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Genealogy Frequently Asked Questions

Can my local public library borrow books in the South Carolina Room for me through Interlibrary Loan?
All material in the South Carolina Room, whether print or nonprint, are reference. They are not available for Interlibrary Loan.

Can you send me photocopies of an entire family history from your collection?
Due to copyright restrictions, the South Carolina Room cannot provide photocopies of an entire book. We will only provide photocopies up to twenty-five pages.

Do you have a record of the death of my great-grandfather?
The South Carolina Room does have a collection on microfilm of death certificates for the City of Charleston only from 1866 to 1914. The Charleston Death Card File (1819-1926) serves as an index to the death certificates. There are some earlier death records for the City of Charleston starting in 1819, which we have on microfilm. These Returns of Deaths are not death certificates, but a ledger used by the City Dept. of Health to keep track of deaths. The information in the records varies from year to year, but provides name, date of death, cause of death, and place of internment. The death records are in the process of being indexed.

The State of South Carolina didn’t require death certificates until 1915. After 1915, request death certificates from:
          Division of Vital Records, DHEC
          2600 Bull Street,
          Columbia, SC 29201
          Telephone 803-898-3630 

There is an index to the State Board of Health death records from 1915-1955 at www.scdhec.net/vr/index.htm.

Death certificates over fifty years old are also available from:
          South Carolina Archives and History Center
          8301 Parklane Road
          Columbia, SC 29223
          Telephone 803-896-6100

What about a marriage record for my great-grandparents?
Information about marriages in South Carolina after July 1950 is available from:
          Division of Vital Records, DHEC
          2600 Bull Street
          Columbia, SC 29201
          Telephone 803-898-3630.

There are some limitations on who may receive a copy of the actual marriage license.

Prior to 1950 and back to 1911, the Office of the Judge of Probate in the county where the marriage license was issued should have the marriage record. The Judge of Probate Office for Charleston County has marriage records going back to 1877. There is an online index to these records available at www.charlestoncounty.org. The South Carolina Room has microfilm of the Charleston County Judge of Probate Office marriage records from 1877-1922.  At this time the microfilm is not indexed.

On the South Carolina Room web page under Genealogy Research, there is a list of sources in the room for marriages in the Charleston area.

Do you have a published history of my family? Do you have family files?
The Library’s online catalog can be searched by subject to see if there is a work on a particular surname. We do not have family files.

Can you recommend someone I can hire to do genealogy research for me?
The South Carolina Room maintains a list of people willing to do genealogy and history research for a fee. We also have copies of the list of fee-based genealogy researchers from the South Carolina State Archives. We cannot recommend a specific researcher from either list.