St. Michaels Parish, South Carolina
Before the American Revolution, the state church of South Carolina was the Church of England (the Anglican Church, or Protestant Episcopal Church). Besides keeping parish registers, the church kept many records of a civil nature in their vestry books. The Vestry was as much a political body as a religious one. The wardens and commissioners were responsible for the roads, education, the poor and orphans, voting and collecting taxes in addition to their church duties.
St. Michael's Parish (Charleston, Charleston, SC) was created in 1751 in Berkeley (1682-1768) County.
Areas Served: St. Michael's Parish served:
Modern equivalents: The original parish covered most of what are present-day
- South Carolina Archives Summary Guide: St. Philip's and St. Michael's Parishes, available online, courtesy: South Carolina Department of Archives and History.
- Jervey, Clare. Inscriptions on the Tablets and Gravestones in St. Michael's Church and Churchyard, Charleston, S.C. To Which is Added from the Church Records a List of Interments of Persons to Whom There are No Stones. Columbia, S.C.: The State Company, Publishers, 1906. Digital version at Google Books.
More than 600 of the cemetery's graves are described at Find A Grave. Includes transcripts and select photographs.
For an early history of the parish, see Chapter 4, St. Michael's Church, pages 165-243, 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.
Beesley's guide is on Ancestry:
- Beesley, Charles Norbury. Beesley's Illustrated Guide to St. Michael's Church, Charleston, S.C. Charleston, S.C.: Presses of Southern Print. & Pub. Co., c1939. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
- Williams, George W. St. Michael's, Charleston, 1751-1951. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1951. FHL Book 975.7915 K2w
A variety of records were kept about St. Michael's Parish, including: list of pew holders, minutes, accounts, and burials. They were still held at the church in 1952. Copies: FHL Films 22742 Item 10, 22743 Items 4-5. Some of the records have been abstracted:
- The Minutes of St. Michael's Church of Charleston, S.C., from 1758-1797. Abstracted by South Carolina Society of Colonial Dames of America, Historical Activities Committee. FHL Book 975.791/C1 K2c
- St. Michael's Church - The Historic Church located in Charleston, SC (official site)
- St. Michael's Episcopal Church Marker, The Historical Marker Database
- St. Philip's Parish Church was later rebuilt a few blocks away.
- "The Formation of Counties in South Carolina," at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History website, accessed 21 January 2011.