Sumter County, South Carolina Genealogy

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Sumter County, South Carolina
Map of South Carolina highlighting Sumter 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 1798
County Seat Sumter

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

Quick Dates

Sumter County's civil records start the following years:

Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1915  1911  1915    1790 1801  1784 

County Courthouse

Sumter Courthouse

Sumter County Courthouse
13 E. Canal St.
Sumter, SC 29150

Clerk of Court
141 N. Main St.
Sumter, SC 29150
Phone: 803-436-2223
Court records

Register of Deeds
141 N. Main St.
Sumter, SC 29150
Phone: 803-436-2223
Land records

Probate Court
141 N. Main St.
Sumter, SC 29150
Phone: 803-436-2166
Probate and marriage records

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


General Thomas Sumter (1734-1832)
The county is named after General Thomas Sumter (1734-1832).[1]

Parent County

1798--Sumter County was created in 1798 from Camden District.
County seat:  Sumter [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

Sumter suffered a major loss of probate records and deeds, on 27 November 1801, when fire destroyed the residence of Sumter District Clerk of Court John Horan, in Stateburg. This fire also consumed the records of Clarendon, Claremont, and Salem counties.


Populated Places

Bon Air Terrace East Sumter Millwood Sanders Corner
Borden Ellerbee (hist.) Millwood Gardens Scottsville
Brent Ellerbees Mill Mulberry Shaw Heights
Britton Foxville Norwood Crossroad Shiloh
Brogdon Fulton Crossroads Oakland South Sumter
Brunsons Store Gaillard Crossroads Oswego Stateburg
Cane Savannah Hagood Pinckney Crossroad State Farm (hist.)
Catchall Hillcrest Pinewood Stokes
Cherryvale Hobbs Crossroads Pisgah Sumter
Claremont Horatio Pocalla Springs Sumter Junction
Dalzell Lakewood Privateer Wedgefield
Dinkins Malta Quinns Crossroad Wedgewood
Dinkins Mill Mayesville Rembert Whites Pond Crossroad
DuBose Milford Rocky Bluff Crossroads

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

Neighboring Counties

Calhoun | Clarendon | Florence | Kershaw | Lee | Richland


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 Sumter County, South Carolina Cemeteries.


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1790 4,548
1800 13,103 188.1%
1810 19,054 45.4%
1820 25,369 33.1%
1830 28,277 11.5%
1840 27,892 −1.4%
1850 33,220 19.1%
1860 23,859 −28.2%
1870 25,268 5.9%
1880 37,037 46.6%
1890 43,605 17.7%
1900 51,237 17.5%
1910 38,472 −24.9%
1920 43,040 11.9%
1930 45,902 6.6%
1940 52,463 14.3%
1950 57,634 9.9%
1960 74,941 30.0%
1970 79,425 6.0%
1980 88,243 11.1%
1990 102,637 16.3%
2000 304,646 196.8%
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 Sumter 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.

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

1820 Manufactures

The original manufactures schedules for South Carolina are kept at the NARA, Washington, D.C. FHL copies: FHL Collection 1024517 - 1024518.

Published abstract:

  • 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 version at Google Books. [See South Carolina, Sumter District on page 142.]
  • Teel, Dorothy Owens and Three Rivers Historical Society. 1850 Census, Sumter District, South Carolina. Hemingway, S.C.: n.p., 1983. FHL Collection 975.769 X2t 1850
  • Teel, Dorothy Owens and Three Rivers Historical Society. 1860 Census, Sumter District, South Carolina. Hemingway, S.C.: n.p., 1983. FHL Collection 975.769 X2t 1860
  • Hughes, Nancy Phillips. 1870 Census Sumter County, South Carolina. Sumter, S.C.: Sumter County Genealogical Society, 1997. FHL Collection 975.769 X2h 1870


Church of England

Gotoarrow.png See also St. Mark's Parish.

  • Burgess, James M. Chronicles of St. Mark's Parish, Santee Circuit, and Williamsburg Township, South Carolina. Columbia, S.C.: Charles A. Calvo, Jr., Printer, 1888. Digital version at Google Books; FHL Collection 908980 Item 9
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

LDS Ward and Branch Records

  • Sumter



DNA Double Helix.png
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 Union County families. To view a list, visit Sumter County, South Carolina Genealogy.


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 show where you may best expect to find land records for Sumter County:

Tracing Land Currently in Sumter County with Parent Counties and Districts [4]
Date Government Office  
1868-Present Sumter County
1801-1868 Sumter District
1800-1801 Sumter District Records Lost*
1792-1800 Salem County Records Lost*
1785-1800 Claremont County Records Lost*
1785-1800 Claredon County Records Lost*
1769-1785 Camden District
1719-1769 Charleston District
1710-1719 Proprietary Land Grants

*Sumter District records destroyed by fire 27 Nov 1801

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

  • Gregorie, Anne King. History of Sumter County, South Carolina. Sumter, S.C.: Library Board of Sumter County, 1954. FHL Collection 975.769 H2g.
  1. by Jack Kenny Williams in The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 56, No. 1 (Jan. 1955):56-57. Digital version at JSTOR ($).



Early migration routes to and from Sumter County for European settlers included:[5]


Revolutionary War
  • "Jasper Redden McCoy, Revolution, Scapo Swamp exploit legend, SC," Periodical Bay Area Genealogical Society Newsletter, February 2005, Volume 4, Issue 6. Bay Area Genealogical Society : Houston, TX.
  • "Pensioners census, 1840," Sumter Black River Watchman, October 2003, Volume 19, Issue 7. Sumter County Genealogical Society : Sumter, SC.
  • "Adam Cusack execution, 1780," Sumter Black River Watchman, September 2002, Issue 6. Sumter County Genealogical Society : Sumter, SC.
  • "Loyalists," Sumter Black River Watchman, March 2000. Sumter County Genealogical Society : Sumter, SC
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 Collection 973 M2Lp v. 5; digital versions at Google Books and Internet Archive. [See Vol. 5, South Carolina, Sumter County, p. 189. Identifies War of 1812 veterans living in this county in 1883.]
Civil War, 1861-1865

Civil War service men from Sumter County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were formed in Sumter County or from many of its men.

- 5th Battalion, South Carolina Reserves (Brown's), Company B
- Garden's Company, South Carolina Light Aritillery (Palmetto Light Battery)
- 20th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry

"Sumter County Military Information". USGenWeb Project- Sumter County, South Carolina. Internet site, accessed 12/1/2010. Lists brief histories and rosters of officers and soldiers in Civil War military units that were from Sumter County.




The Library of Congress has identified the following historic newspapers for Sumpter 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.

For a history of Sumter newspaper presses, see:

  • Stubbs, Thomas McAlpin. "The Fourth Estate of Sumter South Carolina," The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 54, No. 4 (Oct. 1953):185-200. Digital version at JSTOR ($).


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:

  • The South Carolina Historical Magazine
  • Sumter Black River Watchman 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.”[6] 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. Estate records for Sumter County from 1800 to 1963 also available on microfilm.

Search for probate records for Sumter County in the court of ordinary, the probate court, and the court of equity. Some estate records for the probate court are also available on microfilm through the Family History Library, including some miscellaneous estate records, 1784-1960. FHL Film 216930


The tax evaluation treasurer's report for district 17, dated 1960 to 1961 survives. Copies: FHL Film 355726.

According to PERSI, the following article pertains to Sumter tax records:

  • State Equity Records, 1784, Sumter Black River Watchman (Feb. 2001).

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 Sumter 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 Sumter 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 Sumter 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

Archives, Libraries, and Museums


Sumpter County Library System

The Sumpter County Library system consists to a main library in downtown Sumpter, two branches, and a bookmobile.

Downtown - Main Library

111 North Harvin Street
Sumter, South Carolina 2915

Telephone: 803.773.7273
Fax: 803.773.4875
Hours: Monday - Tuesday 9:00 am - 8:00 pm, Wednesday - Saturday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm, Sunday 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm

The South Carolina Room of the Downtown Library contains over 2500 items pertaining to the history, culture and government of South Carolina. Items of particular interest are histories of Sumter County and works of non-fiction, prose and poetry by current and former Sumter County and area residents. The room is available all hours the Downtown branch is open. Visit the Reference Desk for access.

Westmark Branch

180 W. Wesmark Boulevard
Sumter, South Carolina 29150
Telephone: 803.469.8110
Fax: 803.469.8347
Hours: Monday - Tuesday 9:00 am - 8:00 pm, Wednesday - Saturday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm, Sunday 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm

South Sumpter Branch

337 Manning Avenue
Sumter, S.C. 29150
Telephone: 803.775.7132 (voice and fax)
Hours: Monday - Friday 10:00 am - 6:00 pm


Sumpter County Museum Complex

The Sumter County Museum is a private non-profit institution whose mission is to promote the history of Old Sumter District through the preservation and exhibition of objects, manuscripts, and documents, which relate the story of this area of South Carolina. The museum campus includes the Williams-Brice House (1916), the Heritage Education Center (2003) and the Carolina Backcountry Homestead.

Sumter County Museum
122 North Washington Street
P.O. Box 1456
Sumter, South Carolina 29151-1456
Telephone: 803-775-0908
Hours: Tuessay to Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Closed Holidays

The Museum's Archives houses records related to the history of the old Sumter District (present day Sumter, Lee, and Clarendon counties) and, after 1868, Sumter County. Records include over 30,000 photographic images, postcards, personal letters, scrapbooks, business records, plats, and maps. The Archive is also home to W. A. "Mayor Bubba" McElveen's Archive and the papers of historian Myrtis Ginn Osteen.

Housed in the Heritage Education Center at the museum, the Archive is accessible by appointment only. To make an appointment, call the museum is 803-775-0908. The physical address of the museum is the same as above.

Email the archivist at

Societies - Genealogical, Historical, Lineage 

Sumter County Genealogical Society
SCGS Chapter
P.O. Box 2543(mailing address)
Sumter SC 29151-2543

219 West Liberty Street (physical address)
Sumter SC 29150

Sumter County Historical Society
P.O. Box 1456
Sumter SC 29150
source: Society Hill

Family History Centers

Sumter South Carolina
1770 Highway 15 S
Sumter, Sumter, South Carolina, United States
Phone: 803-481-8300
Hours: Hours vary. Call ahead.

Web Sites

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Sumter 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. Schweitzer, George K. , South Carolina Genealogical Research (Knoxville, Tennessee: s.p. 1985), 39-42, FHL book 975.7 D27s
  5. 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.
  6. Henry Campbell Black, Black's Law Dictionary, 5th ed. (St. Paul, Minnesota: West Publishing Co., 1979), 1081, "probate."
  7. Sumter County (South Carolina), County Court Clerk, Sumter County, South Carolina Marriage Licenses, 1911-1950; Indexes, 1911-1967, Salt Lake City, UT: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 2000.