Fairfield County, South Carolina Genealogy
Guide to Fairfield County, South Carolina Genealogy ancestry, family history and genealogy court records, deeds, maps, immigration, maps, military records, newspapers, obituaries, plantations, probate records, slaves, local archives, libraries, museums, churches, cemeteries, and Civil War records.
|Fairfield County, South Carolina|
Location in the state of South Carolina
Location of South Carolina in the U.S.
- 1 County Information
- 2 County Courthouse
- 3 History
- 4 Places/Localities
- 5 Resources
- 5.1 Research Guides
- 5.2 African Americans
- 5.3 Cemeteries
- 5.4 Census
- 5.5 Church
- 5.6 Court
- 5.7 DNA
- 5.8 Genealogy
- 5.9 Land
- 5.10 Local Histories
- 5.11 Maps
- 5.12 Military
- 5.13 Newspapers
- 5.14 Periodicals
- 5.15 Probate
- 5.16 Taxation
- 5.17 Vital Records
- 6 Archives, Libraries, and Museums
- 7 Societies - Genealogical, Historical, Lineage
- 8 Family History Centers
- 9 Websites
- 10 References
Fairfield County, South Carolina Record Dates
Fairfield County's civil records start the following years:
Fairfield County Courthouse
101 S. Congress St.
Winnsboro, SC 29180
Clerk of Court/Register of Deeds
101 S. Congress St.
P.O. Drawer 299
Winnsboro, SC 29180
Court and land records
Fairfield County Probate Court
P.O. Box 385
Winnsboro, SC 29180
Probate and marriage records
According to tradition, Fairfield County received its name based on a remark made by Lord Cornwallis about the "fair fields" of that area of South Carolina. Learn more about the history of Fairfield County from the South Carolina State Library or from Carolana.com.
Parent County/Boundary Changes
- 1785 - Thirty-three counties were created within existing South Carolina Districts. Fairfield County was created within Camden District.
- 1797 - Richland exchanged with Fairfield County.
- 1800 - Fairfield re-christened a district and Camden District was abolished.
- 1868 - Fairfield and all other districts became counties.
- 1913 - Richland gained from Fairfield and Lexington Counties.
For more information as well as maps of Fairfield County through time, see the South Carolina State Archives or For animated maps illustrating South Carolina county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation South Carolina County Boundary Maps" (1682-1987) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website.
The county seat of Fairfield County is Winnsboro.
There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.
- South Carolina Archives Summary Guide: Fairfield County, available online, courtesy: South Carolina Department of Archives and History.
Known plantations South Carolina Plantations:
- Blink Bonnie
- Cedar Tree - Ridgeway
- Century House
- Davis - Monticello
- Dr. Walter Brice - Douglass
- Fair View - Blair
- Fair View - near Jenkinsville
- Fairoaks - Douglass
- Fonti Flora - Monticello
- High Point
- Ivy Hall - Blair
- Mayfair - Jenkinsville
- Mount Hope - Ridgeway
- Oaks - Blair
- Oaks - Winnsboro
- Roseland - Winnsboro
- Spring Vale - Winnsboro
- Tocaland - Winnsboro
- Valencia - Ridgeway
- White Hall
|Tombstone Transcriptions Online||Tombstone Transcriptions in Print||List of Cemeteries in the county|
|Findagrave.com||Family History Library||Findagrave.com|
|See South Carolina Cemeteries for more information.|
- To view a cemetery list, see Fairfield County, South Carolina Cemeteries.
- National Cemetery Administration
|Source: "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau.|
1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 federal population schedules of Fairfield County are available online. For tips on accessing census records online, see South Carolina Census. If you're having trouble finding your ancestors in online indexes, try checking printed indexes. Created by local experts familiar with the area's families, these indexes are often transcribed more accurately than online nationwide indexes.
See South Carolina Population Schedule Indexes: Fiche, Film, or Book for more information about statewide printed indexes.
- Douthat, James L. 1820 Fairfield County, South Carolina Census and Map. Signal Mountain, Tenn.: Mountain Press, 2006. Free Online Surname Index; purchase at Mountain Press.
- National Archives. Indexes to Manufactures Census of 1820. 1920; reprint, Knightstown, Ind.: Bookmark, 1977. FHL Collection 973 X2m 1820; digital version at Lineages. Includes this county.
1840 Revolutionary War Pensioners
- A Census of Pensioners for Revolutionary or Military Services: With their Names, Ages, and Places of Residence, as Returned by the Marshalls of the Several Judicial Districts, Under the Act for Taking the Sixth Census. Washington, D.C.: Blair and Rives, 1841. FHL Collection 973 X2pc 1840; FHL Collection 2321; digital versions at Google Books. See South Carolina, Fairfield District on page 142.
1850, 1870, 1880
- Myer, Lois C. Fairfield County, South Carolina Census, 1850, 1870 and 1880. Typescript. Microfilmed 1969. FHL Collection 599049 Item 2
Census takers uncharacteristically recorded the birth town or county of residents this census year.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
LDS Ward and Branch Records
See also Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Marker at The Historical Marker Database. "Site of five buildings 1897-1986. Enemies of church burned two, tornado destroyed one."
More than 65 genealogies have been published about Fairfield County families. To view a list, visit Fairfield County, South Carolina Genealogy.
- Draine, Tony. Fairfield County, S.C., Deed Book A, 1785-1788. Columbia, S.C.: Draban, 1991. FHL Collection 975.749 R2d
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.
- Ederington, William.History of Fairfield County, South Carolina (Tuscaloosa, Alabama : Willo Publishing Co., ) , 95 pages. A manuscript history published in the News and Herald, a newspaper of Winnsboro, Fairfield County, South Carolina, in installments, on the dates as indicated with each installment herein. Book found at FHL 975.749 H2r. Digital copy at Archive.org. Other copies
- McMaster, Fitz Hugh. History of Fairfield County, South Carolina:From "before the white man came" to 1942 (Spartanburg, South Carolina : The Reprint Company, 1980 . Reprint of original published: Columbia, S.C. : State Commercial Printing Company, 1946.), 257 pages. Book found at FHL 975.749 H2m and Other Libraries.
- "Palmetto Regiment roster, Fairfield and Chester Companies, 1847," Fairfield Genealogical Society Newsletter, March 2003, Volume 16, Issue 1. Fairfield Chapter SCGS: Winnsboro, SC.
- "Florida War, 1836, SC veterans in 1878," Fairfield Genealogical Society Newsletter, December 2000, Volume 15, Issue 4. Fairfield Chapter SCGS: Winnsboro, SC.
- McCrady, Edward. Heroes of the Old Camden District, South Carolina, 1776-1861: An Address to the Survivors of Fairfield County, Delivered at Winnsboro, S.C., September 1st, 1888, by Col. Edward McCrady, Jr., of Charleston, S.C. Richmond, Va.: Wm. Ellis Jones, Book and Job Printer, 1888. Digital version at Google Books.
- "Battle of Rocky Mount, 1770," Fairfield Genealogical Society Newsletter, June 2003, Volume 16, Issue 2. Fairfield Chapter SCGS: Winnsboro, SC.
- "Fairfield redcoats," Fairfield Genealogical Society Newsletter, 1992, Volume 5, Issue 2. Fairfield Chapter SCGS: Winnsboro, SC.
- "Revolutionary soldiers buried in county," Chester County Genealogical Society Bulletin, December 1981, Volume 4, Issue 4. Chester County Genealogical Society: Richburg, South Carolina. FHL Collection Book 975.74 D25b.
- "Soldiers graves," Daughters of the American Revolution Magazine, January 1966, Volume 100, Issue 1. Daughters of the American Revolution : Washington D.C. FHL Collection Book 973 B2dar.
- "Battle of the Mobleys meeting house," Historical Magazine, June 1873, Volume 1, Issue 6 and April 1873, Volume 1, Issue 4. Henry B. Dawson: Morrisania, New York.
- Shelton, Kenneth A. All that dare oppose them: the Whig victory at Mobley's Meeting House, June 1780: Being a history of the victory of the Whigs over the Tories at the Battle of Mobley's Meeting House on Little River, Fairfield district, South Carolina in June 1780. Gainsville, Virginia: K.A. Shelton, c2005. FHL Collection Book 975.749 M2s.
War of 1812
- List of Pensioners on the Roll, January 1, 1883; Giving the Name of Each Pensioner, the Cause for Why Pensioned, the Post-Office Address, the Rate of Pension Per Month, and the Date of Original Allowance... Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1883. FHL Collection 973 M2Lp v. 5; digital versions at Google Books and Internet Archive. [See Vol. 5, South Carolina, Fairfield County, p. 185. Identifies War of 1812 veterans living in this county in 1883.]
- 1861-1865 - South Carolina Civil War Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, 1861-1865 at FamilySearch — index
- 1861-1865 - U.S., Confederate Soldiers Compiled Service Records, 1861-1865 at Ancestry — index (free)
- 1861-1865 - U.S., Union Soldiers Compiled Service Records, 1861-1865 at Ancestry — index (free)
Regiments. Civil War service men from Fairfield County served in various regiments. Men often joined a regiment or a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were formed in Fairfield County or from many of its men:
- - 1st Regiment, South Carolina Artillery, Company K
- - 2nd Regiment, South Carolina Cavalry, Company H (also known as the Congaree Troop) and Company I (also known as the Edgefield Hussars or formerly known as Company A, Cavalry Battalion, Hampton Legion, and the Edgefield Dragoons)
- - 3rd Battalion, South Carolina Infantry (Lauren's) (James'), Company G (also known as the Aiken Guards)
- - 3rd Battalion, South Carolina Light Artillery (Palmetto Battalion), Company C (also known as the Wilson Light Artillery, Culpepper's Light Artillery and Culpeper Battery)
- - 3rd Battalion, South Carolina Reserves, Company B
- - 3rd Regiment, South Carolina State Troops (6 months 1863-64), Company B
- - 3rd Regiment, South Carolina State Troops Junior Reserves (State Militia), Company H
- - 4th Regiment, South Carolina Cavalry (Rutledge's), Company B
- - 4th Regiment, South Carolina State Troops, Company H
- - 5th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry , Company A
- - 6th Regiment, South Carolina Reserves (90 days 1862-63), Company F, Company H, Company I
- - 6th Regiment, South Carolina Cavalry (Aiken's Partisan Rangers) (1st Partisan Rangers), Company C
- - 6th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry, Company C, Company D, Company I, Company G, and Company H
- - 7th Battalion, South Carolina Infantry (Nelson's) (Enfield Rifles), Company B, Company E, Company G, and Company H
- - 7th Regiment, South Carolina Cavalry , Company D, Company G, and Company H
- - 10th Battalion, South Carolina Cavalry, Company A
- - Before Reorganization the 10th Battalion, South Carolina Cavalry had the following companies: Company C
- - 12th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry, Company C, Company D, and Company F
- - 15th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry , Company E and Company I
- - 16th Battalion, South Carolina Cavalry, Company C
- - 17th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry, Company B and Company D
- - 19th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry, Company D
- - 19th Battalion, South Carolina Cavalry, Company B
- - South Carolina State Troop Regiments Seed Corn Units, Junior Reserves, 3rd Regiment, South Carolina State Troops Junior Reserves (State Militia)
- McMaster, Fitz Hugh. History of Fairfield County, South Carolina:From "before the white man came" to 1942 (Spartanburg, South Carolina: The Reprint Company, 1980 . Reprint of original published: Columbia, S.C.: State Commercial Printing Company, 1946.), 257 pages. Civil War pages 125-142. Some company rosters. Book found at FHL 975.749 H2m and Other Libraries.
- South Carolina. Comptroller General. Pension Records of Confederate Veterans and Their Widows, 1889-1891. (Salt Lake City, Utah: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1961) Arranged by surname. Microfilm copy at FHL 292429
- South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Pension Lists For Fairfield County, South Carolina, 1919, 1930, 1940-1943. (Columbia, South Carolina: Filmed by the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, 1970). Microfilm copy at FHL 1294221 Items 1-2
The Library of Congress has identified the following historic newspapers for Fairfield 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.
- Herald-Independent (Winnsboro, S.C) 1982-current.
- The Daily News (Winnsboro, S.C.) 1865-1865.
- The Daily Register (Winnsboro, S.C.) 1850-1855.
- The Fairfield Courier (Winnsboro, S.C.) 1865-1865.
- The Fairfield Herald (Winnsboro, S.C.) 1849-1876.
- The Fairfield Independent (Winnsboro, S.C.) 1979-1982
- The Fairfield News (Ridgeway, S.C.) 1909-1915.
- The News and Herald (Winnsboro, S.C.) 1876-1982.
- The News and Herald (Winnsboro, S.C.) 1877-1900.
- The News. Fairfield and Chester Advertiser (Winnsboro, Fairfield District, S.C.) 1844-1844.
- The Register (Winnsboro, S.C.) 1855-1862.
- The Tri-Weekly News (Winnsboro, S.C.) 1865-1876.
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 this county, see:
- Chester District Genealogical Society Bulletin
- Fairfield Genealogical Society Newsletter
Probate is the “court procedure by which a will is proved to be valid or invalid” and encompasses “all matters and proceedings pertaining to the administration of estates, guardianships, etc.” Various types of records are created throughout the probate process. These may include, wills, bonds, petitions, accounts, inventories, administrations, orders, decrees, and distributions. For further information see probate records in South Carolina.
The South Carolina Department of Archives and History has microfilms or typescripts of wills, inventories, bills of sale, power of attorneys, bonds, notes, administrations, judgments, and sales records. They have placed Will Transcriptions for 1782 to 1855 online. Index searchable by name and the image is available.
- Will of John Lee of Little River, Fairfield Co., S.C. 1786. MSS., South Carolina Archives, Kershaw County Wills, Vol. 1 of Wills not recorded, pp. 59-61. FHL 1597743 Item 37
- Wills 1787-1791 (abstracts and transcripts) South Carolina Pioneers
- Wills 1792-1795 (transcripts) South Carolina Pioneers
- Wills 1800-1803 (transcripts) South Carolina Pioneers
- Index to Fairfield County Probate Records 1787-1868 (by surname) South Carolina Pioneers
- Index to Will Book 1 (1787-1791); Will Book 2 (1792-1795); Will Book 4 (1800-1803); Will Book 5 (1804-1805); Will Book 6 (1806-1807); Will Book 7 (1815-1816); Will Book 8 (1822-1823); Will Book 9 (1824-1829); Will Book 10 (1828-1829); Will Book 12 (1829-1830); Will Book 11 (1836-1837); Will Book 13 (1831-1833 South Carolina Pioneers
- Wills, Fairfield County, courtesy USGenWeb Archives.
- Wills, 1785-1904. Probate Court, Fairfield County, South Carolina. Includes index.
Online Probate Records
- 1670-1980 - South Carolina Wills and Probate Records 1670-1980 at Ancestry.com — index and images $
- 1671-1977 - South Carolina Carolina Probate Records, Bound Volumes 1671-1977 at FamilySearch — images
- 1732-1964 - South Carolina Probate Records, Files and Loose Papers 1732-1964 at FamilySearch — images
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, relationships, and the year an individual died or left the area. They can be used as substitutes for missing or destroyed land and census records.
- South Carolina Department of Archives and History tax lists for Fairfield County.
- 1792 Tax List, 1792, Chester District Genealogical Society Bulletin, Vol. 13, No. 3 (Sep. 1990); Vol. 13, No. 4 (Dec. 1990).
- 1792 Draine, Tony and Edd Bannister. Fairfield County SC Tax Returns, 1792. Columbia, S.C.: Draban, 1991. FHL Book 975.749 R4d
State-wide birth registration began in 1915. For a copy of a birth from 1915 or later, contact the South Carolina Department of Health. The Fairfield County Health Department also has copies but they provide only an abbreviated form with limited information. For more information, see the South Carolina Vital Records page.
- 1766-1900 - South Carolina, Delayed Birth Certificates, 1766-1900 at FamilySearch — images
In South Carolina, marriage licenses were not required by local governments until 1 July 1911. However, 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. Not all churches recorded these marriages and some have not survived. See South Carolina Vital Records for more information.
State-wide death registration began in 1915. For a copy of the death certificates from 1915 or later, contact the South Carolina Department of Health. For more information, see the South Carolina Vital Records page.
- 1915-1965 - South Carolina Deaths, 1915-1965 at FamilySearch — index and images
- State-wide South Carolina Death Indexes. There are several online death indexes covering all of South Carolina listed on the South Carolina Vital Records page.
Archives, Libraries, and Museums
Fairfield County Library Main Branch
300 Washington Street
Winnsboro, South Carolina 29180
Hours: Monday to Wednesday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Friday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Catalog: Fairfield County Library catalog is part of the SC Lends system powered by Evergreen. It is best viewed with Firefox.
The Historical Room contains published South Carilina Materials with emplasis on Fairfield County including cemetery records; local newspapers on microfilm from 1866; microfilms of early wills, probate records, and some census records. There are no manuscripts or loose papers.
Ridgeway Branch Library
175 South Palmer Street
Ridgeway, South Carolina
Hours: Monday to Thorsday 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
The Fairfield County Museum
231 S. Congress St.
P. O. Box 6
Winnsboro, South Carolina 29180
Office Hours: Tuesday - Friday 10:00 AM- to 5:00 PM (closed for lunch); Sat 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
This museum is located in a historic house which displays local artifacts. A gift shop sells publications on local history. The Museum has welcoms volunteer to help with various projects that include: archeological projects such as - scouting to find Revolutionary battle sites for National Park Service surveys,the identification of a section of the Great Philadelphia Wagon Road that had been forgotten by time in dense forest cover, the discovery of an eighteenth century riverboat canal, and the locating and documenting of old graveyards.
Societies - Genealogical, Historical, Lineage
Fairfield Chapter SCGS
P.O. Box 696
Winnsboro SC 29180
Family History Centers
Family history centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes. See family history center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.
- Fairfield County, SC History, Records, Facts and Genealogy (Genealogy Inc)
- [http://sciway3.net/scgenweb/altco/scfairfield/ Fairfield County, SCGenWeb
- FamilySearch Catalog
- Fairfield County, South Carolina Genealogy and Family History (Linkpendium)
- South Carolina Pioneers South Carolina Pioneers
- South Carolina State Library, "Fairfield County"
- Voice of Phillip Stalvey, resident of Myrtle Beach, S.C. (2011).
- Alycon Trubey Pierce, "In Praise of Errors Made by Census Enumerators," National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 81, No. 1 (March 1993):51-55. FHL Book 973 B2ng
- Henry Campbell Black, Black's Law Dictionary, 5th ed. (St. Paul, Minnesota: West Publishing Co., 1979), 1081, "probate."