Answered By: Margaret Dunlap
Last Updated: Oct 11, 2017     Views: 89

Here is a brief explanation of the history of the formation of counties in South Carolina. 

  • 1682: Creation of 3 original Counties, Berkeley, Colleton, Craven
  • 1706: Counties divided into Parishes
  • 1769: Creation of 7 judicial districts: Beaufort, Camden, Charleston, Cheraws,   Georgetown, Ninety-Six and Orangeburg 
  • 1785: Judicial districts divided into 34 Counties 
  • 1791: Judicial districts reformed and expanded to include Pinckney and Washington
  • 1800: Legislature creates 20 judicial districts (eliminating and redefining older   districts) including Abbeville, Barnwell, Chester, Chesterfield, Colleton, Darlington, Edgefield, Fairfield, Greenville, Kershaw, Lancaster, Laurens, Marion, Marlboro, Newberry, Pendleton, Spartanburg, Sumter, Union, York
  • 1868: All judicial districts converted into counties by new state constitution.   Counties assumed functions of local government from both judicial districts and parishes.

 A table outlining the formation of all modern counties is available on the library's website here. This is a helpful tool for historians and genealogists conducting research through country records.

 Source: Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. South Carolina. John H. Long, editor. Copyright 1997. Available in Local History