I was working on my family history the other day using Ancestry.com. I was checking hints for one of my ancestors when I came across something I didn’t expect: a hint for a relative’s South Carolina birth certificate.
South Carolina did not start issuing birth certificates statewide until 1915, and those are not publicly available until 100 years later. That means genealogists only started getting access to birth certificates in 2016.
The birth certificates can be found on the website of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Each year, they release another year of birth certificates. The birth certificates from 1920 were added to their website in January 2021. As a new year is released, we can find more of our ancestors in these records.
But since there aren’t that many of my ancestors born in those few years of available birth certificates, I sometimes forget to go to the Archives website to check for one.
Thankfully, I got this hint on Ancestry Library Edition. I was looking for more about an ancestor named Hardy Vastine Darnell, and when I looked at the hints, I noticed this one that lead me to the birth certificate for his son, James Adolphus Darnell, who was born in 1917.
When I click on this hint, I get more information and the image of the original birth certificate itself.
Of course, it tells me the name and date of birth of the child, but it also tells me about the parents, like where they live, where they were born, and what they do for work. It even tells me how many children the mother has had, so I can make sure I haven’t missed any earlier children.
Hopefully this will teach me to be sure and check for a birth certificate when I’m researching my ancestors in the future.
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