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Fairfield County, South Carolina

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Please add profiles of those who were born, lived or died in Fairfield County, South Carolina.

Official Website


It is alleged that the county name originated from a statement made by General Cornwallis when he declared "How Fair These Fields" during the British occupation of the area in 1780-81. The house Cornwallis stayed in during the occupation is still standing.

Several years before the Revolution, Richard Winn from Virginia moved to what is now called Fairfield County. His lands covered the present site of Winnsboro, and as early as 1777 the settlement was known as "Winnsborough".

The village was laid out and chartered in 1785 upon petition of Richard Winn, John Winn and John Vanderhorst. John, Richard, and Minor Winn all served in the Revolutionary War. Richard was a General and he is said to have fought in more battles than any Whig in South Carolina.

Fairfield County has numerous churches, some of which have existed for over 200 years. Perhaps the most famous church, built in 1788, is the Old Brick Church, where the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Synod of the Carolinas was organized in 1803. A note penciled on the wall of the Old Brick Church is testimony to a Union soldier's regret at the church's floor boards being taken up to build a crossing over the nearby river for General Sherman's troops during the American Civil War.

Invention of the cotton gin enabled the cultivation of short-staple cotton through the upcountry regions of the South. It was the chief commodity crop for this county from the early 19th century through the 1920s. In the antebellum era, most of the intensive labor was accomplished by slaves, many of whose descendants still live in this rural area. Over time the soil became depleted, but more damaging was infestation in the 20th century by the boll weevil. Together with mechanization of agriculture, the need for labor was reduced.

The County Courthouse, across from the Town Clock, dates back to 1823. Designed by South Carolina architect Robert Mills, the courthouse houses records dating to the mid-18th century.

Granite deposits in the County led to the early development of quarrying. Winnsboro blue granite, "The Silk of the Trade," is used worldwide in buildings and monuments.

The county was home to the Carolinas–Virginia Tube Reactor during the 1960s. In 1984 the Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Generating Station was built here. The Ridgeway gold mine, east of Ridgeway, was in operation from 1988 to 1999.

Adjacent Counties

Towns & Communities

  • Blackjack
  • Blackstock
  • Blair
  • Blythewood (part)
  • Bucklick
  • Feasterville
  • Jenkinsville
  • Mitford
  • Monticello
  • Winnsboro (County Seat)
  • Winnsboro Mills



National Register of Historic Places

List of Plantations

Fairfield County Genealogical Society

Genealogy Trails

SC Pioneers


SC Gen Web

1790 Census

Roots Web