South Carolina Naturalization and Citizenship

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United States Gotoarrow.png U.S. Naturalizations Gotoarrow.png South Carolina Gotoarrow.png Naturalizations
Newberry County, South Carolina Courthouse


Some colonial applications for naturalization are found in the records of the secretary of the province at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Since the Revolutionary War, naturalization papers have been filed in the records of federal, state, and local courts.


Starting in the 1780s, the South Carolina legislature also granted citizenship. Many of these petitions are in the records of the General Assembly at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Only one small volume of records, 1788 to 1839, is at both the South Carolina Department of Archives and History and the Family History Library (Family History Library film 022673, the index is on film 022662).

Naturalizations granted by federal courts in South Carolina before the Civil War are indexed in Volume 66 of the South Carolina Historical Magazine. The original records are at the National Archives Southeast Region (Atlanta), and the South Carolina Department of Archives and History has microfilm copies. Abstracts:

  • Hemperley, Marion R. "Federal Naturalization Oaths Charleston, South Carolina 1790-1860," The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 66, No. 2 (Apr., 1965), pp. 112-124; Vol. 66, No. 3 (Jul., 1965), pp. 183-192; Vol. 66, No. 4 (Oct., 1965), pp. 218-228. Digital version at JSTOR ($).

Copies of the U.S. District Court records for the years 1790 to 1906 from the National Archives—Southeast Region (Atlanta) are also at the Family History Library (film 929094).

Bockstruck's book includes South Carolina naturalizations:

  • Bockstruck, Lloyd deWitt. Denizations and Naturalizations in the British Colonies in America, 1607-1775. Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2005. FHL Book 970 P4b

Many free South Carolina settlers who were not part of the British empire became naturalized there. Giuseppi published an abstract of these records:

  • Giuseppi, Montague S . Naturalizations of Foreign Protestants in the American and West Indian Colonies (Pursuant to Statute 13 George II, c. 7) . London: Huguenot Society Publishing , 1921 . Free Name Search[1]; publisher's bookstore: ; FHL Collection 972.92 P4gm 1964 . Digital version at Ancestry ($).

The Family History Library has petitions to the courts of common pleas and general sessions for some counties. A few of these records are found in the court minutes that are listed in the Family History Library Catalog under SOUTH CAROLINA, [COUNTY] - COURT RECORDS.

Post-1906 Records

In 1906 the Immigration and Naturalization Service (now United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) was created, forms were standardized and duplicate records created by the court were sent to the INS. To access these records, use the Genealogy Program at  You may also contact the National Archives—Southeast Region (Atlanta) for naturalization records.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Name Search at is a comprehensive name index to 638 books and CDs published or reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Company (now For a complete list of the works included, see Publications in Name Search at