Charleston County, South Carolina Genealogy

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

Charleston County Resources
Charleston County, South Carolina
Map of South Carolina highlighting Charleston 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 1769
County Seat Charleston

Quick Dates

Charleston County's civil records start the following years:

Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1915  1911  1915   1790 1719  1671 

Note: City of Charleston birth and death records begin earlier. See Charleston County, South Carolina Vital Records.

County Courthouse

Charleston County Courthouse HABS 1940

Charleston County Courthouse
4050 Bridgeview Drive
North Charleston, SC 29405
Phone: 843-740-0801

Charleston County Probate Court
100 Broad St., Suite 381
Charleston, SC 29401-5030
Phone: 843-958-4030

Charleston County Register Mesne Conveyance
101 Meeting St.
Charleston, SC 29401-2249
Phone: 843-958-4800

Charleston County Clerk of Court
100 Broad St., Suite 106
Charleston, SC 29401-2258
Phone: 843-958-5000

Historical Facts

King Charles II of England (1630-1685)
Charleston District/County was first established in 1769 as Judicial 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).[1]

Learn more about the history of Charleston County from the South Carolina State Library or from

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.

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

County Seat

The county seat of Charleston County is Charleston (originally Charles Town) which was founded in 1670 and is the oldest settlement in South Carolina.[2]

County Pronunciation

Hear it spoken.[3]

Variant Spellings

  • Charles Town

Record Loss

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.


The preceding list of places includes incorporated cities and towns, unincorporated towns and communities, and place names that may have been used in family histories. Some have well-organized records and even have web sites. Some are simply social communities with no official records, but which may be referenced in small-town newspapers. The list is provided to help researchers identify localities within the county. As records or histories of these localities are identified, a page will be added for each of these place names.


  1. "List of counties in South Carolina," Wikipedia. ["Charleston and Charleston County History"
  2. South Carolina State Library, "Charleston County" ( : accessed 13 Apr 2011).
  3. Voice of Phillip Stalvey, resident of Myrtle Beach, S.C. (2011).