Start My Family Tree Welcome to Geni, home of the world's largest family tree.
Join Geni to explore your genealogy and family history in the World's Largest Family Tree.

Clarendon County, South Carolina

« Back to Projects Dashboard

view all


  • William Rex Josey (1901 - 1968)
  • James Dickey (1764 - 1798)
    From the DAR: DICKEY, JAMESAncestor #: A033712 Service: SOUTH CAROLINA Rank(s): PATRIOTIC SERVICE, PRIVATE Birth: 10-21-1764 SOUTH CAROLINA Death: 12-4-1798 SUMTER DIST SOUTH CAROLINA Service Descript...
    Lenore Dickey McFadden (1772 - 1865)
    “Leah” Lenoir McFaddin BIRTH 9 Oct 1772 South Carolina, USA DEATH 29 Jan 1865 (aged 92) Sumter County, South Carolina, USA BURIAL Durant - New Harmony Cemetery Gable, Clarendon County, South Carolina,...
    Unknown 1st wife of Robert McFadden "Miss Dickey" (deceased)
    DAR proven 1st wife of Robert McFadden. May have given name of "Mary" based on Find a Grave entry or "Margaret" based on some trees, but more research is needed. SF
  • Robert McFadden (1763 - 1829)
    From the DAR: MCFADDEN, ROBERT Ancestor #: A076749 Service: SOUTH CAROLINA Rank(s): PRIVATE Birth: 1763 GEORGETOWN DIST SOUTH CAROLINA Death: 6-29-1829 SUMTER DIST SOUTH CAROLINA Service Source: S...

Please add those who were born, lived or died in Clarendon County, South Carolina.

Official Website


Clarendon County was officially established in 1785, shortly after the American Revolutionary War, when the legislature divided Camden District into seven counties. One was Clarendon County. It was named after Edward Hyde, who was a Lord Proprietor and earl of Clarendon.

During the American Revolutionary War, the Battle of Half Way Swamp was fought in December 1780. That was one of the many Revolutionary battles that took place in the area of Clarendon County. Others in this area were the following battles: Richbourg’s Mill, Nelson’s Ferry, Fort Watson/Santee Indian Mound, and Tearcoat. The Swamp Fox Murals Trail has been established as an historical landmark depicting the American Revolution and General Francis Marion, the "Swamp Fox".

The first European settlers in Clarendon County were ethnic French Huguenots, who traveled by boat up the Santee River. Their ancestors had earlier settled in Charleston after leaving France in the late 17th century to escape religious persecution. Transportation of goods by land was difficult, so canals were constructed to carry boat traffic around rapids in the river. The first notable canal was the Santee Canal, which was constructed in 1793. But due to the development of the railroads in the mid-1800s and construction linking major markets, the canal was superseded and ended operations some years later.

In 1798, the state legislature combined three counties - Clarendon, Claremont, and Salem - to form Sumter District for ease of administration. On December 19, 1855, a legislative act was passed establishing the Clarendon District, with the same boundaries as defined for the county in 1785. During the antebellum period, the county was developed as large plantations to cultivate commodity crops, particularly short-staple cotton, by the labor of enslaved blacks. Cultivation of this crop was made profitable by development of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney, which made processing more labor-efficient. By the time of the Civil War, the population of the county was majority black.

In 1855, Captain Joseph C. Burgess was selected to determine the geographical center of the county, the preferred location for the county seat, so that a courthouse village could be built. The commissioners decided on the site where the present courthouse was erected. Manning was developed as the county seat. Captain Burgess deeded six acres to the state, providing sites for the courthouse and jail, in addition to streets 75-feet-wide on four sides.

In 1865, toward the end of the American Civil War, a body of General Sherman's Union troops under command of General Potter raided Clarendon county. They destroyed a large portion of Manning, including the court house. The raid took place a few days before Gen. Robert E. Lee´s surrender at Appomattox. The county recovered slowly from the Civil War due to its reliance on agriculture, which suffered a long depression.

The State Constitution of 1868 renamed the districts as counties. Agriculture continued as the mainstay of the economy through much of the 19th century, and planters had to adjust to a free labor economy. They gradually relied on a system of mostly black tenant farmers and sharecroppers. Lumber and related mills and industries became increasingly important, with towns developed along railroad lines in the area.

Following Reconstruction, white Democrats regained control of the state legislature, passing laws for segregation of public facilities, Jim Crow and a new constitution of 1895 that effectively disfranchised most blacks in the state. This exclusion from the political system was not ended until after decades of activism by blacks, who gained passage of federal civil rights legislation in the mid-1960s to enforce their constitutional rights.

In November 1941, Lake Marion was created as a reservoir by construction of the Santee Dam by the United States Corps of Engineers. The dam was built across the Santee River to generate hydroelectric power for rural electrification, one of the major infrastructure projects initiated under President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal federal investments during the Great Depression. Lake Marion and the Santee Dam were part of the Santee-Cooper Hydroelectric and Navigation Project.

Two notable court cases in Clarendon County in the mid-20th century were part of challenges by the Civil Rights Movement to racial segregation of public facilities; these cases related to segregated public schools. This was concluded in law by the United States Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education (1954), which declared that separate but equal schools were unconstitutional. The court learned that the separate school were historically underfunded in most Southern states and seldom equal. These cases were Levi Pearson v. Clarendon County Board of Education (1947), and Briggs v. Elliott (1952).

Adjacent Counties

Cities, Towns & Communities

  • Alcolu
  • Davis Station
  • Gable
  • Manning (County Seat)
  • New Zion
  • Paxville
  • Rimini
  • Sardinia
  • Silver
  • Summerton
  • Turbeville
  • Wilson



Santee National Wildlife Refuge


Manning Library

Santee Indian Mound & Fort Watson

Senn's Grist Mill & Blacksmith Shop