Oconee County, South Carolina Genealogy

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

Oconee County, South Carolina genealogy and family history research guide. Introduces you to county topics such as vital record births, marriages, divorces, and deaths, census, court records, deeds, maps, immigration, maps, military records, newspapers, obituaries, plantations, probate records, slaves, local archives, libraries, museums, churches, cemeteries, and Civil War records.

link=http://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/South Carolina_Online_Genealogy_Records South Carolina
Online Records

Oconee County, South Carolina
Map of South Carolina highlighting Oconee 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 January 29, 1868
County Seat Walhalla

Quick Dates

Oconee County's civil records start the following years:

Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1915 1911 1915 1870 1868 1868

County Courthouse


Oconee County Courthouse
415 South Pine Street
Walhalla, SC 29691

Clerk of Court
P.O. Box 678
Walhalla, SC 29691
Phone: 864-638-4280
Court records

Register of Deeds
415 South Pine Street
Walhalla, SC 29691
Phone: 864-638-4285
Land records

Probate Court
P.O. Box 471
Walhalla, SC 29691
Phone: 864-638-4275
Probate and marriage records

Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday

Historical Facts

The county is named after the Oconee tribe of Native Americans.[1]

Parent County

29 January 1868 - Oconee County was created from Pickens County. [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


The preceding list of places includes incorporated cities and towns, unincorporated towns and communities, and place names that may have been used in family histories. Some have well-organized records and even have web sites. Some are simply social communities with no official records, but which may be referenced in small-town newspapers. The list is provided to help researchers identify localities within the county. As records or histories of these localities are identified, a page will be added for each of these place names.



African Americans

United States African Americans Gotoarrow.png South Carolina African Americans

  • Megginson, W.J. Black Soldiers in World War I: Anderson, Pickens and Oconee Counties, South Carolina; with a Discussion of Pensions for Civil War Slave Labor. Seneca, S.C.: Oconee County Historical Society, 1994. FHL Book 975.72 M2m

Known plantations South Carolina Plantations:

  • Florideville
  • Seneca


There are more than # burial grounds in the county.

To view a list, see Oconee County, South Carolina Cemeteries.


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1870 10,536
1880 16,256 54.3%
1890 18,687 15.0%
1900 23,634 26.5%
1910 27,337 15.7%
1920 30,117 10.2%
1930 33,368 10.8%
1940 36,512 9.4%
1950 39,050 7.0%
1960 40,204 3.0%
1970 40,728 1.3%
1980 48,611 19.4%
1990 57,494 18.3%
2000 66,215 15.2%
Source: "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau.

1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 federal population schedules of Oconee 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.

For 1890, see: United States Census 1890

See South Carolina Population Schedule Indexes: Fiche, Film, or Book for more information about statewide printed indexes.

See Oconee County, SC census assignments, including links to transcribed files The USGenWeb Census Project®

Church History and Records


  • The Old Stone Church, Oconee County, South Carolina. Columbia, S.C.?: Old Stone Church and Cemetery Association with cooperation of the Andrew Pickens and Cateechee Chapters, D.A.R., 1905. Digital version at Ancestry ($).

Court Records

Oconee County has court records from 1868 that are held in the office of the Clerk of Court. Since Oconee County was formed from Pickens County the records of this county may also be searched.

The South Carolina Archives and History Center has court records available on microfilm for Oconee 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 Oconee County families. To view a list, visit Oconee County, South Carolina Genealogy.


  • History of old Pendleton District with a genealogy of the leading families of the district
  1. 1913 version FHL Book 975.72 H2s 1913, fiche 6010898 (1 fiche), FHL Book 975.72 H2s index
  2. 1978 version FHL Book 975.72 H2s 1978a, fiche 6010898 (1 fiche), FHL Book 975.72 H2s index

Land and Property

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 shows where you may best expect to find land records for Oconee County:

Tracing Land Currently in Oconee County with Parent Counties and Districts [4]
Date Government Office  
1868-present Oconee County
1826-1868 Pickens District
1800-1826 Pendleton District
1795-1800 Pendleton County in Washington District
1789-1795 Pendleton County in Ninety-Six District
1769-1789 Ninety-Six District
1719-1769 Charleston District
1710-1719 Proprietary Land Grants

* Anderson County deeds include the records of former Pendelton District/County

Plats For State Land Grants 1784-1868 For information about the State Land Grants, see State Land Grants



Early migration routes to and from Oconee County for European settlers included:[5], and William E. Myer, Indian Trails of the Southeast, 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 1523234.</ref>

Military History and Recods

French and Indian War
  • "Garrison at Ft. Prince George, 1756, Keowee," Tulsa Annals, January 1973, Volume 8, Issue 1. Tulsa Genealogical Society: Tulsa, OK. FHL 40544
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 Book 973 M2Lp v. 5; digital versions at Google Books and Internet Archive. [See Vol. 5, South Carolina, Oconee County, p. 187. Identifies War of 1812 veterans living in this county in 1883.]
Civil War

Oconee County was created in 1868, three years after the Civil War ended. During the Civil War, the area of Oconee County was part of Pickens District (later Pickens County). Men living in the area of what is now Oconee County may have served in regiments from Pickens District/County.

- 1st Battalion, South Carolina Cavalry
- Company F
-1st Regiment, South Carolina Rifles (Orr's)
-Company A (also known as Kowee Riflemen)
-Company C (also known as Mountain Boys)
-Company E (also known as Oconee Riflemen)
-Company F (also known as Blue Ridge Rifles)
  • Bell, Louise Matheson. Rebels in Grey: Soldiers from Pickens District, 1861-1865 ( Seneca, S.C.: Greys of Oconee Chapter No. 1783, United Daughters of the Confederacy, ©1984), 172 pages. Concerns Pickens and Oconee Counties. WorldCat 11859701.
  • Holder, Frederick C.; South Carolina (State) Militia, 2nd Regiment; South Carolina (State) Militia, 5th Regiment; Oconee County Historical Society (Oconee County, South Carolina). The Bailey A. Barton Muster Roll Book of Pickens District, South Carolina [1858]. Seneca, S.C.: Oconee County Historical Society, 1990. FHL Collection Book 975.723 M2b; Film 1697757 item 12. Reviewed in The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 91, No. 4 (Oct. 1990):280-281. Digital version of review at JSTOR ($). [Covers present Pickens and Oconee counties.]

Native American

  • Seaborn, Margaret Mills. From 1730 through 1776, Cherokee Indian Towns of Oconee County, South Carolina: With Principal Paths. n.p.: n.p., 1974. Map. FHL 975.721 E7sm



The Library of Congress has identified the following historic newspapers for Oconee 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:

  • Old Pendleton District 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.”[7] 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 Probate Records.

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. Archival records include estate papers from 1790-1893 from the court of ordinary and probate court records, along with other corollary papers. Statewide Will Transcriptions, 1782 to 1855, database is available online with a searchable index by name. Images are available.

Probate records for the county are available in probate court, court of ordinary, and court of equity. Early probate records may be found in Pendleton District. See probate index for these early records at:

  • Judy Chandler Ballard. W.P.A. will transcripts of Pendleton District & Anderson County, S.C., 1790-1857. Walterboro, South Carolina : J.C. Ballard, [1995?]. FHL Book 975.72 P2b


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 Oconee County.
Published abstracts
  • [1864] Internal Revenue Assessment, 1864, Old Pendleton District Newsletter, Vol. 23, No. 3 (Mar. 2009).

To see how the Civil War financially impacted residents of Oconee County, South Carolina, compare values of real and personal estates on the 1860 Census, with 1866-1867 tax records:

  • [1866-1867] Rich, Peggy Burton and Margarette Gibbs Ogle. Pickens District, South Carolina 1866 Tax List, January 1, 1866- January 1, 1867. n.p.: South Carolina Genealogical Society. Old Pendleton Chapter, 1991. FHL Book 975.72 R4r

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 Oconee 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.

Birth Substitutes - Indexes

1849-1949 - Keowee Courier Newspaper by Oconee County, South Carolina USGenWeb - index, incomplete


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 Oconee 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


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 Oconee 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

  • 1826-1848; 1857-1871 - Abstract of Marriages and Deaths from the Pendleton Messenger, 1826- 1848, the Keowee Courier, 1857-1871 [11] WorldCat 54474080, FHL Collection - index
  • 1849-1868 - The Keowee Courier, 1849-1851, 1857-1861 and 1865-1868 by Colleen M. Elliot [12] WorldCat 6421580, FHL Collection - missing years, index
  • 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


Oconee County Public Library  The library has a South Carolina History/Local Genealogy collection housed at the main library in Walhalla. Holdings include family histories, historical maps, cemetery listings and indexes, biographies of noted South Carolinians, and the local newspapers on microfilm.

Items in the collection cannot be circulated or loaned to other libraries.The Library lacks sufficient staff to do research, nor do they respond to letters from persons requesting such services. Names and addresses of persons in the area who do research for a fee can be provided when such a person is known, However, staff may do limited searching when good information is provided. Costs to cover photocopying and postage are $5.00 per name searched.

  • Walhalla Main Library
    501 West South Broad Street
    Walhalla, SC 29691
    Telephone: 864-638-4133
    FAX: 864-638-4132
    Hours: Monday/Tuesday 9 a.m. - 9 p.m., Wednesday - Friday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m., Saturdays 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., Sundays (Sept. - May) 2 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
  • Salem Library
    5-B Park Avenue
    Salem, SC 29676
    Telephone: 864-944-0912
    Hours: Monday 10:00 a.m. - 6 p.m., Tuesday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Saturday & Sunday CLOSED
  • Seneca Library
    300 E. S. Second Street
    Seneca, SC 29678
    Telephone: 864-882-4855
    Hours: Mondays and Thursdays 9 a.m. - 9 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sunday CLOSED
  • Westminster Library
    112 W. North Avenue
    Westminster, SC 29693
    Telephone: 864-647-3215
    Hours: Monday 11:30 a.m. - 8 p.m., Tuesday - Friday 9:30 a.m. - 6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Sunday CLOSED

Family History Centers

5003 Wells Highway
Seneca, Oconee, South Carolina, United States
Phone: 864-886-9345
Hours: T,Th 10 a.m to 5 p.m Wed. 6;30 p.m. to 8;30 p.m.
Closed: Closed Major Holidays


Ocone Heritage Center
123 Browns Square Drive
P.O. Box 395
Walhalla, SC 29691
Telephone: (864) 638-2224
Email: info@oconeeheritagecenter.org
Hours of Operation: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 12 - 5PM, Saturday: 10AM - 3PM, (And by special Appointment)
the Oconee Heritage Center (OHC) brings history back to life through museum exhibits, educational programs, festivals ,and more. Among other things visitors explore the history of Native Americans, Immigration, Railroads, New Deal Programs, Textile Mills, and Agriculture as it relates to Oconee County. 

Research Guides


  • Oconee County Genealogical Society
    247 Cross Hill Road
    Easley SC 29640
    source: Society Hill


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


  1. List of counties in South Carolina
  2. WorldCat 50140092 FHL Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed.] (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002)
  3. Voice of Phillip Stalvey, resident of Myrtle Beach, S.C. (2011).
  4. Schweitzer, George K. , South Carolina Genealogical Research (Knoxville, Tennessee: s.p. 1985), 39-42, FHL book 975.7 D27s
  5. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;ref&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;WorldCat 50140092 FHL Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed.] (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002)
  6. William E. Myer, Indian Trails of the Southeast. (Nashville, Tenn.: Blue and Gray Press, 1971). (FHL Book 970.1 M992i) ▲ WorldCat 1523234.
  7. Henry Campbell Black, Black's Law Dictionary, 5th ed. (St. Paul, Minnesota: West Publishing Co., 1979), 1081, "probate."
  8. Revill, Janie, Abstract of Marriages and Deaths from the Pendleton Messenger, 1826- 1848, the Keowee Courier, 1857-1871, [S.I.]: [s.n.], 1933-1936.
  9. Elliot, Colleen M., The Keowee Courier, 1849-1851, 1857-1861 and 1865-1868, Easley, SC: Southern Historical Press, c1979.
  10. South Carolina. Probate Court (Oconee County), Marriage Licenses, 1911-1950, Salt Lake City, UT: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 2004.
  11. Revill, Janie, Abstract of Marriages and Deaths from the Pendleton Messenger, 1826- 1848, the Keowee Courier, 1857-1871, [S.I.]: [s.n.], 1933-1936.
  12. Elliot, Colleen M., The Keowee Courier, 1849-1851, 1857-1861 and 1865-1868, Easley, SC: Southern Historical Press, c1979.