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Union County, South Carolina Genealogy

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Union County, South Carolina
Map of South Carolina highlighting Union 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 Union

United States RTENOTITLE South Carolina RTENOTITLE Union County

Quick Dates[edit | edit source]

Union County's civil records start the following years:

Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1915  1911  1915  1790  1778  1777 

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Union County Courthouse

Union County Courthouse
210 West Main Street
Union, South Carolina 29379

Clerk of Court
210 W. Main St.
Union, SC 29379
Phone: 864-429-1630
Court and land records

Probate Court
210 W. Main St.
Union, SC 29379
Phone: 864-429-1625
Probate and marriage records

History[edit | edit source]

The county is named after Union Church.[1]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1798--Union County was created in 1798 from Ninety Six District.
County seat:  Union [2]

County Pronunciation[edit | edit source]

  1. Hear it spoken[3]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

"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[edit | edit source]

Places/Localities[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

Adamsburg Goshel Hill Mean Crossroads Santuc
Bailey Town (hist.) Gregory (hist.) Meansville (hist.) Sedalia
Bishop Town (hist.) Herbert Monarch Shady Grove (hist.)
Black Jack Valley (hist.) Humphriesville (hist.) No Mans Land (hist.) Simmon Tree (hist.)
Bonham Jonesville Pinckneyville South Hills
Buffalo Kelly Pine Tree (hist.) Tuckertown
Carem Kelton Pride (hist.) Union
Carlisle Kennedy Mill Red Point (hist.) West Springs
Cross Keys Lockhart Red Town (hist.) Wild Cat (hist.)
Delta Lockhart Junction Robat
Flat Rock (hist.) Meador Rogansville (hist.)

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

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Cherokee | Chester | Fairfield | Laurens | Newberry | Spartanburg | York

Resources[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

African Americans[edit | edit source]

United States African Americans RTENOTITLE South Carolina African Americans

Known plantations South Carolina Plantations:

  • Cross Keys - Cross Keys
  • David Johnson's - Lockhart
  • Fair Forest
  • Hillside - Carlisle
  • Jim Gist's
  • Juxa - Union
  • Orange Hall - Goshen Hill
  • Rose Hill
  • William Blackstock - Cross Anchor
  • Woodland - Carlisle
  • Wyoming - Jonesville

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

There are more than # burial grounds in the county. To view a list, see Union County, South Carolina Cemeteries.

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1790 7,693
1800 10,237 33.1%
1810 10,995 7.4%
1820 14,126 28.5%
1830 17,906 26.8%
1840 18,936 5.8%
1850 19,852 4.8%
1860 19,635 −1.1%
1870 19,248 −2.0%
1880 24,080 25.1%
1890 25,363 5.3%
1900 25,501 0.5%
1910 29,911 17.3%
1920 30,372 1.5%
1930 30,920 1.8%
1940 31,360 1.4%
1950 31,334 −0.1%
1960 30,015 −4.2%
1970 29,230 −2.6%
1980 30,751 5.2%
1990 30,337 −1.3%
2000 29,881 −1.5%
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 Union 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 Union County, SC census assignments, including links to transcribed files [The USGenWeb Census Project®]

1820 Manufactures[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]
  • 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, Union District on page 143.]
1850[edit | edit source]
  • Brock, Pettus and Broad River Basin Historical Society. 1850 Federal Census of Union County, South Carolina. Hickory Grove, S.C.: Broad River Basin Historical Society, 1993. FHL Collection

Church[edit | edit source]

Court[edit | edit source]

Union County has court records from 1785 that are held in the office of the Clerk of Court. Union County was a part of the Ninety-Six District from 1785 - 1791 and the Pinckney District from 1791 - 1800.  You may wish to search the records of the Ninety-Six District court which are housed in Abbeville County with the Clerk of Court and the records of the Pinckney District courts housed in York County with the Clerk of Court. The records of Western and Pinckney Equity Circuit Districts are housed in Union County.

The South Carolina Archives and History Center has court records available on microfilm for Union County.

The Family History Library collection includes books and microfilm regarding court records for Union County.

DNA[edit | edit source]

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.

Genealogy[edit | edit source]

More than 10 genealogies have been published about Union County families. To view a list, visit Union County, South Carolina Genealogy.

Land[edit | edit source]

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 Union County:

Tracing Land Currently in Union County with Parent Counties and Districts [4]
Date Government Office  
1868-present Union County
1800-1868 Union District
1791-1800 Union County in Pinkney District
1785-1791 Union County (old) in Ninety-Six District
1769-1785 Ninety-Six District
1719-1769 Charleston 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 Union County Courthouse.

Abstacted deeds Union County, South Carolina deed abstracts, Brent Holcomb (Columbia, South Carolina : SCMAR, 2000-c2007) FHL book 975.741 R2h 5 vols.

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.</nowiki>

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps[edit | edit source]

Migration[edit | edit source]

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

Military[edit | edit source]

General[edit | edit source]
  • "County statistics in wars," Historical Newsletter, April 2007. Union County Historical Foundation : Union, SC.
  • "Militia list of 1814," Broad River Notebook, March 1993, Volume 2, Issue 1. Broad River Basin Historical Society : Sharon, SC.
  • "Militia petition, 1825," Pinckney District Chapter Quarterly, Spring 1992, Volume 16, Issue 1. Pinckney District Chapter, South Carolina Genealogical Society : Spartanburg, SC.
  • "Records, militia, 1760," Pinckney District Chapter Quarterly, Spring 1992, Volume 16, Issue 1. Pinckney District Chapter, South Carolina Genealogical Society : Spartanburg, SC
  • "Militia roll, 1858," Pinckney District Chapter Quarterly, Winter 1992, Volume 16, Issue 3. Pinckney District Chapter, South Carolina Genealogical Society : Spartanburg, SC
Revolutionary War[edit | edit source]
  • "Cely Rogers, widow of Nathaniel Rogers pension application, 1839," Upper South Carolina Genealogy and History, February 2007, Volume 21, Issue 1. Piedmont Historical Society : Spartansburg, SC.
  • "Nathaniel Rogers Revolutionary War pension application and depositions, 1832-1833," Upper South Carolina Genealogy and History, February 2007, Volume 21, Issue 1. Piedmont Historical Society : Spartansburg, SC.
  • "Revolutionary War soldiers buried in Fairforest Prebyterian Church Cemetery (sel.)," Old Newberry District Quarterly, Summer 2004, Volume 13, Issue 2. Old Newberry District Chapter, South Carolina Genealogical Society : Newberry, SC.
  • "Tarleton Cavalry," Gleanings, October 2001, Volume 8, Issue 4. Steele Creek Historical and Genealogical Society : Charlotte, NC.
  • "County veterans," Cass County Connections, June 1998, Volume 24, Issue 2. Cass County Genealogical Society : Atlanta, TX.
War of 1812[edit | edit source]
  • 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, Union County, p. 189. Identifies War of 1812 veterans living in this county in 1883.]
Civil War[edit | edit source]

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

- 1st Battalion, South Carolina Sharpshooters
- Company C - (also known as the Charleston Sharpshooters and Palmetto Guards)
- 1st Regiment, South Carolina Artillery
- Company A - (also known as Calhoun's Battery; Sumter Light Artillery, Sumter Battery, Preston's Battery, Blake's Battery and other name variations of these
- Company K
- 1st Regiment, South Carolina Infantry (6 months, 1861)
- Company E - (also known as the Union Volunteers)
-2nd Battalion, South Carolina Reserves
- Company C (also known as the Spartan Rangers, the Spartanburg Rangers and the Spartan Rangers Independent Cavalry Reserves)
- 3rd Battalion, South Carolina Light Artillery (Palmetto Battalion)
- Company G (also known as the DeSaussure Light Artillery and the DePass Light Battery)
- 3rd Regiment, South Carolina Infantry
- Company D
- Company K
- 3rd Battalion, South Carolina Reserves,
- Company A
- 4th Regiment, South Carolina State Troop Junior Reserves
- Company A
- Company B
- 5th Regiment, South Carolina Cavalry (Ferguson's)
- Company K
- 5th Regiment, South Carolina State Troops,
- Company H
- Company M
- 5th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry
- Company A - (also know as Johnson Rifles), Before Reorganization Roster
After Reorganization Roster
- Company B
- Company C
- Company D - (also known as Tyger River Volunteers and Goshen Hill Volunteers) - (Santuc) Roster
- Company E (also known as Pea Ridge Volunteers), Before Reorganization Roster, After Reorganization Roster
- Company G
- Company H
- Company I
- Company K
Companies A, B, C, D, E, G, H, I, K. See the Regimental page 5th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry for additional information on these companies

- 7th Regiment, South Carolina Cavalry ,
- Company C
- Company D
- Company E
- 12th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry,
- Company A
- 15th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry
- Company B
- Company D
- Company F
- Company H
- 18th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry
- Company A
- Company B
- Company C
- Company E
- Company F
- 19th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry, Company D

  • Sims, Caldwell. Voices of the Past : Union Countians of the Civil War and Reconstruction Period Describe What It Was Like  (Greenville, S.C. : A Press, ©1979), 230 pages. Book at WorldCat.
  • South Carolina, Confederate Pension Board. Confederate Veterans and Widows Pension Applications, 1919-1920. (Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1961). Original at the Union County courthouse. Microfilm copy at FHL 255051 Item 1
  • Register of Confederate Soldiers, 1861-1865. (Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1961) Originals at the Union County courthouse. Arranged by surname. Microfilm copy at FHL 255051 Item 2
  • 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

Museums[edit | edit source]

Union County Museum The Union County Museum has a wealth of resources such as family histories, city directories, marriage indexes, cemetery books, and vertical files.

Union County Museum

127 West Main Street
Union SC 29379
Phone: 864-429-5081

Hours of Operation: Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9am until 4 pm, Saturday 2 pm until 5pm .
Other times by appointment arranged in advance.

Newspapers[edit | edit source]


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


Periodicals[edit | edit source]

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 Newberry District Quarterly
  • Pinckney District Chapter Quarterly
  • Upper South Carolina Genealogy and History

Probate[edit | edit source]

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 Union County probate court, 1787-1906, are available on microfilm, as well as other court records.

Probate records for Union County may be found in the court of ordinary, probate court, and the court of equity. Some of these estate records are also available on microfilm through the Family History Library. See also:

Taxation[edit | edit source]

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.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

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.

Birth[edit | edit source]

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 Union 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.

Marriage[edit | edit source]

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 Union 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

  • 1851-1912 - Union County, South Carolina Marriage Records: from Early Newspapers, 1851-1912, Marriage Registers, Deed Books & Probate records by Tommy J. Vaughan & Michael Becknell
    [7]FHL Collection WorldCat - abstracts
  • 1911-1950 [index to 1955] - Union County, South Carolina Marriage Licenses, July 1911-Dec. 1950; Indexes, 1911-1955 [8]  FHL Collection - index and records
  • 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.
[edit | edit source]

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 Union 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 - Indexes and Records

Archives, Libraries, and Museums[edit | edit source]

Union County Carnegie Library
300 East South Street 
Union, South Carolina 29379
Telephone: (864) 427-7140

The Union County Library provides the amateur family historian with quality resources, the active support of trained staff who care about research and personal investigation, and access to genealogy databases and web based sources. We help researchers get started, we celebrate their success, and we provide suggestions and recommendations along the way

Societies - Genealogical, Historical, Lineage [edit | edit source]

Union County Historical Society Foundation
P.O. Drawer 220
Union SC 29379
source: Society Hill

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Web Sites[edit | edit source]

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

References[edit | edit source]

  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. Vaughan, Tommy J. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp; Michael Becknell, Union County, South Carolina Marriage Records: from Early Newspapers, 1851-1912, Marriage Registers, Deed Books &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp; Probate Records, [Spartanburg, SC]: Greenville Chapter, South Carolina Genealogical Society, c1995.
  8. South Carolina, Probate Court, Union County, Union County, South Carolina Marriage Licenses, July 1911-Dec. 1950; Indexes, 1911-1955, Salt Lake City, UT: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 2001-2002.
  9. South Carolina Death Records, 1821-1955 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2008. Original data: South Carolina. South Carolina death records. Columbia, SC, USA: South Carolina Department of Archives and History.