South Carolina Map & Atlas Guide

A Historical South Carolina Map can indicate who owned specific property in the state and which towns held the county seat at the time.  This information is a valuable starting point for your research pointing you to the right location of records.

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Solving Research Problems with a South Carolina Maps – If you have started your family research, you might have experienced trouble with trying to identify South Carolina city borders and names that have changed over the course of time. This can make it difficult to understand where your ancestors’ information is kept.

Because South Carolina historic maps were usually commissioned by the county seat, they often display information about the county, including town names. Reading a South Carolina map from the time period you are researching can help tremendously in solving these problems by leading you to the correct town records. It can also give you other leads, such as the location of city directories or old post offices in South Carolina.

Choosing the Best South Carolina Map – If you have a large source of maps to choose from, try starting with the area where your ancestors resided and looking for the maps with the most detail.  You can determine a lot by seeing if the area was still rural or more developed, and how far it was to the nearest city.  This can shed light on your family’s lifestyle and occupation. Were they farmers who lived in the country, or merchants who traveled often to a nearby city?  A map can give you an idea of what occupations were possible.

The South Caroliniana 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.

South Carolina Map of County Formations For The Years 1747-1987

These South Carolina maps shows the historical changes to South Carolina counties from 1747 to 1987. This Interactive South Carolina map is made with the use AniMap Plus 3.0 & with the Permission of the Goldbug Company.

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South Carolina Map Abbreviations
unorg. = unorganized
g. = gained
w. = with
fr. = from
atmt. = attachment
exch = exchanged
nca.= non county area
ch. = changed

Ab - Abbeville
Ai - Aiken

Al - Allendale
An - Anderson
Bam - Bamberg
Bar - Barnwell
Bea - Beaufort
Ber - Berkeley
Cal - Calhoun
Cdn - Clarendon
Cfd - Chesterfield
Cha - Charleston
Co - Colleton
Crk - Cherokee
Ctr - Chester
Da - Darlington
Di - Dillon
Do - Dorchester
Ed - Edgefield
Fa - Fairfield
Fl - Florence
Ge - Georgetown
Gvl - Greenville
Gwd - Greenwood
Ha - Hampton
Ho - Horry
Ja - Jasper
Ke - Kershaw
Lan - Lancaster
Lau - Laurens
Lee - Lee
Lex - Lexington
McC - McCormick
Ml - Marlboro
Mrn - Marion
New - Newberry
Obg - Orangeburg
Oc - Oconee
Pks - Pickens
Ri - Richland
Sld - Saluda
Sp - Spartanburg
Su - Sumter
Un - Union
Wil - Williamsburg
Yo - York

South Carolina Maps & Atlases

1836 South Carolina MapThe David Rumsey Historical South Carolina Map Collection is scanned 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.

South Carolina Map of D.O.T. County Road and Highway’s

South Carolina County DOT MapThe South Carolina Department of Transportation is pleased to provide highly detailed county maps online. 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

External South Carolina Map Links

Further Reading

U.S. State Map Guides