Welcome to this archived page of the Cherokee County SCGenWeb, a project of USGenWeb and SCGenWeb.   The USGenWeb Project and SCGenWeb Project are non-commercial, all-volunteer organizations and are not connected in any way with USGenWeb., Inc., an Idaho corporation.  Cherokee County is currently being redesigned. The new County Coordinator is Jeff Kemp.  

A Little About Cherokee County South Carolina

Cherokee County South Carolina is located in the upstate section of South Carolina east of the Blue Ridge Mountains and south of the North Carolina piedmont.
The county was formed in 1897 from parts of York, Spartanburg, and Union Counties.  [See this 1895 map of what is now Cherokee County to determine where your research should begin.]  This makes us a relatively new county without much of the historical record keeping that some others have.  Even so, we are a community rich in history.  We are bordered by our parent counties on three sides and by the North Carolina counties of Cleveland and Rutherford to the north.  We are reached by Interstate 85 and US29.  The county seat is Gaffney.  There is a great picture of the Limestone Street business district as it was in 1912 on the Gaffney postcard page.  Prior to about the 1930's, Cherokee County industry was primarily agricultural.  From then until relatively recently the county has relied on textiles and manufacturing.

The Naming of Cherokee County South Carolina

Cherokee County seems to have been so named for as much political reasons as any other.   It seems to have originally been a move to encourage a positive vote from the residents of the area around Cherokee Falls and those of the Cherokee Township to support formation of a new county with separation from York, Spartanburg, and Union Counties in 1897.    Reasoning that Cherokee Falls was among the earliest villages in the area and that the area had been home to the Cherokee Nation before 1750 led to general acceptance of the name throughout the area.

In a vote on the name of the new county, Cherokee won over Limestone by a landslide.
primary source - The Gaffney Ledger at A Slice of History
It is clear from early (pre-1800) historical accounts of the area, that the Broad River was the western boundary of the Catawba Nation and that same boundary was the eastern boundary of the Cherokee Nation.  [see our Native Research Page for more on this] There are scant indications that either nation frequented the area, instead considering it "no mans land" between the two boundaries.  There probably should be some archaeological study in the areas around the Broad River and the known trading path through the county to determine the influence of the native nations in what is now Cherokee County.  There are anthropological and genealogical indications that descendants of the early native nations still reside in the communities that make up Cherokee County South Carolina.  

History and formation of Cherokee County South Carolina

bullet Many researchers fail to determine the geographic significance of the location of their ancestors.  Looking for records in a county based on the present location of the homestead can be frustrating at best when county names change -- likewise, trying to find a cemetery in one county when the political location of the cemetery changed by county formation can be just as annoying.  Here we present a brief history of the formation of our county.
bullet A list of the several communities within Cherokee County can be found on the History and Formation Page as well.

Native Americans

bullet  Your ALT-Text here Many folks write to us asking for information about their Native American ancestors.  We've added a page of information particularly for that query. Just follow this link -----> Native American Research in Cherokee County
There are historical accounts indicating that our county was once frequented by and home to some from the Cherokee, Catawba, and Creek nations...  These accounts are almost entirely from the periods before 1800 and while the "towns" were vacated -- many of the people seem to have remained.

Veterans - Civil War, Spanish-American War, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam...

bullet  Your ALT-Text here We have developed a very good collection of local military history information as well.  Patsy Holt was kind enough to transcribe the information found on the several veterans memorials around the county.  Just follow this link ---->  Cherokee County Veterans

Cemeteries in Cherokee County

bullet  Your ALT-Text here We've always found some very good source information in cemeteries and cemetery transcriptions.  To that end we've compiled a list of transcriptions available online.  These are not all our own work and there is always need for more transcriptions.
Just follow this link ---->
Cherokee County Cemeteries

Research Links...

bullet  Your ALT-Text here We're rebuilding the page of links on our web.  Just follow this link to more links ----> LINKS 
There are many tools available to those looking for their past in Cherokee County South Carolina.

Records Archives

bullet  Your ALT-Text here You can visit (and hopefully contribute to) the Cherokee County Archives of the SCGenWeb Project by following this link ----> SCGenWeb Archives, Cherokee County

Message and Query Board

bullet  Your ALT-Text here The fine folks at Rootsweb and Ancestry.com have combined resources and merged the query board systems of each into one.  This should mean more visits by more researchers leading to more connections.  

Just follow this link --->  Cherokee County South Carolina message board.  Post queries and files here.

Mailing List - ListServ...

bullet  Your ALT-Text here We also administer one of the Rootsweb mailing lists.  The list is specifically for Cherokee County SC Genealogy.  For more information about the SCCherok-L mailing list just follow this link ----> SCCherok-L@Rootsweb.com
A transcription of the 1910 Cherokee County SC census has been placed online as a part of the USGenWeb Census Project.  This transcription has not been edited or reviewed and a volunteer is needed.  Visit http://www.usgwcensus.org/~cenfiles/sc/cherokee/1910/ed01/