Charleston County, South Carolina Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

RegistrationOpen.png

Guide to Charleston 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: Charleston
Organized: 1769
Parent County(s): Charleston District
Neighboring Counties
Berkeley  • Colleton  • Dorchester  • Georgetown
See County Maps
Courthouse
South Carolina, Charleston County Courthouse.png
Location Map
Sc-charleston.png
Adoption

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

King Charles II of England (1630-1685)

The County of Charleston is located in the southeast area of the state.[1]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Charleston County Courthouse
100 Broad St., Suite 106
Charleston, SC 29401-2258
Phone: 843-958-5000
Charleston County Website

Charleston 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[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1915 1911 1915 1700 1671 1671 1790
*Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1915. General compliance by 1918.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

Official negligence in the 1830s destroyed a large quantity of loose records of the court of general sessions. Northern "tourists," many of whom were members of Rev. Henry Ward Beecher's congregation from Brooklyn, New York, looted other material from both public and private repositories in Charlestonin April 1865. Loose probate papers were apparently destroyed in Columbia in February 1865.

For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[5]

Cities
Towns
Census-designated places


History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Charleston District/County was first established in 1769 as Judicial District. Charleston County is the home to the city of Charleston (originally Charles Towne) which was first settled in 1670 by British and Africans from the Caribbean island of Barbados. Charleston was originally named in honor of King Charles II of England (1630-1685).[6]

Charleston County of 1785 was small and it was abolished in 1791. The current Charleston County was created in 1800 when the Charleston County/District name was used again for a much larger county/district. This "version" was altered in 1878, by carving out the new Berkeley County. In 1897 Dorchester County was carved out, leaving the current boundaries of Charleston County.[7] Learn more about the history of Charleston County from the South Carolina State Library or from Carolana.com.

Even though Charleston's jurisdictional names have changed many times over the years, for the Colonial Period (1670-1776), the changes really did not affect record keeping. Most of the colony's public records were kept in the City of Charleston up through the year 1785.[8]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

  • Bentham - Simons, R. Bentham. "A Charleston Forty-Niner," [Life of Charles Mayrant Bentham] The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 57, No. 3 (Jul., 1956), pp. 156-178. Digital version at JSTOR ($).
  • Boardman - Boardman, Timothy and Samuel Ward Boardman. Log-book of Timothy Boardman Kept on Board the Privateer Oliver Cromwell, During a Cruise from New London, Ct., to Charleston, S.C., and Return in 1778; also, a Biographical Sketch of the Author. Albany: J. Munsell's Sons, 1885. FHL Fiche 6019638; digital versions at Google Books; Internet Archive; Project Gutenberg.
  • Egan - Walsh, Walter Richard. "Edmund Egan: Charleston's Rebel Brewer," The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 56, No. 4 (Oct., 1955), pp. 200-204. Digital version at JSTOR ($).
  • Freneau - Leary, Lewis. "Philip Freneau in Charleston," The South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine, Vol. 42, No. 3 (Jul., 1941), pp. 89-98. Digital version at JSTOR ($).
  • Manigault - Crouse, Maurice A. "Gabriel Manigault: Charleston Merchant," The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 68, No. 4 (Oct., 1967), pp. 220-231. Digital version at JSTOR ($). Republished in Vol. 101, No. 2 (Apr. 2000):98-109. Digital version at JSTOR ($).
  • Ramsay - Ramsay, David. Memoirs of Martha Laurens Ramsay, Who Died in Charleston, S.C. on the 10th of June, 1811, in the 52d Year of Her Age. With Extracts from Her Diary, Letters, and Other Private Papers, and Also, From Letters Written to Her, By Her Father, Henry Laurens, 1771, 1776. Glasgow: Andrew and John M. Duncan, 1818. Digital version at Internet Archive.
  • Wells - Gould, Christopher. "Robert Wells, Colonial Charleston Printer," The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 79, No. 1 (Jan., 1978), pp. 23-49. Digital version at JSTOR ($).

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

Occupations

  • Calhoun, Jeanne A., Martha A. Zierden and Elizabeth A. Paysinger. "The Geographic Spread of Charleston's Mercantile Community, 1732-1767," The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 86, No. 3 (Jul. 1985):182-220. Digital version at JSTOR ($).
  • Hagy, James W. People and Professions of Charleston, South Carolina, 1782-1802. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Radford, John. "The Charleston Planters in 1860," The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 77, No. 4 (Oct. 1976):227-235. Digital version at JSTOR ($).
  • Stumpf, Stuart O. "Implications of King George's War for the Charleston Mercantile Community," The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 77, No. 3 (Jul. 1976):161-188. Digital version at JSTOR ($).
  • Walsh, Richard. "The Charleston Mechanics: A Brief Study, 1760-1776," The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 60, No. 3 (Jul. 1959):123-144. Digital version at JSTOR ($).

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Charleston 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.
1790 66,985
1800 57,480 −14.2%
1810 63,179 9.9%
1820 80,212 27.0%
1830 86,338 7.6%
1840 82,661 −4.3%
1850 72,805 −11.9%
1860 70,100 −3.7%
1870 88,863 26.8%
1880 102,800 15.7%
1890 59,903 −41.7%
1900 88,006 46.9%
1910 88,594 0.7%
1920 108,450 22.4%
1930 101,050 −6.8%
1940 121,105 19.8%
1950 164,856 36.1%
1960 216,382 31.3%
1970 247,650 14.5%
1980 276,974 11.8%
1990 295,039 6.5%
2000 309,969 5.1%
2010 350,209 13.0%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

Online Census Indexes and Records:

  • 1790 Hagy, James W. People and Professions of Charleston, South Carolina, 1782-1802. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • 1800 Hagy, James W. People and Professions of Charleston, South Carolina, 1782-1802. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • 1820 Manufactures The original manufactures schedules for South Carolina are kept at the NARA, Washington, D.C. FHL copies: FHL Collection 1024517 - 1024518.
  • National Archives. Indexes to Manufacturers Census of 1820. 1920; reprint, Knightstown, Ind.: Bookmark, 1977. FHL US/CAN Book 973 X2m 1820.
  • 1829-1920 South Carolina, State and Territorial Censuses, 1829-1920 at FamilySearch — How to Use this Collection; Index & Images
  • 1840 Revolutionary War Pensioners A Census of Pensioners for Revolutionary or Military Services: With their Names, Ages, and Places of Residence, as Returned by the Marshalls of the Several Judicial Districts, Under the Act for Taking the Sixth Census. Washington, D.C.: Blair and Rives, 1841. FHL Collection 973 X2pc 1840; FHL Collection 2321; digital version at Google Books. See South Carolina, City of Charleston on page 142.
  • 1848 Chapman, Anne W. "Inadequacies of the 1848 Charleston Census," The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 81, No. 1 (Jan., 1980), pp. 24-34. Digital version at JSTOR ($).
  • Dawson, J.L. and H.W. DeSaussure. Census of the City of Charleston, South Carolina, for the Year 1848, Exhibiting the Condition and Prospects of the City, Illustrated by Many Statistical Details, Prepared Under the Authority of the City Council. Charleston, S.C.: J.B. Nixon, Printer, 1849. Digital version at Google Books. More of a statistical history rather than a list of names.
  • 1861 Ford, Frederick A. Census of the City of Charleston, South Carolina, for the Year 1861. Illustrated by Statistical Tables. Prepared Under the Authority of the City Council. Charleston, S.C.: Steam-Power Presses of Evans & Cogswell, 1861. Digital version at Google Books.
  • 1890 Lost, but substitutes are available on Ancestry, see Directories.

Church Records[edit | edit source]

See Charleston County, South Carolina Church Records for details of various denominations and their records.

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Online Court Indexes and Records
For a history about crime in Charleston, see:

  • Hall, John A. "'Nefarious Wretches, Insidious Villains, and Evil-Minded Persons': Urban Crime Reported in Charleston's City Gazette, in 1788," The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 88, No. 3 (Jul. 1987):151-168. Digital version at JSTOR ($).

Directories[edit | edit source]

  • 1782, 1785, 1790, 1794, 1796, 1801, 1802 Hagy, James W. People and Professions of Charleston, South Carolina, 1782-1802. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • 1803, 1806, 1807, 1813 Hagy, James W. City Directories for Charleston, South Carolina for the Years 1803, 1806, 1807, 1809, and 1813. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2000. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • 1816, 1819, 1822, 1825, 1829 Hagy, James W. Charleston, South Carolina City Directories for the Years 1816, 1819, 1822, 1825, and 1829. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2002. Digital versions at Ancestry ($) and World Vital Records ($).
  • 1830-1841 Hagy, James W. Charleston, South Carolina City Directories for the Years 1830-1841. 1997. Digital version at World Vital Records ($).
  • 1849, 1852, 1855 Hagy, James W. Directories for the City of Charleston, South Carolina for the Years 1849, 1852, and 1855. 1998. Digital version at World Vital Records ($).
  • 1851-1852 Directory of the City of Charleston for the Year 1852. Digital version at Don's List - free.
  • 1859-1860 Hagy, James W. On the Eve of the Civil War: the Charleston, SC Directories for the Years 1859 and 1860. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2000. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • 1888 Charleston City Directory, 1888. Charleston, SC: Southern Directory and Publishing Co., 1888. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • 1889 Charleston City Directory, 1889. Charleston, SC: Southern Directory and Publishing Co., 1889. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • 1890 Charleston City Directory, 1890. Charleston, SC: Southern Directory and Publishing Co., 1890. Digital version at Ancestry ($).

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Charleston is an important southern port. Some resources exist to identify the arrivals of immigrants in the area. See also South Carolina Emigration and Immigration.

  • Florida and South Carolina, Airplane Arrival Manifests, 1944-1945 at FamilySearch — images
  • Coldham, Peter Wilson. "Correspondence with the American Colonies 1739-1782," The Genealogist, Vol. 12, No. 1 (Spring 1998):108-128; Vol. 12, No. 2 (Fall 1998):189-205. [Overseas correspondence of residents of Charleston with the following surnames: Bull, Gaiden (?), Izard, and Laurens.] Available at FHL.
  • Coldham, Peter Wilson. "Intercepted Letters Relating to America 1777-1811," The Genealogist, Vol. 14, No. 2 (Fall 2000):184-200; Vol. 15, No. 1 (Spring 2001):53-74. [Overseas correspondence of residents of Charleston with the following surname: Davies and Geyer.] Available at FHL.
  • Holcomb, Brent H. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Charleston, 1820-1829. 1994. Digital versions at Ancestry ($) and World Vital Records ($).
  • Li, Jian. "A History of the Chinese in Charleston," The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 99, No. 1 (Jan., 1998), pp. 34-65. Digital version at JSTOR ($).
  • List of imported servants and transported convicts from Europe who served labor terms in Colonial Charleston County, South Carolina (work in progress), Courtesy: Immigrant Servants Database.
  • Jones, Patricia K. Across the Ocean of Promise: The Irish of Charleston, South Carolina. Oakwood, Ga.: P.K. Jones, 2006. FHL 975.7915 F2j
  • Ott, Joseph K. "Rhode Islanders in Charleston: Social Notes," The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 75, No. 3 (Jul., 1974), pp. 180-183. Digital version at JSTOR ($).
  • Ravenel, Daniel. Liste des François et Suisses: From an Old Manuscript of French and Swiss Protestants Settled in Charleston, on the Santee and at the Orange Quarter in Carolina, Who Desired Naturalization, Prepared Probably about 1695-6. 1822; reprint, New York: Knickerbocker Press, 1888. FHL 975.7 W2rL; digital version at World Vital Records ($).
  • Riley, Helene M. "Michael Kalteisen and the Founding of the German Friendly Society in Charleston," The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 100, No. 1 (Jan. 1999):29-48. Digital version at JSTOR ($).
  • Scott, Kenneth. British Aliens in the United States During the War of 1812. Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1979. FHL 973 W4s; digital version at Ancestry ($). [Identifies many British immigrants living in Charleston during the War of 1812.]

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

African Americans

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

For a large alphabetical bibliography, see Charleston County, South Carolina Compiled Genealogies

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

Land Record Books
The original Charleston City and County land record books are kept at the county courthouse. Records dated 1719 to 1873 have been microfilmed: FHL Collection 23503 ff.

  • Charleston, South Carolina Property Owners is a database of selected references to property owners (included freedmen and freedwomen) extracted from Charleston County's inventory, appraisal and sales books 1863-1867. References include real estate descriptions, ownership of church pews, property destroyed by Union troops, and locations of refuge during the Civil War. Search by exact or partial names, sort columns and search any field or combination of fields.

Plats For State Land Grants 1784-1868
This series consists of recorded copies of plats for state land grants for the Charleston and the Columbia Series with their certificates of admeasurement or certification.All personal names and geographic features on these plats are included in the repository's On-line Index to Plats for State Land Grants

  • Charleston residents who applied for Florida Land Grants in 1767 (record filed in the Scottish Land Office) South Carolina Pioneers

The South Carolina Constitution of 1790 required the surveyor general to maintain offices in both the new capital at Columbia and in Charleston. The surveyor general began to use separate volumes for recording plats in his Columbia office in 1796. Before that, all plats were recorded in the set of volumes begun in Charleston in 1784. After 1796, most plats for land grants in the Upper Division of the state were recorded and filed in Columbia. The surveyor general chose to make the Columbia volumes a continuation of the state plat volumes begun in Charleston and gave the initial Columbia volume the number thirty-six to correspond with the number of the volume that had then been reached in the Charleston series. As a result, there are volumes numbered thirty-six through forty-three from each office, but the records in them are not duplicative. Also included are the Plan Books containing Plats and Plans.

  • Smith, Henry A.M. "Charleston: The Original Plan and the Earliest Settlers," The South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine, Vol. 9, No. 1 (Jan., 1908), pp. 12-27. Digital version at JSTOR ($).
  • Smith, Henry A.M. "Charleston and Charleston Neck: The Original Grantees and the Settlements along the Ashley and Cooper Rivers," The South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine, Vol. 19, No. 1 (Jan., 1918), pp. 3-76. Digital version at JSTOR ($).

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

History

  • Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company. Short Sketch of Charleston, S.C., How It Fared in Two Wars and an Earthquake. 3rd ed. 1900. Digital version at Google Books.
  • Bailey, James Davis. History of Grindal Shoals and Some Early Adjacent Families (Ann Arbor, Michigan: University Microfilms International - Books on Demand, 1973), 85 pages. Historic incidents and folk-lore of Grindal Shoals. Book at FHL 975.7 A1 no. 25 and Other Libraries
  • Bridges, Anne B. St. James Santee Plantation Parish [South Carolina] History & Records, 1685-1925 (Spartanburg, South Carolina The Reprint Co., c1997), 541 pages. Includes church records for St. James Santee, 1758-1788 (Church of England); previously unpublished records, 1846-1921 (assumed to be Episcopalian). Also includes cemetery records for the church and lists of French & Swiss refugees & inhabitants. Book found at FHL FHL 975.79 H2b and Other Libraries.
  • Cardozo, Jacob N. Reminiscences of Charleston. Charleston S.C.: J. Walker, Stationer and Printer, 1866. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Charleston Chamber of Commerce. Historic and Picturesque Charleston South Carolina. 1904. Digital version at Google Books.
  • Duffy, John. "Yellow Fever in Colonial Charleston," The South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine, Vol. 52, No. 4 (Oct., 1951), pp. 189-197. Digital version at JSTOR ($).
  • Hagy, James William.This Happy Land the Jews of Colonial and Antebellum Charleston (Tuscaloosa, Alabama University of Alabama Press, c1993), 450 pages. A full study of Judaism and Jewish life in Charleston before the Civil War. Book at FHL 975.791 F2hand Other Libraries
  • Jackson, Melvin H.. Privateers in Charleston, 1793-1796. Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1969. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Lesesne, Thomas Petigru. History of Charleston County, South Carolina: Narrative and Biographical.Charleston, S.C.: A.H. Cawston, 1931. 369 pages. The purpose of the book was to tell the story of Charleston County in the language of others. Events range from 1663 to 1929. FHL 975.7915 D3L and Other Libraries
  • Lesesne, Thomas Petigru. Landmarks of Charleston: Including Description of an Incomparable Stroll. Richmond Va.: Garrett & Massie, 1932. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Mazyck, Arthur. Guide to Charleston Illustrated, Being a Sketch of the History of Charleston, S.C. Charleston, S.C.: Walker, Evans & Cogswell, 1875. Digital version at Google Books.
  • Prentiss, James Clayton. The Charleston City Guide: Containing a Full and Accurate Description of All Places of Interest in and Around the City, and Other Useful Matter. Charleston, S.C.: J.W. DeLano, Office of the Sunday Times, c1872. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Ravenel, Harriott Horry. Charleston: The Place and the People. New York: Macmillan Co., 1912, c1906. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Scott, Kenneth. "Sufferers in the Charleston Fire of 1740," The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 64, No. 4 (Oct., 1963), pp. 203-211. Digital version at JSTOR ($).
  • Simons, Katherine Drayton. Stories of Charleston Harbor. Columbia, S.C.: State Co., 1930. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Verner, Elizabeth O'Neill. Mellowed by Time: A Charleston Notebook. Columbia, S.C.: Bostick & Thornley, 1941. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Yearbook 1910: City of Charleston, So. Ca. Charleston, S.C.: The Daggett Printing Company, 1910. Digital version at Google Books.[1]

Historic Residences
Has a history been written about the house or plantation where your ancestor lived? Real estate often stayed in the same family for multiple generations and learning about its ownership can help you reconstruct family trees. See also Charleston County, South Carolina Land and Property. Here are some examples:

  • Simons, Harriet P. and Albert Simons. "The William Burrows House of Charleston," Winterthur Portfolio, Vol. 3, (1967), pp. 172-203. Digital version at JSTOR ($).
  • Smith, Alice R. Huger. The Dwelling Houses of Charleston, South Carolina. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Co., 1917. Digital versions at Ancestry ($) and Google Books.
  • Stoney, Samuel Gaillard. This is Charleston: A Survey of the Architectural Heritage of a Unique American City. Charleston, S.C.: Carolina Art Association for the Charleston Civic Services Committee, 1944. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Young, Rogers W. "Castle Pinckney, Silent Sentinel of Charleston Harbor," The South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine, Vol. 39, No. 1 (Jan., 1938), pp. 1-14. Digital version at JSTOR ($).

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Georgetown CountyBerkeley CountyDorchester CountyColleton CountySC CHARLESTON.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources
  • Williams, George W. "Two Maps of Charleston in the Revolution," The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 76, No. 2 (Apr., 1975), pp. 49-50. Digital version at JSTOR ($). Article includes map descriptions, but does not reproduce the maps themselves.
  • Maps for Charleston County at Library of Congress
  • FamilySearch Places:Cities and Towns- How to Use FS Places

Migration[edit | edit source]

Overland migration routes in and around early South Carolina.

Early migration routes to and from Charleston County for European settlers included:[9]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

General Bibliography

  • "Artillery companies moved to Charleston Harbor forts, Nov. 1832," Times, Spring 2006, Volume 21, Issue 2. Lee County Genealogical and Historical Society: Sanford, North Carolina.
  • "Castle Pinckney description, 1833," Times Spring 2006, Volume 21, Issue 2. Lee County Genealogical and Historical Society: Sanford, NC.
  • "Charleston's connection to Looe Key in Fl., name from HMS Loo, 1743," Carologue, Winter 2004, Volume 20, Issue 4. South Carolina Historical Society : Charleston, SC.
  • "Ja. Oglethorpe to Navy Commander, 1742," Georgia Historical Society Collections, 1873, Volume 3. Georgia Historical Society: Savannah, Georgia.

Revolutionary War

War of 1812

  • List of Pensioners on the Roll, January 1, 1883; Giving the Name of Each Pensioner, the Cause for Why Pensioned, the Post-Office Address, the Rate of Pension Per Month, and the Date of Original Allowance... Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1883. FHL Collection 973 M2Lp v. 5; digital versions at Google Books and Internet Archive. [See Vol. 5, South Carolina, Charleston County, pp. 182-183. Identifies War of 1812 veterans living in this county in 1883.]

Civil War

See also Charleston County, South Carolina in the Civil War for battles and a lengthy list of regiments.

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Eighteenth-century South Carolina newspapers contain a wealth of information about Charleston residents. The Early South Carolina Newspapers Database (ESCN Database) has created an every-name index to the three largest newspapers for the years 1732 to 1780. Using their free online Surname Database , researchers may order a list of specific newspaper references from the organization for a very reasonable rate.
Another online newspaper index is:

Historic
The Library of Congress has identified the following historic newspapers for Charleston 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.

See Charleston County, South Carolina Newspapers for a lengthy list.

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Orphans and Orphanages[edit | edit source]

  • Jones, Newton B. "The Charleston Orphan House, 1860-1876," The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 62, No. 4 (Oct., 1961), pp. 203-214. Digital version at JSTOR ($).
  • Murray, John E. "Fates of Orphans: Poor Children in Antebellum Charleston," Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Vol. 33, No. 4 (Spring 2003):519-545. Digital version at JSTOR ($).
  • Wates, Wylma Anne. "Charleston Orphans, 1790-1795," The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 78, No. 4 (Oct., 1977), pp. 321-339. Digital version at JSTOR ($).

Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.[edit | edit source]

Online Resources

Publications

  • Easterby, J.H. "Public Poor Relief in Colonial Charleston: A Report to the Common House of Assembly about the Year 1767," The South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine, Vol. 42, No. 2 (Apr. 1941):83-86. Digital version at JSTOR ($).
  • Fraser, Walter J. "The City Elite, 'Disorder,' and the Poor Children of Pre-Revolutionary Charleston," The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 84, No. 3 (Jul. 1983):167-179. Digital version at JSTOR ($).
  • Klebaner, Benjamin Joseph. "Public Poor Relief in Charleston, 1800-1860," The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 55, No. 4 (Oct., 1954), pp. 210-220. Digital version at JSTOR ($).

Private Papers[edit | edit source]

  • Coldham, Peter Wilson. "Correspondence with the American Colonies 1739-1782," The Genealogist, Vol. 12, No. 1 (Spring 1998):108-128; Vol. 12, No. 2 (Fall 1998):189-205. Overseas correspondence of residents of Charleston with the following surnames: Bull, Gaiden (?), Izard, and Laurens. Available at FHL.
  • Coldham, Peter Wilson. "Intercepted Letters Relating to America 1777-1811," The Genealogist, Vol. 14, No. 2 (Fall 2000):184-200; Vol. 15, No. 1 (Spring 2001):53-74. Overseas correspondence of residents of Charleston with the following surname: Davies and Geyer. Available at FHL.
  • Middleton, Alicia Hopton, Nathaniel Russell Middleton, and Annie E. Marston De Wolf. Life in Carolina and New England During the Nineteenth Century: As Illustrated by Reminiscences and Letters of the Middleton Family of Charleston, South Carolina, and of the De Wolf Family of Bristol, Rhode Island. Boston: D.B. Updike, The Merrymount Press, 1929. FHL Collection 1321276 Item

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 and historical periodicals publish unique sources that researchers new to their area may not encounter. Periodicals at various levels (county, region, state, and nation) may carry articles useful to research in this area. For this important city, see:

  • The American Genealogist
  • Carolina Genealogist
  • Daughters of the American Revolution Magazine
  • The English Historical Review
  • The Genealogist
  • Huguenot Society of South Carolina Transactions
  • The Journal of Negro History
  • The Journal of Southern History
  • National Genealogical Society Quarterly
  • Sons of the American Revolution Magazine
  • The South Carolina Historical Magazine
  • South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research
  • William and Mary Quarterly

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 Charleston County.
  • 1732 Assessments of St. Paul's Parish, Edisto Island South Carolina Pioneers
    • The original 1732 tax return is kept at the New York Public Library (South Carolina-Charleston Co.-Edisto Island; Rare Books and Manuscripts Division).[10]

Published abstracts

  • 1732 "1732 Tax Return for Edisto Island," The South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, Vol. 18, No. 4 (Fall 1990):183-186. FHL Book 975.7 B2sc v. 18

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. Charleston County did start somewhat earlier than the state.

Birth[edit | edit source]

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

Charleston began recording birth records in 1877. Copies can be obtained from the Charleston County Public Library. Requests can be made through email or mail. The only cost is for copies. Copies can also be obtained from the South Carolina Department of Archives and History for a fee.

Births - Indexes and Records

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.

The city of Charleston recorded marriage records for a short time from 1877 to 1887. Copies can be obtained from the Charleston County Public Library.Requests can be made through email or mail.The only cost is for copies. Copies can also be obtained from the South Carolina Department of Archives and History for a fee.

Online Marriage Records and Indexes

Death[edit | edit source]

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

The city of Charleston began keeping death records in 1821. Copies can be obtained from the Charleston County Public Library.Requests can be made through email or mail.The only cost is for copies. Copies can also be obtained from the South Carolina Department of Archives and History for a fee.

Online Death Records and Indexes

For an estimate of mortality rates in Colonial Charleston, see:

  • Coclanis, Peter A. "Death in Early Charleston: An Estimate of the Crude Death Rate for the White Population of Charleston, 1722-1732," The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 85, No. 4 (Oct. 1984):280-291. Digital version at JSTOR ($).

A study of Charleston's early death records was written by Professor James Hagy:

  • Hagy, James W. "The Death Records of Charleston," The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 91, No. 1 (Jan., 1990), pp. 32-44. Digital version at JSTOR ($).

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

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

  • Charleston Archives, Libraries and Museums CouncilCALM. This is a council of repositories, mostly in the Charleston area that represent a variety of disciplines. Purposes that promote family history include preserving historic and contemporary materials and providing a supportive environment for the exchange of ideas and information. For more information about CALM, click here.
    Website

  • Charleston County Public Library Charleston County's main library is the home of the Charleston Archive and the South Carolina Room. The SC Room houses local history and genealogy materials and resources, focusing on the history and genealogy of SC, with special emphasis on Charleston and the Lowcountry.Their collection also includes a microfilm copy of early birth (starting in 1877) and death (starting in 1821) registers for Charleston.You can search these records onsite or a staff libarian will make a search of these records for you for the price of copy fees.You can contact them through email or mail.The main library is located at 68 Calhoun Street, Charleston, SC. For additional information about the library and its services click here.Website

  • College of Charleston: Special Collections located on the third floor of the Marlene and Nathan Addlestone Library acquires, evaluates, and preserves rare printed and archival material. These include books, manuscripts, maps and artwork. One of its largest collections is the Spoleto Festival Archive, the Jewish Heritage Collection (which includes the William A. Rosenthall Judaica Collection and Papers), the L. Mendel Rivers Collection, and the Burnet R. Maybank Senatorial Papers. For more information about the collection Click Here.Website

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

Charleston Chapter South Carolina Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 20266
Charleston SC 29413-0266
Website

The Charleston Chapter of the South Carolina Genealogical Society was organized in 1974. The society usually holds meetings at 2:30 pm on the 3rd Sunday of the month. There are no meetings in July or August. We have a new home at The Masonic Center, 1285 Orange Grove Rd., Charleston. Members have undertaken several research projects including creating inventories of cemeteries in the county and collecting information about the county's churches.

South Carolina Historical Society The Society was established in 1855.
LOCATION 100 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC.
LIBRARY HOURS: Tues-Fri, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.; Sat, 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.; closed Sundays & holidays. In addition, on Tuesday evenings by appointment from 4:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.
PARKING: The South Carolina Historical Society does not have its own parking facility. Metered street parking is available.
ACCESS: Members may use the library free of charge. There is a ($)5.00 daily fee for non-members.

The Society offers three types of research services for fee: (1) straightforward photocopy requests; (2) requests on historical matters related to South Carolina; and (3) inquiries related to genealogical research. Request forms and corresponding fees are on the Society's
Website (under Photocopy and Research Services). Keep in mind that the search is restricted to the holdings of the Society only and may not uncover the information sought. If an individual did not spend a significant amount of time in South Carolina, the Society may not have information pertaining to him or her. The average search takes six to eight weeks.

The Society is a repository for private papers and manuscripts pertaining to the state of South Carolina, with large amounts of materials on families of the Midlands and the Lowcountry. It does not have the censuses of South Carolina in its holdings and only abstracts from newspapers. An on-line library catalog is available (under Search the SCHS Catalog).

Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Charleston County, South Carolina" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charleston_County,_South_Carolina." accessed on the 3/27/2019
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Charleston 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.
  3. South Carolina Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; accessed on 11 April 2021.
  4. 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.
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Charleston County, South Carolina," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charleston_County,_South_Carolina, accessed 22 December 2019.
  6. "List of counties in South Carolina," Wikipedia.
  7. A History of Charleston County, South Carolina in Carolana.
  8. Mike Becknell, "Overview of South Carolina Genealogical Research," Group Tour of South Carolina Department of Archives and History, 10 May 2011.
  9. 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.
  10. This source is discussed in Philip D. Morgan, "A Profile of a 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):52. Digital version at JSTOR ($).
  11. Ancestry.com. South Carolina Delayed Births, 1766-1900 and City of Charleston, South Carolina Births, 1877-1901 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007. Original data: South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, South Carolina.
  12. Charleston (South Carolina). Board of Health, Births, 1877-1901. Salt Lake City, Utah: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1954.
  13. "Marriage and Death Notices From Charleston Courier for 1806," The South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine, Vol. 29, No. 3 (Jul., 1928):258-263; Vol. 29, No. 4 (Oct. 1928):329-338; Vol. 30, No. 1 (Jan. 1929):60-68; Vol. 30, No. 2 (Apr. 1929):117-124; Vol. 30, No. 3 (Jul. 1929):185-191.
  14. Hagy, James W. and Bertrand Van Ruymbeke. "The French Refugee Newspapers of Charleston," [1790s-1810s] The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 97, No. 2 (Apr., 1996), pp. 139-148.
  15. Holcomb, Brent. Marriage and Death Notices from the Charleston Observer, 1827-1845. Greenville, SC, USA: A Press, 1980.
  16. Griffin, Inez H. "Marriages and Death Notices from the Charleston Gazette, 1828," The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 75, No. 3 (Jul., 1974), pp. 184-186.
  17. Ancestry.com. Charleston, South Carolina, Marriage Records, 1877-1887 (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007. [Original data: South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, South Carolina.]
  18. "Marriage and Death Notices From Charleston Courier for 1806," The South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine, Vol. 29, No. 3 (Jul., 1928):258-263; Vol. 29, No. 4 (Oct. 1928):329-338; Vol. 30, No. 1 (Jan. 1929):60-68; Vol. 30, No. 2 (Apr. 1929):117-124; Vol. 30, No. 3 (Jul. 1929):185-191.
  19. Hagy, James W. and Bertrand Van Ruymbeke. "The French Refugee Newspapers of Charleston," [1790s-1810s] The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 97, No. 2 (Apr., 1996), pp. 139-148.
  20. Ancestry.com. South Carolina Death Records, 1821-1955 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008. Original data: South Carolina. South Carolina death records. Columbia, SC, USA: South Carolina Department of Archives and History.
  21. Holcomb, Brent. Marriage and Death Notices from the Charleston Observer 1827-1845. Greenville, SC, USA: A Press, 1980.
  22. Griffin, Inez H. "Marriages and Death Notices from the Charleston Gazette, 1828," The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 75, No. 3 (Jul., 1974), pp. 184-186.
  23. Cole, Jennifer, comp.. Charleston, Charleston County, South Carolina Black Deaths 1871-89 (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002. Original data: Index to Register of Black Deaths film # 2AG. Charleston, SC, USA: 1871-1889. Microfilm, Charleston South Carolina Library.