Dillon County, South Carolina Genealogy

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Guide to Dillon 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.

Dillon County, South Carolina
Map of South Carolina highlighting Dillon 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 February 5, 1910
County Seat Dillon

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for prosperous local citizen James W. Dillon (1826-1913), an Irishman who settled there and led a campaign to bring the railroad into the community. The County is located in the east area of the state.[1]

Dillon 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 1910 1910 1910 1790
*Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1915. General compliance by 1918.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Dillon County Courthouse
301 West Main Street
Dillon, SC 29536

Dillon County Clerk of Courts
301 W. Main St.
P.O. Drawer 1220
Dillon, SC 29536
Court and land records

Dillon County Probate Judge
401 W. Main St.
P.O. Box 189
Dillon, SC 29536
Probate and marriage records

8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday

History[edit | edit source]

Dillon county was named for James W. Dillon, a local prominent resident from Ireland who was instrumental in bringing the railroad to the county.[3] Learn more about the history of Dillon County from the South Carolina State Library or from Carolana.com.

Parent County/Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

For more information as well as maps of Dillon 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 MapofUS.org website.

County Seat[edit | edit source]

The county seat of Dillon County is Dillon.

County Pronunciation[edit | edit source]

Hear it spoken.[4]

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]

Resources[edit | edit source]

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:

  • Coursar
  • Ford

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

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

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1910 22,615
1920 25,278 11.8%
1930 25,733 1.8%
1940 29,625 15.1%
1950 30,930 4.4%
1960 30,584 −1.1%
1970 28,838 −5.7%
1980 31,083 7.8%
1990 29,114 −6.3%
2000 30,722 5.5%
2010 32,062 4.4%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 federal population schedules of Dillon 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[edit | edit source]

Episcopal Church[edit | edit source]

Before 1785, residents of what is now Dillon County were served by these colonial parishes.[5]

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court[edit | edit source]

DNA[edit | edit source]

DNA Double Helix.png
DNA has been collected from men claiming descent from the following Dillon 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 Dillon, South Carolina at World Connect, results in more than 2,000 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


  • Bethea - Cooper, John P.Sketches of John Purley Cooper and Wife Ethel Mae Bethea: With Notes on Their Ancestry, Descendants, Some Kindred and Random Collections. Ruxton, Md.: J.P. Cooper, 1989. FHL Book 929.273 C784cj
  • Campbell - Campbell, Rachel M. and Charles Campbell McCall. Campbell and McCall Family History. Baltimore, Md.: Gateway Press, n.d. FHL Book 929.273 C153cr.
  • Carmichael - Carmichael, Roderick L. The Scottish Highlander Carmichaels of the Carolinas. Richmond, Va.: Whittet and Shepperson, 1935.
  • Carmichael - Harrell, Elizabeth Jean. The Carmichaels: Archibald Carmichael (c. 1749-1830s) of Scotland and the Carolinas and His Descendants Who Migrated to Hinds County, Mississippi. Los Altos, Calif.: E.J. Harrell, 1989. FHL Book 929.273 C212h.
  • Carmichael - Steele, Anita Martin and Lorena Martin Spillers. Martin and Carmichael Descendants in Georgia 1811-1994. Baltimore, Md.: Gateway Press, 1994. FHL Book 929.273 M363st.
  • Lewis - Lewis, J.D. My Neck of the Woods: The Lewis Families of Southeastern North Carolina and Northeastern South Carolina. Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2002. FHL Collection book 929.273 L585Ljd, CD-ROM no. 1036
  • Moody - Moody, Mary C. The Moodys and Related Families. Arlington, Texas: M.C. Moody, 1979. FHL Book 929.273 M771mo.

Land[edit | edit source]

Because of South Carolina’s history as an agricultural state many residents owned land. For more information about 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 show where you may best expect to find land records for Dillon County:

Tracing Land Currently in Dillon County with Parent Counties and Districts [6]
Date Government Office  
1910-present Dillon County
1868-1910 Marion County
1800-1865 Marion District
1769-1800 Georgetown District Records Lost
1719-1769 Charleston District
1710-1719 Proprietary Land Grants

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

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.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

  • Stokes, Durward T. The History of Dillon County, South Carolina (Columbia, South Carolina : University of South Carolina Press, c1978), 523 pages. Comprehensive History of Dillon County. Book found at FHL 975.785 H2s and Other Libraries.

Maps[edit | edit source]

Scotland CountyRobeson CountyColumbus CountyMarlboro CountyDarlington CountyFlorence CountyMarion CountyHorry CountySC DILLON.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military[edit | edit source]

War of 1812[edit | edit source]
  • "Capt. Bethea's co.," Pee Dee Queue, May 1999, Volume 23, Issue 3. Pee Dee Chapter, South Carolina Genealogical Society : Marion, SC.
Civil War[edit | edit source]

Online Records

Regiments. Dillon County did not exist during the Civil War. It was created 1910 from Marion County. During the Civil War, men from the area of Dillon County mostly would have served in various regiments recruited in Marion County. Counties were called districts during the Civil War.

Other Resources

  • Stokes, Durward T. The History of Dillon County, South Carolina (Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press, c1978), 523 pages. Comprehensive History of Dillon County. Civil War pages 88-111. Book found at FHL 975.785 H2s and Other Libraries.

Newspapers[edit | edit source]


The Library of Congress has identified the following historic newspapers for Dillon 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


Obituaries[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 this county, see:

  • Pee Dee Queue

Probate[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.”[7] 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.

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 Dillon County.

Published abstracts

  • 1811, 1814, 1824 - Holcomb, Brent H. and Silas Emmett Lucas. Some South Carolina County Records... 2 vols. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1976-1989. FHL Book 975.7 P2hbh and 975.7 P2hbh v. 2 Includes 1811, 1814, and 1824 tax lists for Marion District.

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 Dillon 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 Dillon 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 and Marriage Substitutes - Indexes and Records

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 Dillon 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

Archive, Libraries, and Museums[edit | edit source]

Libraries[edit | edit source]

The Dillon County Library System has three libraries and a bookmibile. The Dillon Library is the main branch.

Dillon County Library - Headquarters
600 East Main Street
Dillon, South Carolina 29536
Telephone: 843-774-0330
Fax: (843) 774-0733
Hours: Monday to Tuesday 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Wednesday to Friday 9:00a.m to 6:00 p.m., Saturday 9:pp a.m to 1:00 p.m

Lake View Library Branch
207 South Main Street, P.O. Box 704
Lake View, South Carolina 29563
Telephone: 843-759-2692
Hours: Monday to Friday 10:00 a.m to 6:00 p.m., Saturday 10:00 a.m - 1:00 p.m.

Latta Library Branch
101 North Marion Street
Latta, South Carolina 29565
Telephone: 8-3-752-5389
Fax: (843) 752-7457
Hours: Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Museums[edit | edit source]

  • Dillon County Museum
    The Museum offers a turn of the twentieth century glimpse of life in Dillon County. Documents, photographs, and other memorabilia trace the history of the area.

Societies - Genealogical, Historical, Lineage [edit | edit source]

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: Dillon County, South Carolina

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Dillon County, South Carolina" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dillon_County,_South_Carolina." accessed 25/06/2019
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Dillon 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. Workers of the Writers' Program of the Works Projects Administration in the State of South Carolina, Palmetto Place Names (The Reprint Company: Spartanburg, S.C., 1975) 14.
  4. Voice of Phillip Stalvey, resident of Myrtle Beach, S.C. (2011).
  5. "South Carolina Districts and Parishes 1770" [map] in Carolana at http://www.carolana.com/SC/Royal_Colony/sc_royal_colony_districts_parishes_1770.html (accessed 11 May 2011).
  6. Schweitzer, George K. , South Carolina Genealogical Research (Knoxville, Tennessee: s.p. 1985), 39-42, FHL book 975.7 D27s
  7. Henry Campbell Black, Black's Law Dictionary, 5th ed. (St. Paul, Minnesota: West Publishing Co., 1979), 1081, "probate."
  8. South Carolina, Probate Court (Dillon County), Dillon County, South Carolina Proofs of Marriage, ca. 1895-1954; Marriage Licenses and Marriage Registers, ca. 1911-1950, Salt Lake City, UT: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 2003-2004.