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Local History & Genealogy

Resources Available

One of the most important and unique offerings of the Kennedy Room is its index of deaths from Spartanburg newspapers. This index begins with the earliest Spartanburg newspaper available, the July 17, 1844, edition of The Spartan, to the current issue of the Spartanburg Herald-Journal. This comprehensive, ongoing project has yet to complete indexing 1916 through part of the 1930s.

The state of South Carolina did not institute death certificates until 1915, and the certificates do not become public records for 50 years. These factors make the newspaper index especially valuable to researchers.

The earliest newspapers did not contain obituaries as we know them today, and a death notice may be as little as a single sentence in the newspaper. These indexes also contain a list of deaths within the city of Spartanburg compiled by the city Health Department around the turn of the century. These combined indexes contain about 229,600 entries.

In addition, the Kennedy Room offers the index to South Carolina death certificates from 1915 through 1959, and death certificates on microfilm from 1915 through 1964. The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control has this same index of death certificates from 1915 through 1964 on its website. A plug-in is required to view some of this material, but it is available to download for free at the DHEC site.

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Search Indexes

Title of Newspaper or Source Years available
Spartanburg Herald and Herald Journal Death Index 1920-1922, 1930 - June 2014
Spartanburg Herald/Spartanburg Journal Death Index 1902-1919
Carolina Spartan/Spartanburg Herald Death Index roughly 1849-1893
Register of Deaths of Spartanburg, South Carolina Oct. 1, 1895-Oct. 21, 1897,
Aug. 3, 1903-Dec. 31, 1914
Miscellaneous Death Index 1844 into the early 1900s

   Search Death Indexes:

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Ordering Copies of Death Information

Please complete the Death Information Request form, to make your requests for copies from the newspaper death indexes or of death certificates.
*Requires a free download of Adobe Acrobat Reader


Copies of death notices from our newspaper indexes (URL) are $5 each (includes shipping & handling). To order one of these copies, please list on the form the decedent’s name, the date the death notice appeared in the newspaper and the page number on which it appeared, as listed in the newspaper index.

Copies of death certificates are $5.00 each (includes shipping & handling). To order a copy of a death certificate, please list on the form the decedent’s name, date of death and death certificate number as listed on the DHEC index.

Limit is 10 copies requested every two weeks, whether it is of death certificates, from the newspaper indexes or a combination of the two.

If a name in the newspaper death indexes has more than one date with it, or is listed more than once, each of these will be considered a separate request.

Please allow approximately two weeks to receive copies.

Prepayment is required for these copies. Please make check or money order out to Spartanburg County Public Libraries.

After filling out this form and enclosing prepayment, mail it to:

Kennedy Room Clerk
Spartanburg County Public Libraries
151 South Church Street
Spartanburg, SC 29306

For Requests of Death Information that is not yet indexed:

If you are seeking a death notice from a year of the Spartanburg Herald that has yet to be indexed, fill out the form below with the decedent’s name and date of death and a search will be done. You also may email us if you are uncertain about the total cost of a request.

Open & complete form
Prepayment is required before request can be filled. 

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Kennedy Room Death Information Research Request form:
If you are using the following form to request obituary or death certificate copies, please only make requests of deaths that have been indexed. 
To view what years are currently available, see our Searchable indexes above.
Death Information Request form.

For research questions unrelated to local history and genealogy, please use
Ask-a-Librarian service.

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