South Carolina Deaths, 1944-1955 (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Access the records: South Carolina Deaths, 1944-1955 .

Record Description

Records from 1944-1955 were acquired from the South Carolina Division of Health and Environmental Control. The collection consists of a name index to South Carolina deaths.

The trend of keeping state-wide death records throughout the United States expanded in the early 20th century after Congress passed a resolution in 1901 asking each state to gather information about births and deaths on a statewide basis. Because Congress did not fund it, it took several more years before it happened in every state. Death certificates were usually filled out by a mortician or medical professional. They filled in the information concerning the death and then obtained personal information on the deceased from an informant, usually a relative. Then, they sent the information to the county, who sent a copy to the state. The South Carolina Division of Vital Records is responsible for maintaining and issuing certified copies of vital records, including death certificates for deaths. Death certificates become public records fifty years after the death. Deaths from 1915 to 1957 are available to the public at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History Monday through Saturday. City of Charleston death records from as early as 1821 are on file at the Charleston County Health Department. Florence City deaths for 1895-1914 are available at the Florence County Health Department. Newberry City deaths from the late 1800’s are available at the Newberry County Health Department. The state generally achieved compliance after 1915. 

Death certificates were created to record deaths in South Carolina in compliance with state law and to better serve public health needs. They were also used in connection with the probate of wills and the administration of estates. 

Information pertaining to death is reliable; including death, name of the attending physician or attending medical professional, name and address of the funeral home used, and the exact date and place of burial. Other information is dependent upon the reliability of the informant. 

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

"South Carolina, Deaths, 1944-1955." Index. FamilySearch. : accessed 2013. Citing State Board of Health. Department of Health and Environmental Control, Columbia.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content

Key genealogical facts found in this collection may include:

The key genealogical facts found in most South Carolina death certificates are:

South Carolina Deaths (08-0409) DGS 4176807 540.jpg
  • Name of the deceased
  • Marital status and name of spouse
  • Dates of death
  • Birth date and place of the deceased
  • City, county, and state of death
  • Burial date and name of cemetery
  • Place of death and name of funeral home
  • Birthplace of the deceased
  • Name of the informant, who is often a child or other family member and names of additional relatives
  • Age, race, and sex of the deceased
  • Names and birthplaces of parents
  • Residence of the deceased
  • Occupation of the deceased

How to Use the Records

Death certificates are the best source of death information. The certificates contain clues for further research.

Known Issues with This Collection

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Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection

"South Carolina, Deaths, 1944-1955," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 10 May 2012), George Edgar Jackson, 1946.