Marriages have taken place in various northern South Carolina border counties for brides and grooms from Tennessee and North Carolina. Ancestry does not have a strong South Carolina marriage section, nothing comparable to their research sections for Virginia Marriages or North Carolina Marriages. A double check of the Familysearch site revealed the same thing. The York Co. SC Probate site led me to a wonderful option, the South Carolina Probate index. South Carolina contains 46 counties and ten of them are included in this search site:
A quick look at a South Carolina County map, shows, Greenville, Spartanburg, Cherokee and York on the northernmost border, with York right on the north south Interstate 77 corridor, in contrast to Dillon county along the northeastern edge with Intersate 95 as its main throughfare.
I choose York Co. because it was available and proceeded with my personal test question for any website, HENRITZE. Whoa there were two, one was definitely an elopement, the night after college graduation and the other I had known about the date but not the place. The South Carolina aspect put that marriage in a new light.
When using any new web site, take a moment of research to be certain you are utilizing the site correctly.
- Must you use a full surname? One surname, BLANKENBECKLER, is routinely too long for the search field parameter. Some websites come back with zero responses, others chop off the extraneous letters and others require you type in only and exactly the ten letters they consider important “BLANKENBEC” and still others let you use a wild card, generally an asterik * or percentage sign %.
- Must you have both a surname and given name? Some websites require two names and others let you use a surname only, obviously Henritze is a better choice than Smith in those cases.
- Is there a comma between the surname and the given name? Some webistes return zero matches unless you have a comma between the surname and given name, others are more forgiving and let you search both ways.
- Is there a wildcard option and What is it, usually % or *?
- Are maiden names differentiated from surnames?
- Is the date the application date or the marriage date?
- Is the county the application county, the county in which the marriage actually took place or the county in which the finalized marriage record was recorded? In some states all three of those counties have to be the same county, in other states that is not the case. A huge percentage of marriages take place in the county from which the application was filed, the license received, the marriage took place and the minister lived. In other cases, the application may have been from a county near the groom’s work place and it may be recorded in the county in which the marriage took place, many times this is the residence of the bride’s parents.
The nice thing about this website, is the search reveals fields for the license number, the groom’s name, the bride’s name, the application date, the marriage date and the county. The application date field is not always complete. There is an Order copy field which leads to a page to pay by credit card, currently $11.50, $5.00 for the marriage document, $5.00 for a convenience fee and $1.50 for postage. I didn’t order one, so I don’t know if you get the return, the application, the license or all three.