Kershaw County, South Carolina Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
Revision as of 16:57, 2 May 2011 by Mcbridelw (talk | contribs) (deed table)

Jump to: navigation, search
Kershaw County, South Carolina
Map of South Carolina highlighting Kershaw 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 1798
County Seat Camden

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

Quick Dates

Kershaw County's civil records start the following years:

Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
  1915 1911  1915   1800 1791  1782 

County Courthouse

Kershaw County Courthouse

Kershaw County Courthouse
1121 Broad St.
Camden, SC 29020

Clerk of Court
1121 Broad St., Room 313
Camden, SC 29020
Phone: 803-425-1500

Register of Deeds
515 Walnut Street, Room 180
Camden, SC 29020
Phone: 803-425-1500
Land records

Probate Judge
1121 Broad St., Room 225
Camden, SC 29020-3635
Phone: 803-425-1503
Probate and marriage records

8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday


The county is named after Joseph Kershaw.[1]

Parent County

1798--Kershaw County was created in 1798 from Camden District.
County seat:  Camden [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. The maps rely on AniMap 3.0 software.

Record Loss

Major loss of equity records resulted from the negligence of Thomas P. Evans, commissioner in equity from 1822-1829.


Populated Places

Abney Crossroads Coats Crossroads Jefferson Mount Pisgah
Antioch Dekalb Jordan Mill Paint Hill
Barfield Mill Deloach (hist.) Kellytown Rabon Crossroads
Bee Tree (hist.) Du Bose Park Kirkland Robinson Crossroad
Bellfield (hist.) Dusty Bend Kirkley Mill Shamokin
Bethune Elgin Kirkwood Shepard
Blue Spring (hist.) Ellerbee (hist.) Liberty Hill Spalding (hist.)
Boykin Flat Rock Log Town (hist.) Stockton (hist.)
Camden Gaston Mill Lugoff Stoneboro
Cantey Grannys Quarter (hist.) McCaskill Warren Crossroads
Cassett Hammond Millbank (hist.) Westville
Clyburn Hermitage Mill Minton Mill

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

Neighboring Counties

Chesterfield | Darlington | Fairfield | Lancaster | Lee | Richland | Sumter


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 Kershaw County, South Carolina Cemeteries.


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1800 7,340
1810 9,867 34.4%
1820 12,432 26.0%
1830 13,545 9.0%
1840 12,281 −9.3%
1850 14,473 17.8%
1860 13,086 −9.6%
1870 11,754 −10.2%
1880 21,538 83.2%
1890 22,361 3.8%
1900 24,696 10.4%
1910 27,094 9.7%
1920 29,398 8.5%
1930 32,070 9.1%
1940 32,913 2.6%
1950 32,287 −1.9%
1960 33,585 4.0%
1970 34,727 3.4%
1980 39,015 12.3%
1990 43,599 11.7%
2000 52,647 20.8%
Source: "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau.

1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 federal population schedules of Kershaw 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.

See Kershaw County, SC census assignments, including links to transcribed files [The USGenWeb Census Project®]

  • Kershaw County Historical Society. The Second Federal Census, 1800, South Carolina, Kershaw County. Kershaw, S.C.: Kershaw County Historical Society, 1970. FHL Collection 975.761 X2p 1800
  • Kershaw County Historical Society. The Third Federal Census, 1810, South Carolina, Kershaw County. Kershaw, S.C.: Kershaw County Historical Society, 1972. FHL Collection 975.761 X2t 1810
  • Kershaw County Historical Society. The Fourth Federal Census, 1820, South Carolina, Kershaw County. Kershaw, S.C.: Kershaw County Historical Society, 1973. FHL Collection 975.7 A1 no. 29
1820 Manufactures

The original manufactures schedules for South Carolina are kept at the NARA, Washington, D.C. FHL copies: FHL Collection 1024517 - 1024518.

Published abstract:

  • National Archives. Indexes to Manufactures Census of 1820. 1920; reprint, Knightstown, Ind.: Bookmark, 1977. FHL Collection 973 X2m 1820; digital version at Lineages. [Includes this county.]
  • Draine, Tony. Kershaw District, South Carolina Census, 1840. Columbia, S.C.: Congaree Publicatoins, 1986. FHL Collection 975.761 X2d 1840
  • Phelps, Dallas LeRoy. 1840 Census of Kershaw County, South Carolina. Camden, S.C.: D.L. Phelps, 2001. FHL Collection 975.761 X2p 1840
1840 Revolutionary War Pensioners
  • A Census of Pensioners for Revolutionary or Military Services: With their Names, Ages, and Places of Residence, as Returned by the Marshalls of the Several Judicial Districts, Under the Act for Taking the Sixth Census. Washington, D.C.: Blair and Rives, 1841. FHL Collection 973 X2pc 1840; FHL Collection 2321; digital version at Google Books. [See South Carolina, Kershaw District on pages 142-143.]
  • South Carolina Genealogical Society. Catawba-Wateree Chapter. 1850 Kershaw County, South Carolina Census Expanded with Genealogy. Camden, S.C.: South Carolina Genealogical Society. Catawba-Wateree Chapter, 1997. FHL Collection 975.761 X2k 1850
1870 Mortality Schedule
  • Phelps, Dallas LeRoy. 1870 Kershaw County Mortality Census. FHL Collection 975.761 X2p 1870



  • Carroll, Kenneth L. "The Irish Quaker Community at Camden," The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 77, No. 2 (Apr., 1976), pp. 69-83. Digital version at JSTOR ($).



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


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


Because of South Carolina’s history as an agricultural state many residents owned land. For more information about 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 show where you may best expect to find land records for Kershaw County:

Tracing Land Currently in Kershaw County with Parent Counties and Districts [4]
Date Government Office  
1869-present Kersahw County (new)
1800-1868 Kershaw District
1791-1800 Kershaw County (old)
1785-1791 Richland County
1785-1791 Lancaster County
1785-1791 Fairfield County
1769-1785 Camden District*
1719-1769 Charleston District
1710-1719 Proprietary Land Grants

* Some Camden District records are included with Kershaw County records

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

  • Kirkland, Thomas J. Historic Camden. Columbia, S.C.: State Co., 1905-1926. FHL 1036403 Items 1 - 2; digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Gardner, Miles. Further Tales of Murder and Mayhem : in Lancaster, Kershaw, and Chesterfield Counties  (Spartanburg, South Carolina: Reprint Company Publishers, c2006), 296 pages. Book at FHL 975.7 H2gm and Other Libraries.[1]



Gotoarrow.png Church

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

Overland migration routes in and around early South Carolina.


Revolutionary War
  • "Henry Felder Rev. War petition excerpt, 1785," Catawba-Wateree Messenger, June 2007, Volume 20, Issue 6. Catawba Wateree Genealogical Society c/o Camden Archives and Museum : Camden, SC
  • "Patriot defeat at Camden, 1780," SAR Magazine, Summer 2005, Volume 100, Issue 1. National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution : Louisville, KY. FHL Collection Book 973 B2sa.
  • "Battle of Camden and preservation of the field, 1780," Periodical:Journal of America's Military Past, Winter 2004, Volume 30, Issue 3. Council on America's Military Past : Ft. Myer, VA.
  • "SC Royalists, 1781, Camden," Dutch Fork Digest, June 2002, Volume 17, Issue 1. Dutch Fork Chapter, South Carolina Genealogical Society : Chapin, SC.
  • "Rugeley's Clermont, 1776-80," Update, February 2002, Issue 3. Kershaw County Historical Society : Camden, SC.
  • "Colonel Rudgely surrenders to William Washington, 1780, SC," St. Lucie River Whig, Spring 2001, Volume 9, Issue 2. St. Lucie River Chapter : St. Lucie, FL.
  • "Battle of Camden," Update, February 2001, Issue 3. Kershaw County Historical Society:Camden, SC.
  • "Capt. Martin Livingston's Royalists," Dutch Fork Digest, January 2001, Volume 16, Issue 1. Dutch Fork Chapter, South Carolina Genealogical Society : Chapin, SC.
  • "Muster, SC Royalists, 1781," Dutch Fork Digest, July 2000, Volume 15, Issue 3. Dutch Fork Chapter, South Carolina Genealogical Society : Chapin, SC.
  • "Revolutionary war pensioners, 1841," Carolinas Genealogical Society Bulletin, November 1965, Volume 2, Issue 3. Carolinas Genealogical Society : Monroe, NC. FHL Collection Book 975 B2c.
  • "Battle of Hobkirk Hill," American Monthly Magazine, January 1909, Volume 34, Issue 1. Daughters of the American Revolution : Washington, D.C. FHL Collection Book 973 B2dar.
  • "Battle of Camden losses, 1780," New England Historical and Genealogical Register, October 1873, Volume 27, Issue 4. New England Historical and Genealogical Society : Boston, MA. FHL Collection
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, Kershaw County, p. 186. Identifies War of 1812 veterans living in this county in 1883.]
Civil War

Civil War service men from Kershaw County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies and regiments that were specifically formed of men from Kershaw County.

- 2nd Regiment, South Carolina Cavalry, Company A (also known as Boykin Mounted Rangers)
- 5th Battalion, South Carolina Reserves (Brown's), Company D


Camden Archives and Museum Obituary Index


The Library of Congress has identified the following historic newspapers for Kershaw 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:

  • Carolina Genealogist
  • Carolinas Genealogical Society Bulletin
  • Catawba-Wateree Messenger  (Family History Library book 975.761 D25c .)
  • Dutch Fork Digest  (Family History Library book 975.7 D25d. )
  • The South Carolina Historical Magazine
  • Sumter Black River Watchman


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.

The South Carolina Department of Archives and History has  microfilms or typescripts of wills, inventories, bills of sale, power of attorneys, bonds, notes, administrations, judgments, and sales records. They have placed Will Transcriptions for 1782 to 1855 online. Index searchable by name and the image is available. The Wills from Camden County were transcribed as Kershaw County.

A general index to estates and probate records of Kershaw County, South Carolina, exists that covers the time period 1780 to 1960. It includes the name of the estate [the decedent], the name of the executor, administrator or guardian, the numbers for each apartment and package, and a remarks column that often includes dates. FHL Film 361678

Other collections of probate records in Kershaw County include:

  • Wills, 1782-1868, Court of Ordinary, Kershaw District, South Carolina, 1782-1868. Salt Lake City, Ut.: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1951. FHL Film 24052
  • Estate record books, Court of Ordinary, Kershaw District, South Carolina, 1782-1822. Columbia, S.C.: Filmed by the South Carolina Dept. of Archives and History, 1975. FHL Film 1029441
  • 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 Camden proved in London, see place-name index. These records often help establish an immigrant's place of origin.]


Published abstracts
  • [1784] Tax List, 1784, Sumter Black River Watchman, Vol. 16, No. 5 (May 1991).
  • [1784] Tax List, 1784, Catawba-Wateree Messenger. (March 1991).
  • [1784] Tax List, 1784, Carolina Genealogist, No. 13 (Winter 1973).
  • [1832] Ochenkowski, J.P. "1832 Tax List for the Town of Camden," The South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, Vol. 8, No. 1 (Winter 1980):27-28.  FHL Book 975.7 B2sc v. 8
  • [1848-1849] Draine, Tony. Kershaw District, South Carolina Tax List, 1848 & 1849. Columbia, S.C.: Congaree Publications, 1986. FHL Book 975.761 R48d
  • [1864, 1876, 1900] County Auditor's Locations for Polling and Tax Collection, 1876, 1864, 1900, Update (Camden, S.C.), Vol. 8, No. 3 (Jun. 2004).
  • [1915] County Auditor Book, Apr. 1915, Camden (sel.), Catawba-Wateree Messenger, Vol. 14, No. 7 (Aug. 2001).

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 Kershaw 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 Kershaw 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 and Records


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 Kershaw 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

Societies - Genealogical, Historical, Lineage

Catawba-Wateree Genealogical Society
1314 Broad Street
Camden SC 29020-3535

Kershaw County Historical Society
811 Fair Street, Box 501
Camden SC 29020
source: Society Hill 

Family History Centers

Camden South Carolina
34 Chestnut Ferry
Camden, Kershaw, South Carolina, United States
Phone: 803-432-7038

Web Sites

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Kershaw 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).
  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. Holcomb, Brent H., Marriage and Death Notices from Camden, South Carolina, Newspapers, 1816-1865, Easley, SC: Southern Historical Press, c1978.
  7. Revill, Janie, Marriages and Death Notices Abstracted from Newspapers Published in Camden, South Carolina, 1822-1842, Salt Lake City, UT: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1975.
  8. McNaughton, Carol P., Kershaw, South Carolina and Surrounding Area: Abstracts from the Kershaw Era and the Camden Chronicle, 1913-1920, Kershaw, SC: C.P. McNaughton, 2001.
  9. South Carolina. Probate Court (Kershaw County), Kershaw County, South Carolina Marriage Licenses, Aug. 1938-Dec. 1950, Salt Lake City, UT: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 2000.
  10. Holcomb, Brent H., Marriage and Death Notices from Camden, South Carolina, Newspapers, 1816-1865, Easley, SC: Southern Historical Press, c1978.
  11. Revill, Janie, Marriages and Death Notices Abstracted from Newspapers Published in Camden, South Carolina, 1822-1842, Salt Lake City, UT: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1975.
  12. McNaughton, Carol P., Kershaw, South Carolina and Surrounding Area: Abstracts from the Kershaw Era and the Camden Chronicle, 1913-1920, Kershaw, SC: C.P. McNaughton, 2001.