Berkeley County, South Carolina Genealogy

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United States  Gotoarrow.png South Carolina Gotoarrow.png Berkeley County

Berkeley County, South Carolina
Map of South Carolina highlighting Berkeley County
Location in the state of South Carolina
Map of the U.S. highlighting South Carolina
Location of South Carolina in the U.S.
Founded January 31, 1882
County Seat Moncks Corner

Quick Dates

Berkeley County's civil records start the following years:

Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
 1915  1911 1915  1900  1870  1783 

County Courthouse

Berkeley Courthouse

Berkeley County Courthouse
223 North Live Oak Drive
Moncks Corner, SC 29461-2331
Phone: 843-761-6900

Berkeley County Probate Court
300 California Avenue
Moncks Corner, SC 29461
Phone: 843-719-4519

Register of Deeds
1003 Highway 52
Moncks Corner, SC 29461-6120
Phone: 843-719-4084

Clerk of Courts
300-BCalifornia Ave.
Moncks Corner, SC 29461
Phone: 843-719-4400

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


Berkeley County was named for Lord Proprieters of South Carolina Lord John Berkeley and Sir William Berkeley.[1] Berkeley County has existed as three incarnations. It was created as one of the original South Carolina counties in 1682. At the time, all formal business was conducted in Charles Town and the counties were used to locate property. The original Berkeley County was abolished in 1768 after the District Court Act was passed. A second incarnation of Berkely County was created within Charleston District with the passage of the 1785 County Court Act but never became functional and was abolished in 1798. The present day Berkeley County (with boundaries similar to the original Berkeley County) was established in 1882.[2] Learn more about the history of Berkeley County from the South Carolina State Library or from

Parent County/Boundary Changes

For more information as well as maps of Berkeley County through time, see the South Carolina State Archives or South Carolina County Maps and Atlases.

County Seat

The county seat of Berkeley County is Moncks Corner.

County Pronunciation

Hear it spoken.[3]

Record Loss


For further information (and links) on these populated places, please go to Populated Places, Berkeley County, South Carolina


Research Guides

African Americans

United States African Americans Gotoarrow.png South Carolina African Americans


There are more than # burial grounds in the county. To view a list, see Berkeley County, South Carolina Cemeteries.


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1890 55,428
1900 30,454 −45.1%
1910 23,487 −22.9%
1920 22,558 −4.0%
1930 22,236 −1.4%
1940 27,128 22.0%
1950 30,251 11.5%
1960 38,196 26.3%
1970 56,199 47.1%
1980 94,727 68.6%
1990 128,776 35.9%
2000 142,651 10.8%
Source: "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau.

1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 federal population schedules of Berkeley 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.


Berkeley County Churches identifies dozens of churches in the area, courtesy: South Carolina Genealogical Society.

Gotoarrow.png See also St. Andrew's Parish
Gotoarrow.png See also St. James Goose Creek Parish
Gotoarrow.png See also St. John's Berkeley Parish
Gotoarrow.png See also St. Thomas and St. Denis Parish



DNA Double Helix.png
DNA has been collected from men claiming descent from the following Charleston County residents. FamilySearch has not independently verified the lineages of those tested.


More than 25 genealogies have been published about Berkeley County families. To view a list, visit Berkeley County, South Carolina Genealogy.

Historic Residences

  • Lees, William B. "The Historical Development of Limerick Plantation, a Tidewater Rice Plantation in Berkeley County, South Carolina, 1683-1945," The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 82, No. 1 (Jan., 1981), pp. 44-62. Digital version at JSTOR ($).


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.

  • Chapman, Charles S. A Working Plan for Forest Lands in Berkeley County, South Carolina. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1905. Digital version at Google Books.

Local Histories

  • Bridges, Anne B. St. James Santee Plantation Parish [South Carolina] : History & Records, 1685-1925  ( Spartanburg, South Carolina: The Reprint Co., c1997 ), 541 pages. Civil War pages 195-227. Includes church records for St. James Santee, 1758-1788 (Church of England); previously unpublished records, 1846-1921 (assumed to be Episcopalian). Also includes cemetery records for the church and lists of French and Swiss refugees and inhabitants. The old parish existed in today's Charleston and Berkeley counties. Book found at FHL 975.79 H2b and Other Libraries.
  • Dubose, Samuel, and Frederick A. Porcher. A Contribution to the History of the Huguenots of South Carolina, Consisting of Pamphlets   ([S.l.] : T. Gaillard Thomas, c1972), 48 pages. Historical sketches of the Huguenot families which settled in the alluvial regions within fifty miles of Charleston. FHL book at FHL 975.7 F2d, and Other Libraries. Digital copies at Google Books and Internet Archives.
  • Easterby, James H. Wadboo Barony : Its Fate as Told in Colleton Family Papers, 1773-1793 (Columbia, South Carolina : University of South Carolina Press, c1952), 684 pages. The barony was located in today's Berkeley County, South Carolina. Book at FHLFHL 975.793 H2w and Other Libraries.
  • Orvin, Maxwell Clayton. Monck's Corner, Berkeley County, South Carolina. Charleston, S.C.?: unknown, 1950. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Stockton, Robert P. Historic Resources of Berkeley County, South Carolina   (Moncks Corner, South Carolina : Berkeley County Historical Society, South Carolina, c1990 ), 71 pages. This work is based on the Berkeley County Architectural and Historical Inventory completed before Hurricane Hugo. Includes descriptions and photos of historical sites. Book found at FHL 975.793 J7h and Other Libraries.



Early migration routes to and from Berkeley County for European settlers included:[4]


Revolutionary War
  • "Pee Dee supplies for the siege of Charleston, 1780," Darlington Flag, Fall 2006, Volume 18, Issue 4. Old Darlington District Chapter, South Carolina Genealogical Society : Hartsville, SC.
  • "Battle of the Great Cane Brake on the Reedy River, 1775," Greenville County Historical Society Proceedings and Papers, 2005, Volume 12. Greenville County Historical Society : Greenville, SC.
  • "Elizabeth Jackson, Waxham women aid Revolutionary soldiers, Charleston, 1781," Chester District Genealogical Society Bulletin, March 2003, Volume 27, Issue 1. Chester County Genealogical Society : Richburg, SC. FHL Collection Book 975.74 D25b Film 2416428, 2406014, 2416420, 2435185, 1709620.
  • "Rebel prisoners from Charleston, 1780," Ancient City Genealogist, February 2002, Volume 13, Issue 1. St. Augustine Genealogical Society : St. Augustine, Florida.
  • "Nathanael Greene's troops attack British, 1781," St. Lucie River Whig, Summer 2000, Volume 8, Issue 3. St. Lucie River Chapter : Lucie, Florida.
  • "Dorchester its mystery fort," Americana, April 1933, Volume 27, Issue 2. American Historical Society : Somerville, New Jersey. FHL Collection Book 973 B2a
War of 1812
  • 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, Berkeley County, p. 182. Identifies War of 1812 veterans living in this county in 1883.]
Civil War

Berkeley County did not exist during the Civil War. Present day Berkeley County was created from Charleston County. During the Civil War, men from the area of Berkeley County mostly would have served in various regiments recruited in Charleston County. Counties were called districts during the Civil War.

  •  Bridges, Anne B.  St. James Santee Plantation Parish [South Carolina] : History & Records, 1685-1925  ( Spartanburg, South Carolina : The Reprint Co., c1997 ), 541 pages. Civil War pages 195-227. Includes church records for St. James Santee, 1758-1788 (Church of England); previously unpublished records, 1846-1921 (assumed to be Episcopalian). Also includes cemetery records for the church and lists of French & Swiss refugees & inhabitants. The old parish existed in today's Charleston & Berkeley counties. Book found at  FHL 975.79 H2b and Other Libraries.
  • Jervey, Susan Revenel and Revenel, Charlotte St. Julien.  Diaries of '65 : journals kept by Miss Susan Ravenal Jervey of Northampton Plantation and Miss Charlotte St. Julien Ravenel of Pooshee Plantation.  (Johns Island, South Carolina : Philip L. Bradley, 1994).   Title of original: Two diaries: from middle St. John's Berkeley, South Carolina, February-May, 1865.  Available at the Family History Library, Template:711019



The Library of Congress has identified the following historic newspapers for Berkeley 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.



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:


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.”[5] 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.

  • Coldham, Peter Wilson. North American Wills Registered in London 1611-1857. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 2007. FHL 942 P27c 2007 [Includes wills of residents of Christ Church Parish, St. John's Parish, and Berkeley County proved in London, see place-name index. These records often help establish an immigrant's place of origin.]
  • Abstracts of Wills of Charleston District, South Carolina and other wills recorded in the districts, 1783-1800.  By Caroline T. Moore. FHL Book 975.79 S2m Includes index.


Published abstracts

Vital Records

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.


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 Berkeley 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.

Births and Birth Substitutes- Indexes


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 Berkeley 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


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 Berkeley 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


Berkeley County Library System
The Berkley County Library System comprises six libraries of Berkeley County, South Carolina. The main branch in the system is at Moncks Corner.  The Berkeley County Library System is on facebook and it has a blog.

  • 'Moncks Corner Library
    PO Box 1239
    1003 Hwy. 52
    Moncks Corner, SC 29461
    Telephone: (843) 719-4223
    Fax: (843) 719-4226
    The main collection of genealogical and historical materials is housed in the South Carolina Room of the Moncks Corner library. Some of their holdings include microfilm, microfiche, or book collections
    such as:
     - Death Certificates of South Carolina 1915-1960;
    - Census: Mortality Schedules for South Carolina counties-1850,1860,1870,1880, Census of the United States 1790-1930 (Local Districts/Berkeley County Parishes/Counties), plus the Soundex to the 1930 Census for South Carolina;
    - Newspapers: Berkeley Democrat 27 Sept 1928 - 3 Jan 1990 (no issues available for 1966-1968), Berkeley Independent 21 Oct 1987 - 25 Sept 2002 (Note: Hard copies of the Berkeley Independent (past - present) are available in our General Ref. area- W.P.A. Tombstone Inscriptions, South Carolina Historical Society-- 1930s W.P.A. Inventories of Church Archives (Berkeley County)
    - Histories about Moncks Corner//Berkeley County and other areas in South Carolina
    - Genealogical Magazines
    - Some family histories
    - Cemetery Inscriptions Books (Local)
  • Daniel Island Library
    2301 Daniel Island  Drive
    Daniel Island, South Carolina 29492
  • Sangaree Library
    595 Sangaree Parkway
    Summerville, South Carolina 29483
  • Goose Creek Library
    325 Old Moncks Corner Road
    Goose Creek, SC 29445
  • Hanahan Library
    1274 Yeamans Hall Road
    Hanahan, South Carolina 29406
  • Saint Stephen Library
    1104 S. Main Street
    Saint Stephen, South Carolina 29479

Other Libraries

Berkeley is located near Charleston which has  additional libraries with rich genealogical and historical resources.


  • Berkeley Museum
    950 Stony Landing Road
    Moncks Corner, South Carolina 29461-2944
    (843) 899-5101

Societies - Genealogical, Historical, Lineage

Family History Centers

Moncks Corner South Carolina
319 West Main St
Moncks Corner, Berkeley, South Carolina, United States
Phone: 843-761-8671
Hours: W-Th 6pm-9pm; Sat 10am-2pm

Web Sites

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


  1. 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) 12.
  2. "Berkeley County" ( : accessed 15 April 2011).
  3. Voice of Phillip Stalvey, resident of Myrtle Beach, S.C. (2011).
  4. 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.
  5. Henry Campbell Black, Black's Law Dictionary, 5th ed. (St. Paul, Minnesota: West Publishing Co., 1979), 1081, "probate."
  6. Mary Bondurant Warren, Citizens and Immigrants--South Carolina, 1768 (Athens, Ga.: Heritage Papers, 1994). Quit Rent begins on page 255.
  7. St. Thomas Parish Register, South Carolina, 1680-1884 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2000. Original data: The Annals and Parish Register of St. Thomas and St. Denis Parish, in South Carolina, from 1680 to 1884. Columbia, SC, USA: Walker, Evans and Cogswell, 1884.
  8. St. Thomas Parish Register, South Carolina, 1680-1884 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2000. Original data: The Annals and Parish Register of St. Thomas and St. Denis Parish, in South Carolina, from 1680 to 1884. Columbia, SC, USA: Walker, Evans and Cogswell, 1884.
  9. St. Thomas Parish Register, South Carolina, 1680-1884 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2000. Original data: The Annals and Parish Register of St. Thomas and St. Denis Parish, in South Carolina, from 1680 to 1884. Columbia, SC, USA: Walker, Evans and Cogswell, 1884.