Union County, South Carolina Genealogy
Guide to Union 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.
|Union 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 Migration
- 5.13 Military
- 5.14 Museums
- 5.15 Newspapers
- 5.16 Periodicals
- 5.17 Probate
- 5.18 Taxation
- 5.19 Vital Records
- 6 Archives, Libraries, and Museums
- 7 Societies - Genealogical, Historical, Lineage
- 8 Family History Centers
- 9 Websites
- 10 References
Union County, South Carolina Record Dates
Union County Courthouse
210 West Main Street
Union, South Carolina 29379
Clerk of Court
210 W. Main St.
Union, SC 29379
Court and land records
210 W. Main St.
Union, SC 29379
Probate and marriage records
The county is named after Union Church, the first Christian place of worship in the area.
Counties which surrond Union County are Cherokee County (north), York County (northeast), Chester County (east), Fairfield County (southeast), Newberry County (south), Laurens County (southwest), Spartanburg County (northwest). - See more at: Union County, South Carolina Genealogy Guide. Courtesy of Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness
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.
There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.
|Adamsburg||Goshel Hill||Mean Crossroads||Santuc|
|Bailey Town (hist.)||Gregory (hist.)||Meansville (hist.)||Sedalia|
|Bishop Town (hist.)||Herbert||Monarch||Shady Grove (hist.)|
|Black Jack Valley (hist.)||Humphriesville (hist.)||No Mans Land (hist.)||Simmon Tree (hist.)|
|Buffalo||Kelly||Pine Tree (hist.)||Tuckertown|
|Carlisle||Kennedy Mill||Red Point (hist.)||West Springs|
|Cross Keys||Lockhart||Red Town (hist.)||Wild Cat (hist.)|
|Flat Rock (hist.)||Meador||Rogansville (hist.)|
For further information (and links) on these populated places, please go to Populated Places, Union County, South Carolina
- South Carolina Archives Summary Guide: Union County, available online, courtesy: South Carolina Department of Archives and History.
- Wilson, Johnny J. Index of African-Americans in the 1870 Census for Union County, SC, available online, courtesy: Afrigeneas.
- Wilson, Johnny J. Index of African-Americans in the 1880 Census for Union County, SC, available online, courtesy: Afrigeneas.
Known plantations South Carolina Plantations:
- Cross Keys - Cross Keys
- David Johnson's - Lockhart
- Fair Forest
- Hillside - Carlisle
- Jim Gist's
- Juxa - Union
- Orange Hall - Goshen Hill
- Rose Hill
- William Blackstock - Cross Anchor
- Woodland - Carlisle
- Wyoming - Jonesville
|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.|
|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 Union 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.
See Union County/SCGenWeb for specific information on Union County Census Records.
- 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 version at Google Books. See South Carolina, Union District on page 143.
- Brock, Pettus and Broad River Basin Historical Society. 1850 Federal Census of Union County, South Carolina. Hickory Grove, S.C.: Broad River Basin Historical Society, 1993. FHL Collection
Union County has court records from 1785 that are held in the office of the Clerk of Court. Union County was a part of the Ninety-Six District from 1785 - 1791 and the Pinckney District from 1791 - 1800. You may wish to search the records of the Ninety-Six District court which are housed in Abbeville County with the Clerk of Court and the records of the Pinckney District courts housed in York County with the Clerk of Court. The records of Western and Pinckney Equity Circuit Districts are housed in Union County.
Template:DNA DNA has been collected from men claiming descent from the following Charleston County residents. FamilySearch has not independently verified the lineages of those tested.
More than 10 genealogies have been published about Union County families. To view a list, visit Union County, South Carolina Genealogy.
Because of South Carolina’s history as an agricultural state many residents owned land. For more information abou types of land records see South Carolina Land and Property.
Tracing records through South Carolina county and district changes can be difficult. In general, for earliest records begin by searching the Charleston District, then your ancestor’s residential district, then neighboring districts, then the residential county, then neighboring counties. Not all districts and counties kept records. The following chart shows where you may best expect to find land records for Union County:
|1791-1800||Union County in Pinkney District|
|1785-1791||Union County (old) in Ninety-Six District|
|1710-1719|| Proprietary Land Grants|
* Some early records may be found in North Carolina counties Anson, Mecklenburg, or Tryon
Orignial deed books are located at the Union County Courthouse.
Abstacted deeds Union County, South Carolina deed abstracts, Brent Holcomb (Columbia, South Carolina : SCMAR, 2000-c2007) FHL book 975.741 R2h 5 vols.
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.</nowiki>
Early migration routes to and from Union County for European settlers included:
- "County statistics in wars," Historical Newsletter, April 2007. Union County Historical Foundation: Union, SC.
- "Militia list of 1814," Broad River Notebook, March 1993, Volume 2, Issue 1. Broad River Basin Historical Society: Sharon, SC.
- "Militia petition, 1825," Pinckney District Chapter Quarterly, Spring 1992, Volume 16, Issue 1. Pinckney District Chapter, South Carolina Genealogical Society: Spartanburg, SC.
- "Records, militia, 1760," Pinckney District Chapter Quarterly, Spring 1992, Volume 16, Issue 1. Pinckney District Chapter, South Carolina Genealogical Society: Spartanburg, SC
- "Militia roll, 1858," Pinckney District Chapter Quarterly, Winter 1992, Volume 16, Issue 3. Pinckney District Chapter, South Carolina Genealogical Society: Spartanburg, SC
- Union County/SCGenWeb site has useful military links.
- "Cely Rogers, widow of Nathaniel Rogers pension application, 1839," Upper South Carolina Genealogy and History, February 2007, Volume 21, Issue 1. Piedmont Historical Society: Spartansburg, SC.
- "Nathaniel Rogers Revolutionary War pension application and depositions, 1832-1833," Upper South Carolina Genealogy and History, February 2007, Volume 21, Issue 1. Piedmont Historical Society: Spartansburg, SC.
- "Revolutionary War soldiers buried in Fairforest Prebyterian Church Cemetery (sel.)," Old Newberry District Quarterly, Summer 2004, Volume 13, Issue 2. Old Newberry District Chapter, South Carolina Genealogical Society: Newberry, SC.
- "Tarleton Cavalry," Gleanings, October 2001, Volume 8, Issue 4. Steele Creek Historical and Genealogical Society: Charlotte, NC.
- "County veterans," Cass County Connections, June 1998, Volume 24, Issue 2. Cass County Genealogical Society: Atlanta, TX.
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, Union County, p. 189. 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 Union 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 Union County or from many of its men:
- - 1st Battalion, South Carolina Sharpshooters, Company C (also known as the Charleston Sharpshooters and Palmetto Guards)
- - 1st Regiment, South Carolina Artillery, Company A (also known as Calhoun's Battery; Sumter Light Artillery, Sumter Battery, Preston's Battery, Blake's Battery and other name variations) and Company K
- - 1st Regiment, South Carolina Infantry (6 months, 1861), Company E (also known as the Union Volunteers)
- -2nd Battalion, South Carolina Reserves, Company C (also known as the Spartan Rangers, the Spartanburg Rangers and the Spartan Rangers Independent Cavalry Reserves)
- - 3rd Battalion, South Carolina Light Artillery (Palmetto Battalion), Company G (also known as the DeSaussure Light Artillery and the DePass Light Battery)
- - 3rd Regiment, South Carolina Infantry, Company D and Company K
- - 3rd Battalion, South Carolina Reserves, Company A
- - 4th Regiment, South Carolina State Troop Junior Reserves, Company A and Company B
- - 5th Regiment, South Carolina Cavalry (Ferguson's), Company K
- - 5th Regiment, South Carolina State Troops, Company H and Company M
- - 5th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry , Company A (also know as Johnson Rifles), Before Reorganization Roster--After Reorganization Roster, Company B, Company C, Company D (also known as Tyger River Volunteers and Goshen Hill Volunteers) - (Santuc) Roster, Company E (also known as Pea Ridge Volunteers)--Before Reorganization Roster--After Reorganization Roster, Company G, Company H, Company I, and Company K
- *Companies A, B, C, D, E, G, H, I, K--See the Regimental page: 5th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry for additional information on these companies.
- *Companies A, B, C, D, E, G, H, I, K--See the Regimental page: 5th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry for additional information on these companies.
- - 7th Regiment, South Carolina Cavalry , Company C, Company D, and Company E
- - 12th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry, Company A
- - 15th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry , Company B, Company D, Company F, and Company H
- - 18th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry, Company A, Company B, Company C, Company E, and Company F
- - 19th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry, Company D
- Sims, Caldwell. Voices of the Past: Union Countians of the Civil War and Reconstruction Period Describe What It Was Like (Greenville, S.C.: A Press, ©1979), 230 pages. Book at WorldCat.
- South Carolina, Confederate Pension Board. Confederate Veterans and Widows Pension Applications, 1919-1920. (Salt Lake City, Utah: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1961). Original at the Union County courthouse. Microfilm copy at FHL 255051 Item 1
- Register of Confederate Soldiers, 1861-1865. (Salt Lake City, Utah: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1961) Originals at the Union County courthouse. Arranged by surname. Microfilm copy at FHL 255051 Item 2
- Gorski, Eddie L. Civil War abstracts from the Gaffney ledger: from the local newspaper. (Gaffney, South Carolina : E.L. Gorski, c1989-c1991). 2 volumes. These abstraction also contain some of those who were living in near by counties such as Union, York and Spartanburg"--Vol. 1, pref., 1st prelim. p. Names are in alphabetical order by surname. Vol. 2 includes information from the Union Times. Books found at FHL 975.742/G1 M2g
Union County Museum The Union County Museum has a wealth of resources such as family histories, city directories, marriage indexes, cemetery books, and vertical files.
127 West Main Street
Union SC 29379
Hours of Operation: Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9am until 4 pm, Saturday 2 pm until 5pm .
Other times by appointment arranged in advance.
The Library of Congress has identified the following historic newspapers for Union 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.
- Progress (Union, S.C.) 1900-1924.
- The Baptist Press (Greenwoood, S.C.) 1905-1907.
- The People's Recorder (Columbia, S.C.) 1893-1925.
- The New Era (Union, S.C.) 1897-1898.
- The Review (Union, S.C.) 1929-1931.
- The Union County News (Union, S.C.) 1966-1987.
- The Union Daily Times (Union, S.C.) 1917-current.
- The Union Times (Union, S.C.) 1894-1918.
- The Unionville Journal (Unionville, S.C.) 1851-1859.
- The Unionville Times (Unionville, S.C.) 1859-1868.
- The Vindicator (Union, S.C.) 1899-1899.
- The Weekly Union Times (Union, S.C.) 1869-1894.
- Union Daily Progress (Union, S.C.) 1925-1925.
- Union Weekly Progress (Union, S.C.) 1925-1929.
- The Union Daily Times (Union, S.C.) Online edition.
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:
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. Estate records for Union County probate court, 1787-1906, are available on microfilm, as well as other court records.
Probate records for Union County may be found in the court of ordinary, probate court, and the court of equity. Some of these estate records are also available on microfilm through the Family History Library. See also:
- Brent H. Holcomb, comp. Union County, South Carolina will abstracts 1787-1849. Columbia, South Carolina : B.H. Holcomb, c1987. FHL Book 975.741 P28h
- Union County Wills, 1777-1800 (transcripts). See names of testators. South Carolina Pioneers
- Index to Union County Will Bk A, 1777-1814; Will Bk B, 1815-1849 South Carolina Pioneers
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 Union County.
- The road tax ledger, 1872-1874, has been microfilmed: FHL Film 1025399 Item 1.
- Tax duplicate books for the years 1889-1890, 1892, and 1910 have also been microfilmed. Copies at: FHL Films 1025402-1025403 and SCDAH.
Birth, marriage, and death records were not recorded by South Carolina until the 1900s, thus leaving a lack of vital records. Substitute records, when available, are used to obtain this information. These substitute records including newspapers, court records have been added to this section, when applicable.
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 Union 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.
The Union County probate court holds marriage licenses issued from 1 July 1911 to the present. Statewide registration of marriages began in July 1950 and the South Carolina Division of Vital Records has copies of licenses issued after 1 July 1950 through November 2009.
Newspapers are used as a substitute to locate marriage information. See South Carolina Newspapers.
Marriages and Marriage Substitutes - Indexes and Records
- 1851-1912 - Union County, South Carolina Marriage Records: from Early Newspapers, 1851-1912, Marriage Registers, Deed Books & Probate records by Tommy J. Vaughan & Michael Becknell FHL Collection WorldCat - abstracts
- 1911-1950 (index to 1955) - Union County, South Carolina Marriage Licenses, July 1911-Dec. 1950; Indexes, 1911-1955  FHL Collection - index and records
- There are several online marriage indexes containing miscellaneous marriage records found in some counties of South Carolina listed on the South Carolina Vital Records page.
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. The Union County Health Department only has copies for deaths occurring in the last 5 years. For more information, see the South Carolina Vital Records page.
Deaths - Indexes and Records
- 1800-1900- CSI: Dixie collects 1583 coroners reports from six South Carolina counties for the years 1800-1900.
- 1900; 1913-1914 - South Carolina Death Records, 1821-1955  Available at Ancestry ($) - index and records, includes Union City death records;
- 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
Union County Carnegie Library
300 East South Street
Union, South Carolina 29379
Telephone: (864) 427-7140
The Union County Library provides the amateur family historian with quality resources, the active support of trained staff who care about research and personal investigation, and access to genealogy databases and web based sources. We help researchers get started, we celebrate their success, and we provide suggestions and recommendations along the way
Societies - Genealogical, Historical, Lineage
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.
- Union County, SC History, Records, Facts and Genealogy (Genealogy Inc)
- Union County, SCGenWeb
- FamilySearch Catalog
- Union County, South Carolina Genealogy and Family History (Linkpendium)
- South Carolina Pioneers South Carolina Pioneers
- "List of counties in South Carolina," Wikipedia.
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
- Voice of Phillip Stalvey, resident of Myrtle Beach, S.C. (2011).
- Schweitzer, George K. , South Carolina Genealogical Research (Knoxville, Tennessee: s.p. 1985), 39-42, FHL book 975.7 D27s
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 847-61. (FHL Book 973 D27e 2002) WorldCat entry., and William E. Myer, Indian Trails of the Southeast. (Nashville, Tenn.: Blue and Gray Press, 1971), 12-14, and the book's pocket map "The Trail System of the Southeastern United States in the early Colonial Period" (1923). (FHL Book 970.1 M992i) WorldCat entry.
- Henry Campbell Black, Black's Law Dictionary, 5th ed. (St. Paul, Minnesota: West Publishing Co., 1979), 1081, "probate."
- Vaughan, Tommy J. Michael Becknell, Union County, South Carolina Marriage Records: from Early Newspapers, 1851-1912, Marriage Registers, Deed Books & Probate Records. Spartanburg, SC: Greenville Chapter, South Carolina Genealogical Society, c1995.
- South Carolina, Probate Court, Union County, Union County, South Carolina Marriage Licenses, July 1911-Dec. 1950; Indexes, 1911-1955, Salt Lake City, UT: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 2001-2002.
- Ancestry.com. South Carolina Death Records, 1821-1955 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008. Original data: South Carolina. South Carolina death records. Columbia, SC, USA: South Carolina Department of Archives and History.