Greenwood County, South Carolina Genealogy

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Guide to Greenwood County, South Carolina Genealogy ancestry, family history and genealogy court records, deeds, maps, immigration, maps, military records, newspapers, obituaries, plantations, probate records, slaves, local archives, libraries, museums, churches, cemeteries, and Civil War records.

Greenwood County, South Carolina
Map of South Carolina highlighting Greenwood County
Location in the state of South Carolina, United States Genealogy
Map of the U.S. highlighting South Carolina
Location of South Carolina in the U.S.
Founded March 2, 1897
County Seat Greenwood

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for its county seat, Greenwood. This had been named around 1824 after a plantation owned by John McGehee, an early resident. The area was developed largely for cotton plantations and was dependent on slave labor. It has continued to be agricultural in the 21st century. The County is located in the northwest area of the state.[1]

Greenwood County, South Carolina Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1915 1911 1915 1897 1897 1897 1790
*Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1915. General compliance by 1918.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Greenwood County Courthouse
528 Monument Street
Greenwood, SC 29646

Greenwood County Clerk of Court
528 Monument St., Room 114
Greenwood, SC 29646
Phone: 864-942-8546
Court and land records

Greenwood County Probate Court
528 Monument St., Room 205
Greewood, SC 29646
Phone: 864-942-8625
Probate and marriage records

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

Quick Facts[edit | edit source]

The county is named after Greenwood Plantation.[3]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

2 March 1897: Greenwood County was created from Abbeville and Edgefield Counties.
County seat: Greenwood [4]

County Pronunciation[edit | edit source]

  1. Hear it spoken[5]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

For animated maps illustrating South Carolina county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation South Carolina County Boundary Maps" (1682-1987) may be viewed for free at the website.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Places/Localities[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[6]

Unincorporated communities
  • Callison
  • Kirksey
Census-designated places

Resources[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

African Americans[edit | edit source]

United States African Americans Gotoarrow.png African American Resources for South Carolina

Known plantations South Carolina Plantations:

  • Barratt House - also called Chinaquin Ridge
  • Chinaquin Ridge - also called Barratt House
  • J. Wesley Brooks House - also called Scotch Cross
  • Jew's Land
  • Leaside
  • Murrays Hard Labor - also called White Hall
  • Roselands
  • Scotch Cross - also called J. Wesley Brooks House
  • Stony Point
  • White Hall - also called Murrays Hard Labor
  • Winterseat

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county Family History Library
SCGenWeb WorldCat Billion Graves
SCGenWeb Archives FamilySearch Places
Tombstone Project
Billion Graves
See South Carolina Cemeteries for more information.

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1900 28,343
1910 34,225 20.8%
1920 35,791 4.6%
1930 36,078 0.8%
1940 40,083 11.1%
1950 41,628 3.9%
1960 44,346 6.5%
1970 49,686 12.0%
1980 57,847 16.4%
1990 59,567 3.0%
2000 66,271 11.3%
2010 69,661 5.1%
Source: "".

1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 federal population schedules of Greenwood 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.

Church History and Records[edit | edit source]

Greenwood County Churches identifies dozens of churches in the area, courtesy: South Carolina Genealogical Society.

Baptist[edit | edit source]
  • Siloam - records (1799-1853) available on microfilm at the University of NC Davis Library.

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court Records[edit | edit source]

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]

This bibliography will eventually identify all known family histories published about residents of this county. Use this list to:

  • Locate publications about direct ancestors
  • Find the most updated accounts of an ancestor's family
  • Identify publications, to quote Elizabeth Shown Mills, about an ancestor's "FAN Club" Friends, Associates, and Neighbors)


As of August 2010, a query for persons born in Greenwood, South Carolina at World Connect, produces more than 3,500 results.

Surname indexes to Leonardo Andrea's Files | Folders | Resources are available online, courtesy: The Andrea Files: South Carolina Genealogical Research. Gotoarrow.png Learn more.

  • Watson, Margaret J., Harry Legare Watson, and Louise M. Watson. Greenwood County Sketches: Old Roads and Early Families. Greenwood, S.C.: Attic Press, 1982. FHL 975.733 D2w 1982; digital version at World Vital Records ($).

Message Boards


  • Dorn - Wood, Willie Mae G. Old Families of McCormick County, South Carolina and Dorn Families of Edgefield, Greenwood and McCormick Counties. 2 vols. 1982. FHL 975.736 D2w v. 1

Land and Property[edit | edit source]

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 Greenwood County:

Tracing Land Currently in Greenwood County with Parent Counties and Districts [7]
Date Government Office  
1897-present Greenwood County
1873-1897 Abbeville County
1868-1873 Abbeville County Records Lost *
1800-1865 Abbeville District Records Lost *
1769-1800 Abbeville County (old) Records Lost *
1719-1769 Charleston District
1710-1719 Proprietary Land Grants

*Abbeville deeds burned in 1873 while in storage

** Records of Pendleton/Anderson County should also be checked

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[edit | edit source]

  • Bowen, Anne Herd. Greenwood County: a History (Greenwood, South Carolina: The Museum, 1992, c1992, Kingsport, Tennessee: Arcata Graphics) , 400 pages. Concerns the very earliest people, institutions, and events. Book found at FHL Book 975.733 H2bWorldCat 27166213

Maps[edit | edit source]

Laurens CountyNewberry CountySaluda CountyEdgefield CountyMcCormick CountyAbbeville CountySC GREENWOOD.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military[edit | edit source]

General[edit | edit source]
  • "Coronacco State Guards, 1833," Genealogical Roots and Branches, Winter 2001, Volume 22, Issue 4. Old Ninety-Six Chapter, SCGS: Greenwood, SC.
Revolutionary War[edit | edit source]
  • "Battle of Ninety Six note," SAR Magazine, Winter 2001, Volume 95, Issue 3. National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution: Louisville, KY. FHL Book 973 B2sa
  • "Veterans list, (sel.)," Genealogical Roots and Branches, Winter 2001, Volume 22, Issue 4. Old Ninety-Six Chapter, SCGS: Greenwood, SC.
  • "War in back country," Periodical: Journal of America's Military Past, Fall 1996, Volume 23, Issue 3. Council on America's Military Past : Ft. Myer, VA.
Civil War[edit | edit source]

Online Records

Regiments. Greenwood County did not exist during the Civil War. Present day Greenwood County was created 2 March 1897 from Abbeville and Edgefield Counties. During the Civil War, men from the area of Greenwood County mostly would have served in various regiments recruited in Abbeville and Edgefield counties. Counties were called districts during the Civil War.

Other Resources

  • Eaton, Lafayette Claud. Butler Guards: Company B, 2nd South Carolina Infantry Regiment, Confederate States army (Vallejo, Calif.: L.C. Eaton, 1996?), 151 pages. Civil War pages. Includes index. Includes the final roll call of the original Butler Guards present at the surrender at Greensboro.The Butler Guards were originally a South Carolina state militia that became the core of Company B of the 2nd South Carolina Infantry Regiment. They later became a part of the United Confederate Veterans. Book found at FHL Book 975.727 M2e
  • Cook, H. T. The Hard Labor Section. (S.l. : W.C. Kirkland?, 1993). 90 [40] pages. The Hard Labor area includes Greenwood & McCormick counties. Includes lists of militiamen and confederate soldiers. Book at FHL 975.73 D2c and Other Libraries.

Newspapers[edit | edit source]


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

University of South Carolina Library Catalog


Obituary[edit | edit source]

Greenwood County Obituary Index

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:

  • Genealogical Roots and Branches

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.”[8] 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.

South Carolina Genealogical Records: Volume 1, Abbeville County and parts of Greewood and McCormick Counties by Elizabeth Wood Thomas. Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Willo Publishing Co., C1964. FHL Book 975.73 P2t Includes will book l (1787-1809), will book II (1815-1839) and index to equity records, 1791-1906.

Online Probate Indexes and Records

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.

  • South Carolina Department of Archives and History tax lists for Greenwood County.

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 Greenwood 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 Greenwood 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

Death[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 Greenwood 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[edit | edit source]

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Greenwood County Library
106 N. Main St.
Greenwood, SC 29646
Telephone: 864-941-4650
Hours: Sunday 2:00 p.m. to 5:30 p. m., Monday to Wednesday 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Thursday to Saturday 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Genealogy/Local History Link

Ninety Six Branch Library
118 Cambridge St. South
Ninety Six, SC 29666
Telephone: 864-543-4749
Hours: Monday 9am-7:30pm, Tuesday-Friday 9am-5:30pm

Ware Shoals Community Library
54 South Greenwood Ave.
Ware Shoals, SC 29692
Telephone: 864-456-2813
Hours: Monday 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Tuesday 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday-Friday 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

South Carolina Digital Library (SCDL) is a collaborative effort that includes South Carolina’s schools, libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural heritage institutions. Collaborating groups are encouraged to create, maintain, and promote digital collections that represent South Carolina's historical and cultural resources. A number of Greenwood County items are in the collection. To see images from Greenwood County, Click Here.

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

  • Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
  • FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

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

Websites[edit | edit source]

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

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Greenwood County, South Carolina" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, ",_South_Carolina." accessed 27/06/2019
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Greenwood County, South Carolina. Page 611-615 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 607-608.
  3. "List of counties in South Carolina," Wikipedia.
  4. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  5. Voice of Phillip Stalvey, resident of Myrtle Beach, S.C. (2011).
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "Greenwood County, South Carolina," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_South_Carolina, accessed 24 December 2019.
  7. Schweitzer, George K. , South Carolina Genealogical Research (Knoxville, Tennessee: s.p. 1985), 39-42, FHL book 975.7 D27s
  8. Henry Campbell Black, Black's Law Dictionary, 5th ed. (St. Paul, Minnesota: West Publishing Co., 1979), 1081, "probate."
  9. Lucas, Jr., S. Emmett, Abbeville District, South Carolina Marriages, 1777-1852, Easley, SC: Southern Historical Press, c1979.
  10. Herd, Jr., E. Don, Marriage and Death Notices from the Abbeville Banner, 1846-1860, (S.l.: s.n.), c1980.
  11. South Carolina, Probate Court (Greenwood County), Greenwood County, South Carolina Marriage Licenses, 1911-1950, Salt Lake City, UT: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 2003.
  12. Herd, Jr., E. Don, Marriage and Death Notices from the Abbeville Banner, 1846-1860, [S.l.: s.n.], c1980.