Calhoun County, South Carolina Genealogy

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Guide to Calhoun County, South Carolina Genealogy ancestry, family history and genealogy court records, deeds, maps, immigration, maps, military records, newspapers, obituaries, plantations, probate records, slaves, local archives, libraries, museums, churches, cemeteries, and Civil War records.

Calhoun County, South Carolina
Map of South Carolina highlighting Calhoun County
Location in the state of South Carolina, United States Genealogy
Map of the U.S. highlighting South Carolina
Location of South Carolina in the U.S.
Founded 1908
County Seat St. Matthews

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The county is named for John C. Calhoun, the former U.S. Vice-President, Senator, Representative and cabinet member from South Carolina. The County is located in the center area of the state.[1]

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

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1915 1911 1915 1908 1908 1908 1790
*Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1915. General compliance by 1918.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Calhoun Courthouse

The county seat of Calhoun County is Saint Matthews, which was founded in 1841.[3]

Calhoun County Courthouse
302 South Railroad Ave.
St. Matthews, SC 29135-1452
Phone: 803-874-3524

Calhoun County Probate Judge
902 F.R. Huff Dr.
St. Matthews, SC 29135-1490
Phone 803-874-3514

Calhoun County Clerk of Court
P.O. Box 709
902 F.R. Huff Drive
St. Matthews, SC 29135
Phone: 803-874-3524

Calhoun County Register of Deeds
Courthouse Annex, Suite 108
St. Matthews 29135
Phone: 803-874-2435

Historical Facts[edit | edit source]

For documents of people who lived in this area 1768-1800, look at:[4]

The county is named after John C. Calhoun, who served as Vice President of the United States under both John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson as well as secretary of state and of war and senator." [5]Amelia Township, an original eighteenth-century settlement and part of the Royal Period of South Carolina, was situated in what is now Calhoun County. Learn more about the history of Calhoun County from the South Carolina State Library or from

Parent County/Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

For more information as well as maps of Calhoun County through time, see the South Carolina State Archives or For animated maps illustrating South Carolina county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation South Carolina County Boundary Maps" (1682-1987) may be viewed for free at the website.

County Pronunciation[edit | edit source]

Hear it spoken.[6]

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

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

Places/Localities[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:[7]

Unincorporated communities

Resources[edit | edit source]

Calhoun County

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

African Americans[edit | edit source]

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

Known plantations, South Carolina Plantations

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county Family History Library
SCGenWeb WorldCat Billion Graves
SCGenWeb Archives FamilySearch Places
Tombstone Project
Billion Graves
See South Carolina Cemeteries for more information.

Census[edit | edit source]

Federal[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1910 16,634
1920 18,384 10.5%
1930 16,707 −9.1%
1940 16,229 −2.9%
1950 14,753 −9.1%
1960 12,256 −16.9%
1970 10,780 −12.0%
1980 12,206 13.2%
1990 12,763 4.6%
2000 15,185 19.0%
2010 15,175 −0.1%
Source: "".

1910, 1920, and 1930 federal population schedules of Calhoun County are available online. For tips on accessing census records online, see South Carolina Census. If you're having trouble finding your ancestors in online indexes, try checking printed indexes. Created by local experts familiar with the area's families, these indexes are often transcribed more accurately than online nationwide indexes.

See South Carolina Population Schedule Indexes: Fiche, Film, or Book for more information about statewide printed indexes.

Church History and Records[edit | edit source]

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

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court Records[edit | edit source]

DNA[edit | edit source]

DNA Double Helix.png
DNA has been collected from men claiming descent from the following Charleston County residents. FamilySearch has not independently verified the lineages of those tested.

Genealogy[edit | edit source]

This bibliography will eventually identify all known family histories published about residents of this county. Use this list to:

  • Locate publications about direct ancestors
  • Find the most updated accounts of an ancestor's family
  • Identify publications, to quote Elizabeth Shown Mills, about an ancestor's "FAN Club" (Friends, Associates, and Neighbors)


As of August 2010, a query for persons born in Calhoun, South Carolina at World Connect, results in more than 900 entries.

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

Message Boards


  • Caver - Caver, Larry Eugene. The Caver Family of North America. Birmingham, Ala.: Caver Press, 1990. FHL Book 929.273 C315cL.
  • Felder - Felder, Rice A. and Feller Publishing Fund. Descendants of James Addison Felder and Flavilla Shuler of Orangeburg County, South Carolina. Columbia, S.C.: Felder Publishing Fund, 1980. FHL Book 929.273 F332f.
  • King - King, Kermitt Sifley. The Kings of Calhoun County, Amelia Township. Columbia, S.C.: K.S. King, 1992. FHL Book 929.273 K58kin.
  • Snelgrove - Snelgrove, Price Charles. Freeman Snelgrove and Some of His Descendants. Alford, Fla.: P.C. Snelgrove, 1993. FHL Book 929.273 Sn27sp.
  • Wise - Bauer, William Rudolph. Reconstruction of the Genealogy of the Wise Family of the Congarees. Columbia, S.C.: W.R. Bauer, 2001. FHL 929.273 W754b

History[edit | edit source]

  • Linder, Suzanne Cameron. Historical Atlas of the Rice Plantations of the ACE River Basin, 1860 (Columbia, South Carolina: S.C. Dept. of Archives and History, c1995 ), 684 pages. The plantations were in Beaufort, Colleton & Charleston counties. WorldCat 34264321, FHL 975.79 R2L

Land and Property[edit | edit source]

Because of South Carolina’s history as an agricultural state many residents owned land. For more information abou types of land records see South Carolina Land and Property.

Tracing records through South Carolina county and district changes can be difficult. In general, for earliest records begin by searching the Charleston District, then your ancestor’s residential district, then neighboring districts, then the residential county, then neighboring counties. Not all districts and counties kept records. The following chart shows where you may best expect to find land records for Calhoun County:

Tracing Land Currently in Calhoun County with Parent Counties and Districts [8]
Date Government Office
1908-Present Calhoun County
1868-1908 Orangeburg County
1839-1908 Lexington County
1865-1868 Orangeburg District
1785-1865 Orangeburg District Records Lost*
1785-1839 Records Lost* **
1710-1785 Charleston District
1670-1710 Proprietary Land Grants

* Some Orangeburg District deeds were recorded in Charleston District and were not destroyed
** Orangeburg District, Lexington District, Orangeburg County, and Lewisburg County records destroyed by fire in 1865. Only Lexington County deeds after 1839 survive.

  • Plats For State Land Grants 1784-1868 For information about the State Land Grants, see State Land Grants

Maps[edit | edit source]

Lexington CountyRichland CountySumter CountyClarendon CountyOrangeburg CountySC CALHOUN.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

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

Military[edit | edit source]

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Online Records

Regiments. Calhoun County did not exist during the Civil War. It was created in 1908 from Lexington and Orangeburg Counties. During the Civil War, men from the area of Calhoun County mostly would have served in various regiments recruited in those counties. Counties were called districts during the Civil War. The following regiment apparently had men from the area of present day Calhoun County:

- 1st Regiment, South Carolina Infantry (Butler's) (1st Regulars), Company A (also called Company B and Beauregard Artillery)
- 20th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry

Newspapers[edit | edit source]


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


Periodicals[edit | edit source]

See: Periodicals for description.

  • South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Probate is the “court procedure by which a will is proved to be valid or invalid” and encompasses “all matters and proceedings pertaining to the administration of estates, guardianships, etc.”[10] Various types of records are created throughout the probate process. 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

Taxation[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, relationships, and the year an individual died or left the area. They can be used as substitutes for missing or destroyed land and census records.

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

Published abstracts

  • 1818 - St. Matthews Tax List, 1818, South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, Vol. 1, No. 3 (Summer 1973); Vol. 1, No. 4 (Fall 1973).

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. Substitute records, when available, are used to obtain this information. These substitute records including newspapers, court records have been added to this section, when applicable.

Birth[edit | edit source]

State-wide birth registration began in 1915. For a copy of a birth from 1915 or later, contact the South Carolina Department of Health. The Calhoun County Health Department also has copies but they provide only an abbreviated form with limited information. For more information, see the South Carolina Vital Records page.

Marriage[edit | edit source]

In South Carolina, marriage licenses were not required by local governments until 1 July 1911. However, 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. Not all churches recorded these marriages and some have not survived. See South Carolina Vital Records for more information.

The Calhoun County probate court holds marriage licenses issued from 1 July 1911 to the present. Statewide registration of marriages began in July 1950 and the South Carolina Division of Vital Records has copies of licenses issued after 1 July 1950 through November 2009.

Newspapers are used as a substitute to locate marriage information. See South Carolina Newspapers.

Marriages - Indexes and images

  • 1911-1972 - Calhoun County, South Carolina Marriage Register, 1911-1972 [11]FHL film 2317644 - index
  • 1911-1950 - Calhoun County, South Carolina Marriage Licenses, ca. 1911-1950 [12]FHL films - records
  • There are several online marriage indexes containing miscellaneous marriage records found in some counties of South Carolina listed on the South Carolina Vital Records page.

Death[edit | edit source]

State-wide death registration began in 1915. For a copy of the death certificates from 1915 or later, contact the South Carolina Department of Health. The Calhoun County Health Department only has copies for deaths occurring in the last 5 years. For more information, see the South Carolina Vital Records page.

Deaths - Indexes and Records

Museums[edit | edit source]

This museum is county-run rather than by a society.

  • Calhoun County Museum
    313 Butler Street
    St. Matthews, SC 29135
    Telephone: (803) 874 - 3964
    Hours of Operation: Tuesday to Friday - 9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
    The Archive: The genealogy materials are housed in the museum's archive. Among other materials, there are African American books; cemetery books; Church books, county books; court record books; Jewish history; marriage, death and will books, native American books, South Carolina Civil War, and more. Categories and titles of the Archive's holdings are available at "The Archive" link above.
    They will assist with any genealogical or historical research, but please call ahead to set up an appointment

Societies, Libraries and Museums[edit | edit source]

  • Calhoun County Museum and Cultural Center
    313 Butler St.
    St. Matthews, SC 29135
    (803) 874-3964
    Website Facebook
  • Calhoun County Library
    900 FR Huff Dr,
    St. Matthews, SC 29135
    877-887-5588 - Toll Free; 803-874-3389

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

To locate the closest family history center or affiliate library, use the link listed above.

Websites[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Calhoun County, South Carolina

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Calhoun County, South Carolina" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, ",_South_Carolina." accessed on the 3/27/2019
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Calhoun 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 State Library, "Calhoun County" ( : accessed 15 Apr 2011).
  4. "South Carolina Districts and Parishes 1770" [map] in Carolana.
  5. "Calhoun County" ( : accessed 15 April 2011).
  6. Voice of Phillip Stalvey, resident of Myrtle Beach, S.C. (2011).
  7. Wikipedia contributors, "Calhoun County, South Carolina," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_South_Carolina, accessed 21 December 2019.
  8. Schweitzer, George K. , South Carolina Genealogical Research (Knoxville, Tennessee: s.p. 1985), 39-42, FHL book 975.7 D27s
  9. WorldCat 50140092, FHL Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed.] (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 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). WorldCat 1523234, (FHL Book 970.1 M992i)
  10. Henry Campbell Black, Black's Law Dictionary, 5th ed. (St. Paul, Minnesota: West Publishing Co., 1979), 1081, "probate."
  11. Calhoun County, South Carolina Marriage Registers, 1911-1972, Salt Lake City, UT: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 2002.
  12. South Carolina, Probate Court, Calhoun County, Calhoun County, South Carolina Marriage Licenses, ca. 1911-1950, Salt Lake City, UT: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 2001.