St. James Goose Creek Parish, South Carolina

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United States Genealogy Gotoarrow.png South Carolina Gotoarrow.png St. James Goose Creek Parish

History[edit | edit source]

The parish had a chapel of ease in ruins by 1820.[1] The chapel of ease at Strawberry includes a graveyard.

Before the American Revolution, the state church of South Carolina was the Church of England (the Anglican Church, or Protestant Episcopal Church). Besides keeping parish registers, the church kept many records of a civil nature in their vestry books. The Vestry was as much a political body as a religious one. The wardens and commissioners were responsible for the roads, education, the poor and orphans, voting and collecting taxes in addition to their church duties.

Founded[edit | edit source]

St. James Goose Creek Parish (Goose Creek, Berkeley, SC) was an original parish created in 1706 from the center north part of Berkeley (1682-1768) County.[2]

Boundary[edit | edit source]

Borders: St. Thomas and St. Denis, Christ Church, St. Philip's, St. Andrew's, St. Johns Berkeley since 1708, St. George Dorchester since 1717, St. Michael's since 1751, St. Mark's since 1757, and St. Matthew's since 1768 parishes.[2][3] For a map, see: Early parishes in South Carolina. An overlay of districts is available at

Areas Served: St. James Goose Creek Parish served:

Modern equivalents: The original parish covered parts of what are present-day Berkeley and Orangeburg counties.[2][7]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Cemetery[edit | edit source]

Many graves from the parish church cemetery are described at Find A Grave and Graves at the chapel of ease cemetery at Strawberry are also described at Find A Grave. The chapel of ease whose cemetery is known as Bethlehem Cemetery is also at Find A Grave. Includes transcripts and select photographs.

Members of the DAR did a survey of St. James Parish Goose Creek Church Church Cemetery:

  • National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution. Cemetery Records of South Carolina. Typescript. FHL Book 975.7 A1 no. 11. [Includes St. James Parish Goose Creek Church Cemetery in Charleston County as images 61-66]

Parish History[edit | edit source]

For a history of the parish, see Chapter 5, St. James' Parish, Goose-Creek, pages 244-263, in:

  • Dalcho, Frederick. An Historical Account of the Protestant Episcopal Church in South Carolina from the First Settlement of the Province, to the War of the Revolution; with Notices of the Present State of the Church in Each Parish and Some Account of the Early Civil History of Carolina, Never Before Published. Charleston: E. Thayer, 1820. FHL Film 22657; digital versions at Google Books; Internet Archive.

For a history of the area, see:

Parish Records[edit | edit source]

Taxation[edit | edit source]

A 1694 assessment of St. James' Goose Creek Parish's inhabitants was described in two books published in the 1850s. For further information, see Morgan's article (below), footnote 5, on page 52. Morgan states some of the names on the assessment, which he believes no longer survives, were published in these two books:

  1. Poyas, Elizabeth Anne. A Peep into the Past. Charleston, S.C., 1853.
  2. Poyas, Elizabeth Anne. The Olden Time of Carolina. Charleston, S.C.: S.G. Courtenay & Co., 1855. Digital version at Google Books.

A partial 1745 tax return for St. James' Goose Creek Parish survives. It is kept in the Archive of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (London), Reference C/AM/7.149. The tax return is abstracted in:

  • Morgan, Philip D. "A Profile of Mid-Eighteenth Century South Carolina Parish: The Tax Return of Saint James', Goose Creek," The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 81, No. 1 (Jan. 1980):51-65. Digital version at JSTOR ($).

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. St. James, Goose Creek Chapel of Ease / Bethlehem Baptist Church, The Historical Marker Database, accessed 17 February 2011.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "South Carolina Counties and Parishes - 1760" [map] in Carolana at (accessed 27 May 2011).
  3. 3.0 3.1 "South Carolina Districts and Parishes - 1770" [map] in Carolana at (accessed 27 May 2011).
  4. "South Carolina Districts and County - 1785" [map] in Carolana at (accessed 27 May 2011).
  5. "South Carolina Districts - 1800" [map] in Carolana at (accessed 27 May 2011).
  6. 6.0 6.1 "South Carolina Counties - 1890" [map] in Carolana at (accessed 27 May 2011).
  7. 7.0 7.1 "South Carolina Counties - 1900" [map] in Carolana at (accessed 27 May 2011).