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Most unique genealogical features:
South Carolina Counties
Counties or Districts
To find South Carolina records, it helps to understanding the history of their counties and districts. 
Early. Until the 1760s the predominant court was in Charleston. Parish and township records were kept, but records at counties not so much. Early counties were used more to describe locations than as record keeping jurisdictions.
1769. Seven circuit court districts were established. Record keeping in district seats became more important. Parishes continued. All counties were abolished.
The other newer northern districts were often settled by people accustomed to county government who eventually erected courthouses, and fully functioning counties. Some of the county names (or similar names) from this period were used for later counties with different county boundaries.
1791. The 14 provisional counties within Charleston, Beaufort, and Orangeburg districts and several others were dissolved for failure to thrive. Two new districts with six counties inside those new districts were reorganized from parts of previous districts and counties in the far north.
1800. All overarching districts were abolished. Three of the previous counties were abolished. Seven new counties were created and added to the other remaining counties. However, all South Carolina counties were also called districts until 1868.
1868. Any remaining so-called districts were officially changed to counties.
Extinct Counties: Bartholomew · Berkeley (1682-1768) · Berkeley (1785-1791) · Carteret · Charleston (1785-1791) · Claremont · Clarendon (1785-1800) · Colleton (1682-1768) · Colleton (1785-1791) · Craven · Granville (1708-1768) · Granville (1785-1791) · Hilton · Kingston · Lewisburg · Lexington (1785-1791) · Liberty · Lincoln · Marion (1785-1791) · Orange · Pendleton · Salem · Shrewsbury · Waccamaw · Washington · Winton · Winyah
Overarching Districts: Beaufort District · Camden District · Charleston District · Cheraw District · Georgetown District · Ninety-Six District · Orangeburgh District · Pendleton District · Pinckney District · Washington District
Districts that became Counties 1800–1868: Abbeville District · Anderson District · Barnwell District · Beaufort (1800-1868) District · Charleston (1800-1868) District · Chester District · Chesterfield District · Clarendon District · Colleton District · Darlington District · Edgefield District · Fairfield District · Georgetown (1800-1868) District · Greenville District · Horry District · Lancaster District · Laurens District · Lexington District · Marion District · Marlboro District · Orangeburg (1800-1868) District · Newberry District · Pendleton (1800-1826) District · Pickens District · Richland District · Spartanburg District · Sumter District · Williamsburg District · York District
For more regarding South Carolina county formation and boundary changes, see the following:
All Saints · Christ Church · Prince Frederick · Prince George · Prince William · St. Andrew's · St. Bartholomew's · St. David's · St. George Dorchester · St. Helena's · St. James Goose Creek · St. James Santee · St. John's Berkeley · St. John's Colleton · St. Luke's · St. Mark's · St. Matthew's · St. Michael's · St. Paul's · St. Peter's · St. Philip's · St. Stephen's · St. Thomas and St. Denis
Amelia · Congaree · Edisto · Fredericksburg · Hillsborough · Kingston · Kings Town · Londonborough · New Windsor · Orangeburgh · Purrysburg · Queensboro · Queensborough · Saxe-Gotha · The Welsh Tract · Williamsburg
South Carolina Dept. of Archives and History · South Carolina Historical Society · South Caroliniana Library · Charleston Library Society · South Carolina Genealogical Society · Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina Archives · National Archives Southeast Region (Atlanta) · Dallas Public Central Library
Savannah River · Augusta and Cherokee Trail · Augusta-Savannah Trail · Augusta-St. Augustine Trail · Camden-Charleston Path · Catawba and Northern Trail · Catawba Trail · Charleston-Ft. Charlotte Trail · Charleston-Savannah Trail · Cisca and St. Augustine Trail (or Nickajack Trail) · Coosa-Tugaloo Indian Warpath · Fall Line Road (or Southern Road) · Fort Charlotte and Cherokee Old Path · Fort Moore-Charleston Trail · Great Valley Road · King's Highway · Lower Cherokee Traders' Path · Lower Creek Trading Path · Middle Creek Trading Path · Occaneechi Path · Old Cherokee Path · Old South Carolina State Road · Savannah-Jacksonville Trail · Secondary Coast Road · Tugaloo-Apalachee Bay Trail · Unicoi Trail · Upper Road · Ports: Beaufort · Charleston · Georgetown
BackgroundEngland. A group of Dutch settlers from New York came to South Carolina in 1671. Another smaller group was of French origin, mostly descendants of Huguenots, who came to the area beginning in 1680. More numerous were the Scottish dissenters, who were brought in beginning in 1682, and the Germans, who arrived during the eighteenth century. Blacks constituted a majority of the population from early colonial times until 1930. Indian wars drove most of the native Americans from the state, but there are still a few Catawba Indians in York County.
Things you can do
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- ↑ "The Counties from 1664 to Present - In Alphabetical Order" in South Carolina - The Counties at http://www.carolana.com/SC/Counties/sc_counties_alphabetical_order.html (accessed 28 April 2011).