South Carolina Deaths, 1944-1955 - FamilySearch Historical Records

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This article describes a collection of records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.
South Carolina, 
United States
South Carolina flag.png
Flag of South Carolina
US Locator South Carolina.png
Location of South Carolina
Record Description
Record Type Vital records
Collection years 1944-1955
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites


What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

The collection consists of records from 1944-1955 were acquired from the South Carolina Division of Health and Environmental Control. The collection consists of a name index to South Carolina deaths.

The trend of keeping state-wide death records throughout the United States expanded in the early 20th century after Congress passed a resolution in 1901 asking each state to gather information about births and deaths on a statewide basis. Because Congress did not fund it, it took several more years before it happened in every state.

Death certificates were usually filled out by a mortician or medical professional. They filled in the information concerning the death and then obtained personal information on the deceased from an informant, usually a relative. Then, they sent the information to the county, who sent a copy to the state. The South Carolina Division of Vital Records is responsible for maintaining and issuing certified copies of vital records, including death certificates for deaths. Death certificates become public records fifty years after the death.

Deaths from 1915 to 1957 are available to the public at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History Monday through Saturday. City of Charleston death records from as early as 1821 are on file at the Charleston County Health Department. Florence City deaths for 1895-1914 are available at the Florence County Health Department. Newberry City deaths from the late 1800’s are available at the Newberry County Health Department. The state generally achieved compliance after 1915.

Image Visibility[edit | edit source]

Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images. For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The following information may be found in these records:

  • Name of the deceased
  • Marital status and name of spouse
  • Dates of death
  • Birth date and place of the deceased
  • City, county, and state of death

  • Burial date and name of cemetery
  • Place of death and name of funeral home
  • Birthplace of the deceased
  • Name of the informant, who is often a child or other family member and names of additional relatives
  • Age, race, and sex of the deceased

  • Names and birthplaces of parents
  • Residence of the deceased
  • Occupation of the deceased

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Sample Image[edit | edit source]

How Do I Search the Collection?[edit | edit source]

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor
  • The approximate death date of your ancestor
  • The place of death
  • The names of family members and their relationships

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

You will be able to search this collection when it is published.

How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Add any new information to your records
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find or verify their birth records and parents' names.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
  • Use the residence and names of the parents (if the deceased is a child) to locate church and land records.
  • Use the parent’s birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • The name of the officiator is a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county.
  • The name of the undertaker or mortuary could lead you to funeral and cemetery records which often include the names and residences of other family members.
  • Occupations listed can lead you to employment records or other types of records such as military records.
  • Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname, this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the deceased who may have died or been buried in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.

I Can't Find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Look for an index. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby localities.
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals with the same family number.

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the state of South Carolina.

Citing this Collection[edit | edit source]

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.