South Carolina History

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The following important events affected political boundaries, record keeping, and family movements:

1670:  The first permanent English settlement was made at Albemarle Point (Charles Town).

1713-1719:  The South Carolina region separated from North Carolina and became a royal colony. Records were kept in Charleston.

1730:  Settlers began to move into the interior when the colonial government provided incentives for landowners in new townships.

1760-1761:  The Cherokee War ended in a treaty that opened the up country for settlement. The Bounty Act of 1761 offered public land tax free for ten years, and settlers from other colonies began pouring into the up country.

1769:  Nine original judicial districts were established, but records continued to be kept in Charleston until 1780.

1788:  South Carolina became a state. The state government was moved from Charleston to Columbia in 1790, although some functions remained at Charleston until after the Civil War.

1830-1840:  Overseas immigration to South Carolina, which had begun to decline about 1815, virtually ceased in this decade.

1860:  South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union. The Civil War began there in 1861. About 63,000 men from the state served in the Confederate armed forces.

1868:  South Carolina was readmitted to the Union. Districts were now called counties.

An especially helpful source for studying the history of South Carolina is David Duncan Wallace, South Carolina: A Short History 1520-1948 (Columbia, South Carolina,: University of South Carolina Press, 1951; FHL book 975.7 H2ws).