Charleston County, South Carolina Genealogy
Guide to Charleston 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.
- From 1800 to 1868 this Charleston County was also known by the alias Charleston District.
- Not to be confused with the overarching Charleston District that existed from 1768 to 1800.
- Not to be confused with the much smaller Charleston (1785-1791) County abolished in 1791.
|Charleston County, South Carolina|
Location in the state of South Carolina
Location of South Carolina in the U.S.
Charleston County, South Carolina Record Dates
Charleston County's civil records start the following years:
Note: City of Charleston birth and death records begin earlier. See Charleston County, South Carolina Vital Records.
Charleston County Courthouse
4050 Bridgeview Drive
North Charleston, SC 29405
Charleston County Probate Court
100 Broad St., Suite 381
Charleston, SC 29401-5030
Charleston County Register Mesne Conveyance
101 Meeting St.
Charleston, SC 29401-2249
Charleston County Clerk of Court
100 Broad St., Suite 106
Charleston, SC 29401-2258
Historical FactsJudicial District. Charleston County is the home to the city of Charleston (originally Charles Towne) which was first settled in 1670 by British and Africans from the Caribbean island of Barbados. Charleston was originally named in honor of King Charles II of England (1630-1685).
Charleston County of 1785 was small and it was abolished in 1791. The current Charleston County was created in 1800 when the Charleston County/District name was used again for a much larger county/district. This "version" was altered in 1878, by carving out the new Berkeley County. In 1897 Dorchester County was carved out, leaving the current boundaries of Charleston County.
Parent County/Boundary Changes
- 1769 - Charleston District created as one of seven original districts.
- 1785 - Charleston divided into Berkeley, Bartholomews, Charleston, Colleton, Marion, and Washington Counties, which never became functional.
- 1800 - Non-functional counties of Berkeley, Barhtolomews, Charleston, Colleton, Marion, and Washington were abolished and Charleston returned to its status as a district. Colleton District created from Charleston (covering different boundaries than the non-functional Colleton County).
- 1868 - Charleston and all other districts became counties.
- 1882 - Berkeley created from Charleston County.
- 1893 - Charleston gained from Berkeley County.
- 1911 - Charleston gained from Colleton County.
- 1921 - Charleston gained from Berkeley and Dorchester Counties.
- 1975 - Colleton gained from Charleston County.
- 1987 - Colleton gained from Charleston County.
Even though Charleston's jurisdictional names have changed many times over the years, for the Colonial Period (1670-1776), the changes really did not affect record keeping. Most of the colony's public records were kept in the City of Charleston up through the year 1785.
For more information as well as maps of Charleston 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.
- Charles Town
Official negligence in the 1830s destroyed a large quantity of loose records of the court of general sessions. Northern "tourists," many of whom were members of Rev. Henry Ward Beecher's congregation from Brooklyn, New York, looted other material from both public and private repositories in Charleston in April 1865. Loose probate papers were apparently destroyed in Columbia in February 1865.
For further information (and links) on these populated places, please go to Populated Places, Charleston County, South Carolina
Family History Centers
Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes. See Family History Center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.
- "List of counties in South Carolina," Wikipedia. [http://www.charleston-sc.com/history/%7C"Charleston and Charleston County History"
- A History of Charleston County, South Carolina in Carolana at http://www.carolana.com/SC/Counties/Charleston_county_sc.html (accessed 5 May 2011).
- Mike Becknell, "Overview of South Carolina Genealogical Research," Group Tour of South Carolina Department of Archives and History, 10 May 2011.
- Voice of Phillip Stalvey, resident of Myrtle Beach, S.C. (2011).