Friday, January 20, 2012

South Carolina Records Availability

US map with South Carolina highlightedIt is time for another article on record accessibility. Information is taken from the Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC) white paper titled “Open Access to Public Records: a Genealogical Perspective.”

For South Carolina, as of 7 January 2012 the white paper lists record availability as follows

Record Type Year begins Access (Closed, Open, Restricted) Years Restricted Copy for Genealogical Purposes Statute Notes
Birth 1915 Restricted 100   44-63-80  
Marriage 1950 Restricted     44-63-86 Pre-1950 in County Office of the Probate
Divorce 1962 Restricted     44-63-86  
Death 1915 Restricted 50   44-63-84 Online Death Index 1915-1957.
Adoption   Closed     44-63-140  

If you are a resident of the state, election year is a great time to let your state legislators know what you think about the state’s restrictions. Keep in mind the state’s legitimate need to prevent identity fraud. Then fight fear with facts.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled presidential election, already in progress…


  1. Thank you for highlighting the Records Preservation and Access Committee's White Paper. We hope it is a useful resource for the genealogical community and strive to make it better.

    We are updating this chart and would welcome updates and corrections. It currently reflects the best available information as of 2008. Please contact us at . Source citations appreciated.


    Frederick E. Moss
    RPAC Member

  2. Most of my personal research is done on SC, home of my mother's family. From experience, access is nowhere near as big an issue as is the fact that SC kept no vital records until 1915. Experience has taught me to use everything else and to pray that my b 1850 ancestor died after 1915
    For the record, several counties in which I reseearch have on line marriage indexes that are accessible on line and some early " adoptions" can be found in court records, but they are "deeds" and not " adoptions per se.
    Some SC court records actually come up, as the digitally reproduced originals, not indexes,simply by Footling.


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