Genealogical Resources for Orangeburg, South Carolina

Bibliographies

The OGSGS Bibliography - a list of reference books pertaining to Orangeburg Genealogy.

The Swiss Genealogy Bibliography - a list of reference books on Swiss Genealogy.

DNA

The Orangeburgh District DNA Project - DNA studies related to descendants of persons who lived in the old Orangeburgh District in South Carolina (modern counties of Orangeburg, Lexington, Calhoun, Barnwell, Bamberg and parts of Aiken and Allendale).

Official Records

The SC Department of Archives and History holds the vast majority of early Orangeburg official records. Besides official records, holdings include general South Carolina histories, histories of specific periods, state wide genealogical compilations, and so forth. There is a facility for ordering document copies online (if you know the specific citation). Useful online resources include an Online Index to many of their holdings and a set of maps tracing the Formation of Counties in South Carolina from 1682 to the present.

Probate records of South Carolina were kept by the secretary of the province prior to 1732, and were later kept by the courts of ordinary and probate courts of each county. Major South Carolina courts that kept records of genealogical value included Court of Chancery which handled land and inheritance matters for the entire colony. The chancery court records were later known as equity records. Some of these early court cases are on file at the University of South Carolina Law Library in Columbia.

Pre-Civil War files for Orangeburg, Beaufort, Chesterfield, Colleton, Georgetown, and Lancaster districts were destroyed. However, there remains an abundance of official information available prior to 1865. And, many of the land records destroyed were reconstructed in subsequent deeds and remain on file at the Orangeburg County Courthouse.

Probate records from 1865 are on file in the Orangeburg County Courthouse. A "General Index to Probate Court 1865 - 1947, Orangeburg County Courthouse" by Janice F. Rickenbaker was published in serial form in OGSGS Newsletter Volumes: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. A reprint of the complete index is available. See Publications.

The state of South Carolina required marriage licenses beginning in 1911 and birth and death certificates beginning in 1915. For information see the S. C. DHEC web site. South Carolina Death Indexes 1915-1953 are available online from DHEC.

Un-official Records

Most archives, historical societies, and genealogical societies have special collections and indexes of genealogical value. These must usually be searched in person. Some of the best manuscript collections for the Orangeburg area are in:

Orangeburg County Historical Society (A. S. Salley Archives), Middleton and Bull Streets, Orangeburg, SC
MAILING ADDRESS: PO Box 1881, Orangeburg, SC 29116-1881
HOURS: Tuesday, 9 am to 12 noon; Wednesday, 9 am to 3 pm; or by appointment.
EMAIL: ochs@orangeburgh.org
CONTENTS: Materials relating to Orangeburg County, including maps, plats, genealogical research, private manuscripts, church and cemetery records, photographs, the A. S. Salley, Jr., work papers collection, and a general history file of news clippings. The OCHS also publish a series of Cemetery Books covering Orangeburg County.

The Calhoun County Museum, 313 Butler St, St Matthews SC 29135.
HOURS: Tuesday - Friday, 9 am to 4 pm.
EMAIL: calmus@oburg.net
CONTENTS: An archives collection, a research room, period costumes, period furniture, Indian exhibits, and historic items from Calhoun County. Archives research by appointment only.

The Orangeburg County Library, 510 Louis Street, Orangeburg,SC 29115.
HOURS: Monday, Tuesday, 10 am to 9 pm; Wednesday - Friday 10 am to 6 pm; Saturday 9 am to 5 pm.
CONTENTS: Numerous family histories and other manuscripst related to Orangeburg genealogy. On-line card catalog.

The South Carolina Historical Society, 100 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC 29402.
HOURS: Monday-Friday, 9 am to 4 pm; Saturday, 9 am to 2 pm.
EMAIL: info@schistory.org
CONTENTS: an extensive collection of rare manuscripts, books, letters, maps, journals and periodicals relevant to SC history. On-line card catalog.

The South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, 910 Sumter Street, Columbia, SC 29208.
HOURS: Monday-Friday, 8:30 AM. TO 5:00 PM; Saturday, 9:00 AM TO 1:00 PM
EMAIL: cuthrell@webmail.sc.edu
CONTENTS: The home of the "Giessendanner Record". Holdings include letters, diaries, and other personal papers; records of businesses, churchs, and other organizations; and broadsides and other ephemera reflecting political, commercial, and leisure activities. On-line card catalog.

Web Resources

The Book of Record, Orangeburg, SC (1738-1761), Joop Giesendanner, Holland.
CONTENTS: New transcription and translation of the "Giessendanner Record", with copies of the original. An essential companion to "The History of Orangeburg, South Carolina ...".

Familiennamenbuch der Schweiz provides a comprehensive listing of Swiss Surnames and their villages of citizenship (home villages). Although the list covers surnames granted citizenship before 1800, it omits surnames that had died out in a village before 1862, so it may not include all the possible home villages for 18th century emigrants. Five languages are supported but the page is so easy to use that language doesn't much matter. Just type a surname in the "Name" box or a village name in the "Village" box and press "Search".

The SC GenWeb Project, provides various resources for researchers. The county sites: Bamberg, Calhoun, Lexington, and Orangeburg are of special interest as these counties were all part of Orangeburgh District at one time.

Swiss Roots, A web site sponsored by the Consulate General of Switzerland, New York
CONTENTS: The online Genealogy Resources include: 1) Swiss Family Name Handbook, the only online list of Swiss Family names and their Villages of origin. 2) A PDF copy of Faust's "Lists of Swiss Emigrants to the American Coloniesd" (currently out of print). 3) A PDF index to the Billeter Collection, the compilation by Julius Billeter of data on some 3,000 Swiss families.