Archives and Records Management staff members will assist with answering specific queries and are more than happy to search holdings for materials relevant to a given topic for on-site research by the requesting individual. However, we do not have the resources to conduct extensive research for individuals and will not respond to broad, general requests.
Our office offers very limited services for genealogical research requests. Those services mainly include a review of available sacramental register indexes. Sacramental registers (i.e., registers of baptism, first communion, confirmation, marriage, and death) 100 years or older at the Office of Archives and Records Management are available to the general public. Our office has microfilmed and/or scanned copies of many, but not all, sacramental registers. The collection of registers is not complete, not all registers are indexed, and registers are inconsistent in the type and amount of information recorded.
Genealogical research requests must be submitted in writing (by email or post), concise, and limited to five names or less. In your request, include all contact information (address, telephone number, and e-mail address), state which sacramental record(s) you seek, and provide all known and relevant information about the individual you seek (i.e., full name, date and place in which the sacrament was celebrated, name of parents, names of sponsors, etc.). If you wish to receive photocopies of found register records, then enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope. Copy fees may apply. Requests submitted by email will receive PDF scans of found register records.
Please note that all active sacramental registers less than 100 years in age are maintained at the parishes. Only parishes can issue sacramental certificates. The Diocese of Charleston does not maintain a central repository for all sacramental records.
There are no fees for fulfilling a research request. However, we ask that you consider a donation payable to the Diocese of Charleston. The average donation is $15.00. Please keep in mind that whether or not this office finds the records or materials you seek, it dedicates scarce resources to conduct your research. Staff will perform the research whether or not you choose to make a donation. If you cannot make a personal visit to the diocesan archives and your research needs exceed the above terms, fee-based researchers are available for hire.