South Carolina Free Public Records Directory


South Carolina Public Record Directory

The name Carolina can be traced to two different kings. The Spanish and French were the first European explorers and settlers in what was to become the southeastern United States. Most of the early settlements failed, although the French established two forts: Charles Fort and Fort Caroline. Both were named after King Charles IX; Carolus is Latin for Charles. By 1600, the French had driven the Spanish out of what is now the Carolinas and Georgia, but did not attempt further settlement. In 1629, another Charles - King Charles I of England – decreed the Province of Carolina, which included present-day North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee. Actual settlement did not take place for another 40 years. In 1669, the Colony of Carolina was divided into northern and southern provinces. In 1712, North and South Carolina became separate colonies.

Fertile soil and good harbors such as Charleston soon made South Carolina one of the richest of the original 13 colonies. During the American Revolution, more battles were fought in South Carolina than in any other colony. It was the first state to ratify the Articles of Confederation, and the eighth to ratify the Constitution. The state’s prosperity and population continued to grow, but the economy and social system was based on cotton plantations and slavery. With the election of Abraham Lincoln as President in 1860, South Carolina feared the end of its slavery-based prosperity and became the first state to secede from the Union. The war devastated South Carolina; after the war, although free blacks now made up more than half the population, they were disenfranchised by Jim Crow laws.

South Carolina’s agriculture diversified from cotton, and a textile industry arose. Textiles have declined due to foreign competition, but tourism has increased thanks to the state’s long Atlantic Ocean coastline and beach resorts. South Carolina’s median household income is still below the national average, and its poverty rate is 10% higher.

Today, South Carolina is the 23rd most populous state, 19th most densely populated, and 40th largest by area. Its capital and largest city is Columbia, in the middle of the state. Other notable cities include Charleston on the coast and Greenville in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. South Carolina’s climate is humid subtropical, with hot summers; high temperatures average around 90 degrees statewide. Near the coast, winter temperatures are generally mild and rarely drop below freezing; palmetto palm trees that grow along the coast give the state its nickname: The Palmetto State. Winter lows in the center of the state average around 32 degrees, while the western mountain foothills are colder.

South Carolina is bordered by North Carolina on the North, Georgia on the west and south, and the Atlantic Ocean on the east. It has 46 counties, and the power of county governments has fluctuated from strong in 1867 to weak in 1895 to strong again in 1973. South Carolina state, county, and local public records may be found by visiting our directory below of all types, including death records, deed records, and public documents.

Sc
Abbreviation SC
Capital Columbia
Population 5,024,369 (2017 est.)
Area size 32,020 sq. mi
Demonym South Carolinian
Primary languages spoken English
Governor Henry McMaster
Lieutenant Governor Kevin Bryant
U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham, Tim Scott
U.S. House Delegation 6 Republicans, 1 Democrat
Time Zone Eastern: UTC -5/-4
*The map and data in the table are from Wikipedia.

Browse by Public Record Category

There are two types of public records: 1) personal public records that document major life milestones such as birth certificates, death certificates, divorce records, and marriage records, etc.; and 2) government records that are made public such as property tax records, recorded land records, voter records, crime data, jail inmate records, and court records. The Freedom of Information Act is a national law that releases government agency public records and makes it possible to view most public records. Since there are a multitude of records available, it can be difficult to know how or where to access them.

South Carolina’s first public records act was passed in 1977. It requires agencies to respond within 30 days, limits the amount they can charge for making copies, and makes electronic copies free of charge.

When you are ready to start your search, you’ll find our Public Records Directory website easy to use since all of the records can be searched by federal, state, county, city, town, or type of record. The links provided will connect you to the best website for the record search, provide details about the record, or provide contact information for those records without search capabilities.

Find South Carolina Statewide Public Records

Fast access to South Carolina public record sources at the state level.

Additional South Carolina public records links can be found on our South Carolina county and city level pages using the navigation links above.

Other South Carolina Public Records

Many states have unusual laws; for example, it is illegal to play pinball in South Carolina if you are under 18 years of age. Similarly, many states have their own unique types of public records. Some South Carolina examples include certified small and minority businesses, environmental permit status, and lobbying activity. More examples of public access records available in South Carolina may be found below.

Sources:

South Carolina - Statewide Public Records Links
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