Lee County, South Carolina Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Bishopville
Organized: February 19, 1898[1]
Parent County(s): Darlington, Sumter, Kershaw [2]
Neighboring Counties
Chesterfield  • Darlington  • Florence  • Kershaw  • Sumter
See County Maps
Courthouse
South Carolina, Lee County Courthouse.png
Location Map
Sc-lee.png
Adoption

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Confederate General Robert E. Lee (1807-1870).[3] The County is located in the north central region of the state.[4]

Confederate General Robert E. Lee (1807-1870)

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Lee County Courthouse
123 S. Main Street
Bishopville, SC 29010
Phone: 803-484-5341
Lee County Website

County Pronunciation
Hear it spoken[5]

Lee 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[6]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1915 1902 1902 1902 1902 1902 1790
*Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1915. General compliance by 1918.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

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:[9]

Cities
Towns
Unincorporated communities
  • Lucknow
  • Manville
  • St. Charles
  • Spring Hill
  • Una
  • Wisacky


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 Lee 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.
1910 25,318
1920 26,827 6.0%
1930 24,096 −10.2%
1940 24,908 3.4%
1950 23,173 −7.0%
1960 21,832 −5.8%
1970 18,323 −16.1%
1980 18,929 3.3%
1990 18,437 −2.6%
2000 20,119 9.1%
2010 19,220 −4.5%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

Church Records[edit | edit source]

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Online Court Indexes and Records
Lee County has court records from 1902 that are held in the office of the Clerk of Court. Lee County was formed from Darlington, Kershaw and Sumter Counties so these also may need to be searched for records. The South Carolina Archives and History Center has court records available on microfilm for Lee County.

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

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

African Americans

Known plantations South Carolina Plantations:

  • Black - also called Josey
  • Josey - also called Black
  • Plain Hill
  • Rose Hill
  • Smith's Grove - Lynchburg - also called Tanglewood
  • Stirrup Branch - Bishopville
  • Tall Oaks - Bishopville - also called S. McLendon House
  • Tanglewood - Lynchburg - also called Smith's Grove

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

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

  • The Darlington Flag (Lydia, SC) 1851-1852
  • Locklair - Brown, Gerald D. A Genealogy of a Locklair Family Mainly of the Old Sumter District of South Carolina - Present Day Sumter and Lee Counties. Hemingway, S.C.: Three Rivers Historical Society, 1995. FHL 929.273 L812b
  • Smith - Smith, Jared M. The Legacy of J. Manly Smith, Sr.: First Sheriff of Lee County, South Carolina. Bishopville, S.C.: J.M. Smith, 1994. FHL 929.273 Sm61sjm; digital version at FamilySearch Digital Library

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.

  • 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.

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

Tracing Land Currently in Lee County with Parent Counties and Districts with property originating in Kershaw County [10]
Date Government Office
1902-present Lee County
1869-1902 Kershaw County (new)
1800-1868 Kershaw District
1791-1800 Kershaw County (old)
1785-1791 Richland County
1785-1791 Lancaster County
1785-1791 Fairfield County
1769-1785 Camden District *
1719-1769 Charleston District
1710-1719 Proprietary Land Grants
  • Some Camden District records are included with Kershaw County records
Tracing Land Currently in Lee County with Parent Counties and Districts with property originating in Sumter County [11]
Date Government Office
1902-present Lee County
1868-1902 Sumter County
1801-1868 Sumter District
1800-1801 Sumter District Records Lost *
1792-1800 Salem County Records Lost *
1785-1800 Claremont County Records Lost *
1785-1800 Claredon County 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 Lee County with Parent Counties and Districts with property originating in Darlington County [12]
Date Government Office
1902-present Lee County
1868-1902 Darlington County
1806-1868 Darlington Distict
1800-1806 Darlington District Records Burned
1785-1800 Darlington County Records Burned
1769-1785 Cheraws District
1719-1769 Charleston District
1710-1719 Proprietary Land Grants

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

A brief history of Lee County online

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Chesterfield CountyDarlington CountyFlorence CountySumter CountyKershaw CountySC LEE.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Civil War

Regiments. Lee County did not exist during the Civil War. During the Civil War, men from the area of Lee County mostly would have served in various regiments recruited in the counties of Darlington, Sumter and Kershaw . Counties were called districts during the Civil War.

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Historic
The Library of Congress has identified the following historic newspapers for Lee 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

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.

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 Lee County.

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.

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.

Marriages - Indexes and Records

  • 1911-1950 Lee County, South Carolina Marriage Registers, 1911-1950 [13] FHL Collection - records
  • 1911-1950 Lee County, South Carolina Marriage Licenses, 1911-1950 [14] FHL Collection - index and 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.

Deaths - Indexes and Records

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

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

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

  • Lee County South Carolina Historical Society
    208 North Dennis Avenue
    Bishopville, SC 29010
    803-484-6146

Websites[edit | edit source]

  • FamilySearch Catalog – The FamilySearch catalog contains descriptions and access information for all genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, and publications) in their collection.  Use Historical Records to search for specific individuals in genealogical records.

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. South Carolina Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; accessed on 11 April 2021.
  2. South Carolina Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; accessed on 11 April 2021.
  3. "List of counties in South Carolina," Wikipedia.
  4. "Lee County, South Carolina" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Lee_County,_South_Carolina_Genealogy." accessed 27/06/2019
  5. Voice of Phillip Stalvey, resident of Myrtle Beach, S.C. (2011).
  6. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Lee 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.
  7. South Carolina Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; accessed on 11 April 2021.
  8. 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.
  9. Wikipedia contributors, "Lee County, South Carolina," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_County,_South_Carolina, accessed 27 December 2019.
  10. Schweitzer, George K. , South Carolina Genealogical Research (Knoxville, Tennessee: s.p. 1985), 39-42, FHL book 975.7 D27s
  11. Schweitzer, George K. , South Carolina Genealogical Research (Knoxville, Tennessee: s.p. 1985), 39-42, FHL book 975.7 D27s
  12. Schweitzer, George K. , South Carolina Genealogical Research (Knoxville, Tennessee: s.p. 1985), 39-42, FHL book 975.7 D27s
  13. Lee County, South Carolina Marriage Registers, 1911-1950, Salt Lake City, UT: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 2002.
  14. South Carolina. Probate Court (Lee County), Lee County, South Carolina Marriage Licenses, 1911-1950, Salt Lake City, UT: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 2001.