments, including links to transcribed files [The USGenWeb Census Project®]

1820 Manufactures

The original manufactures schedules for South Carolina are kept at the NARA, Washington, D.C. FHL copies: FHL Collection 1024517 - 1024518.

Published abstract:

  • 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.]
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 Books. [See South Carolina, Richland District on page 142.]
  • Buff, L.H. The Richland District (SC) 1850 Census. Lexington, S.C.: Lexington Genealogy Society, 2000. FHL Collection 975.771 X2r 1850


The Inventory of (SC) Church Archives 1937-1939 is available for free online, courtesy: South Caroliniana Library. Richland County's W.P.A. reports are included.

LDS Ward and Branch Records

  • Columbia



DNA Double Helix.png
DNA has been collected from men claiming descent from the following Charleston County residents. FamilySearch has not independently verified the lineages of those tested.


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]

Family Histories at the Columbia SC Stake Famliy History Center by Surname is linked to WorldCat where possible and includes histories of families from surrounding counties.


As of August 2010, a query for persons born in Richland, South Carolina at World Connect, produces more than 9,000 results.

Surname indexes to Leonardo Andrea's Files | Folders | Resources are available online, courtesy: The Andrea Files: South Carolina Genealogical Research. Gotoarrow.png Learn more.

Message Boards


  • [Adams] Campbell, Julia Courtenay. Descendants of Joel Adams and Grace Weston of The Fork, Richland County, South Carolina. Typescript, microfilmed 1971. FHL 858654 Item 7
  • [Adams] Hopkins, Laura Jervey. Lower Richland Planters: Hopkins, Adams, Weston and Related Families of South Carolina. Hopkins, S.C.: Hopkins, 1976. FHL Book 929.273 H775a Reviewed in The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 78, No. 2 (Apr. 1977):153. Digital version of review at JSTOR ($).
  • [Adams] Massingill, Jim and Audrey Jean Cannady Massingill. The Adams and Morton Family Histories. Amarillo, Texas: J. & A. Massengill, 2009. FHL Book 929.273 Ad17mj
  • [Benson] Smith, Leonard H. "Enigmas #6: Joshua Benson of Massachusetts and Joshua Benson of South Carolina: Coincidence or Bigamy?" The American Genealogist, Vol. 69, No. 3 (Jul. 1994):165-170. FHL 973 D25aga v. 69
  • [Brown] Terrar, Edward. Genealogical Information about the Brown and Related Gibson, Raines, Tompkins, Mann Families in Blythewood/Doko (Richland/Fairfield, Co.), South Carolina. Silver Spring, Md.: E. Terrar, 1992. FHL 929.273 B812te
  • [Dreher] Sulton, Nancy Evelyn Dreher Reid and Ophelia Dreher Owens. Root Tracer: The Joyful Journey Backward. Grawn, Mich.: Kinseeker Pub., 1998. FHL Book 973 F2sne
  • [Fox] Steadman, Joseph Earle and Shirley Faucette. Ancestry of the Fox Family of Richland and Lexington Counties, South Carolina. FHL 929.273 F83sj
  • [Fox] McCain, William D. Eight Generations of the Family of Henry Fox (1768-1852) and His Wife, Sarah Harrell Fox (1772-1848) of South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi. Hattiesburg, Miss.: n.p., 1975-. FHL Book 929.273 F83m; digital version at Family History Archives.
  • [Frick] Ratliff, Annie Lee T. Frick. Columbia, S.C.: A.L.T. Ratliff, 1995. (?) FHL Book 929.273 F911r
  • [Goodwyn] "Dinwiddie Co., Va., Richland and Orangeburg Districts, S. C., Goodwyns," The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 8, No. 2, Supplement (Oct. 1899):26-37. Digital version at JSTOR ($).
  • [Hamiter] Hamiter, Aletha Barker. John Hamiter, 1802-1864: Some Ancestors and Descendants. Bradley, Ark.: A.B. Hamiter, 1955. FHL Film 1008689 Item 3; digital version at Family History Archives.
  • [Hopkins] Hopkins, Laura Jervey. Lower Richland Planters: Hopkins, Adams, Weston and Related Families of South Carolina. Hopkins, S.C.: Hopkins, 1976. FHL Book 929.273 H775a Reviewed in The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 78, No. 2 (Apr. 1977):153. Digital version of review at JSTOR ($).
  • [Howell] "An Early Richland Planter: William Howell," The State Newspaper (Columbia, S.C.), November 1927.
  • [Leland] Leland, E. Cater. The Leland Magazine. 5 vols. Saluda, N.C.: E.C. Leland, Jr., 1978-1981. FHL Fiche 6055286
  • [Smith] Smith, Dorothy Emma. Daddy's Relatives. Salt Lake City, Utah: n.p., 1960. FHL Book 929.273 Sm51f
  • [Turkett] Ratliff, Annie Lee T. Turket/Turquette and Some Descendants. Columbia, S.C.: A.L.T. Ratliff, [1995?]. FHL Book 929.273 T847r
  • [Turkett] Turkett, A. Keith. Turkett Genealogy. Batesburg, S.C.: Turkett Family, 1995. FHL Book 929.273 T847tk
  • [Weston] Hopkins, Laura Jervey. Lower Richland Planters: Hopkins, Adams, Weston and Related Families of South Carolina. Hopkins, S.C.: Hopkins, 1976. FHL Book 929.273 H775a Reviewed in The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 78, No. 2 (Apr. 1977):153. Digital version of review at JSTOR ($).
  • [Weston] Hamrick, Elizabeth McRae. "Some Notes on the Weston Family," The South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, Vol. 11, No. 3 (Summer 1983):138-140. FHL Book 975.7 B2sc v. 11
  • [Weston] Colson, Lucy O'Gilvia Wiggins. Weston Family History, 1818-1872. Allied Family: Wiggins. Huntsville, Ala.: L.O.W. Colson, 1997. FHL Book 929.273 W528cL


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.

Local Histories

  • Moore, John Hammond. Columbia and Richland County: A South Carolina Community, 1740-1990. Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1993. FHL Collection 975.771 H2m.
  1. By Edward J. Cashin in The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 94, No. 3 (Jul. 1993):213-214. Digital version at JSTOR ($).
  2. By G. Wayne King in The Journal of Southern History, Vol. 60, No. 2 (May 1994):366-367. Digital version at JSTOR ($).
  3. By Rodger E. Stroup in The Journal of American History, Vol. 81, No. 1 (Jun. 1994):242-243. Digital version at JSTOR ($).



Early migration routes to and from Richland County for European settlers included:[4]


  • "Fort Jackson Military Reservation Cemetery List," Columbia Chronicle, April 1999. Columbia Chapter of the South Carolina Genealogical Society : Columbia, SC.
  • "Seminole War troops, 1836," Columbia Journal, December 1984, Issue 9. Columbia Chapter of the South Carolina Genealogical Society : Columbia, SC.
Revolutionary War
  • "Revolutionary Soldiers Receiving Pensions, Lists, 1818, 1832," Columbia Chronicle, April 2004. Columbia Chapter of the South Carolina Genealogical Society : Columbia, SC.
  • "Annuities for Those Injured in Service, 1778-86," Chester District Genealogical Society Bulletin, September 1985, Volume 8, Issue 3. Chester County Genealogical Society : Richburg, 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, Richland County, p. 188. Identifies War of 1812 veterans living in this county in 1883.]
Civil War

Civil War service men from Richland 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 of men from Richland County.

- 2nd Regiment, South Carolina Cavalry
- Company C (also known as Hapmton Detachment and Congree Mounted Riflemen)
- Company H (also known as Congaree Troops)
- 5th Battalion, South Carolina Reserves (Brown's), Company A
- Garden's Company, South Carolina Light Aritillery (Palmetto Light Battery)
- Shiver's Company, South Caroline Local Defense Troops


  Richland County Public Library Obituary Index

Richland County Public Library offers an online obituary index for The State and the Palmetto Leader newspapers. The index is a work in progress. Additional years are added as they are completed. An online request form is available to request the full text of an obituary.

Richland County Public Library Local Magazine and Newspaper Index

This index contains records from several Columbia magazines and clippings found in the Walker Local History Room vertical files.

The State

The following Columbia newspapers have been digitized by the South Caroliniana Library and made available online for free through the Chronicling America website:[5]


The Library of Congress has identified the following historic newspapers for Richland 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.


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:

  • Columbia Chronicle


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.”[6] 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. They have placed Will Transcriptions for 1782 to 1855 online. Index searchable by name and the image is available.


Vital Records

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 Richland 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 Richland 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 and Marriage Substitutes - Indexes and Records

  • 1838-1860 - Marriage and Death Notices from Columbia, South Carolina Newspapers, 1838-1860 by Brent Holcomb and Shelley Palmer [7] FHL Collection WorldCat
  • 1911 to Present - Marriage License Inquiry by Richalnd County Probate Court - online index
  • 1911-1952Richland County, South Carolina Registers, 1911-1952; Marriage Licenses, 1911-1922 [8] FHL Collection - 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 Richland 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

  • 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

South Caroliniana Library
910 Sumter St.
University of South Carolina
Columbia, S.C. 29208

Telephone for Main Office: (803) 777-3131
FAX South Caroliniana Library: (803) 777-5747
Email with any questions regarding South Caroliniana Library and its holdings.

Societies - Genealogical, Historical, Lineage 

Columbia Chapter SCGS
P.O. Box 11353
Columbia SC 29211-1353

Historic Columbia Foundation
1601 Richland Street
Columbia SC 29201-2633
source: Society Hill

Family History Centers

Columbia South Carolina
4440 Jackson Blvd
Columbia, Richland, South Carolina, United States
Phone: 803-782-7141
Hours: Tue 10:00am-2:00pm; Wed 9:00am-9:00pm
Closed: July, week of Thanksgiving, and last two (2) weeks of December
Attention: Hours may vary. Call before going.

Web Sites

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Richland County, South Carolina
  • The Dead Librarian Walker Local History Room Librarian, Debbie Bloom, keeps South Carolina researchers up to date on new online resources for genealogical research. The blog highlights online obituary indexing provided by South Carolina public libraries.


  1. "List of counties in South Carolina," Wikipedia.
  2. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  3. Voice of Phillip Stalvey, resident of Myrtle Beach, S.C. (2011).
  4. 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.
  5. Digital Collections, "Columbia Phoenix in Chronicling America," South Carolina Digital Newspaper Project, 20 Sep 2010.
  6. Henry Campbell Black, Black's Law Dictionary, 5th ed. (St. Paul, Minnesota: West Publishing Co., 1979), 1081, "probate."
  7. Holcomb, Brent H. and Shelley Palmer, Marriage and Death Notices from Columbia, South Carolina Newspapers, 1838-1860, [S.l.: s.n.], c1988.
  8. South Carolina, Probate Court (Richland County), Richland County, South Carolina Registers, 1911-1952; Marriage Licenses, 1911-1922, Salt Lake City, UT: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 2004.