South Carolina Naturalization and Citizenship
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 (Family History Library film 022673, the index is on film 022662). Additional sources of information are:
- Hemperley, Marion R. "Federal Naturalization Oaths Charleston, South Carolina 1790-1860," The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 66, No. 2 (Apr., 1965), pp. 112-124; Vol. 66, No. 3 (Jul., 1965), pp. 183-192; Vol. 66, No. 4 (Oct., 1965), pp. 218-228. Digital version at JSTOR ($).
- Holcomb, Brent H. South Carolina Naturalizations, 1783-1850 (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1985; Family History Library 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).
In 1906 the Immigration and Naturalization Service (now United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) was created, forms were standardized and duplicate records created by the court were sent to the INS. To access these records, use the Genealogy Program at www.uscis.gov. You may also contact the National Archives—Southeast Region (Atlanta) for naturalization records.
South Carolina Research Outline. Salt Lake City, Utah: Intellectual Reserve, Inc., Family History Department, 1998, 2001.