Dorchester County, South Carolina
Genealogy and Facts

Dorchester County

Dorchester County was established on February 25, 1897 from Berkeley County and Colleton County. The county was named for the town of Dorchester, Massachusetts.

The Dorchester County Seat is situated in St. George plus the county government website is www.dorchestercounty.net/

Areas adjacent to Dorchester County are Berkeley County (east), Charleston County (southeast), Colleton County (southwest), Bamberg County (west), Orangeburg County (northwest).

Cities and towns to be found in Dorchester county include Grover, Harleyville, North Charleston, Reevesville, Ridgeville, St. George, Summerville, Ladson.

Dorchester County vital records can be found at the South Carolina Department of Health has copies of birth records after 1913 and death records after 1930, copies of marriage since Jan 1962 and a Divorce records since 1958. There is a fee for each copy requested. Please refer to the information to the Statewide Vital Records in South Carolina for current fees and application process.

You can search online for Dorchester County Birth, Marriage, Divorce or Death Records. You can also Order Electronically Online or can download an application for South Carolina Birth and Death Certificate, Marriage and Divorce Certificate Application to mail.

Dorchester County does have Federal Census Schedules to aid in finding out about your family tree. Federal Population Schedules are available for 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940. One can find free downloadable not to mention printable census forms to help you with your research.

Dorchester County Society and Family History Resources

A list of Dorchester County Historical  and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.

Dorchester County Courthouse and Government Records


Dorchester County Courthouse

Genealogist frequently fail to notice the significance of Dorchester County court, probate, and land records data as a resource of genealogy and family history information. Buried away in South Carolina courthouses and archives just about everywhere could be the desires and worries of the many South Carolina men and women.


Old Dorchester County Courthouse

The chances are very good that your particular ancestors have left a detailed document of at least several aspects of their lives in the Dorchester County court records. Even if your forebears is not discussed in a Court case, give some thought to all of the other methods that could have lead to her or him to appear in court records.

The below details shows what birth, marriage, death, property, probate, and legal records are typically in Dorchester county. The dates suggested below are the first recognized records data with this county.

I highly recommend you call the clerk's office to affirm hours, mailing address, fees and other specifics just before visiting or seeking information because of in some cases changing contact details. The Department Offices DO NOT DO RESEARCH. The files are accessible to interested parties, barring confidential issues. The majority of employees will aid persons in locating the resources, however it is up to the particular person to complete the basic research.
  • Dorchester County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
    • Address: 5200 East Jim Bilton Boulevard, St. George, S.C. 29477
  • Dorchester County Register of Deeds  records and maintain deeds, mortgages, plats, state and federal tax liens, mechanics liens, uniform commercial code filings, and other miscellaneous documents pertaining to real estate transactions.
    • Address: 201 Johnston Street, Saint George, SC 29477
    • Phone: Summerville area - 843-832-0181 St. George area - 843-563-0181
    • Land Records: 1897
  • Dorchester County Clerk of Probate Court has original jurisdiction over actions concerning the issuance of marriage licenses, the estate of a deceased person, the will of an individual, the estate of a minor or incapacitated person, trusts, and involuntary commitments.
    • Phone: 843-563-5785 or 843-851-5785
    • Marriage Records: 1911 
    • Probate Records: 1897
  • Dorchester County Clerk of Court is divided into General Sessions (Criminal) and Common Pleas (Civil) Court. The Circuit Court is a formal court of record. The Clerk of Court is also responsible for Family Court which handles juvenile and domestic cases.
    • Phone: (843) 563 -0160
    • Court Records: 1897
    • Divorce Records:since April 1949
  • Dorchester County Tax Assessor / Collector is responsible for the collection of taxes. Our office does not calculate a property’s taxable value (Assessor’s Office).
  • Dorchester County Health Department has birth and death records from January 01, 1915. Marriage records prior to 1950 are available from the Probate Court office. Divorce records since April 1949 are available from the County Clerk's office. Birth, marriage, and death records are connected with central life events.
    • Address: 500 North Main Street, Summerville, SC 29483
    • Phone: (843) 832-0041 
    • Birth Records / Death Records: 1915 (There were no South Carolina birth or Death "certificates" before January 01, 1915)

Dorchester County Links

The following are web links to Genealogy, Records and Resources related to Dorchester County. These genealogy links fall into 3 categories: Business oriented Sites, Private Sites or Organization Sites. Some have free access some have to have a payment. This is just a directory that has been collected or submitted. I do not endorse or promote one genealogy site above another. Feel free to furnish your own most liked Dorchester County genealogy or family history affiliated sites.

Dorchester Co. SC Books, Newspapers & Publications

Dorchester Co. SC Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Dorchester Co. SC Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Dorchester Co. SC Census Records

Dorchester Co. SC Cemeteries & Graveyards

Dorchester Co. SC Church & Bible Records

Dorchester Co. SC Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Dorchester Co. SC General and History Websites

Dorchester Co. SC Immigration & Naturalization

Dorchester Co. SC Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Dorchester Co. SC Military Records

Dorchester Co. SC Schools & Directories

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