South Carolina Naturalization and Citizenship

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Some colonial applications for naturalization are found in the records of the secretary of the province at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.

Since the Revolutionary War, naturalization papers have been filed in the records of federal, state, and local courts. The Family History Library has petitions to the courts of common pleas and general sessions for some counties. A few of these records are found in the court minutes that are listed in the Family History Library Catalog under SOUTH CAROLINA, [COUNTY] - COURT RECORDS.

Starting in the 1780s, the South Carolina legislature also granted citizenship. Many of these petitions are in the records of the General Assembly at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Only one small volume of records, 1788 to 1839, is at both the South Carolina Department of Archives and History and the Family History Library (FHL film 022673, the index is on film 022662). Another source of information is Brent H. Holcomb, South Carolina Naturalizations, 1783-1850 (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1985; FHL book 975.7 P4h).

Naturalizations granted by federal courts in South Carolina before the Civil War are indexed in Volume 66 of the South Carolina Historical Magazine. The original records are at the National Archives— Southeast Region (Atlanta), and the South Carolina Department of Archives and History has microfilm copies. Copies of the U.S. District Court records for the years 1790 to 1906 from the National Archives—Southeast Region (Atlanta) are also at the Family History Library (film 929094).

For naturalization records after 1906, contact the National Archives—Southeast Region (Atlanta) or the local office of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.