Court of Ordinary: In colonial times, South Carolina was a province. It had a governor, who acted as ordinary for the province.
The governor held both administration power and probate power. From onward, the Secretary of the Colony also began acting as ordinary.
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Circuit court districts were given Courts of Ordinary in In , functioning counties in each district also received Courts of Ordinary. In , districts, or counties, were formed, and each one was given a Court of Ordinary. Circuit Court records were kept, until , in Charleston. All records were transferred to the district, or county, where the district seat for the Circuit Court was, as of , which was when the Circuit Court system ceased to exist. There were 5 of them outside the city of Charleston. Minor civil suits and minor criminal cases were tried in those courts by justices of the peace.
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County Courts: In , a new system of County Courts was established. They were each required to record renunciations of dower, conveyances, levy taxes, and tavern-keepers licenses. County Courts became the primary judicial bodies, when districts counties were established, which was in County Courts of the time had three offices. See Also Guide to U.
Lexington County, South Carolina Public Records Directory
Court Records Research. Many research holes can be filled using court, property, or land records. Luckily, South Carolina has one of the most complete collections of colonial land records of any of the original 13 colonies. All of the land records were kept in Charleston, which survived the Revolutionary War, allowing the records to survive as well. Bounties and headrights were responsible for creating land distribution in the state.
All males and females under 16 who arrived with the first fleet were given a acre headright, while males over 16 were given a acre headright. Land for servants and slaves could be claimed by the leader of each household as well. Those who arrived anytime before , but after the first fleet, were given 50 acres per household member.
Anyone arriving in or after could claim acres if they were the head-of-household and claim an extra 50 acres for each other person who was living in their household at the time. Anyone who wanted to take advantage of headrights grantees had to get a warrant by petitioning to the Grand Council.
The head-of-household had to make that petition in person by listing where the land was located, how many acres he wanted to claim and, of course, his name. Each household could only claim land for its members, but there was no major requirement for claiming that land besides that. Petitions can often be genealogically useful because they contain names and ages of children and spouses. Each petition was dated and that date is known as the pursuant, warrant, or precept date.
Others can be found in the two-volume collection called Records of the Grand Council Although none of those 29 volumes is indexed, they are all organized chronologically, which means that the date must be known in order to find the appropriate record. Once the warrant was in hand, the grantee had to have the land surveyed.
The surveyor would have to draw a map plat of the land, indicating where the boundaries of the land were. Plats contain a lot of useful genealogical information, including the recording date, precept date, the location of the land, and a description of the land. The Combined Alphabetical Index holds an index of recorded plats. There, they were checked to ensure that nobody else was claiming the same piece of land already.
If there were no other claims to the land, grant papers were drawn up and sent to the governor, who would stamp his official seal and sign the documents. South Carolina land plat covering to are on file with the FHL and the years of to have also been indexed. Land owners who obtained grants then had to pay quitrent payments on the land.
The first was to be made within 10 years on bounty land or 2 years on headright land. Many land grants have been placed on microfilm from the original records. There are some indexed volumes, as well as a partial general index. All of that information for to is available through the FHL.
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South Carolina memorial records are also important land records for genealogists. They were created between and Anyone who obtained land during that time was required to create a memorial, which listed land boundaries, names of adjacent landowners, amount of land, and the location of the land. Memorials could also show a title chain, which often started with the original landowner.
In , a North Carolina and South Carolina border survey took place for the first time. At that time, some land that was initially thought to be in North Carolina wound up being considered part of South Carolina. Therefore the areas that are now known as York, Spartanburg, Cherokee, and Greenville County may have records on file in both states.
South Carolina deeds are known as conveyances, or sometimes as mesne conveyances. These days, those records can be found in the office of the Clerk of the Court for each county. Most of the records that predate have also been placed on microfilm and can be obtained through the FHL or the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Land Records Research. In South Carolina, any land owned by a father passed to the eldest son when the father died without having a will intestate.
That law was known as the law of primogeniture. On the other hand, when there was a will, the heirs were determined by the contents of that document. If a landowner died intestate and had no sons, the daughters each gained equal shares of the property in question. On May 1, , a law was passed that got rid of primogeniture. The exact wording of the new law was as follows:.
In colonial times, estates were distributed according to an English statute, which was put into place in That statute distributed a third of the land to the widow, if there was one. A third of the landowners personal property was also to be given to his widow, while any heirs split the remaining two-thirds equally between them. In cases where a landowner died and left no children, his widow received half of his estate and his siblings received the other half, equally divided amongst them. Any property not mentioned in a will was divided based on the laws at the time.
The original court of ordinary probate court was the Grand Council, headed by the governor.
Lexington County South Carolina Court Directory
As of , the secretary of the province also started performing court of ordinary functions. Each of the 7 court districts was assigned a court of ordinary, in The request must be made in writing and delivered by mail, facsimile, or electronic transmission or in person, to the register of deeds or clerk of court. The request must specify the identification page number that contains the social security, driver's license, state identification, passport, checking account, savings account, credit card, debit card number, or personal identification PIN code, or passwords to be redacted.
A fee must not be charged for the redaction pursuant to request. Monday thru Friday. We are closed on major holidays. For different department contacts see listings below. Our office does not provide legal advice. If such advice is needed, you should contact a private attorney. We accept filings and maintain all records pertaining to each of these courts.
Our office also handles all ROD recordings. In General Sessions Criminal Court, this office is responsible for accepting and maintaining all warrants, bonds, indictments, etc.
We also collect fines and restitution payments as well. In Common Pleas Civil Court, our office is responsible for maintaining all documents in civil cases and arbitrations. We prepare, and post online, rosters for the appropriate terms of court, and schedule hearings.