Indexing Rules


The following indexing standards are General Guidelines only.  The Register may deviate as appropriate in order to maintain continuity with older records and to ensure that documents may be found.  If questions, please contact the Register of Deeds.

SEARCHERS ARE ALWAYS ADVISED TO SEARCH ALL POSSIBLE VARIATIONS.   The purpose of the index is to locate documents ONLY, and is not intended to supplant the information contained in the document itself.

Global Rules:

  1. All entries are keyed in capital letters and are entered as they appear on the document with the exceptions as presented.
  2. At minimum, all signed names of Parties to the transaction documented will be indexed. In the cases where signatures are not required or do not appear for various reasons (e.g. name of mortgagee), all human and organization names on the document will be indexed. In the case of a person unable to sign their full name and he or she makes an “X” or some other type of mark, the name typed under the mark will be indexed. In the case that the indexer is unsure as to whether a name is a Grantor or a Grantee, etc., names may be entered both ways.
  3. No punctuation is used except after the last name.  There may be exceptions noted below.
  4. If unsure whether indexed party is a human or organization name, it will be indexed twice, once as a human name and also as an organization.
  5. When indexing a Trustee, both the human and trust, church or organization name will be indexed. For example: Mary Smith, Trustee for the Smith Family Trust is indexed under SMITH MARY TRUSTEE (human name) and SMITH FAMILY TRUST (organization name). In the example: Mary Smith, Trustee for Trust B, Trust B will not be indexed.
  6. Abbreviations may be used, but will be common sense: M I E = Master in Equity; C O C = Clerk of Court;  & = and; SC = South Carolina; HPR = Horozontal Property Regime;      others such as LP, LLC, INC, CORP.

Human Name Rules:

  1. Generally, unless noted below, no punctuation is used in the Index except for a comma immediately after the last name, which will be indexed first.  A space will follow the comma and before the first name or initial.
  2. Compound names contain no hyphens. Hyphens are replaced with spaces so that Mary Sue Rogers-Johnson is indexed: first: MARY middle: SUE surname: ROGERS JOHNSON and will not be indexed under JOHNSON. In the case of Mary Sue Rogers Johnson (no hyphen) both Sue and Rogers will be indexed as middle names and Johnson will be indexed as the last name.
  3. Last Names such as O Brian or O'Brian, which either have a space or an apostrophe, will be entered with a space between the "O" and the rest of the name (e.g. O BRIAN).  If there is no space or apostrophe, the last name will be entered as all one word.
  4. All foreign names are assumed to have a given name (or names) and a surname. Thus, Ah Ho Chen is indexed, first: AH middle: HO surname: CHEN. Also, Hamid Al-Sarras is indexed: first: HAMID, surname: AL SARRAS. No foreign symbols or accent marks are used.
  5. The full name of the party is indexed as it appears on the document. No abbreviation will be used unless the names are abbreviated on the document.
  6. When the signature is legible, the signature governs the indexing. When the signature is not legible, the printed or typed name under the signature governs the indexing. In a case where the typed name below the signature conflicts with the signature, index both ways.
  7. Surnames that begin with “Mc” such as McDonald and Mc Coy will be entered without spaces regardless of how the name appears on the document.
  8. If it is unclear as to whether a name is a surname or part of a given name, it is entered twice. For example, Joe Van Cott will be indexed: first: JOE, middle: VAN, surname: COTT, as well as: surname: VAN COTT. Searchers are advised to check both ways.
  9. One initial is considered a given name. Two initials are considered as two given names. Thus, M. L. Jones is entered: first: M middle: L surname: JONES.
  10. All titles such as Dr. or Rev. will be dropped.
  11. A woman who uses Mrs. and her husband’s given name such as Mrs. John Smith, “Mrs.” will be entered at the end of the given name(s) or in the suffix field for computer systems that allow this type of search option.
  12. Suffixes such as Jr. or Sr. will be entered after the given name(s) or in the suffix field for computer systems that allow this type of search option.

Organization Name Rules:

  1. Don't convert a roman numeral to a number, or spell out a number or numeral. Don't      convert a number that is spelled out. These will be entered as presented on the document. "The" and "A" are not indexed if the first word in the name, but may be entered in the middle of the name.  They will never be added at the end of the name after a comma, such as "Bank of America, The".
  2. Human names in an organization entry are not reversed. Thus, Carl Magnum, Inc. is entered: CARL MAGNUM INC. (Search under C) Steve Hendrix Builders is entered: STEVE HENDRIX BUILDERS (Search under S). Use wild cards (%) if in doubt, but be aware of the limitations, and possible problems in misuse of wild cards.
  3. Fractions in an organization name are separated by a slash (/). Thus, 7 5/8 Company is entered: 7 5/8 COMPANY.
  4. Organization names containing the words Mount, Mt., Saint or St. are entered as they appear on the document and are never converted to either the full or abbreviated form, but will not include punctuation.
  5. The following will be entered altogether with no spaces. No symbols or punctuation marks are used. For example, U.S.C. Booster Club, Inc. will be entered: USC BOOSTER CLUB INC and A-1 Auto Sales will be entered A1 AUTO SALES. Likewise, will be entered DITECHCOM. There may occasionally be deviations from this rule - especially with older indices.  Search both ways if unsure.
  6. Punctuation marks are not used in organization names. Thus, Jones, Smith and Associates is entered: JONES SMITH AND ASSOCIATES. America’s Wholesale Lender is entered: AMERICAS WHOLESALE LENDER. No space will be used to replace a comma indicating the possessive case.
  7. Indexing procedures for organization names will apply to governmental agencies unless otherwise noted. Governmental agencies will be indexed first by agency name, followed by political subdivision notation. For example:
    1. United States Farmer’s Home Loan Association will be entered FARMERS HOME LOAN ASSOCIATION UNITED STATES (Farmers Home Loan Association is the agency and United States is the political subdivision)
    2. South Carolina Budget and Control Board will be entered BUDGET AND CONTROL BOARD SOUTH CAROLINA (Budget and Control Board is the agency and South Carolina is the political subdivision)
    3. Master in Equity will be entered MASTER IN EQUITY. The name of the individual who signed the document for the agency or political subdivision will not be indexed. In the example Wendy Wise, Delinquent Tax Collector, Wendy Wise will not be entered. No prefixes Such as “Secretary of” will be entered. County of York will be entered YORK COUNTY OF. State of South Carolina will be entered SOUTH CAROLINA STATE OF. Searchers are advised to consider all possibilities when searching governmental entries.
  8. Allowable symbols are: $ & / @ if it is part of a name.