Dorchester County, South Carolina Genealogy

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Template:South Carolina-stubUnited States  Gotoarrow.png South Carolina Gotoarrow.png Dorchester County

Dorchester County, South Carolina
Map of South Carolina highlighting Dorchester 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 February 25, 1897
County Seat Saint George

Quick Dates

Dorchester County's civil records start the following years:

Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1915    1911  1915  1900  1897 1897 

County Courthouse


Dorchester County Courthouse101 Ridge Street
St. George, SC 29477

Dorchester County Register of Deeds
201 Johnston Street
Saint George, SC 29477
Phone: 843-563-0181
Land records on line index

Dorchester County Probate Court
5200 East Jim Bilton Blvd.
St. George, SC 29477
Phone: 843-563-0105
Probate and marriage records

Dorchester County Clerk of Court
5200 East Jim Bilton Blvd.
St. George, SC 29477
Phone: 843-563-0178


[[Image:Dorchestermassachusetts.jpg|thumb|right|250px|Neopanset River at Lower Mills, Dorchester, Mass. Dorchester County, South Carolina takes its name from the Massachusetts town of Dorchester.

[[]] The county is named after the town of Dorchester, Massachusetts.[1]

Parent County

1897--Dorchester County was created 25 February 1897 from Berkeley and Colleton Counties.
County seat: St. George [2]

County Pronunciation

  1. Hear it spoken[3]

Boundary Changes

"Rotating Formation South Carolina County Boundary Maps" (1682-1987) may be viewed for free at the My South Carolina Genealogy website. They rely on AniMap 3.0 software.

Record Loss


Populated Places

Badham Cow Tail (hist.) Inabinetts (hist.) Rosinville
Brownsville Dorange Jedburg Saint George
Byrd Dorchester Knightsville Slandsville
Canaan Gettysville Laurence (hist.) Stallsville
Cattle Creek (hist.) Giant Lotts Crossroads Summerville
Centerville Givhans Pregnall Waringville (hist.)
Clubhouse Crossroads Grover Reevesville Winwright (hist.)
Coachmans Corners Harleyville Ridgeville
Cooke Crossroads

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 Dorchester County, South Carolina Cemeteries.


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1900 16,294
1910 17,891 9.8%
1920 19,459 8.8%
1930 18,956 −2.6%
1940 19,928 5.1%
1950 22,601 13.4%
1960 24,383 7.9%
1970 32,276 32.4%
1980 58,761 82.1%
1990 83,060 41.4%
2000 96,413 16.1%
Source: "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau.
1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 federal population schedules of Dorchester 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 of England

Gotoarrow.png See also St. George Dorchester Parish



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

Family Histories

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 Dorchester, South Carolina at World Connect, results in more than 2,000 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



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

  • Smith, Henry A.M. "The Town of Dorchester, in South Carolina: A Sketch of Its History," The South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 2 (Apr., 1905), pp. 62-95. Digital version at JSTOR ($).



Early migration routes to Dorchester County for European settlers included:


Revolutionary War
  • "Dorchester Its Mystery Fort," Americana, April 1933, Volume 27, Issue 2. American Historical Magazine : Somerville, NJ. FHL Collection Book. 973 B2a.



  • Dorchester County Record (St. George, S.C.) 1927-1934.
  • Dorchester Eagle-Record (St. George, S.C.) 1934-current.
  • The Dorchester Eagle (St. George, S.C.) 1899-1934.
  • The Summerville Advertiser (Summerville, S.C.) 1909-1924.
  • The Summerville Forester (Summerville, S.C.) 1927-1928.
  • The Summerville Herald (Summerville, S.C.) 1884-1886.
  • The Summerville Journal (Summerville, S.C.) 1972-1977.
  • The Summerville News (Summerville, S.C.) 1888-1909.
  • The Summerville Scene (Summerville, S.C.) 1946-1977.
  • Summerville Journal-Scene (Summerville, S.C.) 1977-current.



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:



Vital Records

Societies and Libraries

Family History Centers

Family History Centers in South Carolina

Web Sites

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


  1. "List of counties in South Carolina," Wikipedia.
  2. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  3. Voice of Phillip Stalvey, resident of Myrtle Beach, S.C. (2011).