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.
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
By Jeannette Holland Austin
Settlement of Goose Creek began ca 1671 with planters from Barbados bringing slave labor into the area. Some 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 Elms Plantation
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