South Carolina Pioneers

History & Genealogy by Jeannette Holland Austin
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Inhabitants from Barbados Settled in South Carolina

Barbados Economically South Carolina was associated with the West Indies where most of their trade came from. At the close of the 17th century, the white population was about 5500 persons, most of whom came from Barbados and other Caribbean Islands, as well as England, Ireland and France. They settled the area extending from the Santee to the mouth of the Edisto rivers, which included several of the islands, and reached back from the coast about fifty miles. The social and economic center was centered in Charleston. In the back country there were only two small towns and most of the inhabitants were located on plantations along the rivers and on the islands. The Barbadian planters had settled mainly on the Cooper River, Goose Creek, along the Ashley River and on the islands of James, John and Edisto. Four or five hundred Huguenots, most of whom had left their country because of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, had located on the Santee, where they had received land grants aggregating over 50,000 acres. Almost half of this land grant was the property of two individuals, while other Huguenot estates varying from 100 to 3,000 acres. Rice is the crop which enriched the economy of Charleston and provided important staples both domestically and abroad. Early in the colony, a Swiss settlement south of Charleston tried the silk industry. The Barbadians brought slaves into Charleston where the harsh slave code of Barbados was adopted.

Prisoners taken to St. Augustine, Florida

Prisoners during Revolutionary WarWhen they were captured, South Carolina patriots and French allies were taken to St. Augustine, Florida where they were retained as prisoners of war. Three of the brave signers of the Declaration of Independence were from Charleston and included the persons of: Thomas Heyward, Jr., Arthur Middleton and Edward Rutledge. They were held until the end of 1780. Oddly enough, these prisoners of war were allowed the freedom of the streets and received good treatment from the Spanish.

Berkeley County SC Map

Goose Creek
By Jeannette Holland Austin

Goose Creek Settlement of Goose Creek began ca 1671 with planters from Barbados bringing slave labor into the area. Some of the notable Goose Creek Plantations included Medway, Yeamans Hall, Windsor Hill, The Elms, Otranto, Martindales, The Oaks,Crowfield, Liberty Hall, Howe Hall and Brick Hope.

The Oaks Plantation
The Oaks Plantation

Berkeley County Wills

Berkeley County was formed in 1682 from the parishes of St. John Berkeley, St. James Goose Creek, St. James Santee, St. Stephen, St. Thomas and St. Denis. It was named for two of the Lords Proprietors of Carolina, Lord John Berkeley (died 1678) and Sir William Berkeley (d. 1677). Berkeley county is referenced many times in the old deed records, but one needs to be aware of the fact that in 1769 it became part of Charleston District, and that it did not become a separate county again until 1882. This is why you see many of the Charleston County deeds headed up Berkeley County. During the late seventeenth century English and French Huguenot planters and their African slaves settled the area, establishing large rice plantations which are now covered by the waters of Lake Moultrie.

Earliest settlers: General William Moultrie (1730-1805), General Francis Marion (1732-1795), known as Swamp Fox, Henry Laurens (1724-1792), president of the Continental Congress but a resident of Mepkin Plantation.

Wadboo Creek, Berkeley County, South Carolina
Wadboo Creek

Berkeley County, South Carolina

Berkeley County Records Available to Members of South Carolina Pioneers
  • LWT of Mathias Elmore (1766), transcript
  • 1825 Map of the Plantations in Upper St. John's Parish

The Oaks Plantation
The Elms Plantation

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