Florence County, South Carolina Genealogy

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Guide to Florence County, South Carolina ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

County Facts
County seat: Florence
Organized: December 22, 1888
Parent County(s): Marion, Darlington, Clarendon, Williamsburg
Neighboring Counties
Clarendon  • Darlington  • Dillon  • Lee  • Marion  • Marlboro  • Sumter  • Williamsburg
See County Maps
Courthouse
South Carolina, Florence County Courthouse.png
Location Map
SC-florence.png
Adoption

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for the daughter of General W. W. Harlee. The County is located in the northeast area of the state.[1]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Florence County Courthouse
180 North Irby Street
Florence, SC 29501-3431
Phone: 843-665-3031
Florence County Website

County Pronunciation
Hear it spoken[2]

Florence County, South Carolina Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[3]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1915 1911 1915 1889 1889 1889 1790
*Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1915. General compliance by 1918.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[6]

Cities
Towns
Unincorporated communities


History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Florence County, South Carolina online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See South Carolina Cemeteries for more information.

 

Census Records[edit | edit source]

For all existing and online Federal population schedules of South Carolina, see South Carolina Census. See also USGenWeb Census Project, South Carolina, including links to transcribed files.

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1890 25,027
1900 28,474 13.8%
1910 35,671 25.3%
1920 50,406 41.3%
1930 61,027 21.1%
1940 70,582 15.7%
1950 49,710 −29.6%
1960 84,438 69.9%
1970 89,636 6.2%
1980 110,163 22.9%
1990 114,344 3.8%
2000 125,761 10.0%
Source: "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau.

1900

  • Tanner, Vernon M. 1900 Census of the United States, State of South Carolina, County of Florence. 2 vols. Hemingway, S.C.: Three Rivers Historical Society, n.d. FHL Collection 975.784 X2t 1900

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Episcopal Church
Before 1785, residents of what is now Florence County were served by these colonial parishes.[7]

Ward and Branch Records of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  • Florence

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

African Americans
United States African Americans Gotoarrow.png African American Resources for South Carolina
Known plantations South Carolina Plantations:

  • Blooming Grove - Florence
  • Claussen House - Florence - also called Jeffries Creek
  • Columns - Mars Bluff - also called Rankin-Harwell House
  • DeBerry - Pamplico
  • Evander Gregg House - Mars Bluff - also called Red Doe
  • Gregg - Mars Bluff - also called Wallace House
  • Jeffries Creek - Florence - also called Claussen House
  • Pauls - Pamplico
  • Rankin-Harwell House - Mars Bluff - also called Columns
  • Red Doe - Mars Bluff - also called Evander Gregg House
  • Roseville - Florence
  • Wallace House - Mars Bluff - also called Gregg

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

General
Surname indexes to Leonardo Andrea's Files | Folders | Resources are available online, courtesy: The Andrea Files: South Carolina Genealogical Research. Gotoarrow.png Learn more.

Bibliography

  • Chisolm - Horn, John Chisolm and Ruth Marguerite Horn Thompson. The Ancestors and Descendants of Edward Traill Horn (1850-1915) - Harriet Chisolm (1861-1946), Henry Eyster Jacobs (1844-1932) - Laura Hewes Downing (1852-1936). Huntingdon, Pa.: J.C. Horn Associates, 1989. FHL Book 929.273 H783ho.
  • The Darlington Flag (Lydia, SC) 1851-1852
  • Haynes Christensen, Celia Langford. Haynes Heritage. Yorba Linda, Calif.: C.L. Christensen, 1998. FHL Book 929.273 H333c.
  • Keeffe - Hanna, Muriel K. Keeffe/Keefe/Keith Family of Florence and Marion Counties, South Carolina. Summerton, S.C.: M.K. Hanna, 2004. FHL 929.273 K243h
  • LaMotte - Gault, Charles B. Portrait Album of the Family of Mr. and Mrs. Francis Beers Gault of Lake Waccamaw and Wilmington, North Carolina. Typescript. Microfilmed 1971: FHL Film 844967 Item 6.
  • Lee - Brown, Gerald D. A Genealogy of a Lee Family Ancestry and Descendants of David Lee, Sr.: Mainly of Old Williamsburg District - Present Day Florence County, South Carolina. Hemingway, S.C.: Three Rivers Historical Society, 1995. FHL 929.273 L51br
  • Lewis Lewis, J.D. My Neck of the Woods: The Lewis Families of Southeastern North Carolina and Northeastern South Carolina. Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2002. FHL Collection book 929.273 L585Ljd, CD-ROM no. 1036
  • McCown - Clement, Louise McCown. The McCown Family of the Peedee Section of South Carolina. Columbia, S.C.: R.L. Bruan, 1966. FHL Book 929.273 M137cL.
  • O'Cain - Hegg, Sadie Catherine Leach. The Cain Tree and Tangled Branches: A Genealogical Record. n.p.: S.L. Hegg, 1990. FHL Book 929.273 C123h.
  • Stone - Rogers, Dorothy Lee and Louis Benjamin Rogers.Stone Works: Descendants of Old Austin Stone of the Three Rivers Area, with Related Families. Garden City, S.C.: D.L. Rogers, 2004. FHL Book 929.273 St71rd.
  • Taylor - House, D.J., Norma House, and Danny House. Cox--Wheeler: and Related Families. West Columbia, S.C.: D.J. ; N. House, 1995. FHL Book 929.273 C839hd.

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

Because South Carolina was an agricultural state, many residents owned land. For earliest records, search 1) Charleston District, 2) your ancestor’s residential district, 3) neighboring districts, 4) the residential county, 5) neighboring counties. Not all districts and counties kept records. See also South Carolina Land and Property.

Online Land Indexes and Records
The following charts show where you may best expect to find land records.

Tracing Land Currently in Florence County with Parent Counties and Districts orignating in Williamsburg County [8]
Date Government Office
1888-present Florence County
1868-1888 Williamsburg County
1804-1865 Williamsburg District
1868-1888 Marion County
1800-1868 Marion District
1769-1800 Georgetown District Records Lost
1719-1769 Charleston District
1710-1719 Proprietary Land Grants
Tracing Land Currently in Florence County with Parent Counties and Districts originating in Clarendon County [9]
Date Government Office
1868-present Clarendon County (new)
1855-1868 Clarendon District
1801-1855 Sumter District
1800-1801 Sumter District Records Lost*
1792-1800 Salem County Records Lost*
1785-1800 Claredon County (old) Records Lost*
1769-1785 Camden District
1719-1769 Charleston District
1710-1719 Proprietary Land Grants
  • Sumter District records destroyed by fire 27 Nov 1801
Tracing Land Currently in Florence County with Parent Counties and Districts originating in Marion County [10]
Date Government Office
1868-present Marion County
1800-1865 Marion District
1769-1800 Georgetown District Records Lost
1719-1769 Charleston District
1710-1719 Proprietary Land Grants
  • Many colonial deeds for Marion County are recorded in deed records after 1800.

Plats For State Land Grants 1784-1868
This series consists of recorded copies of plats for state land grants for the Charleston and the Columbia Series with their certificates of admeasurement or certification.All personal names and geographic features on these plats are included in the repository's On-line Index to Plats for State Land Grants
The South Carolina Constitution of 1790 required the surveyor general to maintain offices in both the new capital at Columbia and in Charleston. The surveyor general began to use separate volumes for recording plats in his Columbia office in 1796. Before that, all plats were recorded in the set of volumes begun in Charleston in 1784. After 1796, most plats for land grants in the Upper Division of the state were recorded and filed in Columbia. The surveyor general chose to make the Columbia volumes a continuation of the state plat volumes begun in Charleston and gave the initial Columbia volume the number thirty-six to correspond with the number of the volume that had then been reached in the Charleston series. As a result, there are volumes numbered thirty-six through forty-three from each office, but the records in them are not duplicative. Also included are the Plan Books containing Plats and Plans.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

The county is named after Florence Harllee.[11]

  • King, G. Wayne. "The Emergence of Florence, South Carolina, 1853-1890," The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 82, No. 3 (Jul., 1981), pp. 197-209. Digital version at JSTOR ($).
  • Gregg, Alexander.History of the Old Cheraws Containing an Account of the Aborigines of the Pedee, the First White Settlements, their Subsequent Progress, Civil Changes, the Struggle of the Revolution, and the Growth of the Country Afterward, Extending from About A.D. 1730 to 1810 with Notices of Families and Sketches of Individuals (Baltimore, Maryland Genealogical Pub. Co., 1967 ), 629 pages. Book at FHL 975.7 F2g 1967
  • King, G. Wayne. Rise Up So Early a History of Florence County, Sourth Carolina (Spartanburg, South Carolina Reprint Company, 1981), 452 pages. Includes bibliographical references and index. Book found at FHL 975.784 H2k

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Marlboro CountyDillon CountyMarion CountyWilliamsburg CountyClarendon CountyLee CountyDarlington CountySumter CountySC FLORENCE.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

General

  • "Mars Bluff Light Dragoons, votes," Pee Dee Queue, November 1985, Volume 9, Issue 11. Pee Dee Chapter, South Carolina Genealogical Society Marion, SC.
  • "Mars Bluff Light Dragoons, roll, 1837," Pee Dee Queue, September 1985, Volume 9, Issue 9. Pee Dee Chapter, South Carolina Genealogical Society Marion, SC.

Civil War
Online Civil War Indexes and Records

Florence County did not exist during the Civil War. It was created on 22 December 1888 from Marion, Darlington, Clarendon and Williamsburg Counties. During the Civil War, men from the area of Florence County mostly would have served in various regiments recruited in those counties. Counties were called districts during the Civil War.

Other Resources

  • King, G. Wayne. Rise Up So Early: a History of Florence County, South Carolina (Spartanburg, South Carolina: Reprint Company, 1981), 452 pages. Includes bibliographical references and index. Civil War pages 45-58. Book found at FHL 975.784 H2k

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Historic
The Library of Congress has identified the following historic newspapers for Florence County, South Carolina on their Chronicling America website. For publication details, including dates of publication, frequency, preceding and succeeding titles, and to find out which libraries have holdings, click on the newspaper title.

University of South Carolina Library Catalog

Current

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Tap into the minds of local experts. Editors of genealogical periodicals publish unique sources that researchers new to their area may not encounter. Periodicals at various levels (county, region, and state) may carry articles useful to research in this area. For more information and links, see South Carolina Periodicals.

  • Pee Dee Queue
  • Three Rivers Chronicle

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Various types of records are created throughout the probate process of settling estates and property, usually after death. These may include, wills, bonds, petitions, accounts, inventories, administrations, orders, decrees, and distributions. For further information see probate records in South Carolina Probate Records.

Online Probate Indexes and Records

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

Tax-related records are kept by the offices of the county Assessor, Auditor, Sheriff, and Treasurer. Taxes were levied on real and personal property and can help establish ages, residences, and relationships. See South Carolina Taxation for online resources and suggestions.

Online Tax Indexes and Records

  • South Carolina Department of Archives and History tax lists for Florence County.

Published abstracts
Holcomb and Lucas's publication includes the area that later became Florence County:

  • 1811, 1814, 1824 Holcomb, Brent H. and Silas Emmett Lucas. Some South Carolina County Records... 2 vols. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1976-1989. FHL Collection Includes 1811, 1814, and 1824 tax lists for Marion District.
  • 1930s Grandma's Trunk, Tax Receipts, 1930s, Three Rivers Chronicle, Vol. 22, No. 2 (Summer 2001).

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Birth, marriage, and death records were not recorded by South Carolina until the 1900s, thus leaving a lack of vital records created by Civil authorities. See South Carolina Vital Records for online resources and suggestions.

Birth[edit | edit source]

State-wide birth registration did not begin until 1915. For records after 1915, see the South Carolina Vital Records page.

Birth Substitutes - Indexes

  • 1800s-1900s Births, Deaths and Marriages from Timmonsville, South Carolina Newspapers: Late 19th ; 20th Century by Robert M. DeFee [12]FHL Collection WorldCat - index

Marriage[edit | edit source]

In South Carolina, Probate Courts issued and still keep marriage licenses from 1 July 1911 to the present. Licenses were not required before 1911. In the 1700s, the Church of England parish churches were required to record all marriages - even if the couple were not members of the denomination. Statewide registration of marriages started in July, 1950. See South Carolina Vital Records for indexes and more information.

Online Marriage Records and Indexes

  • 1800s Deaths and Marriages from 19th Century Florence, S.C. Newspapers by Robert M. DeFee [13] FHL Collection WorldCat - index
  • 1800s-1900s Births, Deaths and Marriages from Timmonsville, South Carolina Newspapers: Late 19th ; 20th Century by Robert M. DeFee [14]FHL Collection WorldCat - index
  • 1911-1955 Florence County, South Carolina Marriage Registers: Whites ; Afro-Americans, ca. 1911-1955 [15] FHL Collection - records
  • 1917-1950 Florence County, South Carolina Marriage Licenses; Affidavits, ca. 1917-1950 [16] FHL Collection - records
  • There are several online marriage indexes containing miscellaneous marriage records found insome counties of South Carolina listed on the South Carolina Vital Records page.

Death[edit | edit source]

State-wide death registration began in 1915. For information and online records, see the South Carolina Vital Records page.

Online Death Records and Indexes

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Listed below are archives in Florence County. For state-wide library facilities, see South Carolina Archives and Libraries.

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

  • Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
  • FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Listed below are libraries in Florence County. For state-wide library facilities, see South Carolina Archives and Libraries.

Libraries
Florence County Library System consists of a Main Library, five branch facilities, and a bookmobile.
The library systen is on Flickr, Facebook, and Twitter.Website

Florence - Main Library
Address:
509 South Dargan Street
Florence, South Carolina 29506
Phone: (843) 662-8424
Fax: (843) 661-7544
Hours: Monday to Thusday 9:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday to Saturday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Sunday 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The E.N. Zeigler South Carolina History Room in the Florence Library contains many genealogical resources. Researchers will find one the largest genealogical collections in northeastern South Carolina. Cemetery surveys for most South Carolina counties, as well as deed, probate, and newspaper abstracts that include South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia. It is home to the Graham Collection, purchased in 1927 by the Library from the estate of Samuel A. Graham, State Senator from Williamsburg County. This unique collection of rare Americana is especially rich in South Carolina items and includes several exceedingly rare maps.
SC Room Phone: 843-413-7073/7060
SC Room email: scroom@florencelibrary.org. Johnsonville - Doctors Bruce ; Lee Foundation Library
Address:
242 South Georgetown Highway
Johnsonville, South Carolina 29555
Phone: (843) 386-2052
Fax: (843) 380-1302
Hours: Mon and Thu: 9:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Lake City
Address:
221 East Main Street
Lake City, South Carolina 29560
Phone: (843) 394-8071
Fax: (843) 394-1033
Hours: Monday to Wednesday 9:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Thursday and Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Olanta - Dr. John M. Thomason Public Library
Address:
210 E. Hampton Street
Olanta, South Carolina 29114
Phone: (843) 396-4287
Fax: (843) 396-9317
Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Sunday 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pamplico - Dozier M. Munn Pamplico Public Library
Address:
100 East Main Street
Pamplico, South Carolina 29583
Phone: (843) 493-5441
Fax: (843) 493-0361 MWF: 10:00 - 5:00
Hours: Tuesday and Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Saurday 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Timmonsville - Baker Memorial Public Library
Address:

298 W. Smith Street
Timmonsville, South Carolina 29161
Phone: (843) 346-2941
Fax: (843) 346-2931
Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Satuday 9:00 a.m to 1:00 p.m.

Museums[edit | edit source]

Florence Museum
Address:
558 Spruce Street Florence SC 29501
Telephone: 843.662.3351
Email: florencemuseum@me.com
Hours: Tuesday to Saurday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Sunday 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.Website

The Florence Museum contains primarily art and artifacts from many times and places. Among its collections are a few historic documents

Societies[edit | edit source]

Listed below are societies in Florence County. For state-wide genealogical societies, see South Carolina Societies.

  • Old Darlington District Chapter, SCGS
    P.O. Box 175
    Hartsville, SC 29551
    Email: leemlw@aol.com
    Website
  • Darlington County Historical Commission and Museum
    204 Hewitt Street
    Darlington SC 29532
    (843) 398-4710
    Email: dchc@darcosc.net
    Website
    Facebook

Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, Florence County, South Carolina in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence_County,_South_Carolina." accessed 27/06/2019
  2. Voice of Phillip Stalvey, resident of Myrtle Beach, S.C. (2011).
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Florence County, South Carolina. Page 611-615 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 607-608.
  4. South Carolina Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; accessed on 11 April 2021.
  5. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), South Carolina .At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "Florence County, South Carolina," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence_County,_South_Carolina, accessed 23 December 2019.
  7. "South Carolina Districts and Parishes 1770" [map] in Carolana at http://www.carolana.com/SC/Royal_Colony/sc_royal_colony_districts_parishes_1770.html (accessed 11 May 2011).
  8. Schweitzer, George K. , South Carolina Genealogical Research (Knoxville, Tennessee: s.p. 1985), 39-42, FHL book 975.7 D27s
  9. Schweitzer, George K. , South Carolina Genealogical Research (Knoxville, Tennessee: s.p. 1985), 39-42, FHL book 975.7 D27s
  10. Schweitzer, George K. , South Carolina Genealogical Research (Knoxville, Tennessee: s.p. 1985), 39-42, FHL book 975.7 D27s
  11. "List of counties in South Carolina," Wikipedia.
  12. DeFee, Robert M., Births, Deaths and Marriages from Timmonsville, S.C. Newspapers: Late 19th 20th Century, Hartsville, SC: Old Darlington District Chapter, SCGS, c2000.
  13. DeFee, Robert M., Deaths and Marriages from 19th Century Florence, S.C. Newspapers, Hartsville, SC: Old Darlington District Chapter, SCGS, c2000.
  14. DeFee, Robert M., Births, Deaths and Marriages from Timmonsville, S.C. Newspapers: Late 19th 20th Century, Hartsville, SC: Old Darlington District Chapter, SCGS, c2000.
  15. Florence County, South Carolina Marriage Registers: Whites and Afro-Americans (one 1901 Marriage Noted), ca. 1911-1955, Salt Lake City, UT: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 2001.
  16. South Carolina, Probate Court (Florence County), Florence County, South Carolina Marriage Licenses and Affidavits, ca. 1917-1950, Salt Lake City, UT: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 2000
  17. Gregg, John M., Florence, S.C. Area Obituaries, [Hemingway, SC]: Three Rivers Historical Society (South Carolina), c2001.
  18. DeFee, Robert M., Deaths and Marriages from 19th Century Florence, S.C. Newspapers, Hartsville, SC: Old Darlington District Chapter, SCGS, c2000.
  19. DeFee, Robert M., Births, Deaths and Marriages from Timmonsville, S.C. Newspapers: Late 19th and 20th Century, Hartsville, SC: Old Darlington District Chapter, SCGS, c2000.
  20. DeFee, Robert M., Extracts from Florence County coroner's inquisitions, 1889-1915, Hartsville, SC: Old Darlington District Chapter, SCGS, c2001.