Spartanburg County, South Carolina Genealogy
|Spartanburg County, South Carolina|
Location in the state of South Carolina
Location of South Carolina in the U.S.
- 1 Quick Dates
- 2 County Courthouse
- 3 History
- 4 Places/Localities
- 5 Resources
- 5.1 Research Guides
- 5.2 African Americans
- 5.3 Biography
- 5.4 Cemeteries
- 5.5 Census
- 5.6 Church
- 5.7 Court
- 5.8 DNA
- 5.9 Genealogy
- 5.10 Immigration
- 5.11 Land and Property
- 5.12 Local Histories
- 5.13 Maps
- 5.14 Military
- 5.15 Newspapers
- 5.16 Obituaries
- 5.17 Periodicals
- 5.18 Probate
- 5.19 Schools
- 5.20 Taxation
- 5.21 Vital Records
- 6 Archives, Libraries, and Museums
- 7 Societies - Genealogical, Historical, Lineage
- 8 Family History Centers
- 9 Web Sites
- 10 References
Spartanburg County's civil records start the following years:
Spartanburg County Courthouse
180 Magnolia St.
Spartanburg, South Carolina 29306
Clerk of Court
180 Magnolia St., 2nd floor. Suite 500
Spartanburg, SC 29306
Court and land records
180 Magnolia St., 1st Floor, Suite 302
Spartanburg, SC 29306
Probate and marriage records
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
The county is named after the Spartan Regiment. Known in history as the site of the Revolutionary War Battle of Cowpens.
1795--"Spartan District" was created in 1795 from Ninety-Six District. In 1791 at the request of the citizens the legislature renamed the same place Spartanburg District (county) in honor of the district/county seat. in 1868 all districts including Spartanburg were renamed counties.
County seat: Spartanburg 
"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.
- Lost census: 1890
- South Carolina Archives Summary Guide: Spartanburg County, available online, courtesy: South Carolina Department of Archives and History.
- Eelman, Bruce W. "'An Educated and Intelligent People Cannot Be Enslaved': The Struggle for Common Schools in Antebellum Spartanburg, South Carolina," History of Education Quarterly, Vol. 44, No. 2 (Summer, 2004), pp. 250-270. Digital version at JSTOR ($).
- Heinegg, Paul. "'Other Free' Heads of Household in the 1790 South Carolina Census, by County," Free African Americans.com. [Includes free blacks in Spartanburgh County.]
- Boggs, John. The Southern Christian; Exemplified in the Memoirs of Anthony Jefferson Pearson, Who Died August 31st, 1834 in Spartanburgh, South Carolina. New York: Ezra Collier, 1835. Digital version at Internet Archive.
CemeteriesThere are more than # burial grounds in the county. To view a list, see Spartanburg County, South Carolina Cemeteries.
|Source: "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau.|
1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 federal population schedules of Spartanburg 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.
- 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 versions at Google Books. [See South Carolina, Spartanburgh [Spartanburg] District on page 143.]
- Gilbert, Horace Elbert and Rodney Dusterhoft. An Enhanced 1850 Census, Spartanburg District, South Carolina. Spartanburg, S.C.: Pinckney District Chapter, SCGS, 1994. FHL Collection 975.729 X2g 1850
- Emory, Mary Mills and Lorene Burton Ambrose. 1860 Census, Spartanburg County, South Carolina, Vol. 1. FHL Collection 975.729 X2p 1860 v. 1
LDS Ward and Branch Records
- Racine, Philip N. "The Spartanburg District Magistrates and Freeholders Court, 1824-1865," The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 87, No. 4 (Oct., 1986), pp. 197-212. Digital version at JSTOR ($).
More than 20 genealogies have been published about Spartanburg County families. To view a list, visit Spartanburg County, South Carolina Genealogy.
- Howe, George. The Scotch-Irish and Their First Settlements on the Tyger River and Other Neighboring Precincts in South Carolina a Centennial Discourse, Delivered at Nazareth Church, Spartanburg District, S.C., September 14, 1861. 1861; reprint, Greenville, S.C.: A Press, 1981. FHL 975.7 A1 no. 87
Early migration routes to and from Spartanburg County for European settlers included:
Land and Property
Because of South Carolina’s history as an agricultural state many residents owned land. For more information abou 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 Spartanburg County:
|1791-1800||Spartanburg County in Pinkney District|
|1785-1791||Spartanburg County (old) in Ninety-Six District|
|1710-1719|| Proprietary Land Grants|
* Some early records may be found in North Carolina counties Anson, Mecklenburg, or Tryon
Orignial deed books are located at the Spartanburg County Courthouse.
Abstracted deeds in Spartanburg County/District, South Carolina, deed abstracts, books A-T, 1785-1827 (1752-1827), A.B. Pruitt FHL Book 975.7 R28p
Plats For State Land Grants 1784-1868
- Plats For State Land Grants 1784-1868 For information about the State Land Grants, see State Land Grants
- History of Spartanburg County. Spartanburg, S.C.?: Band & White, 1940. Digital version at Ancestry($).
- Landrum, J.B.O. Colonial and Revolutionary History of Upper South Carolina, Embracing for the Most Part the Primitive and Colonial History of the Territory Comprising the Original County of Spartanburg with a General Review of the Entire Military Operations in the Upper Portion of South Carolina and Portions of North Carolina. Greenville, S.C.: Shannon & Co., Printers and Binders, 1897. Digital version at Google Books.
- Landrum, J.B.O. History of Spartanburg County: Embracing an Account of Many Important Events and Biographical Sketches of Statesmen, Divines and Other Public Men, and the Names of Many Others Worthy of Record in the History of Their County. Atlanta, Ga.: Franklin Printing, 1900. FHL 975.729 H2L; FHL 975.729 H2L index; digital versions at Internet Archive; World Vital Records($); another World Vital Records($) version.
- Spartanburg City and Spartanburg County, South Carolina, 1903. 1903. Digital version at Internet Archive.
- Waldrep, G.C. Southern Workers and the Search for Community: Spartanburg County, South Carolina. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2000.
- By John Hennen in The American Historical Review, Vol. 106, No. 4 (Oct. 2001):1397-1398. Digital version at JSTOR ($).
- By Annette C. Wright in The Journal of American History, Vol. 88, No. 4 (Mar. 2002):1580-1581. Digital version at JSTOR ($).
- By R. Phillip Stone II in The Journal of Southern History, Vol. 68, No. 3 (Aug. 2002):738-379. Digital version at JSTOR ($).
- Harris, David Golightly. Piedmont Farmer, The Journals of David Golightly Harris, 1855-1870. (Knoxville, Tennessee : University of Tenn. Press, c1990. 597 pages. David Harris, the owner of 10 slaves records life on his farm, in his neighborhood, and the society of Piedmont. Book found at FHL 975.729 D3p and Other Libraries.
MilitarySpartanburg County, South Carolina Military identifies various military records and histories.
Civil War service men from Spartanburg County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies or regimens that were formed of many men from Spartanburg County.
9th Regiment, South Carolina Reserves, Company I
- South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Confederate Pension Records, 1889,1896, 1916-1935 (Salt Lake City, Utah: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1954, 1971). 6 FHL Microfilms Pension applications, A-I (veterans), 1919-1920's. Pension applications, J-Z (veterans), 1919-1920's. Pension applications, A-N, (widows), 1919-1920's Pension application, O-Z (widows), 1919-1920's Pension record, 1889, 1896, 1916-1919. Pension rolls,(widows), 1920-1935 (includes some applications). Microfilm copies at FHL 24505
- Harris, David Golightly. Piedmont Farmer, The Journals of David Golightly Harris, 1855-1870. (Knoxville, Tennessee : University of Tenn. Press, c1990), 597 pages. David Harris, the owner of 10 slaves records life on his farm, in his neighborhood, and the society of Piedmont. Civil War pages 171-356. Book found at FHL 975.729 D3p and Other Libraries.
- 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
The Library of Congress has identified the following historic newspapers for Spartanburg 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.
- Black Star (Columbia, S.C.) 1977-current.
- Chesnee Tribune (Chesnee, S.C.) 1971-current.
- Cowpens-Pacolet Tribune (Cowpens, S.C.) 1971-current.
- Herald-Journal (Spartanburg, S.C.) 1989-current.
- Spartanburg Herald-Journal (Spartanburg, S.C.) 1982-1989.
- Spartanburg Journal (Spartanburg, S.C.) 1900-1906.
- Spartanburg Tribune (Chesnee, S.C.) 1969-current.
- Star Tribune (Spartanburg, S.C.) 1980-1992.
- The Carolina Citizen (Spartanburg, S.C.) 1922-1924.
- The Carolina Spartan (Spartanburg, S.C.) 185?-189?.
- The Carolina Spartan (Spartanburg, S.C.) 1???-1913.
- The Church Herald (Spartanburg, S.C.) 1881-1884.
- The Clifton Chronicle (Converse, S.C.) 1908-1931.
- The Daily Herald (Spartanburg, S.C.) 1890-1982.
- The Evening Star (Spartanburg, S.C.) 1898-1900.
- The Free Lance (Spartanburg, S.C.) 1899-1919.
- The Inman Times (Inman, S.C.) 1920-current.
- The Journal (Spartanburg, S.C.) 1906-1913.
- The Journal and the Carolina Spartan (Spartanburg, S.C.) 1913-1920.
- The Landrum Leader (Landrum, S.C.) 1955-1974.
- The News Leader (Landrum, S.C.) 1974-current.
- The News Review (Una, S.C.) 1929-1971.
- The Orphans' Friend (Spartanburg, S.C.) 1873-1875.
- The Paper (Spartanburg, S.C.) 1984-current.
- The Piedmont Headlight (Spartanburg, S.C.) 1892-1905.
- The Spartan (Camp Croft [Spartanburg], S.C.) 1944-19??.
- The Spartan (Spartanburg, S.C.) 1843-185?.
- The Spartan (Spartanburg, S.C.) 189?-1???.
- The Spartanburg Express (Spartanburg, S.C.) 1854-1866.
- The Spartanburg Gazette (Spartanburg, S.C.) 1869-1870.
- The Spartanburg Herald (Spartanburg, S.C.) 1875-1920.
- The Spartanburg Journal and the Carolina Spartan (Spartanburg, S.C.) 1920-1982.
- The Spartanburg Republican (Spartanburg, S.C.) 1870-1871.
- The Sun and the Carolina Citizen (Spartanburg, S.C.) 1924-1925.
- The Woodruff News (Woodruff, S.C.) 1916-1928.
- The Woodruff News (Woodruff, S.C.) 1950-current.
Spartanbury County Public Libraryhas Indexes to various newspaper obituaries as well as a miscellaneous death index. The obituaries and index covers various years ranging from 1844 to 2009.
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:
- Pinckney District Chapter Quarterly
- Upper South Carolina Genealogy and History
- Old Spartanburg District Genealogy FHL Collection
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.” 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 Transcriptionsfor 1782 to 1855 online. Index searchable by name and the image is available.
The organization Strictly By Name provides free online indexes to early Spartanburg County wills. They offer a record retrieval service to photocopy and transcribe microfilm copies of the original documents for a small fee. Available indexes:
Probate records for Spartanburg County are found in the court of ordinary, the probate court, and the court of equity. Some estate records and indexes also available on microfilm, including the following:
- Index to Estate Papers, 1787-1971. FHL Film 1022762
- Index to Real Estate Papers, 1825-1971. FHL Film 1022781
- Brent H. Holcomb, comp. Spartanburg County, South Carolina will abstracts, 1787- 1840. Columbia, South Carolina: B.H. Holcomb, c1983. FHL Book 975.729 P2h
- First Annual Catalogue of the Instructors and Pupils in the Limestone Springs Female High School, Spartanburg, S.C., August, 1846. New York: Leavitt, Trow & Company, 1846. Digital version at Internet Archive.
- Catalogue of the Instructors and Pupils in the Limestone Springs Female High School, Spartanburg, S.C., 1855. Charleston, S.C.: James and Williams, 1855. Digital version at Internet Archive.
- Catalogue of the Instructors and Pupils in the Limestone Springs Female High School, Spartanburg, S.C., 1856. Columbia, S.C.: Steam Power-Press of R.W. Gibbes, 1856. Digital version at Internet Archive.
- Catalogue of the Instructors and Pupils in the Limestone Springs Female High School, Spartanburg, S.C., 1857. Columbia, S.C.: Steam-Power Press of R.W. Gibbes, 1857. Digital version at Internet Archive.
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 online tax lists for Spartanburg County.
-  Iron Works of Spartanburg Sheriff's Sale 2nd Notice, July 14, 1788, Upper South Carolina Genealogy and History, Vol. 19, No. 3 (Aug. 2005).
-  Tax Return, 1844, Spartanburg Dist., W, Pinckney District Chapter Quarterly, Vol.16, No. 1 (Spring 1992).
- Freedmen Tax List, Pinckney District Chapter Quarterly, Vol. 32, No. 3 (Sep. 2008).
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.
Birth records do not begin in Spartanburg until 1915. For a copy of a birth from 1915 or later, contact the South Carolina Department of Health. The Spartanburg 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 records 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 Spartanburg 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
- 1785-1911 - Spartanburg County Marriages, 1785-1911 Implied in Spartanburg County, South Carolina Probate Records by Barbara R. Langdon  FHL Collection WorldCat - abstracts
- 1866-1869 - Marriages from the Carolina Spartan Newspapers, 1866-1869 by Faye Berry Emory  FHL Collection WorldCat - abstracts
- 1911 to 1950s - Spartanburg County Marriage Records by the Spartanburg County, SC USGenweb page - index, incomplete
- 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.
The town of Spartanburg began recording deaths in 1895. These records can be obtained from the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.
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 Spartanburg 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
- 1849-Present - Obituary Online Index by the Spartanburg County Public Library - index, INCOMPLETE between 1916 to1930s
- 1895-1897; 1903-1914 - South Carolina Death Records, 1821-1955  Available at Ancestry ($) - index and records, includes Spartanburg City death 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
Digital items: The Spartanburg County Public Libraries Digitization Program creates digital collections of local history materials from the Kennedy Room of Local and South Carolina History and Cleveland Genealogical Department and makes them available online
151 South Church Street
Spartanburg, SC 29306
Hours: Sunday 1:30 PM -6:00 PM; Monday Friday 9:00 AM -9:00 PM; Saturday 9:00 AM -6:00 PM
The Kennedy Room of Local and South Carolina History and Cleveland Genealogy Department on the top floor of the headquarters Library houses an extensive collection of source material for genealogy and history researchers. In addition to books, types of materials in our collection include microform, maps, media clippings, manuscripts, visual arts and access to several online genealogy databases. The materials’ focus is on Spartanburg County but also includes South Carolina and regional information.
The best way to access this material is through personal visits and by viewing our online information. We offer limited assistance to long-distance researchers through email, postal mail or telephone.
Boiling Springs Library
871 Double Bridge Road
Boiling Springs, SC29316
Hours: Sun. 1:30 PM -6 PM; Mon., Tues. & Thurs. 10 AM -8 PM; Wed., Fri. & Sat. 10 AM -6 PM
100 Pickens Avenue
Chesnee, SC 29323
Hours: Sun. CLOSED; Mon., Tues. & Thurs. 10 AM -8 PM; Wed. & Fri. 10 AM -6 PM; Sat. 10 AM -4 PM
181 School Street
Cowpens, SC 29330
Hours: Sun. CLOSED; Mon. & Tues. 10 AM -8 PM; Wed., Thurs. & Fri. 10 AM -6 PM; Sat. 10 AM -4 PM
H. Carlisle Bean Law Library
180 Magnolia Street, 3rd floor
Spartanburg, SC 29306
Hours: Sun. CLOSED; Mon. - Fri. 8:30 AM -12:15 PM & 1:15 PM -5 PM; Sat. CLOSED
50 Mill Street
Inman, SC 29349
Hours: Sun. CLOSED; Mon., Tues. & Thurs. 10 AM -8 PM; Wed. & Fri. 10 AM -6 PM; Sat. 10 AM -4 PM
111 East Asbury Drive
Landrum, SC 29356
Hours: Sun. CLOSED; Mon., Tues. & Thurs. 9 AM -8 PM; Wed. & Fri. 9 AM -6 PM; Sat. 9 AM -2 PM
Middle Tyger Library
170 Groce Road
Lyman, SC 29365
Hours: Sun. 1:30 PM -6 PM; Mon., Tues. & Thurs. 10 AM -8 PM; Wed, Fri. & Sat. 10 AM -6 PM
390 West Main Street
Pacolet, SC 29372
Hours: Sun. CLOSED; Mon. & Tues. 10 AM -8 PM; Wed., Thurs. & Fri. 10 AM -6 PM; Sat. 12 noon-4 PM
525 Oak Grove Road
Spartanburg, SC 29301
Hours: Sun. 1:30 PM -6 PM; Mon.-Thurs. 9 AM -9 PM; Fri. 9 AM -6 PM; Sat. 10 AM -6 PM
270 East Hayne Street
Woodruff, SC 29388
Hours: Sun. CLOSED; Mon., Tues. & Thurs. 10 AM -8 PM; Wed. 10 AM -6 PM; Fri. 12 noon-6 PM; Sat. 10 AM -4 PM
Societies - Genealogical, Historical, Lineage
Pinckney District Chapter SCGS
P.O. Box 5281
Spartanburg SC 29304-5281
Spartanburg Historical Association
501 Otis Blvd.
Spartanburg SC 29306
source: Society Hill
Piedmont Historical Society
P.O. Box 8096
Sparanburg SC 29305-8096
source: Society Hill
Family History Centers
Spartanburg South Carolina
121 Quail Dr
Spartanburg, Spartanburg, South Carolina, United States
Hours: Tues 9:00-5:00; Wed 6:30-8:30; Thurs 6:30-8:30; Fri 10-2
Closed: Week of Thanksgiving, and last two (2) weeks of December
Attention: Additional hours opened by appointment. Contact Tracy Terry 864-580-8731
- Spartanburg County, SCGenWeb
- Family History Library Catalog
- Spartanburg County, South Carolina Genealogy and Family History(Linkpendium)
- "List of counties in South Carolina," Wikipedia.
- "A History of Spartanburg County, South Carolina" in South Carolina - The Counties at http://www.carolana.com/SC/Counties/spartan_county_sc.html (accessed 22 April 2011).
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
- Voice of Phillip Stalvey, resident of Myrtle Beach, S.C. (2011).
- 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), 188. FHL Collection 973 M2Lp v. 5; digital versions at Google Books and Internet Archive.
- 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.
- Schweitzer, George K. , South Carolina Genealogical Research (Knoxville, Tennessee: s.p. 1985), 39-42, FHL book 975.7 D27s
- Henry Campbell Black, Black's Law Dictionary, 5th ed. (St. Paul, Minnesota: West Publishing Co., 1979), 1081, "probate."
- Langdon, Barbara R. Spartanburg County Marriages, 1785-1911 Implied in Spartanburg County, South Carolina Probate Records. [S.l. : s.n.], c1992.
- Emory, Faye Berry, Marriages from the Carolina Spartan Newspapers, 1866-1869, Spartanburg, SC: Piedmont Historical Society, c1983.
- 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.