South Carolina was part of the province of Carolina until 1710 when North and South Carolina were made separate provinces. In 1682, along the coast of what today is South Carolina, three proprietary counties were set up: Berkeley, Colleton and Craven. In 1685, Carteret County was added along the coast, adjacent to Georgia. In the early years of South Carolina (1682-1769), counties were only used for geographical divisions and did not have government functions. In 1706, parishes were set up and coexisted with the various counties. These parishes remained until after 1790. In 1769, South Carolina abolished its four proprietary counties and divided into seven judicial districts, which served as governmental units. Later, these districts were subdivided into counties, which rarely served any official function. Many of these counties later became districts and took on governmental duties. It was not until 1868 that South Carolina re-designated all of the districts as counties.
Last Revised: 16 Mar 2011