Beaufort County, South Carolina Genealogy

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Guide to Beaufort County, South Carolina Genealogy 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.

  • From 1800 to 1868 this Beaufort County was also known by the alias of Beaufort District.
  • Not to be confused with the overarching Beaufort District 1768-1800.

County in South Carolina Lowcountry.

Beaufort County, South Carolina
Map of South Carolina highlighting Beaufort County
Location in the state of South Carolina, United States Genealogy
Map of the U.S. highlighting South Carolina
Location of South Carolina in the U.S.
Founded 1769
County Seat Beaufort

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County is located in the southwest area of the state.[1]

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

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Marriage Court Land Probate Census
1915 1911 1915 1865 1865 1865 1790
*Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1915. General compliance by 1918.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Beaufort Courthouse

Beaufort County Courthouse
1501 Bay Street
Beaufort, SC 29902
Phone: 843-521-2088

Beaufort County Probate Judge
P.O. Box 1083
Beaufort, SC 29901-1083
Phone: 843-255-5850
Hours: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Marriage and Probate records.

Register of Deeds
100 Ribaut Rd. Rm. 205
Beaufort, SC 29901
Phone: 843-255-2555
Hours: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Land records

Clerk of Court
102 Ribaut Rd. Rm. 208
Beaufort, SC 29902-4453
Phone: 843-255-5057
Court records

History[edit | edit source]

The county was named for Henry Somerset, second Duke of Beaufort (1684-1714), one of the Lord Proprietors of South Carolina. Beaufort was once home to a both a French Fort (built 1562) and a Spanish fort (built 1566), neither of which survived.[3] Learn more about the history of Beaufort County from the South Carolina State Library or from

Parent County/Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

  • 1768 - Beaufort District was established from Prince William, St. Lukes, St. Helenas, and St. Peters Parishes.
  • 1785 - Beaufort divided into Granville, Hilton, Lincoln, and Shrewsbury Counties, which never became functional.[4]
  • 1800 - Non-functional counties of Granville, Hilton, Lincoln, and Shrewsbury were abolished. Beaufort District re-established.
  • 1868 - Beaufort and all other districts became counties.
  • 1878 - Hampton created from Beaufort County.
  • 1912 - Jasper created from Hampton and Beaufort counties.

For more information as well as maps of Beaufort 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 Beaufort County is Beaufort, which was founded in 1710.[5]

County Pronunciation[edit | edit source]

Hear it spoken.[6]

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

Beaufort suffered a major loss in February 1865 after records had been removed to Columbia for safety and subsequent losses during Reconstruction. Deed books in particular have suffered heavy losses.

Places/Localities[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[7]

Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places
Historic communities

Resources[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

African Americans[edit | edit source]

Gotoarrow.pngBeaufort County, South Carolina African Americans

For a list of known plantations see: South Carolina Plantations.

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

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

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1790 18,753
1800 20,428 8.9%
1810 25,887 26.7%
1820 32,199 24.4%
1830 37,032 15.0%
1840 35,794 −3.3%
1850 38,805 8.4%
1860 40,053 3.2%
1870 34,359 −14.2%
1880 30,176 −12.2%
1890 34,119 13.1%
1900 35,495 4.0%
1910 30,355 −14.5%
1920 22,269 −26.6%
1930 21,815 −2.0%
1940 22,037 1.0%
1950 26,993 22.5%
1960 44,187 63.7%
1970 51,136 15.7%
1980 65,364 27.8%
1990 86,426 32.2%
2000 120,937 39.9%
2010 162,233 34.1%
Source: "".

1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 federal population schedules of Beaufort 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 Beaufort County, SC census assignments, including links to transcribed files The USGenWeb Census Project®

1790[edit | edit source]
  • Jarrell, Lawrence E. Early Beaufort South Carolina Census. High Point, N.C.: Alligator Creek Genealogy Publications, 1998. FHL Collection 975.79 X2jL
1800[edit | edit source]
  • Jarrell, Lawrence E. Early Beaufort South Carolina Census. High Point, N.C.: Alligator Creek Genealogy Publications, 1998. FHL Collection 975.79 X2jL
1810[edit | edit source]
  • Jarrell, Lawrence E. Early Beaufort South Carolina Census. High Point, N.C.: Alligator Creek Genealogy Publications, 1998. FHL Collection 975.79 X2jL
1820[edit | edit source]
  • Jarrell, Lawrence E. 1820 Beaufort District, South Carolina Census. High Point, N.C.: Alligator Creek Genealogy Publications, 1998. FHL Collection 975.799 X2j 1820
1839[edit | edit source]
  • "The 1839 State Census of Beaufort District," The South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, Vol. 36, No. 3 (Summer 2008):139-143; Vol. 36, No. 4 (Fall 2008):193-195; Vol. 37, No. 1 (Winter 2009):29-31; Vol. 37, No. 2 (Spring 2009):89-91; Vol. 38, No. 2 (Spring 2009):89-91. FHL Books 975.7 B2sc v. 36-v. 38 Abstract of SCDAH microfilm CN 656B.
1850[edit | edit source]
  • Caldwell, Betsy McIntosh, Ann Kirkland Laffitte, and Lucy Keating Cobb. The 1850 Census of St. Luke's Parish, Beaufort County, South Carolina. Bluffton, S.C.: Bluffton Historical Preservation Society, 1984. FHL Collection 975.799 X2c 1850
  • Jarrell, Lawrence E. 1850 Beaufort District, South Carolina Census Complete Transcription of the Free Schedule, U.S. Federal Census; Current Counties of Beaufort, Hampton, Jasper and Parts of Allendale, South Carolina. High Point, N.C.: Alligator Creek Genealogy Publications, 2000. FHL Collection 975.799 X2j 1850

Church Records[edit | edit source]

For documents of early residents in this area, look in:[8]

The following Beaufort County church records have been indexed on the International Genealogical Index:[9]

Church Baptisms Batch Marriages Batch
Prince William's Parish (Sheldon Church) 1825-1873 C506571 1826-1876 M506571
St. Helena's Parish 1683-1822 C506581 1683-1822 M506581
Stoney Creek (Independent Congregational Church) 1744-1756 C506591 1744-1756 M506591

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court[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]

  • [Albergotti] Albergotti, William Greer. The Chronicles of the Albergotti Family in the Colony of South Carolina, 1732-1776, the State of South Carolina, 1776-1978. Anderson, S.C.: W.G. Albergotti, 1979. FHL Collection 929.273 AL14aw
  • [Bedon] Bedon Family. No publication information. FHL Collection 929.273 B391bed
  • [Black] D.A.R. Charlevoix Chapter (Blytheville, Arkansas). Black: Transcript of Bible Records, 1798-1962. FHL Collection 929.273 B561bLa
  • [Box] Koonce, Herbert F. Paternal Genealogy of the Box Family. [Ala.?]: H.F. Koonce, 1971. FHL Collection 1027881 Item 2
  • [Bradley] Drake, Charles E.F. "Benoni Bradley of Beaufort: A Connecticut Yankee in the Low Country," The South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Reseach, Vol. 33, No. 3 (Summer 2005):127-132. FHL Book 975.7 B2sc v. 33
  • [Breler] Slaymaker, Susan Clark. The Ancestry of Susan Clark Slaymaker Anderson, Aultman, Beattle, Bellote, Blount, Breland, Bryant, Calcoat, Carruth, Clark, Cowan, Credille, Crenshaw, Durant, Earnest, Eldridge, Floyd, Franklin, Johnson, Kelly, Kirland, Kittrell, McKee, Morris, Odom, Osborne, Ousley, Perry, Pipkin, Powell, Rowland, Savell, Slocumb, Steen, Thompson, Waller, Willis/Willix, Wilson. Gold River, Calif.: S.C. Slaymaker, 1988. FHL Collection 929.273 A1 no. 2312
  • [Breler] Slaymaker, Susan Clark. Southern Born and Southern Bred Family Group Sheets of the Anderson Altman/Aultman, Beatty, Bellote, Blout, Breland/Brealer, Bryant, Carruth, Clark, Cocke, Earnest, Floyd, Franklin, Gulley/Gully, Harris, Hart, Hinnant, Hodges, Hooks, Houston, Johnson, Kirkland, Kittrell, Odom, Osborne, Ousley/Owsley, Perry, Sanders/Saunders, Savell, Slocumb, Steen, Tully, Waller, West, Willis/Willix, Wilson : ancestors of Susan Clark Slaymaker. Gold River, Calif.: S.C. Slaymaker, 1990. FHL Collection 6334341; 1991 Supplement: FHL Collection 6334444
  • [Cole] Long, Mary Cole Farrow. Stranger in a Strange Land, from Beaufort, South Carolina, to Galveston Island, Republic of Texas, a Biography of Judge James Pope Cole (1814- 1886). Belton, Texas: Bear Hollow Publishers, 1986. FHL 921.73 C675L
  • [DeLoach] DeLoach, Harry R. DeLoach Families, 1630-1980 William, William I, William II, Hardy: Descendants of Hardy DeLoach, First DeLoach Settler in Georgia. Claxton, Ga.: H.R. DeLoach, 1981. FHL Collection 929.273 D382d
  • [Dixon] Mann, Jean Anne Dixon. Dixon: A Pioneer Family in Florida. Fernandina Beach, Fla.: J.D. Mann, 1992. FHL Collection 929.273 D643m
  • [Donehue] Andrea, Leonardo. Donehue. Typescript, 1949. FHL Collection 1033991 Item 33
  • [Durling] Durling, Fred Albert. Durling - Rohrmoser Pedigrees, 1628-1972. Typescript. Microfilmed 1983. FHL Collection 6018729; Spanish version: FHL Collection 929.27287 D935d
  • [Durling] Durling, Fred Albert. Genealogy and History of the Durling Family in the United States and Panama. Typescript. 1983-1988. FHL Collection 1033938 Item 30; revised edition: 1320635 Item 37, revised edition (1988): 1320836 Item 7
  • [Heyward] Leach, Frank Willing. "Thomas Heyward, Jr., 1745-1809," Genealogy of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence, Vol. 20 (year):6047-6185. FHL Collection 1756
  • [Hogg] Howard, John Webb. Record of the Hogg and Howard Families of St. Luke's Parish, Beaufort District, South Carolina. MSS., South Carolina Historical Society, Charleston, S.C. FHL 22795 Item 5
  • [Howard] Howard, John Webb. Record of the Hogg and Howard Families of St. Luke's Parish, Beaufort District, South Carolina. MSS., South Carolina Historical Society, Charleston, S.C. FHL 22795 Item 5
  • [Jenkins] Webber, Mabel L. "Descendants of John Jenkins, of St. John's Colleton," The South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine, Vol. 20, No. 4 (Oct., 1919), pp. 223-251. Digital version at JSTOR ($).
  • [Lamar] Lamar, William Harmong, "Thomas Lamar of the Province of Maryland, and a Part of His Descendants," Publications of the Southern History Association, Vol. 1, No. 3 (Jul. 1897):203-210. Digitized by Internet Archive.
  • [Lendegreen] "Sweat Family Bible Records, 1806-1865." FHL Collection 376973 Item 11
  • [Lendegreen] "Sweat Family Bible Records, 1764-1871." FHL Collection 203240 Item 3
  • [Norton] "Norton Family Bible Records, ca. 1783-1881." FHL Collection 203240 Item 3
  • [Redding] Dewees, Mary Adelaide Redding. Record of the Descendants of George Redding and Elizabeth Holdcombe Redding. Oak Hill, Fla.: M.A.R. Dewees, 1984. FHL Collection 929.273 R248d
  • [Robert] Stafford, George Mason Graham. Three Pioneer Rapides Families: A Genealogy. New Orleans, La.: Pelican Pub. Co., 1946. FHL Collection 929.273 R541sg
  • [Smalls] Billingsley, Andrew. Yearning to Breathe Free: Robert Smalls of South Carolina and His Families. Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 2007. FHL Collection 921.73 Sm18b
  • [Smart] Davis, Johnna Josey. From Coosawhatchie to Liberty: The Descendants of Reverend James Smart and Levi Long. Knoxville, Tenn.: Tennessee Valley Pub., 1995. FHL Collection 929.273 Sm27d
  • [Stoney] Stoney, William Shannon. Genealogy of the Stoney Family. n.p.: W.S. Stoney, 1932. FHL Collection 929490
  • [Tanner] Stafford, George Mason Graham. Three Pioneer Rapides Families: A Genealogy. New Orleans, La.: Pelican Pub. Co., 1946. FHL Collection 929.273 R541sg
  • [Tattnall] Smith, D.E. Huger. "An Account of the Tattnall and Fenwick Families of South Carolina," South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine, Vol. 14, No. 1 (1913). FHL Collection 1465567 Item 2
  • [Thomson] "A Thomson Genealogy," The South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, Vol. 28, No. 3 (Summer 2000):123-136; Vol. 28, No. 4 (Fall 2000):186-191; Vol. 29, No. 1 (Winter 2001):25-38. FHL Book 975.7 B2sc v. 28-29
  • [Tillman] Lowther, Luella. Tillman. Visalia, Calif.: L. Lowther, 1991. FHL Collection 929.273 T466LL.
  • [Tuten] Holland, Mary Ketus Dean and Allen Vernon Tuten. The Tutten Family. 3 vols. 1980. FHL Collection 1035971 Item 4
  • [Ulmer] Ulmer, Lawrence H. and Marsha Lee Ulmer. Our Ulmer Heritage. Hemingway, S.C.: Three Rivers, [1996]. FHL Collection 929.273 UL5u
  • [Warnell] Hargrett, Felix. The Warnell Family of Liberty County, Georgia a Sketch: With Notices of the Allied Families, Smart and Stubbs. Athens, Ga.: F. Hargrett, 1984. FHL Collection 929.273 A1 no. 4431
  • [Wigg] Elvey, Gerald. The Wigg Family. Chichester, England: Phillimore, 1989. FHL Collection 929.273 W638wi
  • [Wilder] Wilder Family: Notable Careers of Captain E.B. Wilder and and William H. Wilder. Typescript. Microfilmed 2001. FHL Collection 1425343 Item 37

Historic Residences[edit | edit source]

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 show where you may best expect to find land records for Beaufort County:

Tracing Land Currently in Beaufort County with Parent Counties and Districts [10]
Date Government Office  
1868-present Beaufort County
1865-1868 Beaufort District
1769-1865 Records Lost *
1710-1769 Charleston District
1670-1710 Proprietary Land Grants

* Beaufort District records destroyed by fire

  • Plats For State Land Grants 1784-1868 For information about the State Land Grants, see State Land Grants
  • Sherrard, Thomas H. A Working Plan for Forest Lands in Hampton and Beaufort Counties, South Carolina. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1903. Digital version at Google Books.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

  • Dabbs, Edith M.  Sea Island Diary : a History of St. Helena Island   (Spartanburg, South Carolina : Reprint, 1983, c1983), 285 pages. History of Penn School and St. Helena Island, showing the inseparably interwoven heritage of blacks and whites together. Book at FHL 975.799 H2d and Other Libraries
  • Johnson, Guion Griffis.  A Social History of the Sea Islands With Special Reference to St. Helena Island, South Carolina   (New York, New York : Negro Universities Press, 1969), 245 pages. Sea Islands during the Federal Occupation throughout the Civil War and Negro culture on St. Helena Island. Book at FHL 975.799 H2j and Other Libraries
  • Marscher, Fran Heyward.  Remembering the Way it was : at Hilton Head, Bluffton, and Daufuskie  (Charleston, South Carolina : The History Press, c2005-c2007), 190 pages. A collection of oral histories. Book at 975.799 H2m v.1 and Other Libraries.
  • Marscher, Fran Heyward. Remembering the Way it was : at Beaufort, Sheldon and the Sea Islands  (Charleston, South Carolina : The History Press, c2006), 126 pages. A collection of oral histories. Book at FHL 975.799 H2mf and Other Libaries
  • Pearson, Elizabeth Ware.  Letters from Port Royal, 1862-1868   (New York, New York : Arno Press, Inc., 1969), 345 pages. Letters from Port Royal written at the time of the Civil War. Experiment in freedom for 10,000 slaves. Book at FHL 975.799 F2L , Other Libraries
  • Rowland, Lawrence S.  The History of Beaufort County, South Carolina  (Columbia, South Carolina : University of S.C., c1996), 521 pages. Three historians of the Palmetto State recount more that three centuries of Spanish and French exploration, English and Huguenot agriculture and African slave labor. Book (Vol.1) at FHL 975.799 H2rand Other Libraries.
  • Smith, Henry A.M. "Beaufort: The Original Plan and the Earliest Settlers," The South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine, Vol. 9, No. 3 (Jul. 1908):141-160. FHL Collection 975.7 B2s v. 9 (1908); digital version at JSTOR ($).
  • Todd, John Reynard and Francis Marion Huston.  Prince William's Parish and Plantations (Richmond [Virginia] : Garrett & Massie, c1935), 265 pages. This book portrays the physical development & transition of the Prince William's Parish section of South Carolina from the earliest days to the present and to preserve the old records. Book at 975.799 H2m v.1 Other Libraries

Maps[edit | edit source]

Hampton CountyColleton CountyJasper CountySC BEAUFORT.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Early migration routes to and from Beaufort County for European settlers included:[11]

Military[edit | edit source]


  • "Court-martial at Black Mingo for neglect of military duty, 1809," Three Rivers Chronicle, Summer 2004, Volume 25, Issue 2. Three Rivers Historical Society : Hemingway, SC.
  • "Charlesfort revisited," Huguenot Society of South Carolina Transactions, 1985, Volume 26, Issue 90. Huguenot Society of North Carolina : Charleston, SC. FHL Collection Book 975.7 C4h
  • "Port Royal Sound, French and Spanish forts," Huguenot Society of South Carolina Transactions, 1936, Volume 7, Issue 41. Huguenot Society of South Carolina : Charleston, SC.FHL Collection Book 975.7 C4h
  • "Charles fort, Parris Island, dedication," Huguenot Society of South Carolina Transactions, 1926, Volume 5, Issue 31. Huguenot Society of South Carolina : Charleston, SC.FHL Collection Book 975.7 C4h
  • "Charles fort, Parris Island, 1562," Huguenot Society of South Carolina Transactions, 1924, Volume 5, Issue 29. Huguenot Society of South Carolina : Charleston, SC.FHL Collection Book 975.7 C4h
  • "Ribaults Fort," Huguenot Society of South Carolina Transactions, 1907, Volume 2, Issue 14. Huguenot Society of South Carolina : Charleston, SC.FHL Collection Book 975.7 C4h
Revolutionary War[edit | edit source]
  • Barnwell, Robert. An Oration, Delivered before the Philomathean Society and Inhabitants of Beaufort, South Carolina, on Monday, July 4, 1803, In Commemoration of American Independence. Charleston, S.C.: John J. Evans & Co., 1803. Digital version at Google Books.
  • "Battle of Port Royal note, 1779," Daughters of the American Revolution Magazine, February 2001, Volume 135, Issue 2. Daughters of the America Revolution : Washington, D.C. FHL Collection 973 B2dar Films 1294343-48, 1697390 and 2055446.
Civil War[edit | edit source]

Online Records

Regiments. Civil War service men from Beaufort 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 Beaufort County.

- 1st Battalion, South Carolina Sharpshooters, Company B - (also known as the Sumter Guards)
- 1st Regiment, South Carolina Infantry (McCreary's) (1st Provisional Army), Company H - (also known as Haskell's Rifle Corps)
- 1st Regiment, South Carolina Mounted Militia,
- Barnwell's Company (also known as Palmetto Hussars)
- Blakewood's Company (also known as Hardeeville Guerrillas)
- Bostick's Company (also known as Allendale Guards)
- Fripp's Company (also known as St. Helena Mounted Riflemen)
- Kirk's Company (also known as May River Troop or Bluffton Troop)
- Martin's Company (also known as Calhoun Minute Men or Red Oak Rangers
- Screven's Company (also known as Beaufort District or Coosawhatchie Guerrillas)
- 2nd Regiment, South Carolina Infantry (2nd Palmetto Regiment), Company I (also known as Palmetto Guards)
- 2nd Battalion, South Carolina Cavalry Reserves,
- Company B
- Ashley Dragoons or Ashley Rangers (also known as Captain Colcock's Company, South Carolina Cavalry)
- Beaufort District Troop (also known as Captain J. H. Howard's Company)
- 2nd Regiment, South Carolina State Troops (6 months 1863-64), Company E and Company K
- 2nd Regiment, South Carolina Cavalry, Company B (also known as Beaufort Detachment, Hampton Legion, Beaufort District Troop, Beaufort Dragoons)
- 3rd Battalion, South Carolina Light Artillery (Palmetto Battalion), Company F (also known as the Chestnut Light Artillery)
- 3rd Regiment, South Carolina Cavalry,
- Company C (also known as the Beaufort District Troop and Captain John H. Howard's Company, South Carolina Cavalry)
- Company H (also known as the Ashley Dragoons or Rangers)
- Company I (also known as the Rebel Troops)
- 4th Regiment, South Carolina Cavalry (Rutledge's), Company D
- 7th Regiment, South Carolina Cavalry , Company G
- 7th Regiment, South Carolina Cavalry , Company B
- 8th Battalion, South Carolina Reserves (Stalling's), Company C
- 9th Battalion, South Carolina infantry (Smith's) (Pee Dee Legion), Company D
- 9th Regiment, South Carolina Reserves,, Company K
- 11th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry (9th Volunteers),
- Company A
- Company D
- Company E
- Company F
- 11th Regiment, South Carolina Reserves(90 days 1862-63), Company F and Company L
- 24th Regiment, South Carolina Infantry, Company D

Other Resources

  • Staudenraus, P.J. "Occupied Beaufort, 1863: A War Correspondent's View," The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 64, No. 3 (Jul. 1963):136-144. Digital version at JSTOR ($).
  • Pearson, Elizabeth Ware, Letters from Port Royal, 1862-1868 (New York, New York: Arno Press, Inc., 1969), 345 pages. Letters from Port Royal written at the time of the Civil War. Experiment in freedom for 10,000 slaves. Book at FHL 975.775 H2t , Other Libraries
  • Johnson, Guion Griffis. A Social History of the Sea Islands With Special Reference to St. Helena Island, South Carolina (New York, New York;: Negro Universities Press, 1969), 245 pages. Civil War pages start on 154. Sea Islands during the Federal Occupation throughout the Civil War and Negro culture on St. Helena Island. Book at FHL 975.799 H2j and Other Libraries

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Eighteenth-century South Carolina newspapers contain a wealth of information about residents. The Early South Carolina Newspapers Database (ESCN Database) has created an every-name index to the three largest newspapers for the years 1732 to 1780. Using their free online Surname Database , researchers may order a list of specific newspaper references from the organization for a very reasonable rate.

Beaufort County Obituary Indexes

The Beaufort County Library has created a Newspaper Obituary Index. The Index is drawn from the library's microfilmed collection. Also included are some local newspapers that were started in 2006--Beaufort Today, Bluffton Today, and Hilton Head Island Today--these are not in the microfilm archives, they are just published in an online version as the source.

Currently, the obituary index contains 18,794 records from 18 Beaufort County newspapers from 1862 and May 15, 1984 and October, 2007 to the present. This is an ongoing project and records are being added on a regular bases. The site includes instructions on how to secure copies if you locate your ancestor. This index has been compiled independently by volunteers and the staff at the Beaufort County Library! T What a great asset to those doing research in Beaufort County.


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

University of South Carolina Library Catalog


Periodicals[edit | edit source]

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 Herald and Newsletter

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.”[12] 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.

Online Probate Indexes and 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 Beaufort County.

An interesting article about the intersection of free blacks and tax collecting in the county was published in 2006:

  • Free Negroes Prohibition on Collecting Taxes, 1821-1841, Carolina Herald and Newsletter, Vol. 34, No. 3 (Jul. 2006).

Published abstracts

  • 1816 - Aggregate of Poor Tax for St. Peters in 1816, South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, Vol. 35, No. 2 (Spring 2007).

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 Beaufort 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.

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 Beaufort 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 - Indexes

  • There are several online marriage indexes containing miscellaneous marriage records found in  some counties of South Carolina listed on the South Carolina Vital Records page.
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 Beaufort 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 Substitutes - Indexes and Records

Archives, Libraries, and Museums[edit | edit source]

Family History Centers
[edit | edit source]

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

  • Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
  • FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

Libraries[edit | edit source]

  • Beaufort County Public Library
    311 Scott St.
    Beaufort, SC 29902
    Telephone: (843) 255-6456
    FAX: (843) 470-6541
    Hours: Monday - Thursday: 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM; Frriday - Saturday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM; Sunday: CLOSED

    Collections: Beauford District Collection preserves, maintains and makes accessible a research collection of permanent value that records the history of the area of lowcountry South Carolina known as the old historic Beaufort District. It is intended to be used by customers who perform their own research. The  BDC Research Room provides access to some of its materials and services through the “Virtual BDC,” the BDC web pages, the Online Obituary Index, the Phosphate, Farms, and Family digital collection, and the Connections blog.

    They present programs about local history, archaeology, and our coastal environment, including the occasional instructional session about how to perform historical and/or genealogical research
    . The BDC Research Room welcomes all visitors and researchers over the age of 12 years. It has space for up to 6 researchers at a time. Group visits must be scheduled in advance realizing they may not be able to accommodate a request. 
  • Heritage Library Foundation
    852 William Hilton parkway
    2nd Floor, Suite A-2
    Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, United States
    Telephone: 843-686-6560
    Hours: Monday, Thursday, Fririday, Saturday 10:00 am-3:00 pm, Closed: Saturday in July and August
    Fee: $10.00 per day

    Services: Microfilm readers, computers, high-speed Web service, major online databases at,, and through the Library’s network. The Library offers educational programs and publishes The Heritage Observer, a newsletter, and Glimpses,The library is a certified branch facility of the Family History Library.

    The Heritage Library is a private reference library and research center which is open to the public. It is one of the most comprehensive libraries of its kind in the region, with and collections of books, microfilm, microfiche, CD-ROM, manuscripts, periodicals, video tapes, audio tapes, and maps. South Carolina materials account for about 10 percent of the holdings. The balance covers other states and many countries.
    Online catalog

    Collections: Collections include the records of The Hilton Head Island Historical Society containing a wealth of historical information, old photographs, and maps of Hilton Head Island and the Low Country. Also included is census data collected by the State of South Carolina immediately following the Civil War. The Library has a continually-growing collection of histories of the plantations that existed on the island, and such ongoing projects as indexing maps, land certificates and indentures, and the collection of material on Colored Troops from pension and other records

Societies - Genealogical, Historical, Lineage[edit | edit source]

  • Beaufort County Genealogical Society
    P.O. Box 5492
    Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
  • Beaufort County Historical Society
    P.O. Box 55
    Beaufort, SC 29901
    Website Facebook
  • Parris Island Historical and Museum Society
    Bldg. 111
    Marine Corps Recruit Depot
    Parris Island SC 29905

Websites[edit | edit source]

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

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Beaufort County, South Carolina" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, ",_South_Carolina." accessed on the 3/27/2019
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Beaufort County, South Carolina. Page 611-615 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 607-608.
  3. South Carolina State Library, "Beaufort County".
  4. "Beaufort County".
  5. 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.
  6. Voice of Phillip Stalvey, resident of Myrtle Beach, S.C. (2011).
  7. Wikipedia contributors, "Beaufort County, South Carolina," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_South_Carolina, accessed 21 December 2019.
  8. "South Carolina Districts and Parishes 1775" [map] in Carolana at (accessed 9 May 2011).
  9. Hugh Wallis, IGI Batch Numbers for South Carolina, USA, accessed 14 September 2010.
  10. Schweitzer, George K. , South Carolina Genealogical Research (Knoxville, Tennessee: s.p. 1985), 39-42, FHL book 975.7 D27s
  11. 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.
  12. Henry Campbell Black, Black's Law Dictionary, 5th ed. (St. Paul, Minnesota: West Publishing Co., 1979), 1081, "probate."