Charleston-Savannah Trail

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'''''in Charleston County, SC:'''''  
'''''in Charleston County, SC:'''''  
*Thomas Petigru Lesesne, ''History of Charleston County, South Carolina: Narrative and Biographical'' (Charleston, South Carolina : A.H. Cawston, c1931) (({{FHL|53420|item|disp=FHL Book 975.7915 D3L}}) [ WorldCat entry].
*Thomas Petigru Lesesne, ''History of Charleston County, South Carolina: Narrative and Biographical'' (Charleston, South Carolina : A.H. Cawston, c1931) ({{FHL|53420|item|disp=FHL Book 975.7915 D3L}}) [ WorldCat entry].
'''''in Colleton County, SC:'''''  
'''''in Colleton County, SC:'''''  
*Bobby F. Edmonds, ''The Huguenots of New Bordeaux'' (McCormick, SC: Cedar Hill, 2005) (({{FHL|1317791|item|disp=FHL Book 975.736 F2e}}) [ WorldCat entry].  
*"Colleton County, South Carolina Early History" in ''Colleton County SCGenWeb" at (accessed 27 March 2011).
*Bobby F. Edmonds, ''The Making of McCormick County [South Carolina]'' (McCormick, SC: Cedar Hill, 1999) ({{FHL|834738|item|disp=FHL Book 975.736 H2e}}) [ WorldCat entry].  
*Evelyn McDaniel Frazier Bryan, ''Colleton County, S.C.: a History of the First 160 Years, 1670-1830'' (Jacksonville, Florida : Florentine Press, 1993) ({{FHL|697866|item|disp=FHL Book 975.795 H2b}}) [ WorldCat entry].
*[Willie Mae Wood], ''Old Families of McCormick County, South Carolina and Dorn families of Edgefield, Greenwood and McCormick counties'' ([S.l. : s.n.], 1982) ({{FHL|634329|item|disp=FHL Book 975.736 D2w; Film 2056008 Item 2-3}}) [ WorldCat entry].
'''''in Beaufort County, SC:'''''  
'''''in Beaufort County, SC:'''''  

Revision as of 19:26, 27 March 2011

United States  Gotoarrow.png  Migration  Gotoarrow.png  Trails and Roads  Gotoarrow.png  Charleston-Savannah Trail

Charleston Savannah Trail.png
The Charleston-Savannah Trail (also known as part of the King's Highway) connected the South Carolina colonial town of Charleston with the colonial Georgia town of Savannah on the Savannah River in what is now Chatham County. Charleston was the largest European settlement in South Carolina, its capital, on the King's Highway, and the start of several other trails. Savannah was the earliest, the largest, and the original capital city of Georgia, established in 1733. Several other trails eventually radiated out from Savannah. The Charleston-Savannah Trail was probably opened to European settlers in the late 1730s. It began in Charleston County, South Carolina and ended in Chatham County, Georgia. The length of the trail was about 120 miles (193 km).[1]


Historical Background

Charleston was founded in 1670 by English and African immigrants from the Caribbean island of Barbados. Savannah was established in 1733 by colonists directly from England.[2] Because of swamps, rivers, and forests there was probably a delay of a few years before a trail between the two colonies was constructed. The Charleston-Savannah trail served as an extension of the King's Highway. Later in 1856 a railroad was built between the towns which played a significant role in the Civil War.

As roads developed in America settlers were attracted to nearby communities because the roads provided access to markets. They could sell their products at distant markets, and buy products made far away. If an ancestor settled near a road, you may be able to trace back to a place of origin on a connecting highway.


The first European colonists settled in counties along this trail (north to south) as follows:[3]

Connecting trails. The Charleston-Savannah Trail links to other trails at each end. The migration pathways connecting in Charleston, South Carolina included:

The migration routes connecting in Savannah, Georgia included:

Modern parallels. The modern roads that roughly match the old Charleston-Savannah Trail start in Charleston. Drive west on US-17 South to I-95. Merge onto I-95 South/Jasper Highway to just past Hardeesville. Take Exit 5 onto US-17 South to Savannah.

Settlers and Records

The first colonists in each county along what became the Charleston-Savannah Trail arrived before the trail existed, usually by way of the Atlantic Ocean. Nevertheless, some of the new arrivals and settlers after the late 1730s may have used the Charleston-Savannah Trail and even the King's Highway.

No complete list of settlers who used the Charleston-Savannah Trail is known to exist. Nevertheless, local and county histories along that trail may reveal pioneer settlers who arrived after the late 1730s and who were candidates to have traveled the Charleston-Savannah Trail from the Charleston, or the Savannah areas.

For partial lists of early settlers who may have used the Charleston-Savannah Trail, see histories like:

in Charleston County, SC:

  • Thomas Petigru Lesesne, History of Charleston County, South Carolina: Narrative and Biographical (Charleston, South Carolina : A.H. Cawston, c1931) (FHL Book 975.7915 D3L) WorldCat entry.

in Colleton County, SC:

in Beaufort County, SC:

  • John A. Chapman, History of Edgefield County from the earliest settlements to 1897 : biographical and anecdotical, with sketches of the Seminole War, nullification, secession, reconstruction, churches and literature, wtih rolls of all the companies from Edgefield in the war of secession, war with Mexico and with the Seminole Indians (Newberry, S.C.: E. H. Aull, 1897) (FHL Film 162293) WorldCat entry.

in Jasper County, SC:

in Chatham County, GA:

External Links


  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 848. (FHL Book 973 D27e 2002). WorldCat entry.
  2. Faye Dyess, "Passengers of Ship Ann" in rootsweb at (accessed 27 March 2011).
  3. South Carolina - The Counties, (accessed 22 March 2011).
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "History of Augusta, Georgia," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia,,_Georgia (accessed 27 March 2011).