Cherokee County, South Carolina Genealogy

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Guide to Cherokee County, South Carolina ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

County Facts
County seat: Gaffney
Organized: February 25, 1897[1]
Parent County(s): Spartanburg, Union, York[2]
Neighboring Counties
Chester  • Cleveland (NC)  • Rutherford (NC)  • Spartanburg  • Union  • York
See County Maps
Courthouse
South Carolina, Cherokee County Courthouse.png
Location Map
Sc-cherokee.png
Adoption

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The county is named for Cherokee people who historically occupied this area. The County is located in the northwest area of the state. [3]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Cherokee County Courthouse
110 Railroad Ave
Gaffney, SC 26340
Telephone: 864-487-2560
Cherokee County Website

County Pronunciation
Hear it spoken.[4]

Cherokee County, South Carolina Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[5]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1915 1911 1915 1897 1897 1897 1790
*Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1915. General compliance by 1918.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

Cities
Towns
Unincorporated communities


History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Cherokee County is named for the Cherokee Nation Indians who originally inhabited much of South Carolina. After an 1895 Law required the approval of two thirds of the voters residing within the proposed county boundaries, a proponent for the creation of a new county speaking in Cherokee Township, then in York County, agreed to the name Cherokee County to curry favor from the local residents. The residents, who had been hesitant to vote for the creation of Cherokee County under the old proposed name, turned out in droves to vote for the creation of the Cherokee County.[8] Learn more about the history of Cherokee County from the South Carolina State Library or from Carolana.com.

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Cherokee County, South Carolina online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See South Carolina Cemeteries for more information.

Census Records[edit | edit source]

For all existing and online Federal population schedules of South Carolina, see South Carolina Census. See also USGenWeb Census Project, South Carolina, including links to transcribed files.

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1900 21,359
1910 26,179 22.6%
1920 27,570 5.3%
1930 32,201 16.8%
1940 33,290 3.4%
1950 34,992 5.1%
1960 35,205 0.6%
1970 36,791 4.5%
1980 40,983 11.4%
1990 44,506 8.6%
2000 52,537 18.0%
2010 55,342 5.3%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Cherokee County Churches identifies dozens of churches in the area, courtesy: South Carolina Genealogical Society.

Ward and Branch Records of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  • Gaffney

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

African Americans
United States African Americans Gotoarrow.png African American Resources for South Carolina

  • Malone, Samuel Lorenzo and Ola Copeland. Black Families in Cherokee County, South Carolina, as Taken from 1910-1920 Federal Census. Spartanburg, S.C.: Reprint, 1993. FHL Book 975.742 F2m

Known plantations, South Carolina Plantations:

  • Fold
  • Henry Houser House - Grover - also called The Rock House
  • The Rock House - Grover - also called Henry Houser House
  • Whig Hill

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

General
Surname indexes to Leonardo Andrea's Files | Folders | Resources are available online, courtesy: The Andrea Files: South Carolina Genealogical Research. Gotoarrow.png Learn more.

Bibliography

  • Dennard - Dennard, Norris. Dennard Heritage. Houston, Texas: Dennard Heritage Foundation, 1985. FHL Book 929.273 D418d; digital version at FamilySearch Digital Library.
  • Mullinax - Mullinax, Jack D. The Mullinax Family of Northern South Carolina (York, Union and Cherokee Counties) and Southern North Carolina (Cleveland, Gaston and Lincoln Counties). Chesnee, S.C.: Chesnee Hardware, 1983. FHL 929.273 M917mj
  • Whelchel - Mumford, Berniece Wynn. Thomas Chatman Whelchel, M.D., 1833-1900, the Man Who Went Down in History (Family History, of Course): and Allied Families [of] Alexander, Arbuckle, Bath, Bland, Butcher, Drerup, Farrar, Johnston, Kingery, Lugar, Maurer, McFadden, Mumford, Nagle, Olson, Paul, Sparks, Stockton, Wynn and Others. Carlsbad, N.M.: B.W. Mumford, 1978. FHL Book 929.273 W572a.
  • Williams Williams, Johnny Lee. Descendants of Edward Williams, Sr.: of Spartanburg County, South Carolina (nowCherokee County, South Carolina). Attalla, Ala.: J.L. Williams, 2000. FHL 929.273 W67wjo

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

Because South Carolina was an agricultural state, many residents owned land. For earliest records, search 1) Charleston District, 2) your ancestor’s residential district, 3) neighboring districts, 4) the residential county, 5) neighboring counties. Not all districts and counties kept records. See also South Carolina Land and Property.

Online Land Indexes and Records
The following charts show where you may best expect to find land records.

Tracing Land Currently in Cherokee County with land originating in York county with Parent Counties and Districts [9]
Date Government Office
1897-present Cherokee County
1868-1897 York County
1800-1868 York District
1791-1800 York County (old) Records in Pinckney District
1785-1791 York County (old) Records in Camden District
1769-1785 Camden District * **
1719-1769 Charleston District *
1710-1719 Proprietary Land Grants
  • Records before 1772 may be found in North Carolina counties Tryon, Mecklenburg and Anson
    ** Some early Camden District records may be found in Kershaw County
Tracing Land Currently in Cherokee County with land originating in Spartanburg County with Parent Counties and Districts [10]
Date Government Office
1897-present Cherokee County
1868-1897 Spartanburg County
1800-1868 Spartanburg District
1791-1800 Spartanburg County in Pinkney District
1785-1791 Spartanburg County (old) in Ninety-Six District
1769-1785 Ninety-Six District
1719-1769 Charleston District
1710-1719 Proprietary Land Grants
  • Some early records may be found in North Carolina counties Anson, Mecklenburg, or Tryon

Orignial deed books are located at the Spartanburg County Courthouse. Abstracted deeds in Spartanburg County/District, South Carolina, deed abstracts, books A-T, 1785-1827 (1752-1827), A.B. Pruitt FHL Book 975.7 R28p

Tracing Land Currently in Cherokee County with property originating in Union County with Parent Counties and Districts [11]
Date Government Office
1897-present Cherokee County
1868-1897 Union County
1800-1868 Union District
1791-1800 Union County in Pinkney District
1785-1791 Union County (old) in Ninety-Six District
1769-1785 Ninety-Six District
1719-1769 Charleston District
1710-1719 Proprietary Land Grants
  • Some early records may be found in North Carolina counties Anson, Mecklenburg, or Tryon
  • Orignial deed books are located at the Union County Courthouse.
  • Abstacted deeds Union County, South Carolina deed abstracts, Brent Holcomb (Columbia, South Carolina SCMAR, 2000-c2007) FHL book 975.741 R2h 5 vols.
  • Plats For State Land Grants 1784-1868 For information about the State Land Grants, see State Land Grants

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

  • Gorski, Eddie L., South Carolina Confederate Widows Pension Act of 1919 for Cherokee County (S.l. s.n., c1991), 54 Leaves. Abstracts from the files in the Probate Judges Office of the Cherokee County Courthouse, Gaffney, S.C. Includes full-name index. Contains information on all Civil War soldiers and widows for cherokee county. Book at FHL 975.742 M2gand Other Libraries
  • Stevens, Robert J.Captain Bill the Records and Writings of Captain William Henry Edwards (and Others), Company A, 17th Regiment, South Carolina Volunteers, Confederate States of America. (Richburg, South Carolina Chester District Genealogical Society, c1985) A History and Genealogy of Chester County, S.C. in Five Volumes. Contents: v. 1. Autobiography of Captain William Henry Edwards, his obituary, a condensed history of the seventeenth regiment including military records -- v. 2. Letters of genealogical and historical importance -- v. 3. Published writings, including obituaries, of the early 20th century -- v. 4. Genealogies of the Edwards, Culp, Edward McFadden & Robert McFadden families; a bibliography.--v. 5. Miscellaneous, Epilogue. Books 1-3 atFHL 975.747 H2s and Other Libraries

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Rutherford CountyCleveland CountyGaston CountySpartanburg CountyUnion CountyChester CountyYork CountySC CHEROKEE.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Migration[edit | edit source]

Early migration routes to and from Cherokee County for European settlers included:[12]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War

  • "Battle of King's Mountain diagram, 1780," Pastmaster Journal of the Mountain Empire, June 2005, Volume 2, Issue 4. Ms Shelby Ireson Edwards Bristol, VA.
  • "Over Mountain Men at the Battle of Kings Mountain, 1780," Gaston County Historical Bulletin, 2003, Volume 49, Issue 2. Gaston County, North Carolina Historical Society Gastonia, NC.
  • "Battle of Kings Mountain," Sandy Valley Heritage, November 2000, Volume 19, Issue 4. Big Sandy Valley Historical Society Hagerhill, KY 41222.
  • "Events to Battle of Kings Mountain," Daughters of the American Revolution Magazine, August 1985, Volume 119, Issue 7. Daughters of the American Revolution Magazine Washington, D.C. FHL Collection Book 973 B2dar.
  • "Battle of Cowpens," Daughters of the American Revolution Magazine, November 1973, Volume 107, Issue 9. Daughters of the American Revolution Magazine Washington, D.C. FHL Collection Book 973 B2dar.

Civil War

Regiments. Cherokee County did not exist in the Civil War. It was created in 1897 from the counties of Spartanburg, York, and Union Counties. During the Civil War, men from the area of Cherokee County mostly would have served in various regiments recruited in those counties. Counties were called districts during the Civil War.

Other Resources

  • Gorski, Eddie L., South Carolina Confederate Widows Pension Act of 1919 for Cherokee County (S.l.: s.n., c1991), 54 Leaves. Abstracts from the files in the Probate Judges Office of the Cherokee County Courthouse, Gaffney, S.C. Includes full-name index. Contains information on all Civil War soldiers and widows for cherokee county. Book at FHL 975.742 M2gand Other Libraries
  • Stevens, Robert J.Captain Bill the Records and Writings of Captain William Henry Edwards (and Others), Company A, 17th Regiment, South Carolina Volunteers, Confederate States of America. (Richburg, South Carolina Chester District Genealogical Society, c1985) A History and Genealogy of Chester County, S.C. in Five Volumes. Contents: v. 1. Autobiography of Captain William Henry Edwards, his obituary, a condensed history of the seventeenth regiment including military records -- v. 2. Letters of genealogical and historical importance -- v. 3. Published writings, including obituaries, of the early 20th century -- v. 4. Genealogies of the Edwards, Culp, Edward McFadden & Robert McFadden families; a bibliography.--v. 5. Miscellaneous, Epilogue. Books 1-3 atFHL 975.747 H2s and Other Libraries
  • Cherokee County - Military, SCGenWeb

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Historic
The Library of Congress has identified the following historic newspapers for Cherokee County, South Carolina on their Chronicling America website. For publication details, including dates of publication, frequency, preceding and succeeding titles, and to find out which libraries have holdings, click on the newspaper title.

University of South Carolina Library Catalog

Current

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Tap into the minds of local experts. Editors of genealogical periodicals publish unique sources that researchers new to their area may not encounter. Periodicals at various levels (county, region, and state) may carry articles useful to research in this area. For more information and links, see South Carolina Periodicals.

Tap into the minds of local experts. Editors of genealogical periodicals publish unique sources that researchers new to their area may not encounter. Periodicals at various levels (county, region, and state) may carry articles useful to research in this area. For this county, see:

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Various types of records are created throughout the probate process of settling estates and property, usually after death. These may include, wills, bonds, petitions, accounts, inventories, administrations, orders, decrees, and distributions. For further information see probate records in South Carolina Probate Records.

Online Probate Indexes and Records

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

Tax-related records are kept by the offices of the county Assessor, Auditor, Sheriff, and Treasurer. Taxes were levied on real and personal property and can help establish ages, residences, and relationships. See South Carolina Taxation for online resources and suggestions.

Online Tax Indexes and Records

  • South Carolina Department of Archives and History tax lists for Cherokee County.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Birth, marriage, and death records were not recorded by South Carolina until the 1900s, thus leaving a lack of vital records created by Civil authorities. See South Carolina Vital Records for online resources and suggestions.

Birth[edit | edit source]

State-wide birth registration did not begin until 1915. For records after 1915, see the South Carolina Vital Records page.

Marriage[edit | edit source]

In South Carolina, Probate Courts issued and still keep marriage licenses from 1 July 1911 to the present. Licenses were not required before 1911. In the 1700s, the Church of England parish churches were required to record all marriages - even if the couple were not members of the denomination. Statewide registration of marriages started in July, 1950. See South Carolina Vital Records for indexes and more information.

Online Marriage Records and Indexes

  • South Carolina Confederate Widows Pension Act of 1919 for Cherokee County by Eddie L. Gorski [13] FHL Collection WorldCat - index
  • 1892-1911 South Carolina Proof of Marriages Prior to July 1, 1911 for Cherokee County by Eddie L. Gorski [14]FHL Collection WorldCat - abstract
  • 1911-1952 Cherokee County, South Carolina Proofs of Marriage, 1892-1940; Marriage Registers & Indexes, July 1911-Dec. 1952 [15]FHL Collection - index and records
  • 1911-1950 Cherokee County, South Carolina Marriage Licenses, July 1911-1950 [16] FHL Collection - records
  • There are several online marriage indexes containing miscellaneous marriage records found insome counties of South Carolina listed on the South Carolina Vital Records page.

Death[edit | edit source]

State-wide death registration began in 1915. For information and online records, see the South Carolina Vital Records page.

Deaths - Indexes and Records

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Listed below are archives in Cherokee County. For state-wide library facilities, see South Carolina Archives and Libraries.

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

  • Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
  • FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Listed below are libraries in Cherokee County. For state-wide library facilities, see South Carolina Archives and Libraries.

Cherokee County Public Library

  • Main Branch
    300 East Rutledge Avenue
    Gaffney, South Carolina 29340
    Telephone: (864) 487-2711
    FAX: (864) 487-2752 (fax)
    Email: cherokeelib@spiritcom.net
    Website
    Hours: Monday to Thursday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.. Friday.9am to 5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m . to 4 p.m.

    The library has a genealogy/local history room that is open all hours that the main library is open. It is staffed from 10:00 AM-2:00 PM Monday-Friday by a genealogy assistant. They carry census records, microfilm copies of the longest-standing local paper, The Gaffney Ledger, dating back to its inception in 1894, an extensive Cherokee County collection (including family histories, cemetery records, church records, and plenty of other sources), DAR references, as well as South Carolina records and some out-of-state information.

    The Heritage Room contains materials relating to the people and history of Cherokee County, South Carolina and other areas. The collection consists of books, pamphlets, census records, microfilm, newspapers, church and family records. Materials in the Heritage Room collection are unique, costly to replace or irreplaceable. When the room is not staffed it will be unavailable to the public.

    Heritage Room hours beginning Tuesday, February 1, 2011 are: Monday to Thursday 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm, Friday 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, Saturday 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

    The library itself offers access to two online genealogy databases, Heritage Quest and Ancestry Library. Heritage Quest is available remotely to Cherokee County Public Library card holders. Their catalog is online.

  • Blacksgurg Branch
    201 S Rutherford Street
    Blacksburg, South Carolina 29702
    Telephone: (864) 839-2630
    FAX: (864) 839-2572
    Hours: Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday 10 a. m. to 5 p. m.

Museums[edit | edit source]

Cherokee County History & Arts Museum
Address:
301 College Drive
Gaffney, S.C. 29340
Telephone: 864-489-3988
Located on the 1812 mustering ground of the South Carolina Militia and the site of the historic Central School building, the Cherokee County History & Arts Museum is also home to the offices of its governing body, the Cherokee Historical & Preservation Society. Phase I of the facility opened in May 2008 and renovations are currently underway on Phases II and III of the building. Upon completion, the History & Arts Museum will house over 20,000sq. feet of exhibits, meeting spaces, and educational resources for Cherokee County residents and visitors.Website

  • The Cherokee Historical & Preservation Society seeks to preserve historical sites in the county. Their email is: chaps@cherokeecountyhistory.org

Societies[edit | edit source]

Listed below are societies in Cherokee County. For state-wide genealogical societies, see South Carolina Societies.

Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. South Carolina Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; accessed on 11 April 2021.
  2. South Carolina Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; accessed on 11 April 2021.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Cherokee County, South Carolina" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherokee_County,_South_Carolina." accessed on the 3/27/2019
  4. Voice of Phillip Stalvey, resident of Myrtle Beach, S.C. (2011).
  5. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Cherokee County, South Carolina. Page 611-615 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 607-608.
  6. South Carolina Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; accessed on 11 April 2021.
  7. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), South Carolina .At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  8. Cherokee County.
  9. Schweitzer, George K. , South Carolina Genealogical Research (Knoxville, Tennessee: s.p. 1985), 39-42, FHL book 975.7 D27s
  10. Schweitzer, George K. , South Carolina Genealogical Research (Knoxville, Tennessee: s.p. 1985), 39-42, FHL book 975.7 D27s
  11. Schweitzer, George K. , South Carolina Genealogical Research (Knoxville, Tennessee: s.p. 1985), 39-42, FHL book 975.7 D27s
  12. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 847-61. (FHL Book 973 D27e 2002) WorldCat entry., and William E. Myer, Indian Trails of the Southeast. (Nashville, Tenn.: Blue and Gray Press, 1971), 12-14, and the book's pocket map "The Trail System of the Southeastern United States in the Early Colonial Period" (1923). (FHL Book 970.1 M992i) WorldCat entry.
  13. Gorski, Eddie L., South Carolina Confederate Widows Pension Act of 1919 for Cherokee County, [S.l. : s.n.], c1991.
  14. Gorski, Eddie L., South Carolina Proof of Marriages Prior to July 1, 1911 for Cherokee County: Abstracts from the Files in the Probate Judges Office of the Cherokee County Court House, Gaffney, S. C, [S.l. : s.n.], c1991.
  15. South Carolina, Probate Court (Cherokee County), Cherokee County, South Carolina proofs of marriage, 1892-1940; marriage registers indexes, July 1911-Dec. 1952, Salt Lake City, UT: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 2002.
  16. South Carolina, Probate Court (Cherokee County), Cherokee County, South Carolina marriage licenses, July 1911-1950, Salt Lake City, UT: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 2002.