Berkeley County, South Carolina Genealogy

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Guide to Berkeley County, South Carolina ancestry, family history and genealogy court records, deeds, maps, immigration, maps, military records, newspapers, obituaries, plantations, probate records, slaves, local archives, libraries, museums, churches, cemeteries, and Civil War records.


Berkeley County, South Carolina
Map of South Carolina highlighting Berkeley 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 January 31, 1882
County Seat Moncks Corner

Cypress Garden, Berkeley County, South Carolina.jpg

County Information[edit | edit source]

Berkeley County, South Carolina Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Berkeley County's civil records start the following years:

Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1915 1911 1915 1900 1870 1783

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Berkeley Courthouse

Berkeley County Courthouse
223 North Live Oak Drive
Moncks Corner, SC 29461-2331
Phone: 843-761-6900

Berkeley County Probate Court
300 California Avenue
Moncks Corner, SC 29461
Phone: 843-719-4519

Register of Deeds
1003 Highway 52
Moncks Corner, SC 29461-6120
Phone: 843-719-4084

Clerk of Courts
300-BCalifornia Ave.
Moncks Corner, SC 29461
Phone: 843-719-4400

9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday

Historical Facts[edit | edit source]

Modern Berkeley County created in 1882 is not to be confused with the two previously extinct counties of the same name.

Berkeley County was named for Lord Proprieters of South Carolina Lord John Berkeley and Sir William Berkeley.[1] Berkeley County has existed as three incarnations. It was created as one of the original South Carolina counties in 1682. At the time, all formal business was conducted in Charles Town and the counties were used to locate property. The original Berkeley County was abolished in 1768 after the District Court Act was passed. A second incarnation of Berkely County was created within Charleston District with the passage of the 1785 County Court Act but never became functional and was abolished in 1798. The present day Berkeley County (with boundaries similar to the original Berkeley County) was established in 1882.[2] Learn more about the history of Berkeley County from the South Carolina State Library or from

Parent County/Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

For more information as well as maps of Berkeley County through time, see the South Carolina State Archives or For animated maps illustrating South Carolina county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation South Carolina County Boundary Maps" (1682-1987) may be viewed for free at the website.

County Seat[edit | edit source]

The county seat of Berkeley County is Moncks Corner.

County Pronunciation[edit | edit source]

Hear it spoken.[3]

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Places/Localities[edit | edit source]

Template:Berkeley County, South Carolina 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.

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

Resources[edit | edit source]

Berkeley Courthouse

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

African Americans[edit | edit source]

Gotoarrow.pngBerkeley County, South Carolina African Americans

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county Family History Library
SCGenWeb WorldCat Billion Graves
Tombstone Project
Billion Graves
See South Carolina Cemeteries for more information.

Census[edit | edit source]

Federal[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1890 55,428
1900 30,454 −45.1%
1910 23,487 −22.9%
1920 22,558 −4.0%
1930 22,236 −1.4%
1940 27,128 22.0%
1950 30,251 11.5%
1960 38,196 26.3%
1970 56,199 47.1%
1980 94,727 68.6%
1990 128,776 35.9%
2000 142,651 10.8%
Source: "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau.

1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 federal population schedules of Berkeley 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 Records[edit | edit source]

Berkeley County Churches identifies dozens of churches in the area, courtesy: South Carolina Genealogical Society.

For documents of people who lived in this area from 1706 to 1785, look in:[4]

Court Records[edit | edit source]

DNA[edit | edit source]

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

Genealogy[edit | edit source]

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

Historic Residences[edit | edit source]

  • Lees, William B. "The Historical Development of Limerick Plantation, a Tidewater Rice Plantation in Berkeley County, South Carolina, 1683-1945," The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 82, No. 1 (Jan., 1981), pp. 44-62. Digital version at JSTOR ($).

History[edit | edit source]

  • Bridges, Anne B. St. James Santee Plantation Parish [South Carolina]: History & Records, 1685-1925 ( Spartanburg, South Carolina: The Reprint Co., c1997 ), 541 pages. Civil War pages 195-227. Includes church records for St. James Santee, 1758-1788 (Church of England); previously unpublished records, 1846-1921 (assumed to be Episcopalian). Also includes cemetery records for the church and lists of French and Swiss refugees and inhabitants. The old parish existed in today's Charleston and Berkeley counties. Book found at FHL 975.79 H2bWorldCat 35646490
  • Dubose, Samuel, and Frederick A. Porcher. A Contribution to the History of the Huguenots of South Carolina, Consisting of Pamphlets ([S.l.]: T. Gaillard Thomas, c1972), 48 pages. Historical sketches of the Huguenot families which settled in the alluvial regions within fifty miles of Charleston. FHL book at FHL 975.7 F2dWorldCat 70262880. Digital copies at Google Books and Internet Archives.
  • Easterby, James H. Wadboo Barony: Its Fate as Told in Colleton Family Papers, 1773-1793 (Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press, c1952), 684 pages. The barony was located in today's Berkeley County, South Carolina. Book at FHLWorldCat 1854693.
  • Orvin, Maxwell Clayton. Monck's Corner, Berkeley County, South Carolina. Charleston, S.C.?: unknown, 1950. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Stockton, Robert P. Historic Resources of Berkeley County, South Carolina (Moncks Corner, South Carolina: Berkeley County Historical Society, South Carolina, c1990 ), 71 pages. This work is based on the Berkeley County Architectural and Historical Inventory completed before Hurricane Hugo. Includes descriptions and photos of historical sites. Book found at FHL 975.793 J7hWorldCat 49496986.

Land[edit | edit source]

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 shows where you may best expect to find land records for Berkeley County:

Tracing Land Currently in Berkeley County with Parent Counties and Districts[5]
Date Government Office  
1882-present Berkeley County
1868-1882 Charleston County
1785-1800 Washington County
1710-1868 Charleston District
1670-1710 Proprietary Land Grants
  • Plats For State Land Grants 1784-1868 For information about the State Land Grants, see State Land Grants
  • Chapman, Charles S. A Working Plan for Forest Lands in Berkeley County, South Carolina. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1905. Digital version at Google Books.

Maps[edit | edit source]

Migration[edit | edit source]

Early migration routes to and from Berkeley County for European settlers included:[6]

Military[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War[edit | edit source]

  • "Pee Dee supplies for the siege of Charleston, 1780," Darlington Flag, Fall 2006, Volume 18, Issue 4. Old Darlington District Chapter, South Carolina Genealogical Society: Hartsville, SC.
  • "Battle of the Great Cane Brake on the Reedy River, 1775," Greenville County Historical Society Proceedings and Papers, 2005, Volume 12. Greenville County Historical Society: Greenville, SC.
  • "Elizabeth Jackson, Waxham women aid Revolutionary soldiers, Charleston, 1781," Chester District Genealogical Society Bulletin, March 2003, Volume 27, Issue 1. Chester County Genealogical Society: Richburg, SC. FHL Book 975.74 D25b, Film 2416428, 2406014, 2416420, 2435185, 1709620.
  • "Rebel prisoners from Charleston, 1780," Ancient City Genealogist, February 2002, Volume 13, Issue 1. St. Augustine Genealogical Society: St. Augustine, Florida.
  • "Nathanael Greene's troops attack British, 1781," St. Lucie River Whig, Summer 2000, Volume 8, Issue 3. St. Lucie River Chapter: Lucie, Florida.
  • "Dorchester its mystery fort," Americana, April 1933, Volume 27, Issue 2. American Historical Society: Somerville, New Jersey. FHL Book 973 B2a

War of 1812[edit | edit source]

  • 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 Book 973 M2Lp v. 5; digital versions at Google Books and Internet Archive. See Vol. 5, South Carolina, Berkeley County, p. 182. Identifies War of 1812 veterans living in this county in 1883.

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Online Records

Regiments.Berkeley County did not exist during the Civil War. Present day Berkeley County was created 31 January 1882 from Charleston County. During the Civil War, men from the area of Berkeley County mostly would have served in various regiments recruited in Charleston County. Counties were called districts during the Civil War.

Other Resources

  • Bridges, Anne B. St. James Santee Plantation Parish [South Carolina]: History & Records, 1685-1925 ( Spartanburg, South Carolina: The Reprint Co., c1997 ), 541 pages. Civil War pages 195-227. Includes church records for St. James Santee, 1758-1788 (Church of England); previously unpublished records, 1846-1921 (assumed to be Episcopalian). Also includes cemetery records for the church and lists of French & Swiss refugees & inhabitants. The old parish existed in today's Charleston & Berkeley counties. FHL 975.79 H2bWorldCat 35646490.
  • Jervey, Susan Revenel and Revenel, Charlotte St. Julien. Diaries of '65: journals kept by Miss Susan Ravenal Jervey of Northampton Plantation and Miss Charlotte St. Julien Ravenel of Pooshee Plantation. (Johns Island, South Carolina: Philip L. Bradley, 1994). Title of original: Two diaries: from middle St. John's Berkeley, South Carolina, February-May, 1865. FHL Book 975.7 H29d.

Newspapers[edit | edit source]


The Library of Congress has identified the following historic newspapers for Berkeley 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.


Periodicals[edit | edit source]

See: Periodicals for description.

Probate[edit | edit source]

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.”[7] 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.

  • Coldham, Peter Wilson. North American Wills Registered in London 1611-1857. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 2007. FHL Book 942 P27c 2007 [Includes wills of residents of Christ Church Parish, St. John's Parish, and Berkeley County proved in London, see place-name index. These records often help establish an immigrant's place of origin.]
  • Abstracts of Wills of Charleston District, South Carolina and other wills recorded in the districts, 1783-1800. By Caroline T. Moore. FHL Book 975.79 S2m Includes index.

Online Probate Records

Taxation[edit | edit source]

Tax-related records are kept by the offices of the county Assessor, Auditor, Sheriff, and Treasurer. Taxes were levied on real and personal property and can help establish ages, residences, relationships, and the year an individual died or left the area. They can be used as substitutes for missing or destroyed land and census records.

  • South Carolina Department of Archives and History tax lists for Berkeley County.

Published abstracts

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

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.

Birth[edit | edit source]

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 Berkeley 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.

Births and Birth Substitutes- Indexes

Marriage[edit | edit source]

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 Berkeley 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

Death[edit | edit source]

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 Berkeley 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

Societies, Libraries and Museums[edit | edit source]

Archives and Libraries[edit | edit source]

Berkeley County Library System
The Berkley County Library System comprises six libraries of Berkeley County, South Carolina. The main branch in the system is at Moncks Corner.  The Berkeley County Library System is on Facebook and it has a blog.

  • Moncks Corner Library
    PO Box 1239
    1003 Hwy. 52
    Moncks Corner, SC 29461
    Telephone: (843) 719-4223
    Fax: (843) 719-4226
    The main collection of genealogical and historical materials is housed in the South Carolina Room of the Moncks Corner library. Some of their holdings include microfilm, microfiche, or book collections
    such as:
    - Death Certificates of South Carolina 1915-1960;
    - Census: Mortality Schedules for South Carolina counties-1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, Census of the United States 1790-1930 (Local Districts/Berkeley County Parishes/Counties), plus the Soundex to the 1930 Census for South Carolina;
    - Newspapers: Berkeley Democrat 27 Sept 1928 - 3 Jan 1990 (no issues available for 1966-1968), Berkeley Independent 21 Oct 1987 - 25 Sept 2002 (Note: Hard copies of the Berkeley Independent (past - present) are available in our General Ref. area- W.P.A. Tombstone Inscriptions, South Carolina Historical Society-- 1930s W.P.A. Inventories of Church Archives (Berkeley County)
    - Histories about Moncks Corner//Berkeley County and other areas in South Carolina
    - Genealogical Magazines
    - Some family histories
    - Cemetery Inscriptions Books (Local)
  • Daniel Island Library
    2301 Daniel Island Drive
    Daniel Island, South Carolina 29492
  • Sangaree Library
    595 Sangaree Parkway
    Summerville, South Carolina 29483
  • Goose Creek Library
    325 Old Moncks Corner Road
    Goose Creek, SC 29445
  • Hanahan Library
    1274 Yeamans Hall Road
    Hanahan, South Carolina 29406
  • Saint Stephen Library
    1104 S. Main Street
    Saint Stephen, South Carolina 29479

Berkeley is located near Charleston City and County which has additional libraries with rich genealogical and historical resources.

  • Berkeley Museum
    950 Stony Landing Road
    Moncks Corner, South Carolina 29461-2944
    (843) 899-5101

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family history centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes. See family history center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.

319 West Main St
Moncks Corner, Berkeley, South Carolina, United States
Phone: 843-761-8671
Hours: W-Th 6pm-9pm; Sat 10am-2pm

Websites[edit | edit source]

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

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Workers of the Writers' Program of the Works Projects Administration in the State of South Carolina, Palmetto Place Names (The Reprint Company: Spartanburg, S.C., 1975) 12.
  2. "Berkeley County"
  3. Voice of Phillip Stalvey, resident of Myrtle Beach, S.C. (2011).
  4. "South Carolina Districts and Parishes 1775" [map] in Carolana at (accessed 23 June 2011).
  5. Schweitzer, George K. , South Carolina Genealogical Research (Knoxville, Tennessee: s.p. 1985), 39-42, FHL book 975.7 D27s
  6. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 847-61. (FHL Book 973 D27e 2002) ▲ WorldCat 50140092, 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 1523234.
  7. Henry Campbell Black, Black's Law Dictionary, 5th ed. (St. Paul, Minnesota: West Publishing Co., 1979), 1081, "probate."
  8. Mary Bondurant Warren, Citizens and Immigrants--South Carolina, 1768 (Athens, Ga.: Heritage Papers, 1994). Quit Rent begins on page 255.
  9. St. Thomas Parish Register, South Carolina, 1680-1884 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2000. Original data: The Annals and Parish Register of St. Thomas and St. Denis Parish, in South Carolina, from 1680 to 1884. Columbia, SC, USA: Walker, Evans and Cogswell, 1884.
  10. St. Thomas Parish Register, South Carolina, 1680-1884 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2000. Original data: The Annals and Parish Register of St. Thomas and St. Denis Parish, in South Carolina, from 1680 to 1884. Columbia, SC, USA: Walker, Evans and Cogswell, 1884.
  11. St. Thomas Parish Register, South Carolina, 1680-1884 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2000. Original data: The Annals and Parish Register of St. Thomas and St. Denis Parish, in South Carolina, from 1680 to 1884. Columbia, SC, USA: Walker, Evans and Cogswell, 1884.