Prince William Parish, South Carolina

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United States Gotoarrow.png South Carolina Gotoarrow.png Prince William Parish

Before the American Revolution, the state church of South Carolina was the Church of England (also called the Anglican Church, and later the Protestant Episcopal Church). Besides keeping parish registers, the church kept many records of a civil nature in their vestry books. South Carolina's "Anglican parishes were also used as election districts and had responsibility for road development, care of the poor, and education."[1]



Prince William Parish (near Sheldon, Beaufort, SC) was created in 1745 from the northwest side of St. Helena's Parish, part of Granville County.[2]


Prince William's Parish served: Beaufort County, South Carolina. It was also known as Old Sheldon Church. It was burned in the Revolutionary War and then again in the Civil War.


Research Guides


Many of the old parish church's graves are described at Find A Grave.

Members of the DAR did a survey of Sheldon Church Cemetery:

  • National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution. Cemetery Records of South Carolina. Typescript. FHL Book 975.7 A1 no. 11. [Includes Sheldon Church Cemetery, Prince William's Parish, Beaufort County.]


  • Bowers, Gloria Cook Jones. Southern Cousins: Cook, Fennell, and Related Families of Prince William's Parish, South Carolina. Varnville, S.C.: G. Bowers, 1991. FHL Collection 929.273 C771bg

Parish History

For an early history of the parish, see Chapter 23, Prince William's Parish, pages 382-384, in:

  • Dalcho, Frederick. An Historical Account of the Protestant Episcopal Church in South Carolina from the First Settlement of the Province, to the War of the Revolution; with Notices of the Present State of the Church in Each Parish and Some Account of the Early Civil History of Carolina, Never Before Published. Charleston: E. Thayer, 1820. FHL Film 22657; digital versions at Google Books; Internet Archive.
  • Todd, John Reynard and Francis Marion Huston. Prince William's Parish and Plantations. Richmond, Va.: Garrett & Massie, 1935. FHL Book 975.79 H2t

Parish Records

Parish Registers

The original parish registers of Sheldon Church are kept at ... Abstracts:

  • deTreville, Marie and William L. Glover. "Registers of Sheldon Church, Prince William's Parish, 1826-1947," The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 56, No. 3 (Jul. 1955):151-156; Vol. 56, No. 4 (Oct. 1955):226-228; Vol. 57, No. 1 (Jan. 1956):51-53; Vol. 57, No. 2 (Apr. 1956):103-106; Vol. 57, No. 3 (Jul. 1956):179-181. Digital versions at JSTOR ($).
  • Sheldon Church, Prince Williams Parish, Beaufort, South Carolina Births or Christenings 1825-1873. FHL Books 975.7 B2s v. 56-57; Index: FHL Film 821 Item 15; also indexed in the IGI
  • Sheldon Church, Prince Williams Parish, Beaufort, South Carolina Marriages 1826-1876. FHL Book 975.7 B2s v. 57; Index: FHL Collection; also indexed in the IGI


Wikipedia has more about this subject: Old Sheldon Church Ruins


  1. "The Formation of Counties in South Carolina," at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History website, accessed 21 January 2011.
  2. "South Carolina Counties and Parishes 1750" [map] in Carolana at (accessed 20 May 2011).