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Jan 02, 2020

South Carolina Deaths, 1915-1965

Blog 125 Image 1
Blog 125 Image 1

About This Collection

Search for your South Carolina ancestor’s death between 1915 and 1965 in the collection South Carolina Deaths, 1915-1965. See the vast amount of information that maybe included on the death certificate:

  • Name and gender of deceased – This name maybe different from the given name.
  • Date, place and time of death – The place of death maybe different from the place the deceased actually lived.
  • City and county in which death occurred – When the county and city of death is different than where the deceased lived, a search in both places can reveal death records.
  • Age of deceased in years, months, days – This age tells you how far back the deceased can be traced.
  • Race, marital status and occupation of deceased – The marital status reveals spouse of the deceased. It may only represent one of the spouses.
  • Name of spouse – With the name of the spouse given, you can search them out.
  • Birthplace of deceased – When the county/parish, state of birth is given, it is more possible to search for the deceased during this time period.
  • Father’s name and birthplace – When this is given, you can more easily search out deceased person’s parents.
  • Mother’s maiden name and birthplace – When given the mother’s maiden name and birthplace you should be able to find this household during this time period.
  • Name of informant, often a family member – Usually the informant is a person related to the deceased. You should find them listed in the obituary.
  • Burial information – Given this information, you should be able to find the church, funeral home, and cemetery.

Researching From This Collection

You should keep in mind that this information is secondary, so for example, the birth certificate will have more correct information. Take good notes, and preserve all information whether you think it is factual or not. Sometimes it is necessary to use wrong information to find historical documentation. When you tell your ancestor’s story, you can reveal how you were led to find records by explaining the information and its reliability.

You will need the name of the deceased person, the date of death, and the place where he or she died. Let’s look up my great grandmother, Lula Vance, who died in Columbia, South Carolina in 1927:

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“South Carolina Deaths, 1915-1965,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 5 April 2018), 004177636; image 784 of 1718; Department of Archives and History, State Records Center, Columbia.

Lula Johnson Vance died August 5th, 1927 in Columbia, SC. She was married to Rev. LaFayette Franklin Vance, a presiding elder of the AME Church. They lived at 2811 Washington St. I was able to document her parents, Andrew Johnson and Jane Smith Johnson McCoy. It was important to have the maiden name for Jane, Smith because she took her mother’s maiden name even though her father was a Burroughs.

I have not been able to physically see her grave, so I am glad that it says she was buried at Randolph Cemetery on the death certificate here and in her obituary. Randolph Cemetery is named after Senator B. F. Randolph who was gunned down in Abbeville County, South Carolina where Beverly Vance, my great, great grandfather was a constable. Senator B. F. Randolph is buried in Randolph Cemetery.

Johnson & Bradley was a well-known funeral home. It is no longer in existence. I have many more leads to follow up on from this death certificate.

Related Resources

The FamilySearch Wiki page African American Resources for South Carolina provides an in-depth look at resources for African American genealogy research in South Carolina.

To learn more about African American genealogy research in South Carolina, you can view BlackProGen LIVE Ep19: North and South Carolina Genealogy Research.

More FamilySearch Wiki Resources for African American Genealogy

Researching African American Genealogy provides step-by-step guidance for beginning your ancestor search, as well as links to online resources.

Quick Guide to African American Records contains information on beginning research tips, links to suggested guides for beginning your search for African American ancestors, overviews of major record sets, tips for finding the slaveholder, links to tutorials for African American genealogy in the FamilySearch Learning Center, and links to other online and offline resources.

Southern States Slavery and Bondage Collections will help you locate digitized searchable collections as well as digitized microfilms in the FamilySearch catalog related to slavery and bondage. The page is arranged by state. 

African American Genealogy provides links to Wiki pages for researching African Americans in each U.S. state.