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The Daily Genealogist: South Carolina Resources

(Spotlight) Permanent link
Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Assistant Editor

Lexington County Probate Court Records, South Carolina

Lexington County is located in central South Carolina. The town of Lexington is its county seat. The Lexington County Probate Court has made estate and marriage license databases available on its website. To access the databases click on the links at the end of the page. 

Estate (1865 – 1994) and Marriage Indexes (1911 – 1987)
The indexes in this section have been scanned from the original paper indexes and uploaded to the site as PDF files. Estate records indexes are organized alphabetically and separated by year. Data fields in the estate records include date, name of deceased, executor or administrator, box, parcel, will book and page number. Marriage license records are organized alphabetically by bride’s surname or groom’s surname, and separated by year. Data fields in the index include license number, name and residence of man, name and residence of woman, their ages, race, date of application / license, date of marriage, by whom married and where, and comments.

The probate court has added two databases indexing more recent records. One indexes estate records from 1995 through the present. Data fields for the estate records are case number, case type, decedent's name, date of birth, date of death, date opened, case status, and Personal Representative & Attorney Information. The last field is a "view" button -- click to learn the names of the personal representative and attorney on the case. The other database is a marriage license index from 1986 through the present, which can be searched by bride or groom. Data fields for this index are license number, bride's name, groom's name, issue date, and marriage date.

Death Indexes, Spartanburg County Public Library, South Carolina – Update from 2006

Spartanburg, located in northwestern South Carolina, is the county seat of Spartanburg County. The Spartanburg County Public Library has made a number of obituary and death indexes available on its website.

Each index is formatted alphabetically; many are grouped by year. They include the name of the deceased as it appeared in the obituary, age, place of death or residence, name of spouse, and date and page on which the obituary appeared. Obituaries for individuals with clear local connections only have been included in the index. Search by keyword, name, or place of death, or browse alphabetical lists. Copies of obituaries can be ordered from the library for a small fee.

The databases are:

Spartanburg Herald and Herald-Journal Death Index – 1920 – 1922 and 1930 – 2011
This database indexes obituaries and death notices found in the above named newspapers. Indexing for the period from 1923 – 1929 is in progress.

Spartanburg Herald / Herald Journal Death Index – 1902 – 1919
The primary source for this obituary and death notice index is the Spartanburg Herald, with additional information from the Spartanburg Journal or the Spartanburg Weekly Herald. There are gaps in this database.

Carolina Spartan / Spartanburg Herald Death Index – roughly 1849 - 1893
These indexes contain obituaries from the Carolina Spartan and Spartanburg Herald newspapers. There are gaps throughout and the following years are missing: 1852, 1865, and 1877-78. The date in the record is the publication date of the death notice.

Register of Deaths of Spartanburg, South Carolina
This alphabetical index was compiled from the Register of Deaths of Spartanburg, an early attempt by the city to record deaths. These records span October 1, 1895, through October 21, 1897, and August 3,1903, through December 31, 1915. The index contains death records for residents of the city of Spartanburg only. Data fields include name of the deceased, sex, race, cause of death and date of death.

Miscellaneous Death Index
This death index is drawn from more than a half-dozen Spartanburg newspapers. It ranges from 1844 into the early 1900s; however, there are large time gaps in this database.

The Daily Genealogist: More House History Stories

(A Note from the Editor) Permanent link
Betlock Lynn

Lynn Betlock

We received a number of additional interesting house history stories this week so we present one more look at this topic.

Bill Powers of Rutland, Vermont:
I wrote an article for the current summer issue of Rutland Magazine, "100 Summers at Lake Dunmore," which chronicles the history of my family’s 100-year old camp. The story combines a history of the camp along with a bit of family genealogy since the 1950s. 

Margaret G. Fish of Reno, Nevada:
In about 1980, my daughter and her family were transferred to New Hampshire, and they bought a house in Madbury (once part of Dover). While living with them, I started genealogy (thanks to NEHGS!) and discovered that the land on which the house was built was owned by a direct ancestor way back in 1650! This was after I had lived for seventy years in thirteen other states, from Massachusetts to Florida to California.

Jane Thompson of Scituate, Massachusetts:
I am writing a history of the First Cliff neighborhood in Scituate. I have researched the ownership of about 55 properties back to the 1600s, and I am also writing biographies of most of the homeowners. It will probably be published after about three years of research. It was NOT as difficult as I thought it would be!

Henry Karl Voigt of Newark, Delaware:
My grandmother was raised on Mystic Street in Medford, Mass., in a house previously owned by her great-grandmother, Louise Campbell Fowler Pierpont, and her second husband, John Pierpont, the fiery abolitionist writer and preacher. The home was, unfortunately, taken down in 1951 to make room for six postwar "tract" houses, which would normally render a house history moot. However, my grandmother's father — Boston architect Lyman Sise — had fortuitously built a scale model of the house back in the 1930s, and the model survives to this day.

Jeff Hecht of Auburndale, Massachusetts:
A few years ago, I got a call from a lawyer trying to pin down title to a house previously owned by my grandmother in Saratoga Springs, New York. I knew family ownership went back to at least her grandfather, who had built, bought, or expanded it in the 1840s. (She claimed that the house was built about 1828, but city records only date to the 1840s.) My late father sold the house in 1978 or 1979, after my grandmother's death. (When I checked the house’s title then, we found — to our amazement — that the owner was still listed as my great-grandfather, who had died in 1932.) The current owner was having title problems because of ambiguities in a 1935 will. I explained enough of the tangle to satisfy the lawyer, and in the process learned some things I had not known — starting with the fact that the house was the oldest surviving one in town. Genealogists should check title records of family homes, which might reveal some surprises. No one had ever mentioned that my grandmother had lost title to the house in the late 1940s, for nonpayment of taxes, and had somehow gotten it back.

Margaret B. MacNeill of Indialantic, Florida: 
House history researchers should remember that many cities and towns have either renamed or renumbered streets, and all those carefully notated labels on snapshots, letters, and other records may not be applicable anymore.

Janet Doerr of Augusta, Maine:
I am lucky that my research on my family's properties has been easy: they've been in the family since 1789. My brother's house was built by our great-great-great-great grandfather, George Reed, in 1789, and has been in the family ever since. I own the property next to his, the oldest unaltered residence in Augusta, built by a cousin in 1789. Only four families have lived my house, which was passed from the original builder, Asa Williams, to his son to another cousin and on to my parents. I inherited the property from them. I don't know how unusual this "familial chain of title" is, but it makes for easy research and a very lengthy family history; I'm working on the stories!

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