Thursday, November 1, 2012

South Carolina Death Certificates #3

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control vital records website is an important resource for locating SC death certificates and death dates. 

Ancestry and Familysearch have the largest offering of digitized death certificates but their collections end at 1955. 

South Carolina law allows a new year of death certificates to be released to the public every January.  Since Ancestry first digitized the death certificates 6 years have flown by and there are now publicly available death certificates through 1961.

The index for these new records is only available online on the SCDHEC vital statistics website. Only the index is available so don't get too excited.  Fortunately it is keyword searchable at the bottom of the page.  The searchable index allows researchers to search 1950-1961. 

Don't try to download their funky software to view the earlier indexes.  You can access that information with a keyword search on Ancestry or Familysearch.  Just use this site to search the years 1950-1961 (soon to be 1962. Yeah!).

When you locate the name you are looking for you can request a death certificate from the SC State Archives, Greenville Public Library or the SC Room at the Florence Public Library.  Charleston Public might have them but I can't confirm that.

You can also use the death date information to locate an obituary.  That is what I usually do.  In most cases, the obit will give you more information than the death certificate.

No comments: