to this archived page of the Cherokee County SCGenWeb, a project of USGenWeb
The USGenWeb Project
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
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.
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
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.
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.
A list of the several communities
within Cherokee County can be found on the History
and Formation Page as well.
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.
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
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
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.
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 ---->