Old Historical State, County and City Maps of South Carolina

Maps of South Carolina

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Our collection of old historical South Carolina maps span over 300 years of growth.  Most historical maps of South Carolina were published in atlases. Within the atlases are historical maps, illustrations, and histories many of which contain family names ideal for genealogical research.

The South Carolina Library from the University of South Carolina at Columbia contains the finest assortment of early South Carolina maps. The South Carolina Department of Archives and History puts out a pamphlet “The Formation of Counties in South Carolina,” which can be procured online. There is no gazetteer for South Carolina.

The Spanish were the first Europeans in the area. From June 24 to July 14, 1521, they explored the land around Winyah Bay. On October 8, 1526 they founded San Miguel de Gualdape, near what is now Georgetown, South Carolina. In 1540, Hernando de Soto explored the region. In 1562 French Huguenots established a settlement at what is now Parris Island.

In May 1564, a second expedition explored the shore from the Jordan River up to the Dolphins river and took possession of the territory from the coast to the Appalachian Mountains. On June 20, 1564, they founded Fort Caroline, named in honor of the King of France Charles IX. In the 1670s, English planters from Barbados established themselves near what is now Charleston. In 1719, the colony was officially made a crown colony. In 1729 North Carolina was split off into a separate colony.

1773 Map of the Province of South Carolina
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1773 Map of the Province of South Carolina

In 1629, King of England Charles I established the Province of Carolina, an area covering what is now South and North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee.

In 1682, after the first hard years of settlement, the Proprietors ordered three counties laid out. Berkeley County, Craven County and Colleton County. Later, a fourth county, Granville, was laid out between the Combahee and the Savannah rivers. All were discontinued in 1769.

In 1769, Seven judicial districts created by South Carolina’s colonial General Assembly. In 1785, Forty counties created after the American Revolution.

The State of South Carolina was created as the 8th state on May 23, 1788. States bordering South Carolina are Georgia and North Carolina. South Carolinas 10 largest cities are Columbia, Charleston, North Charleston, Rock Hill, Greenville, Sumter, Florence Spartanburg, Goose Creek and Aiken.

Map of South Carolina County Formations 1747-1987

Map Of South Carolina Districts 1769-1784
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Map Of South Carolina Districts 1769-1784

This Interactive Map of South Carolina Counties show the historical boundaries, names, organization, and attachments of every county, extinct county and unsuccessful county proposal from the creation of South Carolina from 1747 to 1987.

South Carolina contains 46 counties. South Carolina originally consisted of 7 districts at the time of the American Revolution. These parishes were Georgetown, Charleston, Beaufort, Cheraws, Camden, Orangeburg and Ninety-Six Districts.

In 1769 the first South Carolina counties were formed. They were OrangeburgGeorgetownCharleston and Beaufort Counties. The last county to be formed was Allendale County in 1919.

South Carolina County Map Formation by Year

South Carolina Map Abbreviations

  1. unorg. = unorganized
  2. g. = gained
  3. w. = with
  4. fr. = from
  5. atmt. = attachment
  6. exch = exchanged
  7. nca.= non county area
  8. ch. = changed
  9. Ab – Abbeville
  10. Al – Allen
  11. Ai – Aiken
  12. Al – Allendale
  13. An – Anderson
  14. Bam – Bamberg

  1. Bar – Barnwell
  2. Bea – Beaufort
  3. Ber – Berkeley
  4. Cal – Calhoun
  5. Cdn – Clarendon
  6. Cfd – Chesterfield
  7. Cha – Charleston
  8. Co – Colleton
  9. Crk – Cherokee
  10. Ctr – Chester
  11. Da – Darlington
  12. Di – Dillon
  13. Do – Dorchester
  14. Ed – Edgefield

  1. Fa – Fairfield
  2. Fl – Florence
  3. Ge – Georgetown
  4. Gvl – Greenville
  5. Gwd – Greenwood
  6. Ha – Hampton
  7. Ho – Horry
  8. Ja – Jasper
  9. Ke – Kershaw
  10. Lan – Lancaster
  11. Lau – Laurens
  12. Lee – Lee
  13. Lex – Lexington
  14. McC – McCormick

  1. Ml – Marlboro
  2. Mrn – Marion
  3. New – Newberry
  4. Obg – Orangeburg
  5. Oc – Oconee
  6. Pks – Pickens
  7. Ri – Richland
  8. Sld – Saluda
  9. Sp – Spartanburg
  10. Su – Sumter
  11. Un – Union
  12. Wil – Williamsburg
  13. Yo – York

Old Historical Atlas Maps of South Carolina

This Historical South Carolina Map Collection are from original copies so you can see South Carolina as our ancestors saw them over a hundred years ago.

Some South Carolina map years (not all) have cities, railroads, P.O. locations, township outlines and other features useful to the South Carolina researcher.

Old Atlas Maps of South Carolina

External South Carolina Map Links

South Carolina County Map of Road and Highway's

The South Carolina D.O.T. Highway Department has prepared a series of 2016 county road maps. These maps contain more detailed information about man-made features than the geological survey maps. In addition to roads and boundaries, these maps include rural communities, churches, and cemeteries.

These maps are downloadable and are in PDF format. The main use of these are the locations of all known cemeteries in a county and of course the various roads and church locations. These Maps are Free to Download

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