Your Guide to Researching
South Carolina Ancestors

* General Guides * Maps * Statewide Genealogy Web sites * Societies, Libraries and Archives *
* Finding and Using Records * Queries & Help * More Links *

General Guides to South Carolina Research

Two online sources cover each state. Throughout this page I will provide links to each of them, but take a moment now to look at the whole of each of them. I don't provide links everything on each of them.

Books you might purchase or use in a library include:

Each of the three reference books listed below has a small section covering each state that includes maps, historical information, vital records coverage and a bibliography of resources for that state. (note: some libraries may have earlier editions; those are usable)

  1. Handybook for Genealogists ( 11th edition) (find in a library)
  2. Ancestry's Redbook, 3rd ed, revised. (find in a library) (see above for online copy)
  3. The Family Tree Resource Book for Genealogical Research (find in a library)

Atlases, Maps & Gazetteers

For more information on finding and using maps,
see Your Guide to Atlases, Maps and Gazetteers.

Statewide Genealogy Web sites

Next, see what is available for your counties of interest at at one of these statewide sites. For each, use the county selection list to find out what is available for the various counties. Content will vary, but often you will find the GenWeb site to be the most robust. All are volunteer driven sites; all data free, but as time goes by, the upkeep of many of these sites seems to be falling by the wayside.

And I will have to leave it up to you if it is worth subscribing to this site. I've had no experience with it. It appears to be one of about a half dozen such sites, which you can subscribe to as a group. You will want to explore the site thoroughly before making a decision.

Societies, Libraries and Archives

For more information on using libraries and archives, see genealogy guides to Libraries and Archives

Finding and Using Records :adoption African American bible cemetery, census, church, city directories, histories, court & legal, military, land and property, naturalizations, newspapers, probate, vital.

FIRST.. use the catalog at the place name box in the Family History Library catalog to find out what has been filmed covering the state of South Carolina the counties of South Carolina and the cities, villages or townships within the counties.

  • As you type South Carolina in the place box, you will see an alphabetical listing of counties in the drop down;
    • once in a county, you can click in the place box on the left to see an alphabetical list of the towns, cities and villages within that county.
    • This only shows areas for which material is available at the Family History Library.
  • An item will likely be in one of the three, perhaps two of the three and almost never in all three of these searches --you need to check each

NEXT... see what South Carolina material records are available online on the Records Collection.

AND REMEMBER The Family History Library is not the only place you will find material. A great deal is available online or in libraries and archives, courthouses or other institutions and organizations across the nation.

Below is information on some of the records you will seek; these links are intended to help you educate yourself on the use and value of the records, as well as find them.


African American:

Bible: For general information, see Guide to Bible Records, this web site.

Cemetery: For general information, see Guide to Cemetery Records, this web site

Census: For general information, see Guide to Census Records, this web site.

Church: For general information, see Guide to Church Records, this web site.

City and County Directories: For general information, see guide to City and County Directories, this web site.

County and Local Histories: For general information, see Guide to County Histories, this web site.

  • South Carolina County Histories (look in emigration and immigration)

Court & Legal; For general information, see Guide to Law Libraries and Guide to Courthouse Research on this web site.

Land & Property: For general information, see Guide to Land Records, this web site.

Military; For general information, see Guide to Military Records, this web site.

Naturalizations & Immigration; For general information, see Guide to Naturalizations, this web site.

Newspapers & Obituaries : For general information, see Guide to Newspapers, this web site.

Probate: For general information, see Guide to Probate Records, this web site.

Tax Records; For general information, see Guide to Tax Lists, this web site.

Vital: For general information, see Guide to Vital Records, this web site

Queries & Help

  • Post a query on the appropriate Ancestry/Rootsweb South Carolina county message board or on the "county unkown" board if your query is more general.
  • Check the South Carolina Genweb county page for look up volunteers; success will vary with each county.
  • Boards

More Links




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This page last updated April 28, 2013