Calhoun County, South Carolina Genealogy
Calhoun County, South Carolina genealogy and family history research guide. Introduces you to county topics such as vital record births, marriages, divorces, and deaths, census, court records, deeds, maps, immigration, maps, military records, newspapers, obituaries, plantations, probate records, slaves, local archives, libraries, museums, churches, cemeteries, and Civil War records.
|Calhoun County, South Carolina|
Location in the state of South Carolina
Location of South Carolina in the U.S.
|Founded||March 12, 1785|
|County Seat||St. Matthews|
- 1 Quick Dates
- 2 County Courthouse
- 3 Places/Localities
- 4 Resources
- 4.1 Research Guides
- 4.2 African Americans
- 4.3 Cemeteries
- 4.4 Census
- 4.5 Church History and Records
- 4.6 Court Records
- 4.7 DNA
- 4.8 Genealogy
- 4.9 History
- 4.10 Land and Property
- 4.11 Maps
- 4.12 Migration
- 4.13 Military History and Records
- 4.14 Newspapers
- 4.15 Periodicals
- 4.16 Probate Records
- 4.17 Taxation
- 4.18 Vital Records
- 5 Museums
- 6 Societies, Libraries and Museums
- 7 Websites
- 8 References
Calhoun County's civil records start the following years:
Calhoun County Courthouse
302 South Railroad Ave.
St. Matthews, SC 29135-1452
Calhoun County Probate Judge
902 F.R. Huff Dr.
St. Matthews, SC 29135-1490
Calhoun County Clerk of Court
P.O. Box 709
902 F.R. Huff Drive
St. Matthews, SC 29135
Calhoun County Register of Deeds
Courthouse Annex, Suite 108
St. Matthews 29135
For documents of people who lived in this area 1768-1800, look in:
- St. Matthew's Parish records since 1768
- papers filed in the District Seat at Orangeburg, South Carolina
- papers filed in the early capital at Charleston, South Carolina
The county is named after John C. Calhoun, who served as Vice President of the United States under both John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson as well as secretary of state and of war and senator."  Amelia Township, an original eighteenth-century settlement and part of the Royal Period of South Carolina, was situated in what is now Calhoun County. Learn more about the history of Calhoun County from the South Carolina State Library or from Carolana.com.
Parent County/Boundary Changes
- South Carolina Archives Summary Guide: Calhoun County, available online, courtesy: South Carolina Department of Archives and History.
Known plantations South Carolina Plantations:
- Belleville - Fort Motte
- Cave Hall
- Devil's Track Place
- Hickory Grove - Fort Motte
- Lang Syne - Fort Motte
- Midway - Fort Motte
- Mount Joseph - Fort Motte
- Oak Grove - St Matthews
- Pond Bluff - Fort Motte
- Spring Grove
There are more than # burial grounds in the county.
To view a list, see Calhoun County, South Carolina Cemeteries.
|Source: "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau.|
1910, 1920, and 1930 federal population schedules of Calhoun 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.
Church History and Records
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]
Surname indexes to Leonardo Andrea's Files | Folders | Resources are available online, courtesy: The Andrea Files: South Carolina Genealogical Research. Learn more.
- Calhoun County, SC Family History and Genealogy Message Board (Ancestry)
- Calhoun County, SC Genealogy Forum (GenForum)
- [Caver] Caver, Larry Eugene. The Caver Family of North America. Birmingham, Ala.: Caver Press, 1990. FHL Book 929.273 C315cL.
- [Felder] Felder, Rice A. and Feller Publishing Fund. Descendants of James Addison Felder and Flavilla Shuler of Orangeburg County, South Carolina. Columbia, S.C.: Felder Publishing Fund, 1980. FHL Book 929.273 F332f.
- [King] King, Kermitt Sifley. The Kings of Calhoun County, Amelia Township. Columbia, S.C.: K.S. King, 1992. FHL Book 929.273 K58kin.
- [Snelgrove] Snelgrove, Price Charles. Freeman Snelgrove and Some of His Descendants. Alford, Fla.: P.C. Snelgrove, 1993. FHL Book 929.273 Sn27sp.
- [Wise] Bauer, William Rudolph. Reconstruction of the Genealogy of the Wise Family of the Congarees. Columbia, S.C.: W.R. Bauer, 2001. FHL 929.273 W754b
- Linder, Suzanne Cameron. Historical Atlas of the Rice Plantations of the ACE River Basin, 1860 ( [Columbia, South Carolina]: S.C. Dept. of Archives and History, c1995 ), 684 pages. The plantations were in Beaufort, Colleton & Charleston counties. WorldCat 34264321, FHL 975.79 R2L
Land and Property
Because of South Carolina’s history as an agricultural state many residents owned land. For more information abou 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 shows where you may best expect to find land records for Calhoun County:
|1785-1865||Orangeburg District Records Lost*|
|1785-1839||Records Lost* **|
|1670-1710||Proprietary Land Grants|
* Some Orangeburg District deeds were recorded in Charleston District and were not destroyed
** Orangeburg District, Lexington District, Orangeburg County, and Lewisburg County records destroyed by fire in 1865. Only Lexington County deeds after 1839 survive.
- Plats For State Land Grants 1784-1868 For information about the State Land Grants, see State Land Grants
Early migration routes to and from Calhoun County for European settlers included: 
Military History and Records
Calhoun County did not exist during the Civil War. It was created in 1908 from Lexington and Orangeburg Counties. During the Civil War, men from the area of Calhoun County mostly would have served in various regiments recruited in those counties. Counties were called districts during the Civil War. The following regiment apparently had men from the area of present day Calhoun County:
- - 1st Regiment, South Carolina Infantry (Butler's) (1st Regulars)
- - Company A - (also called Company B and Beauregard Artillery)
The Library of Congress has identified the following historic newspapers for Calhoun 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.
- Calhoun Advance (St. Matthews, S.C.) 1908-1920.
- St. Matthews Recorder (St. Matthews, S.C.) 1903-1906.
- The Calhoun Times (Saint Matthews, S.C.) 1922-current.
- The Carolinian (St. Matthews, S.C.) 1920-1922.
- The Commercial Advance (St. Matthews, S.C.) 1906-1908.
- The St. Matthews Herald (St. Matthews, S.C.) 1890-1897.
- The St. Matthews Record (St. Matthews, S.C.) 1914-1915.
See: Periodicals for description.
- South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research
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.” 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 Probate Records.
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 Calhoun County.
-  St. Matthews Tax List, 1818, South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, Vol. 1, No. 3 (Summer 1973); Vol. 1, No. 4 (Fall 1973).
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 Calhoun 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.
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 Calhoun 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 - Indexes and images
- 1911-1972 - Calhoun County, South Carolina Marriage Register, 1911-1972  FHL film 2317644 - index
- 1911-1950 - Calhoun County, South Carolina Marriage Licenses, ca. 1911-1950  FHL films - records
- There are several online marriage indexes containing miscellaneous marriage records found in some counties of South Carolina listed on the South Carolina Vital Records page.
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 Calhoun 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 - Indexes and Records
- 1914-1960 - State-wide South Carolina Death Indexes. There are several online death indexes covering all of South Carolina listed on the South Carolina Vital Records page.
This museum is county-run rather than by a society.
- Calhoun County Museum
313 Butler Street
St. Matthews, SC 29135
Telephone: (803) 874 - 3964
Hours of Operation: Tuesday to Friday - 9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
The Archive: The genealogy materials are housed in the museum's archive. Among other materials, there are African American books; cemetery books; Church books, county books; court record books; Jewish history; marriage, death and will books, native American books, South Carolina Civil War, and more. Categories and titles of the Archive's holdings are available at "The Archive" link above.
They will assist with any genealogical or historical research, but please call ahead to set up an appointment
Societies, Libraries and Museums
- Calhoun County Library
Calhhoun County Library
900 FR Huff Dr,
St, Marrhews, South Carolina 29135
Telephone: 877-887-5588 - Toll Free; 803-874-3389 - phone
Hours of Operation: Monday, Wednesday: 10am - 6pm, Tuesday, Thursday: 10am - 8pm, Friday: 10am - 5pm, Saturday: 10am - 3pm
The Calhoun County Library is part of the Palmetto Library Consortium which consists of 16 libraries that have consolidated some services for eficience. Though they do have some books on genealogy, they have turned their genealogical materials to the Calhoun Museum and Cultural Center
Family History Centers
note: the societies with their own memberships, libraries, museums and collections.
- South Carolina State Library, "Calhoun County" (http://www.statelibrary.sc.gov/calhoun-county : accessed 15 Apr 2011).
- "South Carolina Districts and Parishes 1770" [map] in Carolana at http://www.carolana.com/SC/Royal_Colony/sc_royal_colony_counties_parishes_1770.html (accessed 11 May 2011).
- "Calhoun County" (http://www.carolana.com/SC/Counties/calhoun_county_sc.html : accessed 15 April 2011).
- Voice of Phillip Stalvey, resident of Myrtle Beach, S.C. (2011).
- Schweitzer, George K. , South Carolina Genealogical Research (Knoxville, Tennessee: s.p. 1985), 39-42, FHL book 975.7 D27s
- WorldCat 50140092, FHL Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed.] (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 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). WorldCat 1523234, (FHL Book 970.1 M992i)
- Henry Campbell Black, Black's Law Dictionary, 5th ed. (St. Paul, Minnesota: West Publishing Co., 1979), 1081, "probate."
- Calhoun County, South Carolina Marriage Registers, 1911-1972, Salt Lake City, UT: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 2002.
- South Carolina, Probate Court, Calhoun County, Calhoun County, South Carolina Marriage Licenses, ca. 1911-1950, Salt Lake City, UT: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 2001.