Lee County, South Carolina Genealogy

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Lee County, South Carolina
Map of South Carolina highlighting Lee 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 February 25, 1902
County Seat Bishopville

United States Gotoarrow.png South Carolina Gotoarrow.png Lee County

Quick Dates

Lee County's civil records start the following years:

Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
  1915 1911    1915  1910 1902  1902 

County Courthouse

Lee County Courthouse

Lee County Courthouse
123 Main Street
Bishopville, SC 29010

Probate Judge
123 Main Street
P.O. Box 24
Bishopville, SC 29010
Probate and marriage records

Clerk of Court
11 Court House Square
Bishopville, SC 29010-1616
Court and land records

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


Confederate General Robert E. Lee (1807-1870)
The county is named after Confederate General Robert E. Lee (1807-1870).[1]

A brief history of Lee County online

Parent County

1902--Lee County was created 25 February 1902 from Darlington, Sumter and Kershaw Counties.
County seat: Bishopville [2]

County Pronunciation

  1. Hear it spoken[3]

Boundary Changes

"Rotating Formation South Carolina County Boundary Maps" (1682-1987) may be viewed for free at the My South Carolina Genealogy website. The maps rely on AniMap 3.0 software.

Record Loss


Populated Places

Alcot Dunlaps Crossroads McCabe (hist.) South Lynchburg
Aman (hist.) Elliott McCutcheon (hist.) Spring Hill
Ashland English Crossroads McCutchens Crossroads Thursa
Ashwood Hammetts Crossroads Mechanicsville Weatherly (hist.)
Atkins Kiffs Crossroads Red Hill Wells Crossroads
Bishopville Lucknow Rhodes Crossroads Wisacky
Cypress Crossroads Lynchburg Saint Charles Woodrow
DuBose Crossroads Manville Shannon Hill Zemp

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

Neighboring Counties


Research Guides

African Americans

United States African Americans Gotoarrow.png South Carolina African Americans


There are more than # burial grounds in the county. To view a list, see Lee County, South Carolina Cemeteries.


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%
Source: "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau.

1910, 1920, and 1930 federal population schedules of Lee 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.




DNA Double Helix.png
DNA has been collected from men claiming descent from the following Lee County residents. FamilySearch has not independently verified the lineages of those tested.


It is anticipated that this bibliography will eventually identify all known family histories published about residents of this county. Use this list to:

  • Locate publications about direct ancestors
  • Find the most updated accounts of an ancestor's family
  • Identify publications, to quote Elizabeth Shown Mills, about an ancestor's "FAN Club" [Friends, Associates, and Neighbors]


As of August 2010, a query for persons born in Lee, South Carolina at World Connect, produces more than 1,500 results.

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

Message Boards


  • [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 Family History Archives.


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



Civil War, 1861-1865

Lee County did not exist during the Civil War. Present day Lee County was created 25 February 1902 from Darlington, Sumter and Kershaw Counties. 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.



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.


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.”[4] 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.

Early probate records of Lee County may be found in records of Camden and Cheraws District. They may also be found in the now-defunct Craven County. See James C. Pigg's compilation of Cheraw[s]/Chesterfield District wills, 1750-1865 & Abstracts from the Court of Common Pleas, 1823-1869 for some Lee County probate records. FHL Book 975.763 P2pj


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 Lee 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 Lee 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 - Indexes and Records

  • 1911-1950 -Lee County, South Carolina Marriage Registers, 1911-1950 [5] FHL Collection - records
  • 1911-1950 - Lee County, South Carolina Marriage Licenses, 1911-1950 [6] 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 Lee 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

  • 1914-1960 - 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

Societies - Genealogical, Historical, Lineage 

Family History Centers

Family History Centers in South Carolina

Web Sites

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


  1. "List of counties in South Carolina," Wikipedia.
  2. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  3. Voice of Phillip Stalvey, resident of Myrtle Beach, S.C. (2011).
  4. Henry Campbell Black, Black's Law Dictionary, 5th ed. (St. Paul, Minnesota: West Publishing Co., 1979), 1081, "probate."
  5. Lee County, South Carolina Marriage Registers, 1911-1950, Salt Lake City, UT: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 2002.
  6. 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.