Horry County, South Carolina Genealogy

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Guide to Horry 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.

Horry County, South Carolina
Map of South Carolina highlighting Horry 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 December 19, 1801
County Seat Conway

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for the county residents to become an extremely independent populace, and they named their county "The Independent Republic of Horry". The county was named after, and in honor of, Revolutionary War hero Peter Horry who was born in South Carolina around 1743. Horry started his military career in 1775 as one of 20 captains, elected by the Provincial Congress of South Carolina, to serve the 1st and 2nd Regiments. In 1790, he was assigned to the South Carolina militia under Brigadier General Francis Marion. The County is located in the east-central area of the state.[1]

Horry 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 1803 1803 1799 1790
*Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1915. General compliance by 1918.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Horry County Courthouse
1201 Third Avenue
Conway, SC 29526

Horry County Clerk of Court
1301 Second Ave.
Conway, SC 29526
Phone: 843-915-5080
Court records

Horry County Register of Deeds
1301 Second Ave.
Conway, SC 29526
Phone: 843-915-5430
Land records

Horry County Probate Court
1301 Second Ave.
Conway, SC 29526
Phone: 834-915-5370
Probate and marriage records

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

History[edit | edit source]

The county is named after Revolutionary War General Peter Horry (1747-1815).[3]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1801--Horry County was created 19 December 1801 within the overarching Georgetown District. Prior to that time it was called Kingston County or on the 1800 federal census Waccamaw County but these never became functioning counties.[4]
County seat:  Conway [5]

County Pronunciation[edit | edit source]

  1. Hear it spoken[6]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

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.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

Federal troops rifled and vandalized courthouse offices in 1865; many loose papers and volumes of the clerk of court (including early deeds to 1828) were destroyed. The files of the commissioner of equity were virtually wiped out, and loose probate papers left in disarray. At some later date, pre-1887 General Sessions Indictments were lost as well.

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
Census-designated places

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:

  • Ark - Surfside Beach
  • Buck's Upper Mill - also called Upper Mill
  • Cherry Grove - North Myrtle Beach
  • Jeremiah Vereen's - Myrtle Beach
  • Long Bay
  • Longwood - Murrells Inlet
  • Lucas Bay - Youhannah
  • Old Oliver Place - Waccamaw River
  • Oregon
  • Peachtree
  • Peter Vaught's - Myrtle Beach
  • Snow Hill - Conway
  • Thomas Randall's - Little River
  • Tilghman Point - also called Little River, Thomas Randall's
  • Upper Mill - also called Buck's Upper Mill
  • Withers - Myrtle Beach
  • Woodbourne

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county
Findagrave.com Family History Library Findagrave.com
[www.scgenweb.org/horry/cemeteries/index.htm 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.
1810 4,349
1820 5,025 15.5%
1830 5,245 4.4%
1840 5,755 9.7%
1850 7,646 32.9%
1860 7,962 4.1%
1870 10,721 34.7%
1880 15,574 45.3%
1890 19,256 23.6%
1900 23,364 21.3%
1910 26,995 15.5%
1920 32,077 18.8%
1930 39,376 22.8%
1940 51,951 31.9%
1950 59,820 15.1%
1960 68,247 14.1%
1970 69,992 2.6%
1980 101,419 44.9%
1990 144,053 42.0%
2000 196,629 36.5%
2010 269,291 37.0%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 federal population schedules of Horry 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.

See Horry County, SC census assignments, including links to transcribed files The USGenWeb Census Project®

1810[edit | edit source]
  • Teel, Dorothy Owens and Three Rivers Historical Society (Hemingway, S.C.). The 1810 Census of Georgetown District and the 1810 Census of Horry District, South Carolina. 199-?. FHL Collection 975.78 X2t 1810
1850[edit | edit source]
  • Woodard, Janet H. Population Schedules of the Seventh Census of the United States, 1850, Roll 854, Horry County, South Carolina Original Returns of the Assistant Marshals, White and Free Colored Population. 1980. FHL Collection 975.787 X29w 1850
1860[edit | edit source]
  • Lewis, Catherine Heniford and Ashley Patterson Cox. Index to the 1860 Census of Horry County, South Carolina. Macon, Ga.: Waccamaw Records, 1989. FHL Collection 975.787 X22L 1860 
  • Lewis, Catherine Heniford, Ione Woodall and Ashley Patterson Cox. 1860 Census of Horry County, South Carolina Publication No. 4; Combining Original Copy Prepared by Ione Woodall and an Index Prepared by Catherine H. Lewis and Ashley P. Cox, Jr. Macon, Ga.: Waccamaw Records, 1996. FHL Collection 975.787 X2L 1860
1880[edit | edit source]
  • Horry County Historical Society. 1880 Census of Horry County, South Carolina. Conway, S.C.: Horry County Historical Society, 1970. FHL Collection 975.787 X2c

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Baptist Church[edit | edit source]

Special Collections and Archives
206 James B. Duke Library
Furman University
3300 Poinsett Highway
Greenville, SC 29613
Phone: (864) 294-2194

Email: specialcollections@furman.edu

South Carolina Baptist Historical Collection Records of over 500 individual South Carolina Baptist churches from published books, church histories, congregational records, associational minutes, biographical materials, newsletters, hymnals, and sermons. Microfilmed records can be borrowed through the InterLibrary Loan department of your local university or public library.

Episcopal Church[edit | edit source]

Early residents of what is now Horry County were served by these colonial parishes.[8]

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 Horry County residents. FamilySearch has not independently verified the lineages of those tested. 

Genealogy[edit | edit source]

It is anticipated that 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 Horry, South Carolina at World Connect, produces more than 45,000 results.

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

Horry County families he studied include Bell (Folder no. 58 FHL Film 954526), Gore (Folder no. 343 FHL Film 954542), Livingston (Folder no. 520 FHL Film 954550), Thomas (Folder no. 889 FHL Film 954596).

  • Andrea, Leonardo. Horry Co., S.C. Data. Typescript, microfilmed 1974. FHL 954248 Item 13

Message Boards


  • Cooper - Cooper, John P. Sketches of John Purley Cooper and Wife Ethel Mae Bethea: with Notes on Their Ancestry, Descendants, Some Kindred and Random Recollections. Ruxton, Md.: J.P. Cooper, 1989. FHL Book 929.273 C784cj.
  • Davis - The Jones, Skipper and Davis Family of England, Wales and America. FHL Book 929.273 A1 no. 7120.
  • Durant- Andrea, Leonardo. Durant. Typescript, Polk County Historical Library, Bartow, Fla. Microfilmed 1975: FHL Film 978080 Item 2.
  • Hankins - Media Research Bureau (Washington, D.C.). The Hankins Family with Data on Descendants of Rev. Dennis Hankins of Horry District, South Carolina and Madison County, Florida. MSS., 1950. FHL 978076 Item 15
  • Hughes - Hughes, Virginia Hayden and Charles Evan Hughes. Hughes, Hardee, McCumbee, Milligan Connection of the Carolinas. n.p.: n.p., 1996. FHL Book 929.273 H874hv.
  • Lewis - Stevenson, Mary Lewis. William Lewis of Horry County, South Carolina. n.p.: Charlotte Stevenson, 1960. FHL 929.273 L589st; digital version at World Vital Records ($).
  • Lewis - Long, Dorethea M. The Lewis Family: Portrait of a People. Conway, S.C.: D.M. Long, 2000. FHL Book 929.273 L585Ldm.
  • Lewis - Lewis, J.D. My Neck of the Woods: The Lewis Families of Southeastern North Carolina and Northeastern South Carolina. Little River, S.C.: J.D. Lewis, 2002. FHL Book 929.273 L585Ljd; CD-ROM no. 1036
  • Livingston - Andrea, Leonardo. "Livingston Family of Horry County, South Carolina," Miscellaneous Family Records. Typescript. Microfilmed 1977: FHL Film 978079 Item 12.
  • McCracken - Ronemous, Hulda W. Rob & Joe: McCracken & Williamson Ancestors in Eighteenth Century South Carolina. Baltimore: Gateway Press, 1995. FHL Book 929.273 M137rh.
  • Tindall - Tindall, Anne Gibson. The Family of John G. Tindall of Horry County, SC and Allied Families. Hemingway, S.C.: Three Rivers Historical Society (South Carolina), (199-?). FHL Book 929.273 T492tg.

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 Horry County:

Tracing Land Currently in Horry County with Parent Counties and Districts [9]
Date Government Office  
1868-Present Horry County
1801-1865 Horry District *
1769-1801 Georgetown District Records Lost
1719-1769 Charleston District
1710-1719 Proprietary Land Grants

* Deed books E, G, and H are missing

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]

  • The Independent Republic of Horry, 1670-1970: Items from the Independent Republic Quarterly, Official Publication of the Horry County Historical Society. Conway, S.C.?: The Society?, 1970. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Lewis, Catherine Heniford. Horry County, South Carolina, 1730-1993.   (Columbia, South Carolina : University of South Carolina Press, c1998), 229 pages. Horry County's past does not fit neatly into South Carolina history, Lewis demonstrated its decided differences--political, social, and economic--from other regions of the state. Book found at FHL 975.787 H2L and Other Libraries.
  • Epps, Florence Theodora , editor; Horry County Historical Society. The Independent Republic of Horry, 1670-1970 : items from The Independent republic quarterly, official publication of the Horry County Historical Society   (South Carolina : s.n., 1970?), 100 pages. Family letters, photographs, accounts, and documents are accurate through the pages of The Independent Republic Quarterly. Book found at FHL FHL 975.787 H25ia and Other Libraries.

Maps[edit | edit source]

Robeson CountyColumbus CountyGeorgetown CountyMarion CountyDillon CountyBrunswick CountySC HORRY.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Early migration routes to and from Horry County for European settlers included:[10]

Military[edit | edit source]

General[edit | edit source]
  • "Soldiers, 1775 - 1865," Independent Republic Quarterly, July 1975, Volume 9, Issue 3. Horry County Historical Society : Conway, SC. FHL Collection Book 975.787 H25i.
Revolutionary War[edit | edit source]
  • "General Francis Nash and the encampment on Little River Neck, 1776-1777," Independent Republic Quarterly, 2006, Volume 36, Issue 3. Horry County Historical Society : Conway, SC. FHL Collection Book 975.787 H25i.
War of 1812[edit | edit source]
  • 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, Horry County, p. 185. Identifies War of 1812 veterans living in this county in 1883.
Civil War[edit | edit source]

Online Records

Regiments. Civil War service men from Horry County served in various regiments. Men often joined a regiment or a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were formed in Horry County or from many of its men.

- 1st Regiment, South Carolina Infantry (McCreary's) (1st Provisional Army), Company F - (also known as Horry Rebels)
- 4th Regiment, South Carolina Cavalry (Rutledge's), Company A, Company D, Company E, and Company I
- 7th Regiment, South Carolina Cavalry , Company A, Company F, and Company K
- 7th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry, Company L
- 7th Battalion, South Carolina Reserves (Ward's), Company B Roster
- 9th Battalion, South Carolina infantry (Smith's) (Pee Dee Legion), Company A, Company D, and Company G
- 10th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry , Company A, Company B, Company C, Company G, and Company M
- 12th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry, Company A
- South Carolina State Troop Regiments Seed Corn Units, Junior Reserves, 3rd Regiment, South Carolina State Troops Junior Reserves (State Militia)

Other Resources

  • Brunson, Joseph Woods. Pee Dee Light Artillery of Maxcy Gregg's (Later Samuel McGowan's) Brigade, First South Carolina Volunteers (infantry) C. S. A., a Historical Sketch and Roster (University, Alabama : Confederate Pub., c1983), 60 pages. Includes rosters of the three Pee Dee infantry companies (from Darlington, Horry and Marion counties) which were supported by the Pee Dee artillery. The battery was officially Company D of the 1st South Carolina regiment. Book found at FHL 975.7 M2bjr and Other Libraries.

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Horry County Obituary Index Search Engine


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


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:

  • Independent Republic Quarterly - Issues have been scanned and are text searchable, see website.

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.”[11] 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.
The South Carolina Department of Archives and History has  microfilms or typescripts of wills, inventories, bills of sale, power of attorneys, bonds, notes, administrations, judgments, and sales records. They have placed Will Transcriptions for 1782 to 1855 online. Index searchable by name and the image is available.

Probate Records, 1803-1873. Probate Court Horry County, South Carolina. Microfilm of original records in the Horry County courthouse, at Conway, South Carolina. FHL Film 1029438

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 Horry County.

Published abstracts

  • 1827-1828 - Horry County, South Carolina Tax Records, 1827-28, Independent Republic Quarterly, Vol. 10, No. 4 (Oct. 1976).

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 Horry 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 Horry 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 Horry 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 and Death Substitutes - Indexes and Records

Archives, Libraries, and Museums[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

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

Websites[edit | edit source]

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

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Horry County, South Carolina" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horry_County,_South_Carolina." accessed 27/06/2019
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Horry 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. "List of counties in South Carolina," Wikipedia.
  4. A History of Kingston District (County) in Carolana.
  5. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  6. Voice of Phillip Stalvey, resident of Myrtle Beach, S.C. (2011).
  7. Wikipedia contributors, "Horry County, South Carolina," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horry_County%2C_South_Carolina, accessed 26 December 2019.
  8. "South Carolina Districts and Parishes 1770" (map) in Carolana.
  9. Schweitzer, George K. , South Carolina Genealogical Research (Knoxville, Tennessee: s.p. 1985), 39-42, FHL book 975.7 D27s
  10. 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.
  11. Henry Campbell Black, Black's Law Dictionary, 5th ed. (St. Paul, Minnesota: West Publishing Co., 1979), 1081, "probate."
  12. Holcomb, Brent H. Marriage, Death, and Estate Notices from Georgetown, South Carolina Newspapers, 1791-1861. Easley, SC: Southern Historical Press, c1979.
  13. Horry County (South Carolina), Clerk of the County Court, Marriage records (Horry County, South Carolina), 1911-1951, Salt Lake City, UT: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 2002-2005.
  14. Holcomb, Brent H., Marriage, Death, and Estate Notices from Georgetown, South Carolina Newspapers, 1791-1861, Easley, SC: Southern Historical Press, c1979.