Calhoun County, South Carolina Genealogy

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Calhoun County, South Carolina
Map of South Carolina highlighting Calhoun 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 March 12, 1785
County Seat St. Matthews

United States Gotoarrow.png South Carolina Gotoarrow.png Calhoun County'

Quick Dates

Calhoun County's civil records start the following years:

Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1915  1911  1915  1910  1908  1908 

County Courthouse

Calhoun Courthouse

Calhoun County Courthouse
302 South Railroad Ave.
St. Matthews, SC 29135-1452
Phone: 803-874-3524

Calhoun County Probate Judge
902 F.R. Huff Dr.
St. Matthews, SC 29135-1490
Phone 803-874-3514

Calhoun County Clerk of Court
P.O. Box 709
902 F.R. Huff Drive
St. Matthews, SC 29135
Phone: 803-874-3524

Calhoun County Register of Deeds
Courthouse Annex, Suite 108
St. Matthews 29135
Phone: 803-874-2435


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."[1] 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

Parent County/Boundary Changes

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

County Seat

The county seat of Calhoun County is St. Matthews, which was founded in 1841.[2]

County Pronunciation

Hear it spoken.[3]

Record Loss


Populated Places

Amelia Township Lone Star Saint Matthews Tina
Cameron Midway Sandy Run Totness
Creston Oak Grove Singleton Wertz Crossroads
Enos Riley Staley Crossroads Wiles Crossroads
Hammond Crossroads

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

Neighboring Counties


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 Calhoun County, South Carolina Cemeteries.


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1910 16,634
1920 18,384 10.5%
1930 16,707 −9.1%
1940 16,229 −2.9%
1950 14,753 −9.1%
1960 12,256 −16.9%
1970 10,780 −12.0%
1980 12,206 13.2%
1990 12,763 4.6%
2000 15,185 19.0%
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.


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



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.


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]

As of August 2010, a query for persons born in Calhoun, South Carolina at World Connect, results in more than 900 entries.

Surname indexes to Leonardo Andrea's Files | Folders | Resources are available online, courtesy: The Andrea Files: South Carolina Genealogical Research. Gotoarrow.png Learn more.

Message Boards


  • [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


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:

Tracing Land Currently in Calhoun County with Parent Counties and Districts [4]
Date Government Office  
1908-Present Calhoun County
1868-1908 Orangeburg County
1868-1908 Lexington County
1865-1868 Orangeburg District
1785-1865 Records Lost*  **
1670-1785 Charleston District

* Some Orangeburg District deeds were recorded in Charleston District and were not destroyed ** Orangeburg District, Lexington District, Orangeburg County, Lexington County and Lewisburg County records destroyed by fire

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.

Local Histories

  • 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. Book at FHL 975.79 R2L and Other Libraries.



Early migration routes to and from Calhoun County for European settlers included:[5]


Civil War, 1861-1865

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:

- 20th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry



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.



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:

  • 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.”[6] 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.


Published abstracts
  • [1818] St. Matthews Tax List, 1818, South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, Vol. 1, No. 3 (Summer 1973); Vol. 1, No. 4 (Fall 1973).

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 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 [7] FHL Collection - index
  • 1911-1950 - Calhoun County, South Carolina Marriage Licenses, ca. 1911-1950 [8] FHL Collection - 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.

Archives, 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
    FAX:  803-874-4154
    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


  • 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 - Genealogical, Historical, Lineage

Web Sites

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


  1. "Calhoun County" ( : accessed 15 April 2011).
  2. South Carolina State Library, "Calhoun County" ( : accessed 15 Apr 2011).
  3. Voice of Phillip Stalvey, resident of Myrtle Beach, S.C. (2011).
  4. Schweitzer, George K. , South Carolina Genealogical Research (Knoxville, Tennessee: s.p. 1985), 39-42, FHL book 975.7 D27s
  5. 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.
  6. Henry Campbell Black, Black's Law Dictionary, 5th ed. (St. Paul, Minnesota: West Publishing Co., 1979), 1081, "probate."
  7. Calhoun County, South Carolina Marriage Registers, 1911-1972, Salt Lake City, UT: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 2002.
  8. 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.