March 28, 2023, 8:29 am
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General Information About South Carolina Death Records and Laws
In South Carolina, death records remain available to the public. It is not necessary to have a reason to get these records, and that means that those who need them for other reasons, such as for family genealogy reports and for property searches can often find them. If you are looking for this information, it is possible that you will find it available to you very easily. However, it is also possible that it will take some research to locate the records you need. This really depends on where you get this information and on factors such as the age of the record that you are looking for in these records.
South Carolina did not require, as a state, that deaths be reported until 1914. At that time, a law went into place mandating this. However, it would take several years before at least 90 percent of all deaths were being reported to the state in the required fashion. If you are looking for a South Carolina death record from 1914 onwards, the best location for this information is the State Department of Health. It is the home of most date on death records within the state. You can write to the organization or contact them in person at the following address.
South Carolina Department of Health and Environment Control
Bureau of Vital Statistics
J Marion Sims Building
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, South Carolina 29201
Keep in mind, though, that the state does not keep all death records on hand. Rather, once records are about 50 years old, the records are then sent to the state archives. They are not lost, of course, but they are a bit harder to find than other, more recent records. If you need death records that are not on hand through the state archives or through the Vital Statistics Department, the next step is to look for those records at the local level.
To do this in South Carolina, start with local town halls. The town clerk's offices almost always recorded the death of individuals. This practice was done since the founding of the region, several hundred years ago. This provides a strong ability to find death records in the state even if you have to look at the state level. Also important is the vast number of records held by the religious organizations in the region. Some of these records remain available for as long as these establishments have been in place, some as long as several hundreds of years.
Gathering South Carolina death records is a process that involves a bit of research, but the adventure can produce great results. Once you have this information in hand, you can use it to accomplish many of the goals you have, including answering your questions about family members or helping you to get information about property ownership. You can often find a good deal of information through both local and statewide research in South Carolina. Simply taking the step to start your search is a big one that often pays off.
South Carolina Death Records

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