York County, South Carolina Genealogy

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United States
South Carolina
York County

Guide to York 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.


York County, South Carolina
Map of South Carolina highlighting York County
Location in the state of South Carolina
Map of the U.S. highlighting South Carolina
Location of South Carolina in the U.S.
Founded 1785
County Seat York

County Information

York County Record Dates

Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1915  1911    1915 1790   1786 1770 

County Courthouse

York County Courthouse

York County Courthouse
2 South Congress Street
York, South Carolina 29745

Clerk of Court
1675 1G York Highway
P.O. Box 649
York, SC 29745
Phone: 803-628-3036
Court and land records

Probate Court
1 East Liberty Street
P.O. Box 219
York, SC 29745
Phone: 803-684-8513
Probate and marriage records

8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday


The county is named after York County, Pennsylvania.[1] The county is the site of the Revolutionary War Battle of King's Mountain.


South Carolina's agricultural weakness was in its soil. Agriculture during the time was often associated with spirituality. Tilling and tending the earth was seen as a sacred trust from God. Many preachers in the Carolinas gave sermons linking the neglect of the soil and the lack of agricultural success, and blaming the farming struggle on a decrease in religiosity. This led to not only an economic crisis, but also a spiritual and mental crisis. Farmers whose land suffered in South Carolina were experiencing a major self-esteem blow because of the alleged connection between agriculture and spirituality.

Uncertainties in the cotton marked remained in a dejected state until 1850. The western states, however, were flourishing and the profit in the cotton market was booming. The farmland and soil was new and unpolluted, unlike the overworked soil of South Carolina. Many of the residents of South Carolina abandoned their farms and moved to Mississippi and Alabama where there were promises of better farm production. According to the 1850 census, 41% of all South Carolina natives had moved elsewhere, clearly because of the soil depletion of the area. If the Inman family was involved in the cotton market, their move between the years 1840 and 1850 from York County, South Carolina to Monroe County, Mississippi followed the typical migration pattern of destitute farmers.[2][3]

County Pronunciation

  1. Hear it spoken[4]

Parent County

1785--York County was created in 1785 from Pickney District.
County seat: York [5]

Boundary Changes

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.

Because the jurisdictions in South Carolina changed so frequently, below is a table of records and the jurisdiction they were kept in based on time period:

Probate Records 1785 to 1791 Camden District Kershaw County Housed in Kershaw County Clerk of Court.
Probate Records 1786 York County Clerk of Court Court records kept in York County for this year.
Probate Records 1791 to 1800 Pinckney District During the Pinckney District Jurisdiction records were still housed in York County.
Land Records 1791 to 1800 Pinckney District Land records were kept in York County.
Land Records 1800 to 1868 York District York County referred to as York District during this time, but is referred to as York “County” after 1868. There are no boundary changes with the name changes for York District/County.
Land Records After 1796 Columbia, South Carolina Plats for land grants in upper South Carolina were recorded and filed in Columbia. This was considered a continuation of the records already in Charleston and starts with volume 36 and ends with volume 43. Records in Charleston and Columbia are not duplicates.
Birth Records 1915 to present York County State-wide birth records not kept until 1900s. Kept at South Carolina Department of Health.
Death Records 1915 to present South Carolina South Carolina Department of Health keeps all records, but most recent records can be found at York County Health Department.
Marriage Records 1911 to present York County Probate Court Marriage licenses are found in probate court, but after 1950 copies of licenses are also in the South Carolina Division of Vital Records.

Record Loss

  • 1890 Lost census


Populated Places

Beauty Spot (hist.) Deas Mill Hopewell Old Point Station
Belmont (hist.) Delphia India Hook Red River
Bethany Ebenezer Lake Wylie Riverview
Bethel (hist.) Filbert Lakewood Rock Hill
Bowling Green Forest Lake Lesslie Roddey
Borax (hist.) Fort Mill McConnells Sharon
Boyd Hill Friendship Mexico Smyrna
Bullock Creek Gould (hist.) Miller Crossing Sutton Spring (hist.)
Catawba Guthries Nauvassee (hist.) Tega Cay
Clover Harmony Newport Tirzah
Concord Hickory Grove Ogden York
Cotton (hist.) Hoodtown

For further information (and links) on these populated places, please go to Populated Places, York County, South Carolina

Neighboring Counties

Cherokee | Chester | Cleveland County, North Carolina | Gaston County, North Carolina | Lancaster | Mecklenburg County, North Carolina | Union


York County

Research Guides

African Americans

United States African Americans Gotoarrow.png South Carolina African Americans

Known plantations South Carolina Plantations:

  • Allison - Hickory Grove
  • Brattonsville - McConnells
  • Brookwood
  • Hillhouse - McConnells
  • Love - Hickory Grove
  • McElwee House
  • Mount Gallant - Rock Hill
  • Newport
  • Springfield - Fort Mill
  • Springsteen - Rock Hill
  • Strawberry Hill - Rock Hill
  • Thomson
  • Tickton Hall
  • Turkey Creek
  • Wherry
  • White House - Rock Hill
  • Williamson - McConnells


Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county
Findagrave.com Family History Library Findagrave.com
SCGenWeb WorldCat Billion Graves
SCGenWeb Archives
Tombstone Project
Billion Graves
See South Carolina Cemeteries for more information.


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1790 6,604
1800 10,250 55.2%
1810 10,032 −2.1%
1820 14,936 48.9%
1830 17,790 19.1%
1840 18,383 3.3%
1850 19,433 5.7%
1860 21,502 10.6%
1870 24,286 12.9%
1880 30,713 26.5%
1890 38,831 26.4%
1900 41,684 7.3%
1910 47,718 14.5%
1920 50,536 5.9%
1930 53,418 5.7%
1940 58,663 9.8%
1950 71,596 22.0%
1960 78,760 10.0%
1970 85,216 8.2%
1980 106,720 25.2%
1990 131,497 23.2%
2000 164,614 25.2%
Source: "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau.

1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 federal population schedules of York 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 York County, SC census assignments, including links to transcribed files The USGenWeb Census Project®

1820 Manufactures

The original manufactures schedules for South Carolina are kept at the NARA, Washington, D.C. FHL copies: FHL Collection 1024517 - 1024518.

Published abstract:

  • 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, York District on page 144.

Census takers uncharacteristically recorded the birth town or county of residents this census year.[6]

The returns have been published by local experts:

  • Owens, Jo Roberts and Ruth Dickson Thomas. 1850 Federal Census, York District, South Carolina: Schedule 1, Free Inhabitants; Schedule 2, Slave Inhabitants; Schedule 3, Mortality. York, S.C.: n.p., 1987. FHL Collection 975.743 X2o 1850


LDS Ward and Branch Records

  • Catawba
  • Rock Hill
  • York
  • Newport


York County has court records from 1786 that are held in the office of the Clerk of Court. York County was a part of the Camden District from 1785 - 1791 and the Pinckney District from 1791 - 1800. The records of Camden District courts are housed in Kershaw County with the Clerk of Court. The records of the Pinckney District courts are housed in York County.

The South Carolina Archives and History Center has court records available on microfilm for York County, dating as early as the late 1700's.

The Family History Library collection includes books and microfilm regarding court records for York 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 25 genealogies have been published about York County families. To view a list, visit York County, South Carolina Genealogy.


Because of South Carolina’s history as an agricultural state many residents owned land. For more information about 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 show where you may best expect to find land records for York County:

Tracing Land Currently in York County with Parent Counties and Districts [7]
Date Government Office  
1868-present York County
1800-1868 York District
1791-1800 York County (old) Records in Pinckney District
1785-1791 York County (old) Records in Camden District
1769-1785 Camden District * **
1719-1769 Charleston District *
1710-1719 Proprietary Land Grants

* Records before 1772 may be found in North Carolina counties Tryon, Mecklenburg and Anson
** Some early Camden District records may be found in Kershaw County

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.

York County Land Warrants 1807-1816 South Carolina Pioneers

Local Histories

  • Moore, Maurice Augustus and Elmer Oris Parker. Reminiscences of York. (Greenville, South Carolina : A Press, c1981). 105 pages. Maurice Augustus Moore's life 1795-1871 with a brief history previous to his birth. Book found at FHL 975.743 H2m and Other Libraries.


South Carolina Counties Map
York County, South Carolina Map


Early migration routes to and from York County for European settlers included:[8]


Many veterans have lived in York County over the years. The Battle of King's Mountain has generated a great deal of interest in York County military history. York County, South Carolina Military discusses the area's military records and histories.

Patriot victory was gained at King's Mountain on 7 October 1780. British officer Lord Cornwallis left the Carolinas over a year after this battle and surrendered, but Kings Mountain was a major turning point in the war for the Patriots. For more information regarding the Battle of King's Mountain, see http://www.carolana.com/SC/Revolution/revolution_battle_of_kings_mountain.html

Civil War

Online Records

Regiments. Service men in York County, South Carolina Genealogy served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed in York County, South Carolina Genealogy:

- 1st Battalion, South Carolina Sharpshooters, Company A (also known the Union Light Infantry and German Fusiliers)
- 4th Regiment, South Carolina State Troop Junior Reserves, Company C, Company G, and Company K
- 5th Regiment, South Carolina Cavalry (Ferguson's), Company K
- 6th Regiment, South Carolina Reserves (90 days 1862-63), Company D, Company E, and Company G
- 7th Regiment, South Carolina Reserves (90 days 1862-63), Company F and Company I
- 7th Regiment, South Carolina Cavalry , Company C and Company D
- 12th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry, Company A, Company B, and Company H
- 13th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry, Company H
- 17th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry, Company C, Company E, Company F, and Company K
- 18th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry, Company F, Company G, Company H, and Captain J. L. McMakin's Company

Other Resources

  • York County Board of Honor. Confederate Pension Records, 1896-1964. (Columbia, South Carolina: Filmed by the South Carolina Dept. of Archives and History, 1973). Prior to 1929 the Pension Board created the confederate pension records. Some years are mixed. 2 FHL Microfilms. Includes: Approved pension roll books 1896-1962 , Pension application papers: veterans 1919-1940, Pension application papers: widows 1919-1938 and Pension list 1945-1964. Microfilm copies at FHL 1028995
  • 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
  • Owens, Jo Roberts and Ruth Dickson Thomas. Confederate Veterans Enrollment Book of York County, S.C., 1902. (Clover, South Carolina: Westmoreland Printers, 1983), 151 pages Record was copied from the original Confederate Veterans Enrollment Book which was, in 1893, located in the Judge of Probate's Office, York County Court House, York, South Carolina. Book found at the FHL 975.743 M2o and Other Libraries.
  • Hart, Joseph Everett. Supplement to Confederate Veterans Enrollment Book of York County, S. C., 1902: additional information about some of the veterans (the index in the Confederate veterans enrollment book may be used for this supplement), (York, South Carolina: [s.n.], 1984), 48 pages. Book found at the FHL 975.743 M2o supp. and Other Libraries.
  • Thomas, Samuel N.Jr and Paul C. Whitesides.Under The Leaves of the Palmetto: York County's Confederate Veterans. ( McConnells, S.C.: York County Historical Commission, ©1996.). 2 Volumes. This work is a compilation of names and unit information, when know, of those who served between 8161-1865. Book found at the FHL 975.743 M2t and Other Libraries.



The Library of Congress has identified the following historic newspapers for York 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.



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.”[9] 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 books and other estate records for York County, 1787-1950, are available on microfilm, with an index that covers 1787-1969.

Probate records for York County may be found in the court of ordinary (for York District), the probate court, and the court of equity. Will records for the probate court and court of ordinary are also available on microfilm through the Family History Library for 1770-1950. FHL Film 229694 Wills probated prior to 1868 were processed in the court of ordinary.

Online Probate Records


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.

Original sources

Various nineteenth-century tax records survive and are held at the county courthouse, including:

Published abstracts
  • 1840 - Slaveholders Tax, 1840, York County Genealogical and Historical Society Quarterly, Vol. 9, No. 3 (Dec. 1997).
  • 1858 - Tax Returns, 1858, York District, Broad River Notebook, Vol. 5, No. 1 (Mar. 1996).
  • 1864 - Tax List 1864, available online, courtesy: SCGenWeb.
  • 1865 - Tax List 1865, available online, courtesy: SCGenWeb.
  • 1866 - Tax List 1866, available online, courtesy: SCGenWeb.
  • 1867 - Yorkville Tax Schedule, 1867, York County Genealogical and Historical Society Quarterly, Vol. 12, No. 3 (Dec. 2000).
  • 1868 - Tax Return, 1868, includes taxes on gold watches and carriages, Broad River Notebook, a serial article in the following issues: (Sep. 1998); (Dec. 1998); (Mar. 1999); (Jun. 1999); (Sep. 1999).
  • 1869 - Tax, Piano owners in the county, 1869, Broad River Notebook (Sep. 1997).

Vital Records

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 York 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.


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 York 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


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 York 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 and Death Substitutes - Indexes and Records

Archives, Libraries, and Museums


York County Library

York County has a library system that includes five library locations and a bookmobile. There is a Local History area dedicated to local history and genealogy resources at the Main Library in Rock Hill. The county library contains a wealth of genealogy resources and local history resources about York County, South Carolina and the Catawba Indians. Their resources also include newspaper articles, typed manuscripts, photographs, and electronic databases. Many have been digitized and access is provided through the library's website. Of particilar interest to genealogists are their genealogy and history offerings.

Genealogy: Library patrons can access websites such as Ancestry.com and HeritageQuest Online. There are resources for African American genealogy, local cemetery listings, and more.

History The York County Library has newspaper articles, an obituary index, typed manuscripts, photographs, and electronic databases. Many if the historical records mentioned here are digitized and available through the library's website.

York County Library, Rock Hill
138 East Black St.
Rock Hill, SC 29730
Telephone: (803) 981-5858
Business Hours: Monday - Thursday 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m., Friday: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., Saturday: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.. Sunday (September - May): 2:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Clover Public Library
107 Knox St.
Clover, SC 29710
Telephone: (803) 222-3474
Business Hours: Monday - Thursday 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m., Friday: 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., Saturday: 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., Sunday: Closed

Fort Mill Public Library
1818 2nd Baxter Crossing
Fort Mill, SC 29708
Telephone: (803) 547-4114
Business Hours: Monday - Thursday 9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m., Friday - Saturday 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., Sunday: Closed

Lake Wylie Public Library
185 Blucher Circle
Lake Wylie, SC 29710
Telephone: (803) 831-7774
Business Hours: Monday - Thursday 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m., Friday: 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., Saturday: 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., Sunday: Closed

York Public Library

21 East Liberty St.
York, SC 29745
Telephone: (803) 684-3751
Business Hours: Monday - Thursday 9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m., Friday: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., Saturday 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., Sunday: Closed

Societies - Genealogical, Historical, Lineage


York County Historical Society
P.O. Box 3061 Crs
Rock Hill SC 29732
source: Society Hill

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.


Wikipedia has more about this subject: York County, South Carolina


  1. "List of counties in South Carolina," Wikipedia.
  2. Faust, Drew Gilpin. "The Rhetoric and Ritual of Agriculture in Antebellum South Carolina." The Journal of Southern History 45, no. 4 (1979): 541-68. Accessed October 2, 2017.
  3. Latzko, David A. “Mapping the short-run impact of the Civil War and Emancipation on the South Carolina Economy.” South Carolina Historical Magazine. Charleston (October 2015): 258-279. Accessed October 2, 2017.
  4. Voice of Phillip Stalvey, resident of Myrtle Beach, S.C. (2011).
  5. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, FHL Book 973 D27e 2002).
  6. 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
  7. Schweitzer, George K. , South Carolina Genealogical Research (Knoxville, Tennessee: s.p. 1985), 39-42, FHL book 975.7 D27s
  8. 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.
  9. Henry Campbell Black, Black's Law Dictionary, 5th ed. (St. Paul, Minnesota: West Publishing Co., 1979), 1081, "probate."
  10. Langdon, Barbara R., York County Marriages, 1770-1869, Implied in York County, South Carolina Probate Records, Aiken, SC: B.R. Langdon, c1983.
  11. West, Charles D., All Names Copied from York County, South Carolina Newspapers, 1800's, Salt Lake City, UT: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1978.
  12. Holcomb, Brent H., comp. York, South Carolina, Newspapers Marriage and Death Notices, 1823-1865. Spartanburg, SC, USA: Reprint Co., 1989.
  13. West, Charles D., All Names Copied from York County, South Carolina Newspapers, 1800's, Salt Lake City, UT: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1978.
  14. 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.
  15. Holcomb, Brent H., comp. York, South Carolina, Newspapers Marriage and Death Notices, 1823-1865. Spartanburg, SC, USA: Reprint Co., 1989.