| South Carolina Department of Archives and History
E-mail: Genealogy Research Request Form
- 8301 Parklane Road
- Columbia, SC 29223
Telephone: 803-896-6171; Fax: 803-896-6167
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Closed on Sundays, Mondays, and State Holidays
Directions, map, and public transportation
- Directions: How to find the SC Dept. of Archives and History
- Map: Google map
- Public transportation: CMRTA bus route 23 or 23A stops at Farrow and Parklane. Walk south on Parklane to the History Center.
Internet sites and databases:
- On-line Records Index
- Records of Confederate Veterans 1909-1973
- Criminal Court Records
- Index to Multiple Record Series ca. 1675-1929
- Legislative Papers 1782-1866
- National Register of Historic Places
- Plats for State Land Grants 1784-1868
- School Insurance Photographs 1935-1952
- Will Transcripts 1782-1855
- Digital Collections
- Confederate Pension Applications, 1919-1938
- Insurance file photographs of public schools, 1935-1952
- Grand Jury Presentments to the General Assembly, 1783-1877
- Colonial Plats
- National Register of Historic Places
- Will Transcripts, 1782-1855
- Militia Enrollments of 1869
The Archives houses original South Carolina documents, as well as microfilms of federal and British government records. Starting 1671, it has land records, citizenship records, court records, military records, treasury records, General Assembly records, constitutional officers, state agency records, and records of the secretary of the province and state. Also includes over 3,000 cubic feet of manuscript county records. Sources of most interest to genealogists include federal and state census records, county probate records, county land records, family histories, cemeteries, tax records, newspapers, county equity court records, and state death certificates. South Carolina required marriage licenses beginning in 1911 and birth and death certificates beginning in 1915.
First-time visitors must register. This includes giving an address, I.D., and purpose.
The South Carolina Archives & History Center official guides:
- Holcomb, Brent H. et al. South Carolina Miscellaneous Records & Genealogical Records of the South Carolina Archives. Hartsville, S.C.: Old Darlington District Chapter, SCGS, [1995?]. Audio cassettes. FHL US/CAN Audio no. 18 pt. 1, pt. 2, supp.
- Lesser, Charles H. Sources for the American Revolution at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Columbia, S.C.: South Carolina Department of Archives and History, 2000. FHL Book 975.7 J53L
- Lesser, Charles H. The Palmetto State's Memory: A History of the South Carolina Department of Archives & History, 1905-1960. Columbia, S.C.: South Carolina Department of Archives and History, 2009. Free online version.
If you cannot visit or find a record at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, a similar record may be available at one of the following.
- National Archives Southeast Region (Atlanta) (i.e. Morrow), federal censuses, Ancestry.com, military, pensions, bounty-land, photos, passengers arrival indexes, naturalizations, Native Americans, African Americans, workshops.
- South Carolina Historical Society, Charleston, SC, diaries and papers, plantation, business, and church records, maps, plats, genealogies, 30,000 photos, 50,000 books, pamphlets, and serials.
- South Carolina Genealogical Society has a modest collection of family histories, genealogies, state and county record abstracts, county histories, local histories, and church histories.
- Family History Library, Salt Lake City, 450 computers, 3,400 databases, 3.1 million microforms, 4,500 periodicals, 310,000 books of worldwide family and local histories, civil, church, immigration, ethnic, military, Mormon records.
- Daughters of the American Revolution Library, Washington DC, Revolutionary War and colonial period, including family and local histories, cemetery transcriptions, Bible records, 15,000 genealogical membership applications.
- Dallas Public Central Library Texas, 111,700 volumes, 64,500 microfilms, 89,000 microfiche, and over 700 maps, marriage, probate, deed, and tax abstracts in book form, or microfilm of originals for some states, and online databases.
- South Caroliniana Library (Univ. of SC) 75,000 books/micrifilms, 1.3 manuscripts including genealogies, and the noteworthy collections of Leonardo Andrea, Bessie Lee Garvin, and Louise K. Crowder.
- Richland County Public Library Accessible Archives, Ancestry.com, HeritageQuest, SC Death Indexes 1915-1958 and many other websites
- Lexington County Public Library System Lexington County Obituary Index, and HeritageQuest Online.
- Historic Columbia Foundation 6,500 artifacts including images.
- South Carolina State Museum Prehistoric, Revolutionary and Colonial, Antebellum, Civil War, Post Civil War, African American History.
- Lexington County Clerk of the Court criminal, common pleas, and family court.
- Lexington County Register of Deeds
- Richland County Clerk of the Court criminal, common pleas, and family court.
- Richland County Register of Deeds includes marriage licenses since 1911 (index online).
- Repositories in surrounding counties: Fairfield, Kershaw, Sumter, Calhoun, Lexington, and Newberry.
- Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina Archives, Dalco Historical Soc., Charleston, colonial parish records.
- Repositories in other surrounding states: North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee.
- State Library of N. Car., Raleigh, family history, Bibles, marriage, death, newspaper, deeds, photos.
- North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, census, military, courts, bond, deed, estate, vital records, wills.
- Georgia Archives, Morrow, genealogies, county histories, newspapers, tax digests, private papers, church records, cemeteries, Bible records, a few municipal records, census, maps, land plats, photographs, Georgia Confederate service and pension records, colonial, headright, and bounty land grants, land lottery, and Georgia county records.
- Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, vital records, censuses, county records, tax lists, local histories, school censuses, military records, Native Americans, newspapers, obituary lists, and maps.