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MARION COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA LAND RECORDS

ABOUT LAND RECORDS IN SOUTH CAROLINA
by Victoria Proctor 1995

All land within South Carolina was first granted by the colony and subsequently by the State. No South Carolina lands were distributed by the federal government. (In other words, all land records for this early period, whether a royal or colonial grant, a bounty for Revolutionary War service or other war service, will be found at the South Carolina Archives rather than the National Archives or Bureau of Land Management.)

TYPES OF LAND RECORDS:

  • PETITIONS (c. 1731-c. 1773)
    • Headrights ("acres per head") were land grant rights given to individuals as an inducement to settle in the colony. Verbal petitions were required to claim those headrights.

  • WARRANTS
    • A warrant was the piece of paper given to grant recipients entitling a survey to be done and stating the number of acres to be surveyed at a particular site. The grant recipient was then responsible for taking the warrant to a surveyor.

  • SURVEYS
    • The surveyor provided a written description of the land surveyed -- including the metes (measurement of the land tract) and bounds (the neighbors or landmarks which bordered on the tract).

  • PLATS
    • The surveyor also provided a sketch, drawn to scale, of the property, noting the precept date (date the petitioner applied to the South Carolina Council for the land), the survey/certified date (date the survey was actually made), and the recording date.

  • MEMORIALS
    • South Carolina land memorials, recorded 1731-1775, provide a virtual chain of title through a written account of how a person came into possession of the land on which he/she is paying quitrent.

  • QUITRENT ROLLS 1733-1774
    • Recipients of land grants were required to pay an annual fee, or quitrent, to the Lords Proprietors of the colony, starting two years after a grant of headright land, and ten years after a bounty grant was made.

  • REGISTERS OF MESNE CONVEYANCES (Land transfers between individuals)
    • These records includ Mortgage books, Surveyor plats, Homestead registers, and what we normally think of when we say "Deeds".

THE RECORDS

POST-REVOLUTIONARY WAR PERIOD (1776 - ):

In general, for copies of early (prior to c. 1800) Marion County land records -- plats, land grants, deeds -- contact the South Carolina Department of Archives and History in Columbia, SC:

South Carolina Archives & History Center
8301 Parklane Road
Columbia, SC 29223
Tel: (803) 896-6100
Fax: (803) 896-6198

For copies of later (c. 1800 - c. 1900) Marion County land records, contact

  • Marion County Archives and History Center
    101 N. Main St.
    Marion SC 29571
    (843) 431-5024

Copyright 1995, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2015 Victoria Proctor. All rights reserved.
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